When I first visited Las Vegas in the seventies, I was ecstatic. Kid in Disneyworld ecstatic. I was there on business, but I woke up in the middle of the night and went to the casino in the lobby to throw money in the slot machines, or should I say throw out money. I even played Black Jack for hours and won (I think it was $80), although I had no idea how to play Black Jack. I thought it was out of this world to be served free drinks in the casinos and to see people gambling all night long. Even the neon signs looked cool, like the ones in Times Square must look if you’re not a New Yorker.
I’ve been back to Las Vegas a number of times over the last four decades and the thrill is gone. The place is stuffed with restaurants and hotels and looks like a combination of Three Flags, Disney World and a strip mall through my FOF eyes. Even the fancy hotels have a tack factor.
Funny how we see things–literally and figuratively– so differently over the years. Here are my Top Ten Then & Nows.
1. We thought our grade school teachers were ancient–but now we realize they were 30.
2. We thought our parents didn’t understand a thing; now we know they did.
3. We thought it was fun to drink whisky sours and 7 and 7; now they make us cringe.
4. We thought it took forever to get from September to June; now the time flies.
5. We wanted to look older; now we want to look younger.
6. We wanted to act like grownups; now we love acting like kids.
7. We loved slathering our bodies and faces with baby oil and iodine and laying in the sun; now we pop vitamin D3 because we don’t get enough sun.
8. We hated gym class; now we’re exercising with a vengeance.
9. We were catty and gossipy about other girls; now we’re FOFs who respect, appreciate and share with one another.
10.We thought good-looking guys were cool; now we know that nice is cool.