When you are forced to evacuate your hotel room for an ear piercing fire alarm at 3:30 a.m. all bets are off on beauty, vanity, make up and fashion. Let’s face it. You just want it to be a bad dream and are quickly evaluating exactly what you chose to sleep in that night.
I grabbed a very long coat and scarf and my purse. I figured the coat would cover my unmatched pajamas and the scarf would help with the cold in northern Illinois at 3:30 in the morning. Also if the hotel was truly on fire, I would have my wallet. Most of us who travel much have the cynical belief that a fire alarm does NOT indicate a fire, but merely a technical glitch of the heating system or a blankety blank, not so hilarious prankster, who thinks it is quite funny to empty a hotel in the middle of a cold night.
So now the fun begins. It is rare to even see the other hotel guests. We hear their doors slam shut from time to time and see other cars in the parking lot but we don’t often pass in the hall and seldom have conversation. So as we troop down the stairwell we get to see the other disgruntled guests who are more vocal about their displeasure than we are. We were quite sure we knew who the culprits were. The rowdy, drunks with raucous laughter in our hallway for the last hour was a clue that they would find pulling the alarm tab amusing.
At the bottom of the stairs several of us wait, finding solace from the shrill sound of the alarm and still shelter from the cold outside. As I look around I can’t help noticing the differences in the evacuation dress code. There is “Amir”, so skinny in his thermal underwear and coat. The thermals hug his narrow ankles that makes his size 12 black dress shoes look even longer and pointier. I hide my smile knowing I’m no goddess myself. Then there is “Butch” with his beer belly protruding from his Chicago Bears t-shirt and walking shorts. He doesn’t seem bothered by the cold and takes his unlit cigarette outside. My favorite though is “Eloise”, perfectly coiffed, though agitated, looking like she could apply some lipstick and step out for church.
If we could have deemed those 3 husky firemen who trooped through the stairwell with their own fine fashion statement of yellow coats, boots and helmets judges, surely they would have given the prettiest evacuee prize to Eloise. From now on, only matching pjs for me! Oh and yes indeed the fire alarm was caused by the rowdy drunks that thought it was funny to pull the alarm tab. Now why don’t hotels have that spewing ink on them like high schools…THAT would be a new fashion statement.