Staying in a swank Hollywood hotel is not a regular scheduled event in my life, but my intention was to not make it obvious. “Act like you belong” I kept telling myself walking past turquoise padded walls and shiny balls hanging from the ceiling on my way to the fitness center. My gym clothes were not only mismatched but they were purchase at Target. If anyone had noticed, I would have been removed.
I continued to navigate my way around wanna be actors, hipsters, and people who I’m sure were famous but that I didn’t recognize, hoping that my age and trend challenged wardrobe would go unnoticed. I fantasized about being a model with a face abandon of make-up who still drew stares from men and women, but in reality I am a 40 something mom with four children who wears a bra with a hole in the side, and spends the weekend in a hip hotel only because someone else paid the bill. Pure luck.
The fitness room was inviting, offering chilled bottles of water and apples. I took full advantage. For a moment I considered stuffing my gym bag with the miniature apples to use the upcoming week in school lunches, however, I declined all temptation. Hotel savvy people don’t do crap like that.
Although Nick, the drive through cashier at our local Jack-in-the-Box thinks that I look like Jennifer Anniston, no one approached me before, during, or after my workout, asking for my autograph. After a brisk 4 mile run, I ended my relationship with the fitness center, aptly named “Sweat,” and ventured onward.
The pool area was bustling with people and funky music spouting from speakers so I took a peak at what was happening. Before I could yell, “cherry bomb!” while jumping into the pool but was stopped by a guy sitting at the entrance. He made it clear to me that the pool area wasn’t open to hotel guests because it was being used by a private party. I assume, by the look of the food and drink offerings that it wasn’t open to sweaty party guests in Target clothing either, but I refrained from asking.
I eventually made it back to my room without making eye contact with anyone and engaging in fake cell phone conversations which included words like “agent,” “photo op” and “travel expenses.” If I had any hope of looking the part, I had to act the part. Once I was safely inside my hotel room normalcy followed and all acting ceased.
Why did I feel so awkward in a hip Hollywood hotel? No one there looked like I do. Intimidation and fear do wonders in my ability to be myself.
I cannot imagine God hopes that I look and act like everyone else. I cannot imagine that every time I appear to be different because of the relationship that I have with my Father in heaven and my commitment to His word does he sigh and say, “I just wish she fit in.” I don’t imagine that in my efforts to be different and to contrast the world in which I live, God is disappointed. He is not.
I may not look like I belong in a stylish hotel with its overstuffed attitude and overt trend setters, but I do resemble my Father. And, one day we will look exactly the same as everyone else—in heaven.