Dateland: What happens in Vegas (better happen before 9 p.m.)—Part 2
(In our first installment, we found our heroines fretting about their advancing age during a trip to Las Vegas. In part 2, we learn what happens when they try to reclaim their youth at a lesbian hot spot.)
The lesbian nightclub didn’t open until 9 p.m., which proved to be the first challenge of the evening. Ingrid’s usual bedtime is 8 p.m., so I had to pump her full of frozen cocktails to keep her awake. The high-fructose blast transformed her into a jittery, manic monster. They also made her smell like rancid cough medicine.
I had been to gay bars in recent history, but it had been years since I’d gone with the intent of proving my desirability. Given that I would be accompanied by a middle-aged woman with dilated pupils and sugar-fueled facial twitches, I suspected the we’d only capture the ardor of crackheads, and the evening would end with us locked in the trunk of a car.
“Maybe we should just stay at the hotel tonight and catch one of the lounge acts,” I suggested.
“No way!” Ingrid snapped. Her tall, angular body was stiffly bouncing around our room like a deranged rectangle. “I want to dance!”
About an hour later, we entered the nightclub. Ingrid’s sugar buzz was wearing thin and she was becoming grouchy.
“We’re the oldest women here by far,” she complained.
“That’s not true. Look at that one over on the bar stool,” I said, pointing to a stout, wrinkly figure in the distance.
“That’s not a woman! That’s someone’s leather purse,” Ingrid sighed.
Ingrid and I first met when we were in our mid-20s. We immediately bonded over our shared impishness, and we leveraged our collective charm and devilish good looks to make a harrowing decade-long series of poor romantic choices. Exhausted by our bad behavior, we hid out in longish-term relationships for another decade, and now, nearing 50, found ourselves yearning for our roughish past.
“Do you remember how we use to let a girl know we were interested?” asked Ingrid, as we huddled on bar stools and gazed at the undulating mass of 20-somethings on the dance floor. “It had something to do with eye contact, right? I’d pluck one from the herd and stare her down until she spoke to me. If I did that tonight, I’m pretty sure she’d just call the cops and charge me with creepy old-ladyness.”
“True, we are hideous. But we now have something very powerful that we didn’t have when we were kids.” I fished into my purse and pulled out my American Express card. “A large, disposable income.”
In no time, we were surrounded by kids anxious to cage free drinks. Unfortunately, I was so distracted by my newfound popularity that I didn’t notice that Ingrid had started slamming rum drinks again.
Soon, she was on the dance floor, gyrating wildly with a gaggle of drunken acolytes. In the dim lighting, she looked just the way she did when I met first met her—the tall, blonde embodiment of a valkyrie of Norse legend. According to that myth, the bewitching valkyrie were tasked with choosing who would die in battle. Back in the day, Ingrid embraced that role, casually selecting a new heart to slay every weekend. But, now, she was woefully out of practice and too hopped up on frozen daiquiris to think clearly.
When I spotted her locking eyes with a fawn-like creature surrounded by an honor guard of lady rugby players, I knew we were in trouble. As she moved in to claim her prize, the rubgy team chased us out of the bar.
As we hit the bright lights of the Vegas strip, the women suddenly stopped their pursuit. “They’re old! Stop chasing them” the team captain commanded upon seeing us in the searing glow of neon. “One of them might break a hip.”