Friday, October 29, 2010

1450 !@#%!@#!, Or What Happened Instead of a Concert That Friday Night

"Well ladies, I've got an early flight to catch," Max said, "but I'd love to have you join me in my room for a night cap."  He pulled out a business card and firmly printed the room number - 1450 - on the reverse side.

I felt all the blood drain from my face.  My friend quickly said under her breath "Time to go."  My heart was beating at the hiking-up-a-steep-hill rate.  The five of us stood up.  My legs felt like Jello.

As we were walking out the door, my friend asked one of the three men we'd been conversing with for the last thirty minutes: "How could you even go there? I can't believe you would get any hint that we would be interested in a night cap in your room.  That is completely and totally insulting."

What turned out to be an unforgettable evening of music the pub crawl from hell included a stop at Salt Lake City's only five diamond hotel, Grand America.  Perhaps this sounds a bit twisted, but I'm not the only one who appreciates fine facilities ... America's Best Restroom had a contest and Grand America was voted amongst the nation's top places to relieve oneself.  It wasn't the only reason we were there, but it was first on the agenda.

The restroom was overrun with a group of Pacific Islander women dressed in beautiful black and white ceremonial costumes.  After washing hands with the luxurious cloth towels, my friend and I analyzed whose lipstick was staying on best.  Hers.  Cover Girl Lip Stain, just like putting a Sharpie to your lips.   We headed out the door, following the women down the hallway to their grand ballroom, where two muscular security guards stood at the front.  I was so hoping to see these festooned ladies dance, but it was not to be.

"You will love the Gibson Girl Lounge," I assured my friend as we reversed our steps through the long, elegant halls of the Grand America.  A far cry from the pulsating disco hooka club scene we'd just experienced endured, the Gibson Girl is the epitome of style.  A spacious, beautifully appointed parlour with overstuffed sofas and chairs, the lounge is a quiet place for libations, small plates, and conversation.

My friend and I hadn't been seated five minutes when a tall and rather statuesque bulky man asked if he could join us.  My "no" radar was going off, but I ignored it, mainly because my "no" radar is always firing.  Too many years spent working in risk management.  My friend and I looked at each other, paused, and then I said, "Sure."

Our drinks came shortly after Max sat down and he told the waiter to put them on the tab for his room.  He and my friend did most of the conversing, as I sipped on ice water.  Yes, that's right.  He was buying and I was drinking ice water. 

Max hailed from the midwest and was in Salt Lake City on business, but we never did figure out what was his line of work.  He wanted to know how we ended up at the Grand America.  We'd gone to the Depot for Black, a party and concert to celebrate black, which is why we were wearing black, I explained.  After procuring "rock star" parking, we arrived at the front door shortly after nine and were told by the door man we could not get in for at least thirty minutes, so we decided to hit another club and go back later.  We never went back.  Next was Sky Bar. Within minutes of our arrival, we were greeted by and refused the hooka waitress.  The wait to get a $3.25 glass of mostly ice with a splash of Diet Coke was much longer.  We then headed toward Green Street, but when I saw Grand America, the temptation for elegance and grandeur overtook me.

At one point, Max asked about the music scene in Salt Lake City, and I made the mistake of mentioning where I'd planned to be the next evening.  (Plans subsequently changed due to suspect "flight in the morning" line.)  He seemed eager to engage us in celebrity worship and pointed out one of his associates from across the room.  "He was a body/stunt double from {popular television series}," and we were pretended to be duly impressed.

My friend quickly responded that meeting a famous author could capture her attention and interest.   "Oh do you want to meet an author?" he asked and before we knew it, we were meeting his associates, one of them apparently a renowned author.  John Grisham, Bill Bryson, David Baldacci ... who was waiting for us???

Jake and the Captain stood and politely offered their hands to greet us.  We soon learned that Jake wrote tool and dye manuals.  Max, you made us walk across the room to meet an author of tool and dye manuals?  Give me strength.  

We got to had to hear once again how the Captain was a body double on an action television show that ran during the 1980s, but he was also a geologist.  We discussed the evolution of the Great Salt Lake and the landscape of the Salt Lake Valley during the ice age.  And we talked briefly about our respective employment in Salt Lake City's business community, but I concluded they thought us to be a different breed of professional women.

Eventually we learned that Jake was from Northern California probably Elko, Nevada, for all we know.  I had thought his name was John and was secretly hoping he was the long lost lover of my departed friend Michele.  He took a discussion of the name John sideways in a very inappropriate way, and try as I did to redirect, it was not easy.

People from outside Utah always "know best" when it comes to analysis of Utah's cultural, political, and business landscape, so I listened and smiled as the three of them discussed pontificated on Utah's shortcomings and collective simple-mindedness.  They did not talk equal smack about their home states of California and New York, both of which, incidentally, are living through fiscal nightmares {smack, from me ... take that one, fellas}.

My tolerance for bull crap is limited, except when I happen to fall in love.  I was pretty sure we were knee-deep in it after fifteen minutes with these fellas.  They kept on throwing out new and equally inane topics like darts to a dartboard, just to see what would stick.

We did ask if they were single, and Jake said "everyone's single in California on Friday night."  Ah yes.  We have that here in Utah, too.  This summer, I had met and kept seeing a handsome man with no wedding ring who had made unquestionable overtures towards me.  I was puzzled because I got the "I'm interested" signal from him loud and clear, but he never asked me out or asked for my phone number.  The other day, while I was lunching with my daughter, I saw him walk by with his significant other.  I always find out the real scoop on my men or would-be men, eventually. Sigh.

Back to my story.  The invitation to Room 1450 happened and was rebuffed quickly.  The card with 1450 printed on it was likely tossed in the trash by the bus boy after we left.  My puritanical, how-dare-you-dip-!@#% self was in shock, not the least bit flattered, that someone would think I was easy ... or cheap ... or possibly for rent.

We rushed out of the Grand America, and I looked over my shoulder as we walked sprinted in the chilly evening toward my car.  All the way to Green Street, I kept ranting, "Did they really think ...?" and my voice trailed off into non-existence.  I just couldn't say the words.  "1450 !@#%!@#!"

The door men at Green Street were delighted to see us as they checked our ID's.  The place was nigh unto empty.  Our close-down-the-bar friends were to be there, but we couldn't find anyone we knew so we left.

"I need to detox," I said to my friend.  And I didn't mean from alcohol as I'd consumed but a sip of my friend's B-52.  We went to the only place we could find that was open.  I'm not mentioning the name as the food was disgusting and I'm embarrassed to have gone there.  After we sat down, the analysis began in earnest.

"1450 !@#%!@#!" I continued when we sat down.  The waitress handed us menus.  "1450 !@#%!@#!"I repeated.  We ordered a light snack and water.  "1450 !@#%!@#!" I growled under my breath.

Just in case you were wondering, I was slightly incomprehensibly upset.  That they would think I would go play patty-cake in their Grand America Suite 1450 was beyond vile.

And to clarify, I am not naive and I wasn't born yesterday.  I have at least three friends who have wed men they met in bars. All great guys, too, I might add.  And ... I've been approached in a "meat market."  What woman hasn't?  Well, a woman who hasn't gone perhaps.  But the Gibson Girl Saloon at Grand America is not what I'd call a meat market, so the whole experience caught me way off guard.

After more than an hour of analysis, we reached no conclusions to explain why these morons lamebrains simpletons half wits addlepates thought we were so taken with their celebrity, prestige, and intellect, not to mention their looks that we'd "1450 !@#%!@#!" with them. 

There are no pictures nor music to accompany this post, and, unlike other posts for this blog, I have been unable to arrive at a snappy conclusion for my story.  So I will say this:

Dear Max, Jake, and Captain,

No, I do not wish to "1450 !@#%!@#!" with you, individually or collectively.

And be sure to read 25 Clever Bar Pick Up Lines and How to Pick Up a Woman at a Bar.  Your pedestrian attempts at charming me and my friend really sucked, and even though the techniques described in the attached articles will never work on me, maybe, just maybe, you can figure out how to get what you want.



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