I just experienced the most un-Vegas-like trip to Vegas ever. Let me explain.
Vegas is a place to get dirty. It's a place for a man to enter feeling very full of himself, chest puffed out, with a wad of hundreds in his hand. A few hours later, that same man leaves feeling hollow and defeated, questioning whether he can make his next month's rent, and holding something entirely different in his hand (here's a hint: it's fleshy). It's a place to smoke cigarettes till your eyes water; drink until you wake up disappointed in yourself; and piss money away like your checking account has an enlarged prostate.
It is by no means a beacon for romance, despite the quaint messages displayed on the electronic billboard atop the 'Chapel 'O Love'. It is a shit-show, plain and simple.
So what does it say about me, that I arranged to meet up with the most amazing woman right there amidst the migraine-inducing neon lights and Midwestern mullets?
It says I am one lucky bastard....
If you don't know her already, I'd like you to meet V. For the story of how we got to know each other, head over to her blog at *Uncorked. I'm going to focus on this past weekend, and how it affected me. Needless to say, I arrived in Sin City feeling like a kid on Christmas morning, waiting for my Dad (who always played Santa and handed out presents) to quit dicking around with the little packages full of socks and books and get to that big fucker that's sitting behind the tree, mocking me. V and I, our first meeting in person was 5 months in the making - molded out of thousands of emails, text messages, and phone conversations. I was equal parts nervous and excited.
I already felt that she was like an old friend, albeit one that I was jonesing to see naked. She had floored me for months with her wit, her sincerity, and her wonderfully deft use of innuendo. Despite all that, after finally meeting this amazing woman in person, I caused the first day to be a bit awkward. All of a sudden, I went from this cocky, self-assured dude to a little fancy boy, worried about kissing a girl for the first time.
I want to fast-forwarded through that first night (Friday) even though it was my wonderful friend Laurnie's birthday and hijinx did ensue, because the second night was what this post is all about. Long story short, when I finally did kiss her late that first night, all of my apprehension floated away, and I was able to simply enjoy being with her. Thank you V, for being patient and not thinking I was a total pussy.
Saturday night was our 'Date Night', and after a morning spent doing the tourist thing through Vegas, we came back to the hotel for a quick nap, and to get ready to go out for a night on the town. I was done up in my fashionable, yet casual jacket, a button-down shirt, and some nice dark jeans. I felt like I was looking good, had some confidence going (the ka-dunka-dunk), and knocked on the door to her room with a bottle of her favorite vodka in one hand (she is Vodka V, after all) and her birthday present in the other (it was V's birthday as well the following day). I was ready to do everything in my power to make her night the best that I could make it.
And then she opened the door. I took one look at her, and like the confident, seasoned adult that I am....stood there in the doorway blinking, like an idiot. Man oh man, she was stunning - her hair down and curled over her shoulders; she was wearing a black leather dress that no one could have rocked better. And she gave me this little look, one that I will remember for a very long time.
Now, if you have read my blog in the past, you know that my attitude towards women and dating is fairly 'Cro-Magnon Man'. I grunt a lot, bash them over the head, and drag them by the hair back to my cave. Then I tend to lose interest pretty quickly. I am a pig, I know that, yet I have always been completely content in my trough, rolling around in the mud.
But in that moment, when she opened the door, stepped into the hall, and slid her arm into mine? Not sure I can describe it accurately in words. It felt a little something like this:
Now I know what you're thinking:
Drew, that's the single most feminine thing you have ever included in your blog.
You know what? You're absolutely right. And you know what else?
She was - and continues to be - incredible, and she spent the rest of the weekend making me ridiculously happy just by being herself. From the vodka tasting inside the Ice Locker at Red Square (where we met Elizabeth Banks, sort of) to the amazing dinner (holy hell, Black Truffle Lobster Fettucini), to Sunday morning being lazy in our pajamas, watching NFL Football (heaven for us both) - the whole shebang was nothing short of epic.
Thank you, Pretty Girl, for not only living up to my ridiculous expectations, but far surpassing them. The smile that has been on my face ever since we got back is starting to make my damn face hurt. Now if only I could learn to smile naturally in a picture, we could have gotten a decent one to put up where I don't look like a pervert or a sociopath. It would probably put your mother's mind at ease.
The only negative part of this is that now I have to wait two months to see you again. I miss you already.
**Footnote: A special shout-out to my BFF, Laurnie Dubbs, who let me do my own thing on what was her birthday weekend in Vegas (the whole reason we set up the trip in the first place), so that I could selfishly make myself happy. I've said it before and I'll say it again - You're Rad.