My New Year’s resolution this year was to travel as much as possible to visit friends on the weekends when I’m away from my kids. Since I can’t change the fact that they’re with my ex every other weekend, I at least wanted to make something of my time away from them. I wanted to fill those empty weekends. I didn’t want to let myself spiral, because I knew that being home alone on weekends without much to do would trigger some really terrible feelings for me. I’m not trying to run away from those feelings; it’s just that grown ass people – people who put in the real work to heal themselves – recognize their triggers, and their demons, and they don’t let them consume them. It’s a way to function. To get better. To do better. I could sit home letting myself get fucked in the head. Or I could make a good choice. I could go travel. See my friends. Find a way to have joy again.
I went to Las Vegas this weekend with three of my most favorite humans on the planet. When we booked the trip, I had been hoping that my divorce would have been finalized and that we would be celebrating my freedom. But as it turns out, I don’t need to have the papers signed to celebrate some things.
I arrived from New York very late on Friday night after a long day of travel. I was exhausted, but it’s Las Vegas, so I went out to get a drink (or seven) with my friend. The most amazing thing happened at the second bar we went to – I got carded. I’m forty-two years old, and that’s not a thing that has happened to me in a decade. I think I actually hugged the bartender when he put on his glasses and said, nope, you still look young.
The next morning my friend’s husband texted and asked “so, did Amy catch a dick yet?” I had not. But the dicks were literally flying off the shelves at me in Las Vegas, which is all I really needed to boost my low-as-shit post-divorce self esteem. I have zero desire for gross casino peen (capeeno?), but man did it help to see that, fuck, there really is so much available booty out there for me if I want it.
The second night I went to a Christina Aguilera concert because…Las Vegas? I think this photo pretty much sums up what a ridiculous human I turn into in this town. But shit, dancing to Genie in a Bottle with Christina Aguilera on stage in ass-less pants is so fucking fun. I am a monster. And I don’t care.
I took home two amazing souvenirs from this trip. My friend Eva bought me Christina Aguilera underwear from the gift shop that say “Xperience This” on the ass. I look forward to wearing those one day for some lucky dude who appreciates both Xtina AND my ass. My other souvenir came after the concert. We took a cab deep off the strip to a very divey karaoke bar where I sang two numbers and was told I have a “really great voice” by some dude. (I have a really terrible voice). Another dude told me he would sing with me any time I wanted, and then gave me his phone number. I was never going to call him, but at my age I will take what I can get. Here’s me with his phone number written on a karaoke song request slip – my favorite souvenir from this trip. My face is saying “this old bitch got digits,” right?
The karaoke place was amazing. It was run by this old guy who was wearing a tomato red suit, and had at least eight thick silver rings on his fingers. His hair was grey, slightly longish on top, and slicked back. At some point he asked what we were celebrating and my friend Rachel told him we were celebrating my divorce. Later in the night I got up to go to the bathroom and he followed me. When we got over to the other end of the bar he leaned in and told me quietly that if I needed someone to “take care of” my ex-husband for me, he would help me out. I have no idea what that means, but if a man in a red suit with eight silver rings on his fingers offers you that in Las Vegas, you have to assume he means business. I thanked him for the offer.
Later, right before closing, two men who had been sitting at the table next to us asked if we wanted to go back to one of their apartments to “smoke some pot.” Man, I DID want to go back with them to smoke some pot. I’d had like seven drinks at that point, I was riding high from karaoke, and when I was younger that is exactly the kind of offer I couldn’t refuse (sorry, mom). But I’m not that person anymore. I’m a parent, and I was with my incredible girlfriends, and there’s just too much to lose these days to make wild and reckless decisions. For me it was enough that someone still wanted me to come back to their apartment and smoke pot with them. I didn’t have to actually be a self-destructive asshole and do it. I got to feel good knowing I could, and that was enough.
Maybe I’m a grownup after all?
Anyway, as it turns out being free isn’t about whether or not my divorce is finalized. It’s a state of mind. It’s about not being ruled by past dramas. About acting like an adult and not making the same dumb mistakes over and over again. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to fuck up a lot more times, but listen. Young dudes in dive bars still want to take me home to smoke some pot. And I flew home from Las Vegas feeling like the hottest piece of tail out there (in the over-40 category, let’s be realistic). I lost like a hundred bucks playing roulette, but I’ll take the wins where I can get them.
That’s something to celebrate.
p.s. A lady of a certain age doesn’t get divorced and make a playlist about it without including at least one Ani DiFranco song on it, does she? She also doesn’t make a playlist about divorce without at least one big Fuck You song. This seems like the perfect week to say it. So there you have it. FUCK YOU.
Listen to The D-Train, The Playlist, a soundtrack for a shit show.
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