I can walk into a Super8 motel and be above it all, certainly. Even more, I can walk nearly naked yet unblushing through the lobby of the Jazz in Chicago. I can even chat pleasantly with the front desk at the Hotel Lancaster in Paris (as an equal, though, not as a ruler. Liberté, égalité, fraternité.)
Yet for some reason the Raphael Hotel in Kansas City turned me into a Jerry-Lewis-level doofus. I was not the aristocrat in any transaction.
It's not them, it's me. Everyone at the hotel was tremendously helpful and friendly.
First, we had a rough drive down. We were both on edge. Gary was so on edge that when said "turn here!" at the entrance of the Raphael, he insisted, "No! This isn't it! This is the Rape-hall Hotel!" I was no better: when the valet opened my car door I had my hands full, then I had to find my car key. After a minute of fumbling I dumped the tangle of iPhone chargers into his hands so I could dig through my purse.
So, my chance to gracefully exit the car, perhaps murmur "why thank you" and press a tip in his hand was shot. Then, I was rattled enough to answer the front desk honestly when they asked how my trip had been. Then, I overshared that the night manager had a very pleasing face. I just dug myself a big hole and climbed the social ladder right down to the bottom.
As we opened the door to the room I vowed to be genteel the next time I encountered anyone. Then I fell in love with the room. I don't like what most hotels call a "suite," often it's just a normal room with more air. This one was three rooms: the bed room, the sitting room, and the bathroom.
The next day I went down to breakfast and fawned over the waitress and the food. I went to the front desk and grovelled and cooed when they loaned us a tie to replace one Gary forgot. (It was the official hotel staff tie. Gary threatened to walk about and give orders like a boss.)
Then, I couldn't get in the room. The key didn't seem to work. It just flashed red and green. The front desk explained that meant someone in the room had thrown the deadbolt. I explained that meant Gary was taking a shower. SEE? WHY? Why must I open my mouth? It was like i was a giggly girl with a crush.
At about this time Gary began tipping both valets simultaneously: literally, tipping with both hands.
I swore again to be cool and elegant the next time I saw the staff. Instead, I had some KC BBQ and had to gush to the front desk and the bellman how great it was while I stuffed a complimentary cookie into my maw. I talked with my mouth full. The final straw.
I went to bed and swore to be the reserved lady the next day, the one who fits in to such a nice place.
I woke up and dropped a full cup of coffee on the carpet. Coffee bomb all over the floor and wall. I sacrificed three clean towels to clean it up.
So of course I had to skip the express checkout and apologize in person to the front desk. They were, of course, very nice about it.
I must return in disguise someday and be the type of guest they deserve, instead of a hoosier doofus, which is what I am.