Yup. It’s happening. For the first time in two-and-a-half years.
Back story: Well, you know. Covid. That stupid thing that was “just supposed to disappear.” *rolling eyes* Instead, it became a pandemic that killed over a million people and it’s still raging with its constant new variants and absolutely zero predictability. Of course, people are so over all this and it seems most of the population has decided to go on with life. John and I, of course, haven’t.
At first, regarding the big national parties, the decision was made for us, since they were all canceled that first year. But then they came back. And people went back. We didn’t.
I wanted to go to the past two Vegas parties. Both times, John said, “It’s not safe. It’s not responsible. Let’s sit this one out and see where things are in six months.” So. Six months passed, and then here we were, with the next party right around the corner. And John said the exact same thing, again.
And I lost it. Truly. Years of frustration and isolation and fear and resentment over this situation burst out of me in torrents of tears.
“You said the same thing the last two parties,” I said. “And life just keeps passing and passing, while we don’t do anything. I want to live. I want to see our friends. I want to play. You keep waiting for us to get control over Covid. We’re never going to get control over this fucking thing, not in our lifetimes. We’re stuck with it. There will never be a perfect time.”
Fact: We are quadruple vaxxed. Fact: Everyone I know who has gotten it recently ended up with a mild to moderate case. BUT… Also fact: These parties are super-spreaders. The last one in Texas, with over 500 people, had countless cases afterward. Fact: We went to a wedding in June. It was outdoors and only had about fifty people, But twenty of them got Covid. And fact: John still is high risk.
Truly a no-win situation. If we didn’t go to this yet again, I’d be depressed AF, inconsolable. And if we went, I’d be worried about John every damn second.
There was a third option, though. One I’d never considered before, because I really didn’t want to. I have been going to these big parties since 1997. Aside from the Covid years, and then that unfortunate year where I dropped out of the scene because of a certain narcissist, I have not missed any of them. And John has been with me every single time.
Going without him will feel like leaving one of my limbs at home. But I’m doing it.
We talked it out. I’m not scared of getting Covid at this point. And if I get it, I will stay away from John. He will never be affected. I’m also encouraged by the fact that neither one of us got it at the aforementioned wedding. John said, “I’ll be worried about you if you go, but I’ll feel bad if you don’t.” So… we chose the lesser of two uncomfortable situations. Try it once, he said. See how it goes.
This party is not what we used to attend. When we went, it was Shadow Lane, then Shadow Lodge, and it was at the Suncoast Hotel. Well… Shadow Lane/Lodge imploded last year, and the owner of it stepped down. A new crew stepped in at the last minute to take over and salvage the party as best they could. Now, they are the permanent party owners, they have found a brand-new venue (the Suncoast kicked us out, for reasons unknown to me, although I did hear rumors about an obstreperous guest who got the police called), and it has been renamed Oasis. So, although it’s a familiar experience, it will also be completely new, in every way — including the fact that I’ll be solo. *gulp*
Even though it’s a month away, the decision needed to be made. Registration, ticket purchase and hotel booking all needed to be done in advance. No tickets at the door. And the group hotel discount would expire soon. Plus, I had to book a flight. John and I usually drive, but I don’t feel like driving four-five hours two ways by myself.
So, Sunday evening, I registered, bought a ticket, and booked my suite. Then Monday, with the help of a very airline-savvy friend, I booked a flight. All done. Fully committed. No turning back.
Then I proceeded to panic. All the negatives rushed into my head. All the friends who are not going. All this money I’m spending (I told John this is my indulgence, and he’s not paying for any of it). All the unknowns and what-ifs. Who will I know? Who will I hang out with? Play with? Eat with? And of course, the ever-present “Am I too damned old to be going to one of these things anymore?”
Ugh. I cried a lot. Again. Then worked out and calmed down, and thought it out.
Yeah, I’m really nervous about this. But I am also excited. I have that sense of adventure thrumming in my veins again, that anticipation. So much potential fun. So much potential play. So many possibilities. Versus playing it safe, sitting at home, reading all about it, and wanting to open a vital artery.
I will do all the safe things. I’m bringing masks, hand sanitizer, wipes. I will wear a mask at the airport, on the plane, in the Uber. I will be careful. This is a vax-only party, and there will be fewer people than the Texas party. The new venue looks gorgeous. So dammit, I’m. Doing. This.
Bring it, tops. I am sooooo ready for you!
GOOD for you! We want to hear all about it upon your return.
I am so excited and proud of you for taking a chance! I know it’ll all be new and different, but I think you will be glad you did it. I hope you have an amazing time. I love you so much, SIS! 😍😘🤗💞
Go Erica!!!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Jean Marie — Thanks! Hopefully I will have some fun stories and good pictures!
Jay — I love you too, SIS. ♥
Dotty — Thank you so much for your help with the flight booking! ♥
Congratulations. Looking forward to your stories and photos of the big adventure 🥰
I’m going to reassure you, but not in the way you probably want. You want people to say “Oh, don’t be silly, Erica, of course you’re not too old,” which is probably true. But my take on it is, there’s no such thing as too old. As long as you’re fit enough to do whatever activities you want, age is irrelevant. Except for some of the models, the party attendees have always tended old anyway. Back when the party was at the Stardust, two young online friends of mine attended (and I’m glad they did; that’s the only time I’ve spent with them in person) and said they’d never seen so many hearing aids in their life. (I’m not sure if they literally saw hearing aids or if that was a manner of speaking.) I vividly remember a vendor fair once where I saw what, at the time, seemed like an elderly couple (probably younger than I am now!) — the woman had a very wrinkled face, but when her partner picked out a paddle to possibly buy and she hiked up her schoolgirl skirt for him to try it out, her bottom looked like she was 20. And she took nice, hard test swats. So if they still enjoyed it, why the heck NOT attend? I admired them greatly. They weren’t letting someone else set expectations for them. They were living their life. “There may be snow on the roof but there’s still fire in the furnace,” right? Except for us, the fire is on the bottom (and the palm). I gave up on parties for reasons that had nothing to do with age. If I were still capable of enjoying them, I’d go. I wish you all the luck in the world. Have a blast.
You go, girl! Have a blast and tell us all about it. And I agree with Michael. You’re never too old (and I ought to know 🙂
Well, everything in life comes down to choices and luck, so…….good luck. Odds are in a worst-case scenario, you might just end up with a mild case and still have some good memories to offset that possibility. Be careful who you play with though! (monkeypox)
And I know from past posts and comments that you REALLY like, and practically live for, these types of gatherings, but given your ingenuity and circle of people, have you ever considered organizing your own, smaller, event? I ask that because of my own aversion to places like Las Vegas. (I wouldn’t go there if someone paid for my trip AND comped me casino money! LOL) But to each their own! Obviously the crowds there bespeak of a popularity that negates my own minority disinclination. LOL However, while not a scene person, I have, and do, play with others on occasion, and it is quite fun. I don’t have your notoriety though, so my circle is far more limited, but if I knew more people, I definitely would try to set up something for them to all interact. And in that smaller setting, I could be more secure in the health status of those attending. Just a thought.
In the meantime……..ENJOY!!!
I hope you have a ton of fun, Erica. It sounds as if you’re taking all the proper precautions. I look forward to a full, post-party report — hopefully a well-illustrated one.
bklynny — thank you!
Michael — I actually wasn’t looking for anything from people with this writing — I just wanted to express what was going on and how I was feeling. Parroted reassurance is not necessary. Support and well wishes are great. So thank you. I hope I do indeed have a blast.
Hermione — thank you, my friend! ♥ Yes, reports will be written.
KD — thanks! Ah, I guess you don’t know me. Me, organize people? This curmudgeon? Alas, I am a follower, not a leader. And with all the nightmares I’ve seen people go through organizing and hosting parties over the years, that is so not something I’d be willing to take on. And sadly, my circle is not what it used to be.
Not to worry — no monkeypox for this girl! (I heard last night that they are going to rename that. Too late; people won’t stop calling it monkeypox.))
Bob — thank you so much!
I am so glad you are going. Have fun. Adventure awaits.
If I had to bet money on it (which I have heard is very common in Vegas), my bet would be that you will have a blast. Hope I win that bet 🙂
Chibob — yes, it does!
Prefectdt — oh, I hope you do too.
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Erica, good for you. You will have a blast. Can’t wait to hear all about it.
I sincerely hop that you get a bright red bottom that reminds you of the trip every time you sit down for a week , lord knows you deserve it ;P LOL have a great time .
Ronnie — thank you! I hope so.
PD — thanks.
Just to be clear, John is correct.
My wife died of Covid. It is real. You do not want to risk that. Not even an almost but got lucky kind of risk. I doubt you could live with yourself.
So have fun. But do not for a moment let yourself doubt John’s choice for himself, someone at risk.
Mark — I am so terribly sorry for your loss. That is awful.
Believe me, I know this is real. This was an extremely tough choice to make. And I’m glad John chose to bow out, because you’re right — had he gotten it because of this, I couldn’t live with myself.
It’s too bad this coming adventure has to be marred with John’s absence, but if he went, there would be endless worry, and if you didn’t go, there would be endless frustration. This seems a good compromise.
That stuff is indeed still lurking; one of my sons and his daughters just got it, but because of their vaccinations, the cases were relatively mild. So your precautions should do well for you.
Let there be more fun and reconnections than privations!
Dave — I thought it was a good compromise as well. Not ideal, but we’re both willing for me to try it once. Fingers crossed.