Thursday, September 10, 2009

Victims of our Own Success

Some time in August I realized I was getting burned out, despite visits from wonderful guests, like the family above from Maryland. Sven and I are delighted our green bed & breakfast has received such an enthusiastic response from the public, but we are gradually realizing an innkeeper cannot give, give, give all the time without being depleted by fall. Sven’s right when he says that we are “victims of our own success…” In a strange way, despite the craziness of non-stop tourists in town, summer is easier because our cottage changeover takes place every one or two weeks. Now bookings are for three, four or five nights. And no, we do not have any help. Three different units change occupants, twice or three times a week. That represents a whole lot of sheets and towels, buckets of homemade granola, baskets of fresh fruit. The rhythm can become exhausting. I have felt it of late when unable to remember names, something I have never had a problem with in my life. We do try to interact with guests, if they show themselves amenable to such behavior. So, it's distressing when the steam of happy new faces becomes a blur. We have had at least three Barbaras. “Remember the small brunette named Barbara?” I’ll say to Sven. “She and her husband were both journalists, and he looked and sounded like John Houston?” “What fascinated me about her is she knew a lot about art in Vienna,” Sven replies, not having drawn a blank at all on these particular folks. Right now we have a couple from England. Hard to forget, because she is at least seven months pregnant, and he swims six laps across Dyer Pond every morning before breakfast. In the cottage, a German family departed today, leaving the place spotless, and an old-er couple (80!) moved in. Our Liberty Coin guests are from East Germany. I chatted with them over breakfast. Since these young men are German, gay, and engineers, they will be easier to remember, no doubt. I find American couples harder to separate in my mind, perhaps because they are less open to socialization. I do remember Amresh and Liz, however. He’s a film professor, and she works for a DVD company that specializes in foreign films. Amresh got Sven to go swimming several times. I guess my husband is an unusual innkeeper with his willingness to walk guests to Dyer Pond and his quadruple masters degrees. Amresh hit the nail on the head when he declared, “When you come to a bed & breakfast, you don’t expect to meet someone who’s really interesting to talk to ...”