I heard a story from a friend that almost seems like a movie plot but is supposedly true. It went like this:
A funny thing happened on my plane ride to Vegas for a trade show. I’m sitting in my assigned seat and a young lady about the age of my daughter sits down next to me. She is in a mood to talk so we get into a conversation. She says she is going to Vegas to get married. I tell her that it was very nice but I don’t see the groom around so I ask her if she is meeting up with him upon arrival or does he already live there. She says, “Oh, I’m not engaged- I intend to find a husband while checking out the action in the casinos.”
Trying not to act stunned, I asked if her parents knew about this and wondered how they felt about it. She said that she was from Iowa and her father was old-fashioned and very upset but that her mother gave her the money for the trip.
Figuring he was finished with relating the story I nodded and said that it was intriguing. I wondered out loud if he thought she was really going to go through with it or was she just a young person in their early twenties boasting. He said that he indeed caught her again a few days later at his hotel’s casino. This time around she was hanging out with a good looking fellow about her age as well. She introduced him as her fiance and said they were planning on getting married that day at one of those Vegas chapels. He said he was from Chicago and as it turned out lived not far from me. He did seem like a real nice guy.
Hearing my friend’s story, I thought about the time when I was 22 and met a very nice, if not gorgeous, young lady during a week’s vacation at a resort. She looked somewhat like Sandy Dennis, if I recall correctly. Maybe it was her red hair that gave me a sense of simpatico.
We were assigned to the same table to have our meals three times a day so I had a chance to spend some time in conversation with her. She lived in New Jersey which seemed more than just a time zone apart. After I returned from the thrill of a week of living away from cares and woes, I got down to the business of exchanging letters and cassette tapes with her. She was studying to be a musician and played a mean flute.
Being both young and naive, I presumed that she was sincerely interested in getting to know me better. I told her I was flying out to New Jersey to visit. She didn’t say no but she didn’t say yes, either. I showed up at her parent’s door and she had that horrified look on her face that immediately told me I had done something not only irrational but stupid.
It would not be the last time I would impetuously take a plane ride to another city to find that alluring woman of dreams and come up empty. I guess I should have put Vegas on my itinerary.