Welcome to the Hotel Impostor Syndrome


Such a lovely place. Was all this a mistake?

I’m typing at you live from downtown Albany, New York, one of the stopovers on our 2018 road trip, where our hoteliers have gone overboard in assigning accommodations that appear far beyond our means, either because it’s an extremely slow night for them, or because either Anne or I resemble one of their local politicians. Probably Anne.

Pictured above is half our room. Well, almost half.

I think we’re supposed to use that side to chat with diplomats. If someone could introduce us to one, we’ll totally invite them over and share one of our free coffee packets with them.

This is the other half, the one with the bed in it.


And we kind of fear / We should not be here…

Oddly, our bathroom is of average hotel size. Apparently some things never change even when status does.

Also not pictured: the kitchen (!), whose Dutch door, numerous cabinets, empty area that once held at least two major appliances, and complete lack of food-prep space implies it was designed to be a food service area by someone who knows nothing about food service.

The amenity count is off the charts, though. Two TVs, neither of which we’ve turned on yet; an ottoman on wheels; an extra-length couch whose firmness feels therapeutic to my often aching back; two chairs of the same texture; a fake fireplace to go with my terrible FDR impression; two spare tables in case we want to hold a euchre tournament; a dozen or more outlets for charging ALL the things; and a large gap in the center of the room that’s great for running around in figure-8s with your arms stretched out and pretending you’re an airplane. Good luck trying that in a Motel 6 without stubbing your toes.

We didn’t ask for all of this, certainly didn’t expect it, and in my opinion didn’t pay for it commensurately with our social status. The room rate was a smidge higher than the average middle-class three-star establishment, but to me it looked standard for a hotel room in the downtown of a state capital. I don’t recall the reservation website boasting of clearance prices. Hopefully Albany isn’t holding a going-out-of-business sale.

…oh, and for curious readers: the road trip’s gone well so far, too. I’m just having trouble focusing on it because I’m worried that we’ll be awakened in the middle of the night by a drunken Congressman banging on our door and insisting they’ve booked us in his personal love nest by mistake. Maybe we can compromise: he can have one chair, the ottoman, and the imaginary airfield.

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