So I do this sick thing when I stay at B&Bs. Before I tell you what it is, let me emphasize that I love these froofy little inns, with their bad decor and jacuzzi tubs and wine-and-cheese hours and fancy breakfasts. In fact I have been known to sob inconsolably when a pre-ordered and much anticipated breakfast was delivered to another room. (I wanted everything to be perfect, okay?)

Anyway, so you know how B&Bs always have a guest book. Or three. I always read them. The typical guest book is filled with rapturous reminiscences of wedding nights and anniversaries, pulsing with infinite hopes and seasoned with the occasional reference to Christ’s love. All in all, it’s just way too upbeat. My love of tragedy demands a somber note, and it’s sure as heck not going to come from the sappy and starry-eyed.

So I add my own. I just make stuff up. About my divorce, or my family feud, or my battle with cancer (I was going to say RLS, but I don’t want those people all up in my business again). I’m not all depressing, mind you. I talk about how the stay at the inn has refreshed my tender spirits and stuff like that. I just need to add a little more balance to the official record.

Anyway, now that I’ve confessed, I hope you’ll all follow in my footsteps, because the world really needs more interesting guest books. But that actually wasn’t the point of this post. The real point is that I always get a kick out of the desperately tasteful books found in B&Bs. This last one (John and I went away this past weekend) had, among some other desperately tasteful tomes, the short stories of Hemingway and the complete works of O.Henry. And, of course, a book of Love Poetry. I capitalize that because you have to say it that way: Love Poetry. Preferably with some ridiculous accent.

Does anyone ever read those books? Earlier this year I did actually pick up Moby Dick in a B&B and read 30 pages or so. But I think that’s the first time I’ve ever done that, and it was a book I had been meaning to read anyway. Would people be more likely to read the B&B books if they were written by Dan Brown or John Gray? I’m not sure, but the presence of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus in a romantic guest suite would quite make my day.

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