Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hick Alert

I may not have traveled much, in my life. I don't consider myself particularly worldly, but as a friend of mine used to say, "I have been to two county fairs and a goat ropin", so I'm not completely unsophisticated, either.

So, it is with a great deal of amusement that my kids and I recall an experience we had one year in Springfield, MO. It was fall, and Kelley was entering Drury College as a freshman, so we were moving her and all her belongings in two cars, and planned to stay overnight and get her settled in.

I had made a reservation at the new Holiday Inn Plaza hotel, which was fairly close to the college. It was one of the biggest hotels in Springfield at the time, and was able to host conventions. Really, a rather upscale Holiday Inn.

We parked the cars, and I grabbed the plant I was giving her for her room (a shamrock), and my extra pair of shoes in case we went to dinner someplace where I might not want to wear sneakers, and Kelley and Jay carried our bags and we trooped into the lobby, and WOW! It was just beautiful! The lobby was an atrium, with comfortable chairs and a lounge in one area.

We went over to the check-in desk and the clerk looked down his nose at me while I told him my name and that I had a reservation. We went through the usual check-in routine and when we were through, the clerk handed me the key, held up four fingers in front of my face and said very slowly, as if he were explaining to a backward child, "You're on the FOURTH floor." Then he pointed toward the opposite side of the atrium and said, "The elevators are over THERE". It made me feel as though I should shuffle my feet and tug at a forelock. "Thank. You." I said just as slowly.

As we entered the elevator another hotel guest got on with us. Kelley and Jay were already making little snorting noises and trying not to look at me.

Then, the man who got on the elevator with us looked at me, with my plant in one hand and my shoes in the other. And, he looked down at my feet! The elevator stopped and he got off and we continued to the fourth floor, with my children gasping helplessly, leaning against the glass walls.

I waited until we got in the room to start sputtering. "Who does that little twerp think he is, anyway? He's a hotel clerk, for heaven's sake. And, that guy in the elevator - well, he almost got a sneaker on his instep!"

I have since traveled to various states and to Great Britain, and have never been made to feel like such a hick as I was in that Holiday Freakin' Inn in Springfield Freakin' Missouri.


Joy Des Jardins said...

That is too funny Betty. Don't you love it when your kids find you an amusement? If I had a nickel for every time my kids laughed at something I said, did or thought...I'd be living in Trump Towers. Apparently, I'm just the funniest thing...ever. Kids! It's a good thing we love them so much...or they'd be at great risk. Part of the problem is I'm usually laughing right along with them. I have a feeling that's what you do too.

Peggy said...

Oh Betty! That's just rotten service on that hotel's part. They should make you feel welcome and not feel small, but you knew that.

The biggest warmest welcome I ever had was at the Georges V in Paris. A five star Four Seasons hotel. It was a big blow-out surprise for the husband's 50th. Nothing was too much trouble and they went out of their way to show an obviously non-rich family their best hospitality.

Have mercy on the little toad. He thinks that his career has lofty heights in Springfield.

Dogwalkmusings said...

I'm sorry, I have nothing to say. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying!

Jay said...

That was an absolutely classic day. I remember it so well. I held it in until we got to the room, but by that time I was in pain. That guy on the elevator just about did me in. He couldn't help himself. He couldn't wait until we got and he could make a quick casual look to see if you were wearing shoes. He just looked right down. I'm sure it was involuntary. But it was freaking hilarious. And still is.

gawilli said...

Sometimes the ability of youth to see the humor in things I find intolerable is a good thing. On the other hand, there is some comfort, even if it is only momentary, in flipping someone off.

Newt said...

Too funny, your post was precious as were the comments. I had a total mental image as I was reading your story. Of course Jay was wearing that knitted hat from Kel on his head the whole time.

willi said...

Imagine someone in Springfield being so uppity.

I look like that when I drive with my sneakers on, but carry my cowboy boots into the hotel.

Susan said...

This has got to be one of the funniest stories ever! And think of that poor know he's still there doing his best to make himself appear superior.