I went to the casino near my parents house the other night - alone. I was supposed to meet a group, which fell apart one by one until I was the only one left. A fact I was not aware of until I was actually AT the casino.........ALONE. Now, this is a small Connecticut town. I have been to this casino many, MANY times. Even when I was in high school, we used to come here to eat and smoke cigarettes inside on cold winter nights. But I was never alone. This was interesting. Freeing. EMPOWERING.
So my thought was: grab a coffee, walk around, do a little shopping maybe, check out all of the new sights and sounds of what is now a truly huge gaming operation........then head home.
And I set off to do just that.
I had my coffee in my hand, and was enjoying a nice little walk about. I paused outside of the arcade area, to take a peek - maybe my kids would enjoy a few hours of air-conditioned fun ?!
And that is when I got my first hint that perhaps something was amiss.
This guy - this older, fatter, balding guy - sidled up. "Hey there. Anything in there as much fun as you look like you are?"
Wait.....WHAT? Gosh, that's a weird.......compliment?
"Heh. Um, yeah - looks like lots of fun for my kids!" I said brightly as I edged away.
So I hurried along the corridor, mostly just trying to get As Far Away From Him As Possible. I was totally skeeved out. And as I wound my way through the crowd, 3 EVEN OLDER guys came walking along from the opposite direction.
"Oh. My. Gawd. You have amazing legs." one of them said.
PleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASE BE GAY I prayed to myself.
"Uh, thank you?" Man, why are these old dudes all up in my business?
"YOU are very welcome." Shit. Not gay. And creepy. Very creepy.
And then, from my left, another old dude was fast approaching, clomping along in his Rockports with a twinkle in his eye.
And straight ahead, 3 guys were heading straight for me, detouring from their path towards the elevator. They were carrying cases of beer, suitcases, garment bags - they were obviously here for the duration. And they were looking for company.
I pulled a u-turn and headed straight for the valet. This was fucking RIDICULOUS. WHY would these guys think it was appropriate to not just leer at me, or hit on me, but to behave in such as a way as to give me the impression that they felt this attention was to be expected? I was hardly giving them a warm reception, and yet I felt incredibly uncomfortable, like I needed to escape. Like perhaps, these guys were not going to take "No" for an answer. And suddenly, it went from weird and uncomfortable to sort of scary. I wanted out. And I wanted out NOW. It's been a while, for sure - but I have had guys hit on me before. This? Was not that.
I handed my ticket to the valet, and stood by the curb. He glanced at the ticket, and said "Huh. Less then an hour? How'd you get away with that?" And he trundled off to get the car.
And that? That is when I realized.
They thought I was a hooker.
7 hours ago