Some may have already seen this story, as it is up on another site, but it is a classic travel tale. Being the type A individual I am, I was going to blog in chronological order, but I am living dangerously.
We were twenty-two, we were recent college graduates and we were headed to Las Vegas for the Fourth of July. We were four friends that had scraped up enough money to go to the Heat Capitol of America in the height of tourist season in the desert, in July. Three of us were gainfully employed, and I was a month into my graduate program. We were not exactly what you would call high rollers. Although two males and two females made up our shrunken group of college friends, there were no Katy Perry nightmares of one of us waking up married to another. In fact, we were looking forward to pool time, maybe some cocktails and buffets. Lots and lots of buffets.
It was the Apple Pie and Firework day of homage when our quiet get away took a detour from nerd alert to Vegas tale. In all my fair-skinned Irish glory, I had decided that I needed a break from the Vegas sun and 114 degree heat. It was a dry heat. As any true Minnesotan will tell you, it’s not the heat that gets you; it’s the humidity.
I had made my way all the way back up to the floor we were staying on when I realized that I did not have a key. I figured I would simply wait for my crispy friends to tire of the sun and make their way inside the air conditioning as well. I sat in the lounge by the elevators with one of my text books and began to study.
I must have been sitting on the couch for only a few moments when a woman sat down in the chair beside me. I heard her sniffling and looked up to discover she was crying.
Without any other idea of what to do, I asked her if she was alright.
She began to, drunkenly I might add, explain to me that she was supposed to get married in several hours and she wasn’t sure if she should or not.
I was twenty-two and, thus, by default full of good advice.
I told her she should get married; she was in Vegas!
She promptly asked me to be her Maid of Honor. I accepted with the glimmer of an adventure shining in the back of my mind.
She whisked my away to her hotel room where we were supposed to get her into her wedding dress. She promptly disrobed and began running around the hotel room naked, attempting to beautify herself. She was probably in her early forties, I have no recollection of her name almost ten years later, but she seemed to be jacked up on something.
Under the guise of needing to clothe myself in my best dress for the upcoming nuptials, I escaped back to the safety of my friends to fill them in on the craziness of my morning. My dear friend, Katherine, joined me as I returned to make sure the bride was ready to go. Our friends Ryan and Jon became the impromptu guests and we were invited to ride with the bride and groom in the limo to the court house downtown to get the marriage license. Since the groom also needed someone to stand up for them, Ryan became the best man for a man he had just met and ridden in a limo with.
Upon our arrival at the Chapel of Love, I helped my bride get dressed in the dressing room. She had to pick out a veil, so we tried on multiple veils. She finally selected one and we went into the little chapel where they became Mr. and Mrs. Something.
We continued our celebration by returning to Treasure Island Hotel and benefitting from the generosity of strangers towards the happy couple and their wedding party. This couple attempted to keep wedding traditions alive, and from the depths of her wedding dress, the bride presented me with a wedding veil she had stolen from the dressing room at the chapel as my reward for signing her marriage statement in Las Vegas. If only I had worn the veil, which I still have in a dress-up box for future children, at my own wedding I would have fulfilled the lesser known adage of Something Stolen to my list of items Borrowed, Blue, Old and New.
No wedding is complete without a feast, and where else would one celebrate a wedding of such classy proportions but at The Cheesecake Factory. Our new friends walked us down the strip to the restaurant where they ordered drinks and appetizers for everyone. My dear friend Jon, who has about an American palate as you can have, was forced to eat artichoke. Somewhere between the eating of appetizers and the arrival of our ordered entrees, something surprising even for this day, occurred.
The bride and groom got in an argument. I really don’t remember what they argued about, mostly because we weren’t really paying attention until my bride stormed away from the table with her new husband following behind her.
My friends and I looked at one another, and had no clue what to do. What if they didn’t return? We didn’t have money to pay for everything that had been ordered!
Moments later, the husband arrived and dropped a few Benjamins on the table and said they were heading back to the hotel and we were to enjoy our dinner.
We never saw the Happy Couple again.