So last week I had the privilege (it took me four tries to spell that word correctly) of spending a long weekend in Vegas with my good friend Shailen. The entire purpose/goal of the trip was to spend Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday doing absolutely nothing other than watching football, preferably in front of about 100 t.v.s. And we accomplished this goal, for the most part, though I managed to ruin a good portion of the trip via the magical art of vomiting, as is my custom. I have a Ripken-like streak going on of getting sick and/or injured when traveling.
We stayed at Aria, which is French for "area," and it was a very nice area. We had a lot of fun, despite witnessing another awful collapse by the Aggies (at least I made money on that one, as I wholeheartedly agree with the "victory tax" method of betting against your own team). What I thought was particularly entertaining about the trip was just how old and lame we've become, which I will now share with you.
You see, Shailen and I met in college, when we were young, somewhat cool (well, Shailen was), and capable of staying up past midnight. We were part of the ironic cool crowd of Fish Camp counselors, young men who were willing to not only admit to listening to N'Sync but who could also demonstrate with military-like precision the entire "Bye Bye Bye" dance if necessary. And part of that still remains- we still have a man crush on Justin Timberlake- but somewhere along the way, we got old, and in Shailen's case, bald.
So while we like to still think we're young and hip, the fact is that Shailen has a child and has no hair, and I have a belly I never had before and take maintenance medications and have to be careful about what time I drink caffeine. It's just not the same. But Vegas is there for people like us to level the field, to party, to hold on to our youth. Right? RIGHT?!??!?
Well, truth is, I'm not a party animal and never have been. And I can't speak for Shailen, but based on our weekend, let's just say his party days are long gone as well.
Let me paint a few little pictures for you that will demonstrate just how not cool we now are:
1. If you ever wanted to know what the opposite of "doing Vegas right" is, I think we managed to stumble upon it with this one, regarding sleep and sleeping arrangements. We were in Vegas for three nights. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Our bedtimes? 10 p.m., 10 p.m., and 11 p.m. And here's the kicker: while other people were out trading various diseases with each other (and I'm not saying I wished to be those people or have even been those people in my younger days), Shailen and I were sharing a single bed... that is, until my snoring caused him to go sleep on the floor in the bathroom for two consecutive nights. And let me tell you, there are few things more startling than waking up at 4 a.m. to pee, feeling your way to the bathroom, turning on the light and finding a bald Indian asleep on the floor when you expected a clear path the toilet. Plus it's just sad.
The good news is that for the last night, we upgraded to a suite and I demanded that Shailen take the bed and I slept on the couch, which was fine. Anyway, let's move on to our next uncool example.
2. This is a short one, but it stings. Here's how you know you're neither young nor cool anymore. At many of these Vegas hotels that also include in-house night clubs, they have slutty looking girls walking around to promote these night clubs by giving out "VIP" passes (which anyone can have) to said clubs. That is, unless you are me. The fact that I walked by these girls not once or twice but three separate times and didn't even get offered a second glance, much less a phony VIP card, is almost enough to make me weep in public. Because to be clear, I'm fairly sure their instructions are to pass those passes out to anyone that is under 60 and "not the biggest loser you've ever seen." It was the second one that apparently got me.
(For the record, from what I saw, Shailen did get a pass one time, but was ignored one time as well, which made me feel better.)
3. This one's a little harder to describe, but one thing we decided to do was to eat a nice, expensive dinner. You could almost say this was our way of embracing our new-found oldness, eschewing the fast food mentality of our youth and enjoying a nice meal. And it was lovely. Yes, lovely. But even in the midst of our lovely man-date to a fancy restaurant (American Fish at Aria, if you were curious), we managed to be reminded over and over about how uncool we are. See, this meal was about maybe seeing if we were cool as adults, since we'd given up on being cool as young adults. So to that end, Shailen ordered a four part meal that included wine pairings with each course. I ordered fancy looking appetizers and a $70 steak. We both, for reasons still unknown, tried bourbon. And that's where it all started going wrong.
Shailen had, in another futile attempt to look like a cool adult, tried a glass of straight scotch earlier in the trip. As expected, he hated it. So then he started wondering what other drinks he could try that would look cool. So when our waitress asked us if we wanted a drink, I told her Shailen would like a bourbon, but unfortunately that led to me having to get one as well. I will never forget the look on his face as he tried it. It was such an unpleasant look that it caused me to literally fear taking a sip of mine.
Here is what Shailen tweeted immediately after trying bourbon: Bourbon is the same as scotch. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME? #itburnsthethroat
So we both struggled through that. In more uncool news, at one point the waitress asked me how I like my bullet. "My what?" I replied. "Bulliet is the kind of bourbon I gave you," she said. "Oh... um... not my favorite," I murmured. To which she replied with an evil smile and obvious sarcasm, "Can I get you another one?" NO YOU MAY NOT, DEVIL WOMAN!
Unfortunately I don't remember the other specific quotes, but suffice to say there were three or four more times where she caught us confusedly discussing what we were supposed to be doing or not doing regarding various parts of the fancy meal, and each time she would give us very disapproving looks, but then I think she actually started enjoying messing with us, offering us stuff that I think was made up and at point, I'm pretty sure she pointed and giggled. I'm used to that though...
4. Um, so remember when I mentioned Justin Timberlake earlier? So, through pure coincidence, it turns out there was a Timberlake show happening that very weekend, at Planet Hollywood. And I got tickets. If there is ever an example of how far we've fallen, it is this. On Saturday, I woke up feeling crappy, and ended up throwing up all day. I watched some football, slept some, puked a lot, but still had the Timberlake show in the back of my mind. It was set to start at 8. At about 5:30, Shailen went to go get some food and watch some more football at the sportsbook. As 8 p.m. approached, I kept waiting for Shailen to come back and get his ticket and go, and maybe I'd muster up the energy to go. Well, long story short, 8 o'clock came and went with nary a mention of Timberlake. Shailen came back to the room at 8:30, and we just laid around and went to sleep at 10. I was surprised he passed on the show, but at the same time, I wasn't. He's a nice guy, and I'm sure one reason he didn't is that I wasn't up for it. So the tickets went to waste. Very sad.
So, all in all, we just aren't young or cool anymore. And I haven't decided if I'm ok with that. But I am forced to at least acknowledge that it's true. My one parting shot confirmed it. As I was packing up to head to the airport (I had already taken Shailen earlier), I looked around the room. By my couch/bed, there was Pepto Bismol, pramipexole (for my restless legs), my inhaler, and some Advil. By Shailen's bed, I noticed some Sominex he had left behind. He had probably needed that to sleep on the bathroom floor.