Happy hour on a Thursday provided a much needed break from a week of hectic intensity. I walked into Earl's with my shoulders back, walking tall. Flip flops, jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt set me apart from the after-work crowd. I'd worked from home. Ha! to you wearers of slacks and pressed button ups. That's my every other day. My old friends have become casualties of my east side work-crazed life. I was meeting a new friend. A fellow east sider. I sat down at the table and was quickly introduced to her friend and two men sitting at the bar nearby, then more as they came and went. I smiled as I sat quietly looking around me watching the people. This is the scene. Martinis and red wine, buddies from work, old friends and new, people in their thirties and above. I ordered a Stella Artois. It's a rebellious phase I'm in. Resisting the fakery, overeffort. I decided when I was in Vegas for the first time in January and then again in March and watched women young and older trotting around in 5-inch heels with their asses and chests hanging out while guys walked around fully dressed with sneakers or leather shoes on, that I didn't want to look like those women. Not that I ever really have, but there is a certain ridiculousness in it. You can look hot with clothes on, and you can look fashionable without dripping effort, so simple has been my theme of late. It's a phase. I already know that, because I miss the high heels. But I like being different. I ooze confidence because I'm not looking for my outfit to substitute personality. An older new friend and her friend are blingers, or Rhinestone Cowboys. Gigantic rings, necklaces, even rhinestone shirts. Bling. I went to a wine tasting with her and another friend and one of the pourers asked where my bling was? I smiled, don't need it. I'm me. And I like me, and I don't need garnish. A piece of cheesecake is just as good without the pointless sprig of mint.
From Earl's we went to the roller skating rink. Yes, you read that right. I freakin' went roller skatin', yo!! If that doesn't rock your face off I don't know what will. I tied on the same tan roller skates that women have been tying on since the place opened years ago and shakily pushed off first one foot then the other. Round and around the rink I went smiling ear to ear at the roller dancers who form lines with fancy steps and special day glo shirts that pick up the black light. It smells the same as the roller skating rink my dad managed in North Pole, Alaska, where I owned my own roller skates and won races and limbo. It was my every weekend. My body has forgotten much of that ease on skates. I fell twice trying to skate backward, but I've decided I must return, next time with flask in hand, a larger group and an awesome theme costume. Ah, yeeeaah. Did I mention I had a VIP pass to the rink? Oh yes. VIP all the way. It's the only way to roll.