Airbnb and Me


Image credit: Calvin and Hobbes

Here we go…gettin’ with the 21st century. Gonna book a few rooms on airbnb ‘cause it’s our anniversary and we’ve decided to celebrate with a little trip up in the mountains. ‘Springtime in the Rockies’ and all that stuff. Nothing too wild – just over to Granby for a night, then out to Steamboat Springs and back home. Hey, we’re old – don’t want to throw out a hip or anything. Looks like there are plenty of nice places to choose from here on the site. Do we want a pool, a hot tub, a room with a view, all of the above?

So there’s a nice one – fireplace, picture windows looking out over the lake, and not terribly expensive, either. Let’s book that one. I’ll just plug in the credit card info and – no, wait, my request got kicked back because I didn’t include a message to the owner? Really? Didn’t realize we had that sort of relationship. Okay, here’s a friendly greeting for them, even though we’re complete strangers. Now what? No, I don’t have an airbnb account. So let’s create one. Here’s my email address and my phone number. And here are the verification codes you just sent to make sure I’m not bullshitting anyone. Hey, it’s cool – no one wants to find bodies in the closet after they’ve rented to some rando off the interwebs. I get it. What’s this? Now you want a photo ID? Hmm. You people are starting to test not only my limits of patience but internet privacy, which basically state that ‘the less you put out there, the better.’ But since there’s no one here to argue with except my computer (and I’m being counted on to handle this task), I guess I’ll comply just this once.

So, I’ve snapped a picture of my driver’s license with my phone, sent it to my computer and downloaded it, and now I’ll upload it to the faceless drones at airbnb. Done. Hold on – you want to see the reverse side, too? I think that eye twitch is starting to act up again, but fine, here’s a lovely shot of the back of my driver’s license as well. And now my phone is dead – I hope you’re happy. But wait, there’s more? You’re still worried that I might be a sociopath, so now you want access to my facebook profile?!? WTF? Holiday Inn never feels the need to crawl this far up my ass with a microscope!

Deep breaths. It’s just your profile – information that’s already out there. So quit fuming and click on the big blue button. *click* By agreeing to this, you’ll be sharing your profile information, friends list, birthday, education and work history, previous addresses, sexual preferences, waist and shoe size, which hand you wipe with, voting records, tax returns from the last 7 years, and lineage dating back to the stone age. Urg! As the expletives begin to tumble from my lips, I see it – a link that allows me to edit what I’m sharing. YES! I’ll give up my profile in the name of safety, but the rest of these categories are no one’s damned business but mine, so I quickly uncheck everything else. A small victory, perhaps, but it’s what I need to cling to. Now I don’t feel so exposed as I click the ‘submit’ button.

I get that spinning circle for a moment followed by a rejection message in red letters – You don’t have enough activity on facebook for us to verify your identity. Would you like to upload a brief introductory video of yourself instead? Yeah, I’ll probably get started on that just as soon as I locate and reassemble all the pieces of my head now scattered hither and yon.

Happy anniversary! And ‘hello’ booking dot com, where an overnight stay requires no DNA.


5 thoughts on “Airbnb and Me

  1. HOLY!
    Uh, no. And thanks, because I had considered it. I asked the travel sites for a cabin in the woods, near a water feature, four people and a dog, and the travel sites were like, “We got nothin.” What did come up were a lot of crap places that I wouldn’t wanna spend five minutes in and then a bunch of enormous lodges for nine million dollars a night. Nothin in between.
    I guess we’ll see about having a pond put in out back?
    Definitely not goin the airbnb way.

  2. Pingback: Smile For the Camera | Lies Jack Kerouac told Me

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