Why I Never Want to Win an Historic Maine Inn in an Essay Contest

bed and breakfast contest

Dear Ms. Sage,

I read on the Internet that you're raffling off the Center Lovell Inn, your historic Maine bed & breakfast, in an essay contest. My kids, knowing that I'm a writer, urged me to enter as they believe your charming 210-year-old lodge would make the "the best hide-and-seek house ever!!!" 


And while the prospect of trading in my laptop for an apron and waking at 5 a.m. each morning to serve complete strangers is certainly intriguing, if I'm being completely honest, I have some serious reservations (pun intended) about entering.

I know you won the inn 22 years ago in a similar contest (and mad props on that, by the way) but you are limiting essays to just 200 words and brevity has never been my strong suit. I get it, I do -- who wants to read the long-winded ramblings of 7,500 entrants? I know that's how many you're anticipating, and at a fee of $125 per entry you should be able to finally put your feet up. And on a near-million-dollar nest egg to boot! 

So, that's another thing -- this entry fee. Yikes, Ms. Sage, we're coming into baseball season and as a mom of three boys, what with cleats, gloves, and big barrelled bats, I'm afraid I'm a bit short right now. But I admire your moxie and I'm sure you'll have no trouble getting the others to pony up. Just a word to the wise, I'd make sure those checks clear before reading any essays. There are some real grifters out there!

Which brings me to another point: The general public can be pretty scary! At an impressionable age I saw the film Pacific Heights in which a young Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine rent a room in their Victorian home to a maniacal Michael Keaton. Let's just say things don't end well. I still carry the scars. 

But seriously, I can barely handle pouring Cheerios into bowls for three kids, how did you find the strength to prepare daily breakfasts for countless lodgers? (I'm assuming paying guests won't be satisfied with a plate o' freezer-burned waffles or a bowl of soggy Apple Jacks.) And you offer dinner, too, I read. I can see why you're so eager to retire! Unless these folks have a craving for chicken nuggets with a side of whatever-hasn't-wilted-in-the-crisper, I'm bound to have some unhappy patrons on my hands. And while I'm accustomed to plenty of whining at the dinner table, really, who wants more? 

I imagine you're also inundated with questions as well. "Where's the best lobster?", "Which way to the L.L. Bean factory?", "Are people in Bar Harbor faking that crazy accent?" I already spend too much time giving answers to annoying daily inquiries that go a little something like this: "Do I really have to brush my teeth?", "I know it's 20 degrees, but why can't I wear shorts?", and the always cringe-inducing, "Why do I need to change my underpants every day?" 

And, oh, the laundry! As it is I can barely keep up with the Kilimanjaro-sized pile my three boys build daily. (And true confession: I almost never get my whites their brightest.) Handing out dirty towels is sure to earn us some pretty damning Yelp reviews, so that's daunting. 

Speaking of the inn's reputation, I noticed that the B&B was featured in Martha Stewart Living and The Boston Globe. (No pressure, Ms. Sage! Ha!) Meanwhile, my home is closer to the "Before" clips you'd see in a Hoarders episode. I'm struggling just to pull the house together for a visit from relatives, I don't know if I'm prepared to dazzle the doyenne of domesticity on this 12-acre estate. 

That's another thing -- the grounds! I already have to promise my husband things a proper lady shouldn't put in writing just to get him to turn the blasted weed whacker on. I'm sorry, but there's just no way we could mulch, let alone maintain, such an expanse. 

And then there are those notorious Maine nor'easters! I almost didn't survive this past New Jersey winter. I'd be all Jack Nicholson in The Shining in under 72 hours. Heeeeeerrrrre's Lizzy! 

So, while I'm semi-interested in giving up my contentious book club and moving away from my various PTO responsibilities, I just don't know if I'm the right fit for this. I'm sure you understand. 

Perhaps I'll change my mind before your May 7 deadline but that seems unlikely. Still, I wish you the best in your well-deserved retirement, and happy reading!




You can enter to win this beautiful home in Maine by clicking to her site here but WHAT SANE MOM ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH WOULD WANT TO PUNISH THEMSELVES LIKE THAT???

Will you ENTER?

Image © Christian Delbert/shutterstock

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