Monday, December 03, 2012

Lightening Up

I was not going to write this blog post. I was going to write a completely different piece. In fact, I did. But as is my custom, I wrote the column, put it away for a couple of days, and went back to re-read it. And it's a good thing I did.

It wasn't bad; it was superb. Tightly written, concise, well-paced, and fascinating, the column was another blend of my lives, this time the life of the rhetoric teacher and the life of the innkeeper. The only problem was its tone.

A friend recently told me that it seems like I have a chip on my shoulder about innkeeping, and he's right. I'm too critical of not only innkeeping's modern incarnations, but the way people practice something I consider to be a sacred art. I've written in detail about innkeeping's history in both this space and my book A Brief History of Innkeeping in the 20th Century. I consider it a true vocation.

In my opinion, too many other people don't feel the way I feel about innkeeping. To them, it's just a business, a hobby, a cutesy dream. There's nothing wrong or negative about that; it's actually a good thing. It brings wonderful diversity to the metier. The problem is with me. I need to lighten up.

So please accept this mea culpa for my sometimes chippy attitude. I really love this innkeeping gig. I get to meet the most interesting people, I get to control my own path, and I get to practice something I take seriously. Most of all, I get to exchange ideas and experiences with innkeepers of all stripes, as we work hard to make traveling a little bit nicer, a little more unique, and a little more eccentric for the folks who visit us.

1 comment:

Jeanne Muir & Jim Ford said...

The stories everyone wants to hear are the problem guests - no one says 'who is the most normal guest you've had lately?'. Challenging guests make better copy. 99% of our guests are nice, pleasant, quiet and appreciative, but when you meet 1500 people or so per year, that still leaves room for some memorable characters. You just keep telling your stories, your way!