You asked for it, and here it is: the first installment of our Las Vegas adventure.
It’s Friday night in Las Vegas. I’ve got a sexy blonde and a hot Asian by my side. We call ourselves a buffet of sorts – a little something for everyone.
Not to be confused with the all you can eat kind.
One of us (hint: not me or the blonde) is struggling. She is riding on the coattails of last night’s sexual encounter, and subsequent puke fest. Because apparently, to her, nothing screams “Happy Thursday” like a little action in both the bedroom and the bathroom.
Blondie and I have just returned from our two-hour stint at Wet Republic, where we sadly ran into neither Prince Harry nor Ryan Lochte. (Our hot Asian counterpart got sent home for attempting to vomit in a trash can.)
We somehow force the sickling awake. She obliges, but only because she knows that if you can’t rally, you can’t sit with us. And eating alone at the snazziest restaurant in the Aria is not a good look for anyone.
We all rinse off and wiggle into our dresses. Red, yellow, and gray. I look in the mirror and fleetingly wonder whether people will appreciate our array of colors, or simply mistake us for a condiment station.
Regardless, we head downstairs. It is 6:45 pm, and we are fully aware of how ridiculously dressed we are for the time. But we have a fancy dinner reservation, and additionally – we don’t give two fucks.
Apparently, we should have given more fucks, because exiting the casino is one of the more daunting 30 yards of our lives. It’s kind of like the whackamole game, except the moles are creeps and instead of a large, padded club, we are armed with sparkly evening bags.
The men peep out from everywhere. You don’t even see them coming, because they hide behind large objects until some sort of silent alarm goes off telling them that a spandex-like material has entered the room. They emerge from pillars, closed doors, and Wheel of Fortune machines, hooting and hey baby-ing.
In this moment, I am convinced they are another species. If ever there was a place to lose your faith in the male gender, it is Las Vegas.
We stare at each other in panic as we scurry to the taxi. 6:45 was too early for these outfits, we agree.
By the time we arrive at the restaurant, each of us could probably consume a wagon of hamburgers. Luckily for our figures and snugly fitting dresses, we are presented with bread, butter, and sea salt instead. We sit by ourselves in a dark corner and feast on beef tartar, short ribs, and house made cavatelli pasta. It is delightful.
I stand to exit our booth, heading to the bathroom. Then suddenly, I stop. Mostly because I realize I am about to run into the man who has magically appeared at the end of our table.
He is not an unattractive man, and were we twice our own age, I daresay we’d be pleased with his approach. But as it stands, we gape at him like two-year olds looking at a cloud. Bewildered, yet intrigued.
“Ladies,” he greets us with confidence.
“We just cannot help but tell you how beautiful you are.” He gestures to a table over yonder. We try to peek, hoping for an attractive son or nephew he is referring to, but there is no way to identify which table he means.
“I hope that you are enjoying your dinner, but when you’re finished, we would love for you to join us,” he continues. “Just for a drink. It couldn’t hurt. And you all are so beautiful that we would be honored. You can have anything you want.”
We laugh nervously as he waits for an answer. We continue to gape like children.
“Thank you for the offer,” one of us manages to squeak as he turns his back.
We watch the mirror to scope out where he is seated. He heads to the back of the restaurant. Then further. Behind a pillar. And then he turns. Into where, we don’t know. Narnia, perhaps.
What the fuck was that, we whisper as his image disappears.
The minutes pass and we savor dessert. It’s chocolate soup infused with coconut, and it could not taste any more delectable.
“I wonder if he is with anyone younger,” I ask rhetorically.
“Only one way to find out,” Blondie replies.
We all glance up – knowing each other well enough to recognize that we are all thinking the same thing.
Send in the Sickling.
For those of you who remember the great Bachelorette debacle of 2012, this girl was the one who poked Michael Nance in the shoulder repeatedly until he agreed to speak with us. Bitch got tact.
She swoops to the back of the restaurant with ease. We see her feigning laughter as a man pulls out a chair. Mere seconds later, she is heading back. Blushing, for perhaps the first time in her life. She opens her mouth to tell us something -
But she has been followed.
Before she can say a word, our suitor has returned to the table.
“Just one drink,” he pleads. “We would love for you ladies to join us later, too. Just consider it. We have a table at Marquee tonight.”
Our mooching eyes shoot knowing glances at one another.
[a table you say?]
“VIP list is good,” Sickling says steadily, “but a table is so much better.”
Before we know it, we’re seated in Narnia. We’re sandwiched between an enormous balding man, who appears to be a Russian mogul, and many other men of the same age who are clearly executives. Halfway through, our suspicions are confirmed as the Czar informs us his friends would ruin the reputation of their companies were their identities revealed.
Being well-educated, we have no trouble carrying on a conversation with them. It is entertaining and enjoyable. Almost as if you were meeting your friend’s father. Except she has five fathers who have all removed their wedding rings and are trying to grope you inappropriately.
The secret comes out that we’ve never played craps, and it is decided that our dice-throwing cherries will be popped at once. The Fortune 500s pay the bill without second thought, and we are whisked out the door.
We walk into the daylight, and it takes a minute for us to grasp exactly how this looks. Mothers cover their children’s eyes. Other women open their mouths. Even the prostitutes seem to disapprove.
There we are – a colorful buffet of young girls in tight dresses, following a herd of wealthy sugar daddies as they play “grab the ass.”
Paid escorts, Blondie mouths.
She covers her face with a clutch as we walk. Apparently in her mind, if nobody sees our faces, this isn’t really happening.
Why can’t we be more oblivious as to what this is? she whispers. And for the first time, we wish we were dumber.
We survive the most shameful of all walks, and arrive at the craps table. The next thirty minute pass in a flash.
Several thousand dollars in cash emerge from the Czar’s pocket, which he divides amongst us like an allowance. We play until it’s time to go, but give the money back to the Czar. Because payment in cash makes it all too real.
We head to the club, and the line wraps around the corner. The front of the line parts and we walk in with ease.
“Who the fuck are those girls?“ we hear a disgruntled line participant shout.
We cover our faces as we are escorted to the table.
Sickling abandons us to go get laid. We scorn her.
“Red and Yellow! Ketchup! Mustard!“ we hear in the crowd. I knew we looked like condiments, I think.
The sugar daddies grin with glee. The vodka has not yet arrived, and we sit awkwardly awaiting for it. Somehow, fraternizing with the Fortune 500s seemed much more appealing in well-lit quarters.
I panic. We have to go. I can’t do this. Not even for one drink. I whisper. Blondie nods.
We coolly announce that we’re going to the bathroom, and disappear like Casper into the crowd.
The club is enormous. We explore all of the sections as we stray further from executive row.
And I will be fucked if they don’t show up in front of our faces.
“Going somewhere?” they inquire.
“Just exploring!” we respond enthusiastically.
And now – it’s really time to go. We walk down a labyrinth of staircases until we are finally free.
And with the exception of an inquiring text message the next morning, we never heard from the Fortune 500 again.
We hop in a cab and head to Tryst and XS, where we may not have the best table in the house, but we still have our dignity.
At least until tomorrow.