Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Travel as One

Here I am writing a post while on vacation in the city of Las Vegas.  This is my fifth time in sin city, and my third time to visit alone.  Right now it's inching over 90 outside at 1 p.m., and I'm back in my room to get out of the heat and sun.  I might as well stay away from the slots, they are nothing but big me who keeps feeding them $20 at a pop.  I win, I lose, I win, I lose.  Only once out of five trips have I come home winning the same amount of cash I came with.  This trip isn't one of them.

So I'm licking my wounds and came back to find another comment from a single who appreciates me spilling my guts over single life.  I don't think it can be more starkly evident than here in Vegas.  You occasionally see one person dining alone, but it's not the norm.  If you do, they look just as uncomfortable as I feel sitting alone and people watching over my bacon and eggs.

This morning I ate and observed.  The table next to me were two married couples arguing over who was going to pick up the tab.  One wanted to do it as a favor, the other refused the gift.  Hope that friendship lasts, because it was getting pretty heated.  I almost wanted to jump in and say hey you can pay for mine if  you want!

The table just ahead of me had a young boy who order a large bowl of french fries for breakfast.  Yes, that's it - french fries.  I hope he doesn't grow up with a weight problem.  Mother seemed oblivious to his choice of nutrition.

A couple in a booth a few feet more away were silently sharing a table while both buried themselves into technology.  He was on his mini-computer and she was in her i-Phone.  Let's hope they were texting each other or their communication problems in their marriage will only get worse.  God, would I kill for another across the breakfast table and two married people love their screens more than their spouse's face.  I want to shout at them to turn it off!  Don't they get what they have?  You have a gift.  Cherish it.

Then on the other side of the coin was the table with the domineering woman who wouldn't shut up.  Her poor husband sat there silently looking intently into his coffee cup as if he was looking for a way to escape.  She chatted with another woman across the table who couldn't get a word in edge wide.  I sort of wish she'd shut up and notice what the others were experiencing.  Sorry, honey, but life isn't really all about you.

So that's what I do when I travel alone.  If I don't do it alone, I'd go no where.  Looking back on my trip to England this past March, I can't believe I did that all by myself.  I'm a spunky lady, I guess.  Not too much rattles me when I'm traveling, and I never feel afraid.  I'm careful and not stupid, but at least I enjoy myself.

It doesn't mean though I don't envy couples when I see them.  One couple boarded the plane who were telling everyone they were on their honeymoon.  It's cute to see couples sitting together playing with their arms around one another as they push the slot machine buttons.  I suppose it helps to have comfort if you lose!  Of course, the worst part for me is going back to my hotel room alone at night.  I often crawl in bed and wonder who has slept in the bed and made love to someone right in that very same spot.  Perhaps I shouldn't, but what I wouldn't give for a warm man to just love me for a moment.  Unfortunately, I don't think they have those services here in Vegas for call-men for 60-year old women.  Doesn't mean I don't need it like the younger generation.  I'm not dead yet.

As far as bars and nightclubs, I'm not exactly in that age group and don't participate.  I'm not much of a drinker anyway.  I like to see shows, of course.  I saw Phantom of the Opera twice...what else.  Tonight since I'm at Treasure Island, I'll watch the sirens with their boats and maybe walk down to the Mirage volcano and Bellagio fountains.

Well, so much for my travels.  Tomorrow I go home to be alone in another place.  I'll count up my losses at the slots and swear again never to play.  (Yeah, like that will work.)  Then I'll empty my suitcase and put it away for my next trip.  I only need 25,000 more miles for a free international ticket on U.S. Airways.  I already have another free one through Alaska Airlines that I'll use in the next month or two to visit my son when he gets settled in Memphis.  After that, the world is wide open for more people watching.


PS:  So I flew home yesterday and as we descended into the city I had an overwhelming sense of loneliness envelope me.  Rather than feeling as if I was home, I felt misplaced.  Doesn't coming home mean you have someone to come home to?  There was no one waiting for me at the airport.  No one to call and say I'm back.  It was a horrible feeling.  I'm not sure what it meant or what to take from it, except that living in a city by myself with no family or support is beginning to take its toll.  Moving to be with my son, who will very well pack up and move again very soon is out of the question.  Moving back to be around my brother in Detroit is a financial impossibility.  You can't just up and quit and 60 and except to find work elsewhere.  I couldn't find work at 50 for two years.  I think it's time to get a cat.  At least I'll be coming home to something warm and fuzzy.