News and Insights

Lighten Up, Francis

September 2, 2022

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were discussing an upcoming trip to the Cape for our friends’ wedding and realized we hadn’t figured out what to do with the dogs for the weekend. So, I reached out to our Airbnb host with the following inquiry:

Me:  Hi <Host Name>. We’re looking forward to staying at your place next weekend. Would it be ok to bring our 2 dogs with us (Corgi and Golden Retriever)?

It seemed like a simple, innocent question. But, this is what ensued from there:

Host: Hi Jeff. There is a strict “no pet” policy at the property.

 Me:  Ok. No problem. Thanks.

Host:  It states that in the listing description.

Me:  Ok. I understand. I was just asking.

Host: It seems disingenuous to be asking when the listing description makes it clear. It doesn’t sit well. I don’t think this reservation is going to work out.

Me: We are not taking the dogs. I didn’t go back to read the description. I thought it would just be easier to ask. Sorry for bringing it up.

Host: That doesn’t sit well, either. I will be canceling this reservation. I have a child with asthma – and there are other rules that should have been read prior to booking the reservation.

Me:  Really sorry I asked. We have read the rules and have every intention of abiding by them. We are very good and respectful guests. We are depending on this reservation to attend a wedding in Chatham that weekend. Happy to jump on a call with you if you’d like.

Message from Airbnb Service: Unfortunately, this reservation was canceled. 

Fortunately, we (well, actually, my wife) were able to find another place for us (and, separately, the dogs) to stay – and were able to enjoy an incredible wedding. But, it wasn’t easy. For whatever reasons (and there certainly could be many), it seems like the world is more uptight/angry than ever before. This is just one recent example of where I’ve witnessed such behavior. So, today, I share a few suggestions to lighten things up.

  1. Laugh. Laughter is amazing medicine. Go see a comedian, watch a funny movie, hang out with young children (who have yet to be jaded by the world), or just be silly with friends and family. It helps to remind you that life can (and should) be fun.
  2. Turn off your phone for a bit. While social media can be entertaining, it can also be divisive and maddening. Turn it off for a while and get out of the vortex.
  3. Meditate. It can take some practice, but I’ve found that meditation can do wonders to calm your body and mind.
  4.  Exercise. Perhaps most important of all, use your energy to exercise. It’s much more productive (and healthy) than sending angry texts and screaming at people.
  5.  Act with kindness. Like many emotions, anger can be contagious. It took every ounce of energy (and my wife’s advice) to not reply to the host with anger. But, then I’d just be adding to the problem.

Life can be difficult at times. But let’s try to get the world to lighten up a bit, so we can all enjoy it as much as possible.

POSTED BY: Jeff Freedman

Jeff Freedman