I got a satisfaction survey emailed to me from the W Chicago Lakeshore Hotel.
I was eager to fill it out because:
1. I am a major survey junkie
2. I had some big issues with the W and felt like they of course needed MY valuable input because, as we all know, I am right about everything.
Hidden among the other survey questions was this gem:
Did you feel you were given insider access to the W Lifestyle?
I read the question once. Then I read it again. I read it with my head cocked to one side like Nipper the RCA Records dog, thinking THAT might help.
Insider access to the W Lifestyle? Like I need a special pass to enjoy modern furniture and loud music?
Here’s a question back for Starwood Hotels, the W's parent company: did you feel like you were given insider access to the Suebob lifestyle? Or the Oh, the Joys lifestyle? Or the PunditMom lifestyle? Oh, you didn’t? Too bad. You really should try it sometime.
I can guarantee you that no matter how interesting-looking your building is, no matter how carefully you select the elevator music or how great the view is, our "lifestyles" will always be more interesting than the W Hotel.
Given the choice between spending an all-expenses paid day at the W with full "insider access" (whatever that is) and spending an hour having a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee while chatting with ByJane on a park bench, I’d choose the blogger every time. But maybe I just don't understand the importance and magnificence of a lifestyle built on $8 waters and pretty lampshades. But I think I do.
My opinion is that the W does a good job of creating a nice artificial reef for all the pretty people to gather 'round. It is amusing in its way. But it's not a life, nor a lifestyle. It is, after all is said and done, just a place to eat and sleep and pay a lot for the privilege.
If you google "insider access to the W Lifestyle," you’ll see that Starwood Hotels marketing geniuses are all into the idea. They even offer "curated events" like small, intimate concerts, dinners with famous chefs, etc, so those with the means (cash, moola, ducats, bank, green) can make a special memory (after dropping a bale of money, of course).
Some of us are too busy doing what we do to need curated events. The best event I have been to in the past few weeks was an afternoon watching six of my nieces' kids run around on the lawn like maniacs. It was heart-stoppingly beautiful and perfectly memorable. The second best event lately was meeting about 300 great women at BlogHer.
Both required substantial input from me to make happen. No one curated them. I don't have a life concierge. That’s the way I like it. Me. My life where I create my own "insider access" because I am the true insider, the one who knows my insides.
I have met some famous people in my time, usually at work. And I have met plenty of non-famous people, too. Guess what? They’re pretty much the same to hang out with. There is no magic dust that the rich or famous sprinkle around to make life more special or interesting.
My sister used to say "We can have more fun with $5 than most people can have with $1000." She wasn’t exaggerating, either (though it may have gone up to $10 by now). That’s just part of the fabulous Bob Lifestyle, to which insider access is highly restricted and available only to a select few.