Monday, August 18, 2008

Vegas - but without the gambling

In my life I've heard vague rumors about things to do in Vegas other than gambling.

Like a Mall, Big Swimming Pools, Day Spas, Leaving the Strip, etc, but I ignored them because they didn't exist on the green felt of a regulation-sized blackjack table and that is where I've always chosen to spend my Vegas time: knee-deep in a free G&T trying to keep my chips higher on the + than the -.

Until last weekend when The Girls (actual girls, not my boobs or anything) were unexpectedly swapped out from my Girl's Vegas Trip, with Bubba, due to some last minute childcare issues (not mine, obv.).

Which is fine, Bubba and I have done Vegas together before, but that was back when I wasn't willing to release my stranglehold on the Perfect Blackjack table, so the poor man spent the better part of 24 hours trying to not kill me as I continued ordering drinks and kept my ass cheeks firmly planted on the stool.

But this time, with four blissful years of marriage under our belts, I wasn't going to try to force my degenerate lifestyle on him and get him questioning why it is that I, Woman of Perpetual Double-Down, was managing our household finances. I also didn't want to end up in a drunken screaming match at the Paris again, and as we've proven, that is what 22 hours of free cocktails at the card tables will bring about in me.


So I was faced with the question:

What will I do in Vegas since Bubba doesn't really gamble and I'm afraid he'll leave me after my typical 36 hour blackjack tour where I lose my face in a glass of gin and gamble away our flight home?

Also, my quiet inside question was what if I find myself in Vegas pretending to have fun doing those other aforementioned activities that are not gambling while thinking, why am I even in Vegas if I'm not going to gamble?

I imagined a lot of unconvincing half-smiling on my part while I agreed to some benign activity and choked out the words, "No way! This is WAY better than playing blackjack for a day and a half!" while I secretly wished I was the blazingly drunk and rotund she-beast at the $25 table splitting 10s like an imbecile and pissing everyone off.

That is the most shameful scenario, after all, where all disgusting and abhorrent traits aside, that woman would be happily playing cards and I'd be, like, appreciating art at some fruity gallery or something. And hating myself.

Thankfully nothing at all like this happened. In fact, I had quite a nice little weekend. Not a Vegas Weekend, really, but a nice weekend nonetheless.

We went out to dinner with friends (who live there). We trolled the pool looking at weirdos. We ate at some very nice restaurants in nice clothes that weren't stained with vomit or alcohol. I had a massage and pedicure which inspired rapture. Bubba climbed on some very hot rocks far away from the strip.

It was pleasant and relaxing.

Oh. I didn't know you could do pleasant and relaxing there.

But that is what's getting at me.

Shouldn't I be feeling all ripped off for not spending 36 hours getting to know the Wynn blackjack dealers by their first name and hometown?

Shouldn't I be entertaining my coworkers with debaucherous stories of money inexplicably lost and 4am hair holding?

Shouldn't I still be hungover?

And because I'm not doing any of these things, does that mean that I'm *gasp* not cool anymore?

Yes. I'm pretty sure that's what it means. Because I spent the weekend feeling embarrassed for the drunk chick at the "European" pool who had no business cavorting about with her top off. Because I felt sad for the she-beast giving away her hard-earned dough to the card dealer. Because I was ashamed of the vomit covered club queen wobbling her way toward the elevators at 9am.

Because in Vegas (Note: this applies only to the strip, I realize normal people live in the town. Like our friends for instance. They are very nice and normal.) I think cool means out of your mind and I was mostly in my mind the whole time. At least in the sense that I was vomit-free and wearing the appropriate amount of clothes during my stay.

Notice, however, that I did not say that I was saving my pennies. No no. That is something that happens regardless of whether you're gambling because, tee dah, nothing there is free.

In fact, I could even make a case for gambling being a cost-saving measure in that town. Between the dinners out and the spa treatments and the, ahem, pool bar bill, I would likely have saved money (or perhaps made money? One can dream.) by sitting my posh butt at the tables rather than having it massaged by a shawl wearing brute from the hotel spa.

So rather than admit fully to the fact that I'm becoming a true old hag far from her crazy fancy-free youth, I'm going to test this theory of cost-savings during another upcoming Vegas trip by sitting with The Girls (rescheduled with the adequate amount of childcare) at a blackjack table and not leaving in the name of science.

Then we'll see who's cool and who's old and who has had one too many G&Ts.

Oh, and we'll get back to the garden and the food and the other stuff in future posts this week. Fret not ye of innocent minds.


  1. I am a notoriously bad gambler (I'm the only person I know who lost all her money playing PaiGow) and the husband hates sitting by the pool so we never quite know what to do while in Vegas. Such a shame really.

  2. in Vegas but not gambling... the hoover dam, the grand canyon and lake mead all come to mind. When I was last there we ended up at the Hilton at the Star Trek, the Next Generation show drnking a large blue smoking drink - don't think its still there, the show that is as the drink was definitely drunk, but there are many things like that there

  3. Vegas lost its allure for me after college. Which is when I officially became old. Of course, I also moved from Arizona, so getting there became increasingly difficult. But I never really gambled there. We went to drink and dance, activities that I felt funny doing after marriage. So, no more Vegas. Though the spa treatments do sound nice . . .

  4. The last time I went to Vegas was during college, on a whim. We made the decision to do it during dinner at a bar on a Friday afternoon. We were driving into town by Saturday morning.

    And that town gives me a headache (hung over or not). Apparently, I've been old since I was 22.

    Luckily it seems like you can enjoy it enough for both of us, though.

  5. If being old and not cool involves massages and days of drinks at the pool, then I wanna be OLD.


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