What started out as a slow, soft tapping noise quickly escalated to loud, rhythmic thumping that threatened to damage the drywall between my room and the next.
Faint grunts and moans leaked through the paper-thin divider—something the Howard Johnson likes to call a wall.
It seemed to end quickly, (apparently the poor guy was either inexperienced or not quite on his “A” game) and for that, at least, I was grateful.
It was 2 a.m. and I’d been looking forward to falling back asleep since I woke up that morning.
But as I laid there waiting for it to be over, I couldn’t help but wonder if there were others in the HoJo dealing with the same issue.
Sure, we all want the luxury of comfortably bringing someone back to our room for a good time. But people need to understand that they’re not sneaking around their parents’ house anymore.
Neighbors are inches away. What happened to common courtesy? That’s what pillows are for.
I’m in no way claiming that dorms on campus stay silent. Just because students live closer to their classrooms doesn’t mean they’ll remain abstinent. So what’s the difference between living on campus and living in the Howard Johnson?
“That particular problem is the same on campus, it’s no different in the Hojo,” said Junior, Matt Gould.
But according to an RA (who wishes to remain anonymous) who lived both on campus and in the Hojo, the hotel’s issue is of completely different caliber.
“While you’ll hear a lot of beds banging against the wall in on-campus residence halls, the hotel walls are thinner. Moans and other noises are easily heard, especially in rooms with connecting doors.”
This brings the knowledge of what happens behind closed doors to a new level of neighborly, crossing the boundary of “too much information.” Apparently hearing these intimate moments is very common during RA’s required midnight rounds.
The other difference is that residents of the hotel are simply more comfortable bringing guests into their rooms for the night (except the RA with whom I spoke, who is too mortified at the thought of her floor overhearing anything).
The bigger beds offer more room for company—whether that company is a boyfriend, a one-night-stand, or a friend escaping his roommate’s sexcapades.
It’s easy to ask a roommate to stay with a friend when you know she won’t be sharing a twin bed.
Though it still boggles my mind that a hotel is less sound-proof than a college dorm, (isn’t that what people come to hotels for?) not all of the blame can be targeted at the buildings, but instead at the people inhabiting them.
We get it. You’re having awesome sex and you feel an overwhelming need to inform the entire floor. But more often than not, people not only do not care, they would rather not know. So until proper structural innovations are created, remember your neighbor and try to keep it down.
At least turn up the radio.
Hannah Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org