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The Overnight “Guest”

January 11, 2011

The Yorck Project: Artist Egon Schiele

My husband and I found ourselves in a befuddling situation Wednesday night.

Earlier in the week our close (home-from-London) friend asked, in an e-mail titled “Borrowing That Room of Yours,” if he could stay the night in our spare room on Wednesday. He would be driving in to Chicago from a nearby suburb to dine with a dame he’d recently met, at Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria, a first date. Honestly we were a bit confused as to why he’d want to then drive all the way from 8433 S. Pulaski Road up to our place in Lincoln Square, when he could just drive home. But, as we do have a spare room (affectionately called my “playroom”) and a moderately luxurious air bed, we obligingly said yes. Plus, he’s our pal (we’ll call him Larry).

So, while I was expecting Larry to be staying the night, when I walked in to our apartment at 9:45pm after a very long day beginning at 5:30am, I was very, very surprised to see the girl, a stranger, sitting in the living room as well.

“Oh.” I said upon seeing Larry and the girl. “Hello. Everyone.”

 I then went into our bedroom to compose myself. I was confused as to why this stranger, of whom nobody bothered to introduce me to, was in our apartment. Larry had only mentioned that he would be needing to a place to stay.

I realized, then, that the girl would be staying the night as well, in “that room of ours.”

After several deep breaths, I headed back to the living room, climbed into the rocking chair, and tried to join the conversation. The clock ticked farther and farther past my bedtime, and still I had no idea who this girl was.

Around 11pm, Larry (and the mystery girl) made a move to head out to a nearby bar for drinks. As we would not be joining them (work in the morning), we were subjected to forfeit our keys to Larry and Lady No-Name. The boys talked about how to work the lock and the issue of getting up in the morning. But at no point, did the topic of the lady friend as an overnight guest arise.

I was waiting for one them to mention something, anything, about the girl staying the night. Such as, “Hey is it okay, if I stay the night as well?” Or, “Hey thanks for letting us stay, I hope I am not putting you out.” Or, “Hi, I’m So-and-So, I know it’s weird Larry didn’t tell you I’d be coming along as well, I hope it is okay. I’m not  a ‘clepto’ or an arsonist or anything.” 

But, the matter of lodging was simply not addressed.

As soon as the odd couple went out the door and to the bar, my husband and I looked at each other in complete shock.

“What just happened?” we both exclaimed simultaneously. I was hoping he’d have some clue of who this girl was. He did not know much, except that the girl did, in fact, have a name: JonBenet.

And so we went to bed, unsettled by the expected and unexpected overnight guest using our new apartment as their own, coming home late from the bar, using our bathroom at 3am, doing who-knows-what in my playroom, on our air-bed.

In the morning, JonBenet saw my husband in his bathrobe. And laughed. She also made herself at home on our couch, snuggling with my blanket. Larry, on the other hand, was lighting our scented candles…?

Later that day when I met my husband for lunch, we just sat in awe. We realized that Larry had planned to stay the night in our “aparmen-tel” spare room with JonBenet even before he had emailed us.  Had he simply told us of her accompaniment, we of course would have still welcomed them to stay. But the fact, that he never mentioned this, even when he showed up with her at our door, was a little weird.

While JonBenet was the one sleeping over with a boy on a first date in a stranger’s house, I was the girl left feeling used.

But, that being said, we still love Larry and his endearing ways and we’ll let it go and love him as always. But I just have to say, JonBenet, who are you? Next time you sleep over at my place, at least send me an email first letting me know you’re coming (i.e., “Borrowing That Room of Yours”) and maybe we can get to know each other first.

And, for the rest of you, my husband and I are now (apparently) taking reservations. We boast a modest spare room with an air-bed of lofty proportions, full amenities (including shampoo for curly hair), a set of keys and full use of bath, even at 3am. Simply email us at : lodge4free @

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