Months ago, my friend Rhonda forwarded me contest info from Airbnb. The company was looking for fun, kinda unhinged ideas for rental spaces that could go into their OMG! category.
Previous winners included a woman who turned a 6-ton proptato from the Idaho Potato Commission into a rental and a couple who converted a grain silo into a yellow submarine.
At the time the email plopped in my inbox — July! — I thought it was hysterical, but alas, I had no ideas. None. So naturally, the contest came and went, and I did not win $100,000 because I suck. But today, today, the idea finally hit me and it’s so brilliant and amazing that I am just going to send in a proposal now because I know Airbnb will throw money at me because it’s so darn good.
So here’s my idea … are you ready? OK! A room that’s a
hovel pigsty rathole dump teenager dwelling!
No, no, no! Hear me out. Sure, some people might rent this if they lost a bet and had to or some might flock to it like they do to haunted houses to test their fortitude or, maybe someone who’s been sentenced to prison and not a cush federal one, might see this as a chance to discover how they’ll fare under gross conditions, but I think the main demographic is empty nesters who miss the chaotic filth.
I spent the weekend pits deep in the detritus of No. 2’s large, multi-shelved closet. It was filled with nostalgia (Aww! The dusty, three-stringed violin that No. 1 BEGGED for when she enjoyed orchestra at school and “Thanks for being a helpful kid!” notes, also No. 1’s, and a box filled with animal-shaped plastic bracelets along with a fake cell phone that DID belong to No. 2 and which she did take to school and during first-grade opera class, which was not her fave, she held up this very phone and said she had to “take a call” and this got her in trouble but when her teacher told me I *may* have laughed out loud). The closet was also filled with a lot of crap — games that hadn’t been played since 2005 and were missing dice, a jury summons that was rescheduled, no less than five journals that had two entries before abandoned, spent fabric softener sheets and too many pens. I was happy I didn’t find packrats living in there.
So, sadly, that room no longer qualifies as the kind of rat’s nest you’d need to make this Airbnb rental work, but I do have another candidate. Feast your eyes on this:
Truly, staying here would be a delight for all the senses — from the smell of sweaty athletic socks (not shown in the photos, but trust they were there, in mismatched pairs dotting the floor) to the charming, tasty mustiness of Christmas candy from two years ago. And yes, someone who decides to stay here, feeling that tug of motherhood, may not be able to take the grime and muck and might break like a cheap violin bow and just start cleaning, picking up the piles of laundry, throwing out the trash in the overflowing can, vacuuming the dog hair tumbleweeds, tidying the desk and thus ruin the intended ambience, but I’m optimistic No. 3 could restore it to its former glory. Easily.