13 September 2011

things i said in vegas

Last week, I was in Las Vegas for work, and no, really I did work.

I can hear you doubting me, thinking that I let go of all my Midwestern roots and grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns. {That bull's proverb is: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Somehow, I don't think that matches well with other proverbs that generally encourage you to hold your tongue, work hard, and treat others fairly, even if they don't deserve it.}

I have no salacious, gossip-worthy revelations for you.

No confessions that I've been repressed my whole life and finally realized that—on the Strip at 4am.

I went on the Strip. Twice. Three times if you count my cab ride back to the airport.

And I spent both of those times saying, "Oh my, it's just so...so...bizarrely opulent."

I said this as I tried to speed walk past men handing me cards to strip clubs. Do not make eye contact, do not make eye contact.

Trouble is, when you don't make eye contact, you're more likely to run into one of those men as they step in front of you. Or you could run into any one of 317 people dressed up as Elvis. Or the guy dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow. Or the Wonder Woman—there were several of those, too.

I don't think I'm Vegas' target audience. A random sampling of things I have said in Vegas:
  • Is there some sort of Vegas clothing store that I don't know about? How did everyone else know what the Vegas uniform is? You know, just past your hips dress, impossibly tight, strapless. I don't own anything like that. I never want to own something like that. I wouldn't even know where to go for that.
  • Is anyone else thinking of that scene in Sister Act, the one with the nuns running through the casino? I realize that took place in Reno, but as I stared at the flashing lights, I kept thinking of Maggie Smith, a disdainful Mother Superior at her best, calling Reno Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Why is it so loud all the time? I realize I sound like I'm 89 here, not 29, but when hotel room door clicked behind me every night, I relaxed. Quiet. Calm. Nothing clamoring.
  • I don't understand slot machines. I'm a classic girl through and through: I just wanted a simple slot machine. Put in a quarter, pull a lever, three spinny things go around. That's all I needed. But there are Star Wars slot machines, I Love Lucy slot machines, Wheel of Fortune slot machines, and slot machines that just look like video games. All you have to do is hit a button, which takes some of the tangible fun out of gambling, if you ask me. Which clearly no one did before designing Las Vegas casinos.
  • No, I will not go up to your room with you. A man on the elevator—another guest, I do believe—asked me to go to his room. I laughed in shock, which is the best way to handle being propositioned. And then I glared. The laugh-glare is a very useful response in Vegas.
  • All things considered, I'd rather be watching Gosford Park. I'd brought my most recent Netflix movie with me, and when faced with the possibility of standing in line for two hours just to get into a nightclub {and I didn't even have the proper clothes!}, I thought longingly of my little bit of period drama.
  • No, this isn't at all like the real Paris. Standing in front of the Vegas version of the Eiffel Tower, I realized that every part of Vegas I'd been to reminded me of the Champs-Elysees, which I never go to when I'm in Paris. The people. The gawking. The tourists. The slow walking. The noise.
  • Your tomato salad is $27? That is better than your $65 lamb, but are your tomatoes grown in soil from the Garden of Eden? Is your feta from goats that trace their lineage back to the three billy goats gruff? Do the English cucumbers in it make me able to speak in a real British accent? And do they come with the ability to watch Downton Abbey when it starts airing in the UK this weekend—obliterating the need for me to wait until next January because I don't want to demonstrate that patience is a virtue?
  • Why doesn't my room have a coffeemaker? My room on the 53rd floor was fancy. You could control the lights and the AC with the TV. You could make a spa appointment on the TV, too. There was a full-length window in the shower that went through to the bedroom: you could watch TV while you showered. {A lot centered around the TV in that fancy room.} The housekeepers replaced the CO Bigelow toiletries every day, even if you still had a lot left. {This means I came home with several bottles of lotion}.

    But try as I may, I couldn't find a coffeemaker in my room. This is, by the way, one of my favorite parts of staying in hotels: you can make coffee in your bedroom! I realize I could do this at home, but it doesn't seem as special to have your coffeemaker on your dresser along with your family pictures and the stuff you pulled out of your pockets last night.

    I looked in the closet. By the mini-fridge {being careful not to touch any of the snacks offered, should moving said snacks cause me to be charged}. I looked in drawers, even: maybe they hid the coffeemaker so that the room would look sleeker and more posh. I flipped through the TV options, thinking that, with such a wonder machine, perhaps it could make me coffee, too.

    No coffeemaker.

    When I went to the hotel cafe for the first time, I realized why my fancy room came without a coffeemaker: because coffee was $4.00. Just normal drip coffee. $4.00. Put a bunch of coffee-loving people in a situation where they've been out too late and yet still need to function during the day, and you will get lots of people paying $4.00 for coffee. Including me, although I didn't need coffee because I'd been out too late; I needed coffee because I needed some normalcy in my life there in Vegas.
  • What does it say about me that I loved the design of my hotel room so much, I took pictures of the wallpaper? It says, once again: you were not made for Vegas. But nice wallpaper.


  1. I like the lady wallpaper. But no coffee?!

  2. And get this: the lady wallpaper was in the closet! Why waste that wallpaper in a closet?!?! Whoever made that decision probably also decided to not have a coffeemaker in the room.

    Although, on second thought on wallpaper placement, it would be a little creepy to wake up in your hotel room {slightly unsure of where you are, something that happens frequently to me in hotels} and have all these eyes staring at you...

  3. hmmm... Yes, maybe its best in the closet!

  4. You know the comment I have about wallpaper. I bet you dressed in this wallpaper pattern afterward.

  5. You're right, Brenda. I ripped down the wallpaper, made a dress of it, and started to sing nostalgically of an Esso station.

    Ah, memories.



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