This year, it was about being with my friends. And this year, it made leaving Las Vegas harder than it ever has been before.
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Unfortunately, Thursday was a work day . . . so it started off with a rush to the office for a brief meeting, before we could get on our way to the airport. I finished the meeting and jumped in the car to drive home and pick up the hubby on our way to SFO.
I knew it was going to be a good weekend . . . the radio was playing a little "Pour Some Sugar On Me . . . " and I immediately thought of Peaker (hair metal . . . not some weird sugar fetish . . . ) and smiled . . . Steel Panther rules! I was still smiling as I pulled in the driveway and picked up DrChako and we headed off . . . only to hear a little old school "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" . . . How could they know?
As we pulled off the airport exit, the radio played "Waking Up in Vegas" and I realized how excited I was to know that Friday, that's exactly what I'd be doing! We flew through security, got on standby with the same flight (which ended up being an hour or more delayed), but we were together, on our way to hang out with friends.
We checked into the Bellagio, and then I got my first reality check. I actually had several hours of work to do, and the good Dr. was going to head out to see where he could flush some money down the toilet. I gave the office 3 more good hours, before we decided to get some dinner and then find some friends.
On Thursday night, its always the IP, and this time, it didn't disappoint. The great thing is you never know who you're going to see first. For me it was CA April, and although she lives right down the road from me, its still good to see her in Vegas. Of course, she was only looking for my husband, who had promised her drinks for the weekend, and he filled her up with a cosmo, and I joined her for one (or three).
I turned my attention to the corner of the bar, where my favorite teddy bear, Falstaff, was holding court with Special K. Falstaff's hair was looking beautiful, and he greeted me with a traditional bear hug and kiss on the mouth. We were off to a great start (please note foreshadowing at this point . . . ).
I took some time to talk with Special K . . . he's this lean, lanky, love of a man . . . just a heart of gold and I love how much he loves his wife and his life. He did some time in Iraq like the Dr., and we talked about that for a while. It totally makes me want to do G-Vegas, just to soak in a little more of those sweet southern family men like him. It was a great start to an evening, to know I'd just added a little more personal time with a great guy.
Then they all started rolling in, with hugs and kisses from all. Pauly, Al, Maigrey, TX April, OhCaptain, Betty . . . you name it, they were there. Even Iggy. Is it just me, or does he get better looking each year? In that odd kind of "I think I'm a little fluttery - no, he's just a nice guy - but his hair is looking nice - now he just hugged me - but he's just a nice guy - I wonder if he'll let me pet his hair" kind of way. He must use special conditioners and face lotion, 'cause he just glowed.
I got in my greetings and some chats, and once again, found myself engaged in conversation with the unexpected - Katkin. Met him before, but this time, we spent more time chatting than I ever have, and I got to learn more. And I learned that I like!
But more surprises were waiting. At some point Peaker slipped in, and as if to taunt me, waited FAR to long to come over and say "hi" and give me a long overdue hug. He made it up a little later by spending a good amount of time chatting with me . . . but don't think I wasn't timing you, mister!
I think it was OhCaptain or someone else who loves me who took me over to the Let It Ride Table . . . where one of the great loves of my life (and the great love of his life) were there, having a grand old time! BamBam paused long enough to give me a monster hug that went on forever, punctuated only by a few kisses here and there. Gotta love a man who loves me this much, who loves my hubby this much, and who loves his wife even more. Besides, I was playing catch up from last year, since he was absent from the fun. I eventually made it to the end of the table to bestow the love upon Pebbles too, and got some extra smooches from CK and a girl sandwich to boot.
I stepped back from the table a bit to talk with Peaker and JJOK. Met JJOK for the first time and had a great time talking with him. Even if we did determine that his political leanings are much closer to my husbands . . . don't worry, I won't hold it against you. I still sleep with DrChako, even though I'm pretty sure he voted for one or more of the Bushes somewhere in the 90s or something.
Later I got to thinking about it - ladies, I was really taking a gamble. I mean, lets face it - I'm sitting there talking with two nice, handsome, articulate men . . . which normally wouldn't be a problem for me. In fact, its exactly where I like to find myself. Except these two are both fathers of multiples. Between the two of them, it took them only 4 attempts to produce 7 offspring. I started to worry about osmosis and stuff (*), standing so close to them, so I took it back to the Let It Ride table where the action was heating up.
Drizz had apparently hit quads. DrChako was screaming like a little girl (which had to be awful for Drizz's new audio equipment), and at first I thought he'd won, but he was just excited for the big man, who took the bulk of his Vegas winnings off that one table on that one hand. Now we were all captivated, and everyone gathered to watch. It was fun to watch the table light up with his good fortune.
It was while we stood there, that a silent force slipped in. I was oblivious, standing behind Peaker trying to see the table (I think he got taller), until I heard him say "Here comes your boyfriend". There might have been a little jealousy, or he might have just been practicing his DrChako imitation, which is definitely jealousy, but before I could figure out who he meant, I felt that lean body right up behind me, and I spun around - *sigh*.
Otis. And he was a vision. Clean-shaven, which made him look younger, and smiling, and wearing jeans and this hot, white button down shirt. Boys, nothing a girl likes better than a guy in a white button down shirt and jeans . . . I think I still have the picture of DrChako from college in just that outfit . . . well, except maybe his white button down shirt on you. He gave me a big hug, and a couple kisses. Those sweet ones that hit you right on the corner of the mouth . . . chaste enough to be publicly acceptable . . . close enough to make your heart flip. And other stuff. And it was cute, tipsy Otis . . . not Steel Panther Otis . . . so I was now officially in my blogger heaven. (**)
Or so I thought. Kat slipped in during the festivities and I got to hug one of my favorite girls, who I love even more (and miss even more) now that I'm home. I got a quick smooch before she headed up to the room to drop her stuff and freshen up.
We talked incessantly, hugged and kissed incessantly, drooled at Otis in the hot white shirt (ok, that might have just been me), and made our final rounds so that this old girl could prepare for a busy Friday. I didn't want to leave, but I had to have enough energy for my 6:45 am conference call, breakfast with girls, more conference calls, hot lunch date, more conference calls, Steel Panther, and pokering . . . I was going to need my rest. We said our goodbyes, with hugs and kisses, and Kat topped the night with an extended girl-kiss in the midst of the IP that made my night (and my husband's and Falstaff's, who we found staring in wonder).
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It was a night of catching up, and settling in, rehashing old, and learning new. I found myself basking in the glow of being back amongst people who love you and accept you for who you are. People for whom the facade of the hard-driving, high-powered corporate executive is better left behind, and the girl in the jeans, who just wants a hug, and a kiss, and a little time to talk is welcome by all.
I couldn't imagine that Friday could be even better . . .
* Editors post script #1 - subsequent confirmation of the effectiveness of traditional birth control methods against potential osmosis. Whew! Take that, super-sperm.
** Editors post script #2 - even after Steel Panther Otis reared his drunken head, I still have Otis on my list of blogger crushes. All I need to do is read the words, and I'm his. Well, in my alternate world. Where I don't have a husband and his wife wouldn't kick my ass.