There’s a new casino that just opened up by our house. When Groupon offered an overnight stay, a $50 dining credit and a $50 slot credit all for $99, I decided to take W away one Saturday this fall.
I am cheap.
I called the hotel to make the reservation.
Hotel guy: Casino resort. How can I help you?
Me: I’d like to make a reservation.
Hotel guy: For the Radisson or the Tower?
Me: The Tower.
Hotel guy: Have you stayed with us before?
Hotel guy: Can I have your name?
Me: Ryan Thomas. (This is not my real name. This is a fictitious name used for illustrative purposes only. However, my real name is similar to this example as my first name is a standard first name for a man as is my last name.)
Hotel guy: Mr. Thomas, are you with a group or is this part of a promotion?
The Mr. thing catches me off guard, even though this is the billionth time that this has happened.
Me: Yes, I have a Groupon. (I deepen my voice to sound like, like, like … Thurston Howell III. This is me thinking on my feet. Dammit! I could have gone with Chuck Norris, or William Shatner or even Ronnie from Jersey Shore for crying out loud. But Jim Fucking Backus? Mr. Magoo?)
Hotel guy: I’m sorry Mr. Thomas. You’ll have to call back between the hours of 8:00 and 4:30 to reserve a room for that promotion.
Me: I see. (I want to add “my good man” but don’t. I imagine myself wearing a captain’s hat and an ascot. I feel stupid. Like I’m talking into a coconut shell attached to a string instead of a cellphone.)
Hotel guy: Is there anything else that I can help you with Mr. Thomas?
Me: No, that’s all. Thank you for your help, sir. (Still channeling Mr. Howell. And, wondering why Lady Gaga’s alter ego is Jo Calderone and Nicki Minaj’s alter-ego is Roman Zolanski and mine is Thurston Howell III, which is so much more than 50 shades less cool.)
So, yes, I’d rather usurp the voice of a 1960s TV sitcom character — and a pretty lame one at that — rather than correct the hotel guy. What does this say about me? That I watched way too much TV as a kid for one thing.
Also, I don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable because that makes me uncomfortable.
I call back the next day and reserve a room for October. The receptionist calls me Ms. Thomas.
I hang up the phone. I am looking forward to this night out even though it’s two months away. I am so glad that I don’t have to show up wearing a yachting hat or a navy blazer with gold buttons.
Talk about uncomfortable.
Has anyone ever mistaken your gender? Were you embarrassed or did you just laugh it off?