I grabbed the best bedroom at the beach house for you, vacationing single women and men everywhere, who have been relegated to the bunk bed, the twin bed, the princess bed, the bed shaped like an airplane, the Spiderman-sheeted bed, the blow-up mattress that slowly leaks, so by morning there is only deflated polyurethane between you and the hardwood floor, or worse, the love seat in the living room, where you're kept awake at both ends of your sleep cycle, by chatty revelers who drink all night, and chirpy early risers who brew the first pot of coffee. I grabbed the best bedroom at the beach house, because I was tired of being penalized for not having a mate and because I arrived there first, or in other words, because I could. Did I mention my boudoir had its own bathroom?
This airy vacation house to which I'm referring is situated directly on Stinson Beach, a scenic town twenty miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The street address has "sea drift" in the name. The ample bedroom I grabbed was irresistible, tucked way in the back, with shafts of summer light pouring in. The king-sized bed with its soft sage comforter had a bounty of plump pillows that I stowed during sleep on the armchair at the other end of the room. It was a far cry from the cramped boys' quarters down the hall, stuffed tight with two gingham single beds a foot apart.
To take a principled stand like this wasn't easy. I dare not flinch, despite the withering glances as my straight married friends, together for years, and the newbie gay couple, who couldn't take their hands off each other, surveyed the remaining bedrooms, and fully grasped the digs that were left.
As we head into July 4th, this might be a good time to remind people in pairs, lest you judge me for being selfish, that singles often greet summer holiday weekends, not with anticipation, but dread. Three long days and nights biding time in a hot apartment with no guaranty of companionship, picturing loved ones playing volleyball at fun-filled barbecues by the beach. I imagine them having lots of sex, which you might assume is my being icky and paranoid, but I checked with David Johnson, product manager for Trojan, and he confirmed that condom sales spike during July 4th and other such holidays.
I grabbed the best bedroom in the beach house, as an aspirational move, like when the slightly overweight (yet fantastic) Barney Frank, wears his clothes a little tight, and Jeff Toobin, writing in The New Yorker, views it as Frank's "tendency to buy shirts in his aspirational, rather than his actual, size," or when an eager job applicant dresses for success. To paraphrase the character played by James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams, if I choose the big bedroom, maybe "he will come."
As fate would have it, invited to this gathering of dearest friends at the beach, was a stray, single man (adorable, BTW), and since he was the last to arrive, he wound up on the couch. That first night as I lounged in luxury, I pondered the nature of hospitality. The root of the word is the Latin hospes (host), also the root for hotel, hostel and hospital. Hospitality was viewed as sacred in Greek literature. Odysseus depended on it during his ten years on the road. In the Old Testament, Abraham lavishly took care of three strangers who showed up at his tent, even though he was recovering from circumcision. (Sorry, I needed that reference to make a point). Did I owe anything to this attractive stranger squeezed into a tight love seat in the noisy living room? No matter. I fell soundly asleep. The second night, well... I'll leave that to your imagination. But let me say here, if I should be part of a couple, heading out of town for a long, summer weekend, perhaps we'll agree to give up our spacious room to a sleep-deprived and well-deserving vacationer traveling alone.