Two months before our trip to upstate New York I began looking for a place to stay and realized everyone got there ahead of me. Big hotels are out of the question – those heavy doors closing at all hours ensures a cranky Cindy. In addition to quiet nights, my other requirement is air conditioning – I’ve lived in the south much too long to go without some form of climate control.
Finally, I came across an Airbnb listing for a house in Seneca Falls – the gorgeous Finger Lakes region – that looked perfect. The only hitch was the hosts might, in fact, be nuts.
I’ve been using Airbnb for years and had never seen a list of rules like this manifesto. In the 1,600 word salad were some reasonable demands – don’t color your hair, park in the designated area, remove your shoes – as well as a few that gave me pause – no sleeping on the sofa, don’t use a humidifier, no “aggressive fragrances” and get this – no guests on the property! I asked about having some old friends visit and got this back:
“Thank you for letting us know ahead of time. As long as it is for a short period of time (a few hours) we will make an exception and allow this.” I felt favored by the Airbnb gods.
But when we arrived, there were more rules. Here are a few of our favorite signs:
There were some assertive instructions for giving a post-visit review as well . . .
Even the bathroom wall decorations looked like admonitions . . .
I began to understand how students must feel when faced with a long list of rules. It makes you want to do something naughty. Fortunately, we are word game lovers and the welcome sign offered a perfect opportunity for some hijinks.
Our friend (the one we had special dispensation to invite) challenged us to rearrange the letters into a new statement. Our compositions don’t make perfect sense but we left no unused letters! It felt deliciously like getting away with something after so many “no-no” warnings. Enjoy our creations!
I’m keeping an eye on the Airbnb rules for this property. You can only imagine how gratified I’d be if a new one appears: “Please do not rearrange the letters on the welcome sign!” I’ll update this story if that happens. In the meantime, maybe I’ve got the next Wordle-type craze on my hands!