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!