Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Guess She Picked The Wrong Day To Pack Only One Pair Of Shoes

I sat across from my friend Ben as we waited for our breakfasts to arrive. While there were plenty of thoughts circling around in my head, putting food in my stomach to counteract a potential hangover was my immediate priority. 

As the waitress (who was only on her 2nd day and a little too happy and excitable for me, given my condition) dropped off our large platters of irish-inspired breakfast food, I looked at Ben and said “Well, what would you do if you were me?” 

He knew I wasn’t talking about whether to start with the eggs or dive straight into the potatoes. 

“I certainly wouldn’t date him.” 

I knew that would be the response. I took a big bite of food and almost heard my stomach cheer out loud. 

“Do you think I should get back together with Steven?” 

Ben chewed and shrugged. He swallowed his mouthful and said in his matter of fact kind of way: “Well, he didn’t pee in your friend’s suitcase.” 

End scene. 


A lot of tourists don’t give Fremont Street and the whole downtown Vegas thing the respect I think it deserves. They would rather pay $14.00 for their Mandarin and Soda at some pretentious club on the strip that probably charged them a ridiculous cover to begin with and has no room to offer on the dance floor anyway. Not that it would matter because the music is most likely terrible and you spend your time having to avoid the lit cigarette that is being held without caution by douchebag #1 as he is trying to talk douchebag #2 into playing wingman for some some girl who thinks she is Rihanna just because she was able to squeeze herself into a size 2 for the night. Needless to say, it’s not a scene I enjoy. 

Therefore, when my friends want to have a “Vegas night”, and party it up, we usually opt for getting a room at either the Golden Nugget or Fitzgerald’s and spending our time bar hopping on Fremont Street. There are a few things that are very rewarding about this experience: first, the drinks are a lot cheaper. Second, the bars downtown do close eventually, so you don’t find yourself wandering around at four in the morning, in a drunken haze, trying to find just “one more drink” before you completely lose your mind. We like to start early, drink steadily until one or two and then stumble back to our rooms and call it a night. 

Cory is the one that got me started on Fremont. Whenever he has friends visiting from out of town, he always tells them to put one night aside to experience this little treasure that is considered East Fremont. We often start at Hennessey’s, an Irish style pub, hit Hogs & Heifers, a well-known biker bar where I inevitably end up dancing on the bar and finish the night with either a nightcap at Downtown, The Griffin or the new piano bar that offers karaoke to those who are brave enough to sing without a monitor. 

The thing with Fremont is that it is quite easy to get caught up in all the craziness of the night, especially when you know you aren’t driving and there are ten other people enjoying the libations of the evening with you. I’ve spent a few nights with my friends in the ladies room, helping to keep their hair from dangling in the toilet as they relieve themselves of the last three shots they probably shouldn’t have had. For some reason, there seems to be more mixing of drinks on Fremont and the hangovers are exceptionally bad. The boys get rowdy and a few times, we’ve just completely lost a member of our group for the night. 

For all these reasons, we decided to be a little more aware of ourselves this past Tuesday night when a bunch of us went downtown to celebrate Cory’s 30th birthday. Even on his Facebook invitation, he was very adamant about not having any shots. We all wanted to have a good time without worrying about... having too good of a time I suppose. I think Cory just wanted to make sure he remembered the majority of the night this time around. 

Two of my girlfriends and I got a room at the Golden Nugget. We checked in around 3:30pm and headed straight to the pool to get a little relaxation time in before the hopping commenced. Cory was doing dinner with his family at 6:00pm and the plan was to meet at Hogs and Heifers around 8:00pm to officially begin the festivities. 

I was also a little extra excited that day as I had a bit of a side project going... 

Last Friday, I hit a bar I’d never been to before for karaoke. A friend of some friends of mine was having a birthday party there and it seemed like it might be a good time. It was, of course. Some of my favorite karaoke people were there, the beer was cheap and the crowd was lively. Good times. 

That’s when I met “Brandon”. Not many people get special names on here - that is a privilege reserved for the professional gamblers in my life and those who I’m about to share extremely embarrassing information for all to see. 

Brandon and I share a love of Jagermeister (Don’t judge... I’ve had relationships begin on less than that). We sat at the bar, enjoyed a shot together and continued to chat it up until I knew it was time for me to get some shuteye before I let the night run away from me. I remember saying goodbye and giving him my card in case he wanted to check out my blog, but otherwise, I did assume it was just going to be another brief interaction with a nice guy. 

So I smiled the next day when I checked my Facebook and I had a message from him. We went back and forth a bit, I accepted his friend request and we continued to discuss our thoughts on the UFC fight that was taking place that night. He sent me his phone number and the texts began. 

First and foremost, dude was funny. As in, I kept randomly laughing out loud during family fight night because of some random text he had sent about something. I did what we girls do these days and spent some time stalking him on Facebook. Through his pictures and posted information, I saw that he used to be in a band, worked for a very respectable car company and was going to be 26 years old in August. 

Really? Another 25 year old? I was wondering how this happened but, as I mentioned to Beau at work the other day - when you hang out in an establishment designed to attract a mid-20s crowd, that’s what you get. 

No, it’s not a huge gap and it certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me. It just raises some questions about being on similar pages physically and emotionally, that’s all. But, then again, we’re just texting. No reason to get caught up in anything yet. 

Well, 400 text messages later, we decided that perhaps we should hang out. 

So there I was, at the Golden Nugget, getting dressed for the night and making plans to meet up with the girls and Cory later on. In the meantime, I was going to head over to Hennessey’s for a Black and Tan and see what this guy was really all about. 

There were three things I noticed within the first five minutes of him showing up: he has some pretty rad tattoos, his dark brown eyes are extremely intense and a bit mesmerizing, and his energy level is literally through the roof. In fact, for just a moment, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep up with him. I’m definitely more on the mellow and laid back side and he was going a mile a minute. It was exciting, though, and what was more interesting was the fact that he had intelligent things to say. The conversation flowed easily and he was never really at a loss for words. Before I knew it, we had already been at Hennessey’s for two and a half hours and needed to head over to Hogs & Heifers to meet the rest of my friends. 

I wouldn’t really say the rest of the night was a blur - there was just a lot going on. Our mutual friend, Ben, showed up which helped ease some of the pressure that Brandon may have been feeling after meeting so many of my friends on our first time really hanging out together. Luckily, my friends are super cool and very accepting and everything went along quite swimmingly. We drank, laughed and eventually, started moving from bar to bar. 

Towards the end of the night, the three of us decided to split off and mellow out at The Griffin. Ben was definitely tapped on the drinking as he started to doze a bit while on those cozy fireplace couches. Brandon and I continued to chat and flirt and I determined that neither one of them was in any condition to be driving and brought them back up to the room so they could pass out safely. 

This all seemed harmless enough, but sometimes in my inebriated state, I tend to lose track of my consideration for others who may not be experiencing the same kind of drunken euphoria that I am. So, even though laying on the bed laughing and whispering to Brandon while Ben cracked jokes from the floor and threw the Bible at us seemed fun and innocuous, I became startled when one of my girlfriends harshly called out to us how annoying we were being. Forgetting that my friends were looking for more of a relaxing time that night, the three of us quickly shut up and fell asleep. 

Why it couldn’t end there, I will never know... 

I have no idea what time it was - I just knew that it was early. I didn’t even know what was going on really... I heard some shuffling around and then what sounded like water being poured onto the carpet. Before my brain could register what was going on, my other girl friend started shouting loudly “HEY! GUY! YOU ARE PEEING ON MY SUITCASE!” 

Please, God... let me be dreaming. 

Nope. Wide awake. And there he was - peeing on my friend’s shoes. 

He snapped out of his sleep walking daze and came back to lay down, not really even sure at that time what he had done. That was when I realized that it was my new friend, Brandon and not Ben who had just finished making this massive faux pas. I was frozen with humiliation and horror. My friend got up and began cleaning up her shoes. I didn’t know what to do. I laid there like an idiot and felt like the biggest asshole ever. When she was finished, she went back to bed. It was then that Brandon got up and decided that it would probably be a good idea to leave. So he did. 

Back to breakfast. 

I knew Ben was right. However, there was still that part of me that is compassionate to the fact that shit happens - especially when large amounts of alcohol are involved. If nothing else, I was kind of intrigued by Brandon’s story about what the hell he was thinking. And I knew at the very least, all of this was going to make a pretty funny blog (although I’m sure my friend and her shoes don’t agree....) 

After breakfast, I dropped Ben off at his car and sent a text to Brandon. He had left in such a hurry that he had forgotten to take his glasses. So, we agreed to meet so I could return them and give him an opportunity to at least apologize. I knew he felt ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated and I just can’t see allowing anyone to feel that way longer than absolutely necessary. 

When I saw him, I honestly couldn’t help but smile. It’s like coming home and seeing that the puppy knocked over the plant and was hiding in the corner because he knew he was in for it. What was I supposed to do? Call him names? Yell at him? Make him feel worse than he already did? No, I decided to take a different approach. 

I hugged him. 

I can’t tell you why. I know it’s probably not what I should have done. I probably shouldn’t have spent the next three hours talking and laughing with him either. And I definitely shouldn’t have invited him to come watch me bowl. And I KNOW it was crazy to have him over afterwards so I could listen to him play the guitar. 

And it’s crazier than all get out to have made plans to see him again. 

I’m not bothered enough by being single to think that I’m doing any of this out of pure desperation or the need for attention. I actually kind of don’t want to like this guy. You’d think that would be easy given his behavior that night/morning. Of course I see that as a red flag. And do you think I can bring him around my two friends again anytime soon?? Do I really need more than just that reason to never see him again? 

As you can imagine, Logic is not happy with me right now. 

Maybe I’m just getting soft... maybe I’m losing a little bit of my edge as I get older... maybe I just like a good story. 

Whatever it is, I can’t say I’m okay with it... but something inside is telling me to ride it out for a minute. There is no question in my mind that I want to be friends with this guy. Even with “The Incident” in his corner, there are still enough other things that are intriguing enough about him that blowing the whole thing off doesn’t feel right either. 

Sorry, girls... next time, I’ll be sure to pony up my own $50.00 so it is my shoes that get peed on.  

Geez.. I am an asshole, aren’t I? 

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