At least 10 years. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve stepped onto the floor of a night club. It was Vegas at a friend’s bachelorette party. The wind machine was blowing, my hands were up in the air, and toilet paper fanned itself across the room. Sounds wrong, but the odd combination of bathroom tissue, sparse post modern decor, and sweaty Sin City revelers made for a refreshing night of frivolity. There was the occasional tap on the shoulder and the formal request for a courtship over a canoe ride while discussing books, or perhaps just a dance after buying me drinks. Can’t remember which. Regardless, I had a wonderful time dancing to Dirty Vegas (quite apropos, no?), Freak Nasty (because I dip, you dip, we dip), and Nelly (you know, ‘cuz it was hot in herre [sic]). On the dance floor that night, I felt like I was right where I belonged and right where I wanted to be.
Fast forward to now. One husband and two kids later, I was faced with a girls’ night out in Las Vegas once again, the mother of all party cities, armed with only one LBD (little black dress) and a pair of ridiculously uncomfortable heels. How would this night end? Do I still have “it” whatever “it” means? And, if I do, when do I have to give it back? And, to whom do I give it? In one very strange and quite entertaining night at the Surrender Club at Encore, I realized that the guys (and even girls!) seem to have gotten more persistent, more vocal, and more highly strategized than before.
Six of us headed out together in a tightly wound unit of long hair, Manolo Blahniks, and tiny purses with the holding capacity of one folded sheet of paper. My friend Felicity (names have been changed to protect the innocent and the not so innocent) had some nice connections that managed to get us free entry into the club and its exclusive roped-off VIP section directly in front of the DJs. First up was DJ Deniz Koyu who spun great tracks like Goetye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and a nice remixed “Apologize” by OneRepublic. Then, a Swedish duo called Cazzette took the stage with various images of analog cassette tapes flying by behind them on a big projection screen. They kept playing songs with great beats which I totally didn’t recognize, but yet somehow everyone seemed to be singing along to. I felt like I was in a parallel universe or just in a club with lots of young people.
At the ripe age of 37 (What does that mean anyway? Is someone going to pluck me off a tree?), I was just there to have a good time with friends, listen to good music, and dance with good intentions. I couldn’t guarantee the results, I just tried to really live it up. Who knows if it’ll be another decade before I hit the dance floor again? After watching the scantily clad dancers on stage, feeling the pulsing music in my veins, and sipping my one very mild Midori sour, I was truly enjoying myself. I jumped to the music, celebrated with my friends, and had fun watching my friend Genie get approached by a random guy here and there. After telling them she was married, they would quietly go away. As I was thinking about what a great approach that was, I was caught off guard by a guy with closely-cropped hair holding my hand, asking me to dance. I didn’t even know how to respond. Really, it’s been that long. I was flattered, but before I could even respond, my friend Casey ushered me away by asking for my help that she didn’t really need. I mumbled an apology to the guy and walked away. I thanked Casey for rescuing me. My friend Genie said, “That guy was so hot!” I agreed. Just then, a random girl grabbed my hand, spun herself around, and started dancing with me. Not sure if I was being hit on (it’s only happened to me one or two other times by a girl), but it was definitely a strange encounter. Anyway, I told her she was a lot of fun and managed to escape to dance with my friends.
Next thing I knew, light up foam sticks flew from the stage. We all grabbed some and started waving them in the air like crazed flight attendants directing your way to musical abandon. I started a foam stick pillow fight with my friends. One particular light-up stick was pointed right at me… held by a young guy who wanted to dance. After he asked for my name, I immediately asked him how old he was. 24. He was… a baby. I told him I was 37 and he cleverly added “Age doesn’t matter in Vegas.” I told him I was married and even held up my engagement ring and wedding band for inspection. He asked what my husband did and I told him he was a doctor. He seemed impressed, but countered with “Just one dance. Please.” Okay, it seemed harmless enough. So, I danced a short dance with SJ, a banker from London with a heavy British accent that I had difficulty understanding. He was kind enough to say, “I think you’re so beautiful,” but I had no idea what he was saying until he had to repeat himself for the third time. I thanked him and tried to excuse myself, but he said “I really like you” and kept offering to buy me a drink. I said, “Sorry, I’m happily married, but you’re really good looking and a super nice guy. I hope you find a hot girl tonight.” Boldly, he said, “But, I want you.” I actually had to break out my iPhone to show him photos of my two kids! He put his iPhone on top of mine and showed me his scenic wallpaper instead. Pointing to my friends, I told him that I really needed to get back to them. Then, he uttered words I’ve never heard from a complete stranger (but of course he had to say it twice before I finally got it and stopped him the third time): ”I want you so bad right now.” Whoa! Forward much? Anyway, I found myself laughing uncontrollably because there was just something so comical about our completely lost in translation attempt at a conversation. Was it his Cockney accent? And, did I just say Cockney? Is that why I kept repeating “What? I can’t understand you!” to him? We may never know. But, all I could reciprocate after that was a very awkward “Thank you?” I mean, what do you say to something like that? I didn’t have to worry about it too long because my wonderful friends saved me once again by taking me away from the scene all together. SJ was truly a nice, albeit presumptuous, guy so I gave him a hug, wished him well, and joined my crew.
On the way back to our base at the club, I came across what I call the modern day good cop, bad cop clubbing strategy. One guy gets all up in your grill. You think he’s the one you need to avoid, but then the “sincere” guy comes up and apologizes for his rude friend by getting a little too close for comfort during his profuse apology. Then, there’s the group of guys who tail you asking where you’re headed. You say you’re on your way home, but they follow you saying they’re going to the same place. Our friend Casey got accosted a few times on our way out, too. It’s so much fun people watching. Way to go, my hot friends! As Casey, Genie, and I stepped into a cab, one guy said to his friends, “It’s Asia… and they’re all beautiful.” Apparently, the three of us represent all of Asia. Nice. After I was dropped off at Caesars, I started walking to our hotel room. I was holding my black heels by now, which I’m convinced was invented as a female torture device. Even though I was so close to slipping off my dress and into a comfy cotton t-shirt, I couldn’t get away without one last, “Hey, girl. You look like you’re fun as hell!” I wondered just how much fun hell really is and why more women weren’t throwing themselves at him with a pick-up line that smooth. With that, I headed upstairs to my dreamy husband, sweet little girl, and favorite baby guy. In bed that night, I felt that God had me right where I belonged and right where I wanted to be.