On our way back from my friend Heather and Steven’s wedding late last night, I still hadn’t taken my stranger picture. There were many strangers I could have shot at the wedding, but it felt like I would be cheating. Also I found some excitement in the idea of it being just before midnight and having to pull into the first rest stop to find a stranger to shoot. (Maybe not, that sounds like the beginning of a Lifetime movie about a kidnapped woman.)
A few of the guests were going to ride back with us to the city and we had to stop at their hotel first to get their things. We took the opportunity to change from our fancy clothes into driving clothes and I took it as a sign to get my stranger photo at the Sheraton Four Points in Leominster, Mass. (There was a debate about how to correctly pronounce this city. If anyone knows for sure let us know.)
Two burly guys walked by that looked interesting, but they were carrying a cooler full of beer and didn’t look like they would care to delay the party they were about to start in their room.
After looking around I decided to ask the girl at the front desk. Her name tag read “Kim”. She’s a full-time student studying hospitality. And as far as I can tell she’s excelling at it because she was happy to help me out and be photographed. (Also she was very helpful to the other guests who were checking in.) Her real name is Caitlin. The hotel hadn’t made a name tag for her yet. I asked her name for the project and she explained the situation, but I wondered if a guest called her Kim, would she go with it, or explain. If that happened to me, I would take the opportunity to be a Kim. Someone ultra perky and bubbly and giggly and chatty. I would smile broadly when I told them I upgraded their room, and giggle as I handed them the keys. I would answer the phone with a gleefully, cheerful “Hiiii, thanksss for calling the Sheraton Four Pointsss. How may I provide you with excellent serviceee!!!??” The name Caitlin belongs to a brooding, dark, irony-loving, girl who would rather exhale deeply than almost anything else in the world. This brooding Caitlin would enjoy the irony of playing “Kim” but would sneer at the end of her sentences so you knew she was being sarcastic. The real Caitlin is the first Caitlin I met and she was the opposite of the one I made up. She was a nice, cute, girl-next-door who enjoys being helpful. Good luck real Caitlin!
Caitlin, not “Kim” ©Katarina Kojic
Caitlin in the Sheraton Four Point Lobby in Leominster. ©Katarina Kojic