Suite Dreams

Because my mom is old and hangs out an awful lot at the nearby casino where she plays her penny slot machines until, I swear, her eyes look like cherries, she is privy to certain, shall we say, perks. Although “perk” is probably not the best choice of words for a 70-something-year-old woman. I, almost being middle-aged and loath to admit it, do have the pleasure of using “perky” when describing myself, thanks to my aerodynamic surgically-lifted chestal area and gravity-defying derriere thanks to years of dancing and obsessively working out. Anyway, among these, um, benefits are free rooms. One per month. Pretty nifty, if you are into overnight staycations.

I did get a free room when I first got to Vegas because I was depressed and what’s the best cure for depression than a really nice hotel room for you to stay in alone because you’re single and haven’t made any friends yet. The bed was horribly hard, and I couldn’t sleep—even more so than my normal chronic insomnia—however, the oversized jetted tub was awesome. I took three baths that night and it took my skin three days to stop looking like a prune. But it was worth it.

Fast forward two months and I’m still depressed, so I figured it was time for another fun-filled night of marathon bathing alone in a hotel room.

Was I in for a surprise.

My little “room” turned out to be a two-bedroom penthouse suite. OK, maybe not penthouse in the true sense of the word, but it was on the sixth floor of a six-floor building and that was probably as penthouse as I am ever going to get.

I wondered if I could get the cash value for the suite and just stay in a regular room.

I decided to fight my miserly urge and live it up since I rarely get the opportunity to do so, as an underemployed freelance writer. So, as I drove my 19-year-old car to the valet and emerged with my San Diego Chargers duffel bag which I proudly gave to the bellhop, I put on my haughtiest airs and imagined myself a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist preparing for the first leg of my whirlwind international book-signing event. And who, indeed, was a question on Jeopardy! the previous night. Final Jeopardy! to boot.

After tipping the bellhop $2 to haul my “luggage” to my suite for the night, I locked the door and surveyed the premises. Let me tell you, this suite was larger than any house I have ever owned, and had nicer furniture. I was unpleasantly reminded of my paternal grandmother’s Beverly Hills condo with the furniture not intended for kids. I swear I sat on the floor every time I visited. Which was quite often, to my chagrin. I actually used to measure my growth not by marking up the door jamb for a “normal” measurement (because she probably would have made me sleep in the parking garage) but by the increasing size of my butt-print on the carpet.

There’s that digression thing again. Back to tonight’s episode of Natalie’s Not-So-Incredible Adventures: The Sixth Floor.

The master bathroom had a bidet. Now, I know what one is but have never used one. Did you know that you can wash the ceiling with one? Well, I am here to tell you that you can. Quite well, in fact. And the floors, because gravity.

Anyway, the beds were still hard (I tried them both), the tubs were still luxurious (especially the one with the “view” of the Las Vegas desert), and my skin continues to wrinkle with extended water exposure.

Of course, I had to milk this experience for everything that it was going to be worth, especially in the literary sense because unlike some of my daredevil friends who have tried and will try anything and everything and write about it, I am far too reserved and Virgo and boring to do so. Thus, my funny anecdotes are usually loosely based on quasi-actual-experiences-maybe-undertaken-by-me-but-usually-just-imagined (or possibly seen on the Maury Show).

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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