(4.5 out of 5 stars)
Amidst the recent turbulence in our relationship, this beach house getaway was exactly what my girlfriend and I needed. I would highly recommend this Airbnb location to any guy who needs to escape into an aquatic oasis, put some closure on a relationship, or fondly remember why he has developed Stockholm Syndrome.
Stephanie and I had been fighting the entire drive to the Hamptons. Postponing a wedding was not as easy as George Costanza had made it look, but I was trying my darnedest to battle the odds.
It wasn’t until we opened the doors to Jerry and Joan’s luxurious abode, saw a beautiful bottle of merlot on the kitchen table in front of a glorious seaside backdrop, and inhaled the chloroform that our hosts unsuspectingly covered our faces with that we stopped bickering and achieved zen-like peaceful silence. Just like the scent of the merlot, it harkened back to home and childhood almost immediately.
When I awoke handcuffed to a deck chair and duck taped to the point of suffocation, the sounds of the ocean waves and the resurrected memories of my prepubescent kidnapping at the hands of my middle-aged neighbor, Bill, instilled in me on overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Hope had returned to my life. I knew this vacation was what I needed.
I realized that Stephanie was not lying on Jerry and Joan’s newly-remodeled deck alongside me. It seemed she was finally respecting my boundaries and giving me some space. I appreciated her absence all the more. Her silence allowed me to soak in the perfect pink summer gloaming on the water and reminisce about the two years I spent under Bill’s front porch. Oh, the memories.
In our previous Airbnb correspondences, Jerry and Joan had reiterated that this was a family neighborhood with young children, early bedtimes, and strictly-enforced quiet hours between 8:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. So needless to say, fear ran through my veins as I heard Stephanie’s squeals of pain and anguish at the late hour of 9:43 p.m. However, Joan confirmed that we would not be charged additionally for Stephanie’s unreasonably unrestrained lamentations, which affirmed my feelings from the get-go: I knew I liked Joan. So sensible. She must’ve been the one to decide on the color pattern for the patio furniture.
Joan then graciously gave me a guided, personalized tour of the house. While Stephanie’s incessant death cries drowned out much of the historical information, I was able to glean that many of their home’s renovations happened last winter and Jerry and Joan were still considering a widow’s peak for the second floor, a fine addition in my mind for late night wine chats about whether Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks should’ve stayed together, or more practically to keep a watchful eye out for unexpected police visits.
As Joan dragged me downstairs to join Jerry as well as Stephanie’s corpse in their classic, 70s-themed disco sex dungeon, I could not help but recall my two years with Bill. It was like returning to summer camp after all these years away. Surely someone would write a country song about it.
As I assessed the remains of my fiancé, I made a mental note to return to Nashville.
Jerry asked me to clean up the scene and as the Airbnb description claimed, sufficient towels and linens were provided. I was so relieved I had not packed my overstuffed suitcase with unnecessary items. Suitcase regrets are life regrets, and they can ruin a vacation.
For the first time though, I began to question the pricing for this house. If I was handling the brunt of this murder clean-up, why had they charged me such a high cleaning fee? Note to future renters: if Jerry and Joan intend to murder one of your friends, clarify whether you will be responsible for the moving and clean-up of the body. If so, be sure to negotiate for a lower price on the cleaning fee.
My final complaint would be that Jerry and Joan did not specify that the security deposit would be one of my kidneys. Although they promised to return it to me at the end of my stay—and thoughtfully kept it frozen for the duration of my vacation—they accidentally returned me Stephanie’s kidney instead. I know they had a lot going on this weekend, but some additional thoughtfulness and attention to detail would really make this listing a full-on five stars.
Aside from that, there were no real complaints.
Rooms were clean. The view was spectacular. The resurrected memories abundant. Generous hospitality. My life will never be the same, and I miss Bill so much more.