June 28, 2007

Bare in Vegas

Before I even start this post, let me establish two things:

1) On principle alone, I hate Las Vegas -- the whole God-forsaken sequin-covered dayglow/nightglow, water-sucking, smoky, trashy, silicone-filled city.
2) I enjoyed the shit out of Vegas on my trip

Everything Vegas stands for is pretty much the opposite of me -- well, with the exception of virtually unconsumable volumes of alcohol. I don't own a closet full of "clubbing" clothes (much less a single club-appropriate -- read: nonexistant -- outfit), I don't care about Lindsey Lohan's 21st birthday party. Gold on ceilings just looks gaudy to me, and though I'll occasionally puff on a cigarette at 2 in the morning, I strongly dislike being places where everyone can do just that, indoors, all around you.

Plus, prostitution makes me sad, as do those terrible clear-soled stripper shoes all the women in Vegas (working or not) insist on wearing. What ARE those?

Oh, and it's like the hottest place on earth.

[I was going to say "in the universe", but there's the sun and all those stars, which I'm pretty sure are burning balls of gas, so I figured I had better keep it believable.]

And I'm a Seattleite.

But I prescribe to no motto if not "When in Rome...". And so I did Vegas. With gusto.

I packed my optimism, a few hundred bucks in cash, a pushup bra, 7 (seriously) pairs of heels, 5 (yep) pairs of jeans, and a few dresses. Oh, and my bikini and about forty pairs of earrings.

I stayed at the Mirage, and again in true Vegas style I went to the pool upon completion of my first workday there. It was 112 degrees outside, and pretty much everyone had the same idea as me: get wet, lay around half naked, get buzzed, then go out to eat and on the town. So the easily 1,000 occupancy pool and surrounding areas were packed. For about 5 minutes I considered squeezing in among the masses on some tiny crowded recliner, until I saw a sign. My salvation.

Bare.

Bare, for those of you unfamiliar, is an "adult" pool. I knew this because it said "Bare... adult lounge" on the sign. But, as I'm sure you can imagine, I had no idea what that meant.

All I could think was no kids allowed. No waterwings, maybe no teeny-boppers, even. I pictured a luxurious, quiet pool. Cushy loungers, a professional or maybe even high-roller crowd. I looked around once more at the loungers crowded with lithe 8-year olds, families and fraternity boys -- a shrill-voiced and splashy crowd -- and turned towards this "Bare" place.

I was in.

I took the road less traveled (all signs pointing to Bare lead to mysterious labrynth of paths, all under heavy palm-tree cover) and arrived, finally, at a red-carpeted, velvet-roped, bodyguarded entrance to Bare. It looked like an exclusive nightclub. I looked down at my strapless bikini, gold flipflops and oversized bag.

I felt underdressed. I wished I'd worn earrings.

"So," I said, coolly, keeping my sunglasses on lest the european man barring the door see my hesitancy, "What's this" (here I gestured casually to the general direction of "IN") "...all about?"

"Well," he said conspiratorially leaning in, "it's an adult pool."

Um, duh? I paused, waiting dumbly.

"Like a nightclub in the day," he continued. "European dress code."

"Europe--" I started to ask the world's stupidest question before realizing he meant "clothing optional".

"Aaah," I leaned back, nodding stupidly. I was so far in now that even though this whole "european" thing scared me a little, I couldn't back down.

"Forty bucks for guys, twenty for girls," he said, matter-of-fact. Then he tilted his head at me, sizing me up. "You by yourself?" he asked.

"Um, not really... yeah." I confessed.

"I'll take care of you, then. Go on in, free."

Now I really had to go in. I nodded, steeled myself, and pushed past the rope.

As I sauntered in, sunglasses still on, trying not to look around too much, I felt pretty effing risque. I was in VEGAS. ALONE. At an ADULT POOL. With a EUROPEAN DRESS CODE.

[In my head, all this was in caps, I assure you.]

I found a cushy lounger, leaned back, took out the blackberry and assessed the situation:

Many pools, some hot tubs. Many attractive waiters and waitresses. Many topless women, all with gargantuan breasts, a male companion and clearly tipsy.

The rest of the afternoon I worked on the tipsy part and the enjoying the sun part. I ultimately relaxed enough to remove my thumbs from my blackberry (I spent the first 30 minutes there, at least, texting play-by-plays of my observations from inside Bare to my companion who would be joining me in Vegas later that night, which had the double benefits of easing me into the scene and sexually frustrating him.)

The music pumped, the steam rolled off the hot tubs and settled on the pool, gorgeous staff rolled towels, propped chairs, lit cigarettes and delivered libation. Women grinded up against their men in the shallow pool. Men tried not to fall over while ordering many Budweiser Selects and groping their bouffant-haired, fake-breasted women all at the same time. It was so Vegas. And it was pretty entertaining.

A couple rich older men came by and introduced themselves as, essentially, rich older men, which was totally standard but also pretty entertaining. And I befriended two women to the right of me who left their kids and hubbies home and had come for some girl-time (and how!).

By the time it closed and I returned to my hotel room to shower, eat, see a show and gamble with a lovely tall man who flew in to spend the weekend with me (and says things like "hello, pretty girl" to me, unprovoked), I was a little tan, a little tipsy, and very impressed with my nerve... giddy, even, with the possibilities of Las Vegas.

While I didn't get married, I did gamble, and eat fabulous food, and see Ray Romano in the hotel twice, and drink $15 melon-colored cocktails composed primarily of Grey Goose, and wear ridiculously uncomfortable heels. And I hit on 12, and 13 and sometimes even 14 playing blackjack, even though it's unadvisable.

Because, well, when in Rome...

6 comments:

Bruna said...

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death said...

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minijonb said...

...yeah, because "What happens in Seatac stays in Seatac" just doesn't have the same ring. Glad you had a good time!

Chuckles said...

The spam comments are pretty wild. Almost wilder than the content of the post.

Trebuchet said...

i know. death wants my picture.

it was bound to happen sooner or later. ah, well... i've had a good run.

:)

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