Anecdotes, Apropos of Nothing

Everything in moderation, except competition. Some things don’t change, or won’t.

A couple months ago I was in line at the cafeteria at work, or “TDR” (Team Dining Room) as it’s known, when I found myself all googly-eyed next to a cocktail server I’d never seen before. Subtle until the day I die, I still couldn’t help but notice all the, um, obvious assets she had at her disposal.

So I kept it moving, took my plate back to the table all the dealers typically eat at. Then I walked over to get something to drink, where I arrived next to my new favorite cocktail server again.

She was working outside, at the pool, so she wore some skimpy hundred-plus-degree heat outfit: short navy shorts, a tight baby blue crop-top looking thing, with a blue hat on. I kept minding my own business until I couldn’t anymore.

“Hello,” I told her.

“Hey,” she responded. “What do you do?”

“I’m a dealer,” I said. “I would ask what you do but I already have a pretty good idea,” I finished, probably with some sly grin as I’m wont to do.

She looked over at me and smiled, and I went back about my presumed lunch.

When I was done I walked out to my locker to grab my lighter and cigarettes, then headed back through the door to fill up my drink to take with me outside. When I opened the door and took a few steps inside the TDR, I noticed her about 20 feet away, at the end of the hall, about to head out through the same door I was coming through.

So I did what any rational human being (with a Y chromosome) would do, walked a few feet back and deliberately held the door for about 5 seconds while she came through it in the opposite direction.

“Such a gentleman,” she told me, smiling again.

“What kind of a man would I be if I didn’t?” I asked rhetorically. Then told her to have a good day or whatever. You could say I was smitten from the very beginning.

I think in one of my more recent blog posts I mentioned that casinos are, to a large degree, boys clubs. Twenty or thirty years ago, before human resources ran the show, sexism and misogyny were far more rampant than they are now. Lots of stories I hear from some of the older heads revolved around all the jobs they wouldn’t even allow women to do, such as deal craps, and all the “just shut up and look pretty” anecdotes thereof.

I came in the game a lot later, so most aspects of the casino have moved along with me into the 21st century. But the whole industry basically still caters to middle-aged and older men, because the majority of the time that’s where the money is coming from. I’m not going to rock the boat over antiquated outlooks, the same as most women aren’t going to. After all, these are the people we often make our living off of.

I only see my favorite cocktail server about once a week, if that, based on how our schedules fall. And it’s silly how much I enjoy seeing her, even in the brief interactions we have.

One day I was on a craps game, near the end of my shift, and she was serving drinks in the same general area. It was an all-guy craps crew that evening, and somewhere inside I felt like it was my duty to assert myself. Again, boys club.

So as she walked by I called her name, signaled for her to come over. I tapped the padding on the craps table to gesture her to stand next to me, so she did.

“I need you to do me a favor… I need you to just stand here next to me and look pretty until this whole table fills up with old men,” I told her.

“That might take a while,” she said, smiling.

“With you? No, that’s impossible,” I told her.

She was giggly. I felt like I was right where I belonged. Of course by that time I had the two craps dealers I was with giving me shit, telling her “Don’t listen to him,” and laughing. I could’ve been anyone in the world in that moment and it wouldn’t have mattered, but if nothing else it was an opportunity to make her the center of attention — something she clearly didn’t mind being — while showing the people I work with that, yeah, I’m down.

I can’t overstate it: This is the most attractive woman at work. I couldn’t tell you how old she is, on the low end maybe 24 or 25 and as high as 29 or 30, only that she is the one. Even acknowledging that she doesn’t possess the normal profile I “go for,” if one exists in the first place.

She’s stands about 5’5″, looks Mexican but without any kind of accent, and appears to have fake everything, though the argument could be made that she’s just well put-together. And it so happens that she knows how to apply her makeup. She cares about the way she presents herself.

A couple weeks ago we were working the same shift. I went about my normal business, dealt only craps and high-limit blackjack, and she did her thing. We made eye contact a few times from a distance, subtle glances and smiles, but most of the time when I happened to see her she was talking to some random bartender, or slot attendant, or security officer… it’s apparently impossible for guys to let her go about her business without making some kind of pitch.

She’s just undeniable.

So when I made it back into the high-limit area to deal blackjack, no one was on my game. In the corner, next to the bar, she was getting barraged by a slot technician and some guy in a suit, so I decided then and there that, no, I’m not going to go out of my way to say anything to her when she walks by. That’s what everyone else does. I’m not everyone else.

Ever the contrarian, and ever the egomaniac, the situation unfolded pretty much exactly the way I set it up in my head.

She was in the corner, coming out to serve whatever drinks there were to serve, and I stood dead on my game, with my eyes glued to some ESPN show that was on TV. I paid no mind to her or anything else around me. I just stood there, watching something I didn’t care about. It beat being part of the fray.

“What you aren’t even going to say hi to me?” she said, leaning her body in on one of the chairs. She was at the edge of my blackjack table.

I turned my head and played dumb, like OH WOW I DIDN’T EVEN SEE YOU THERE.

Then I smiled and told her, “Oh wow I didn’t even see you there!”

I told her I liked her hair, or some such shit. I don’t fucking know. Then I asked if she went to cosmetology school, because her makeup application puts all the other girls at work to shame.

“I’m a licensed cosmetologist,” she told me, twirling her hair all valley girl style while she laughed. She was making fun of herself even though I was being dead serious. It was a shot in the dark, to some degree, but getting my point across is more important than being right, sometimes. In this case it just happened that I was right, too. Which I’m also cool with.

Anyway, so that worked the way I hoped it would. If ever down the road any of this means anything, I’m sure these brief instances will be the culprit of how I managed to pull someone I have no reasonable business with. But this is the way things go.

Of course, since I’m writing about it now nothing will come of it, and I’m cool with that, too. At the very least it passes the time in the meantime, so anything further would just be a bonus.

I don’t crush on anyone, and relationships have never been my forte. I live a very private life; I’m selfish; I don’t go out of my way to disrupt that. Though the day will inevitably come when I’ll be forced to, and it’ll only arrive with a person not so unlike this, someone to get excited about. Everything is still a love story to me, even if 99% fizzle out after one conversation.

I think, more than anything, it’s nice to know these feelings still exist. I’m not totally normal in the sense that I’ve passed up far more sex and far more love than I’ve ever acted on. That isn’t a statement of ego insofar as the truth of the matter. I can’t go through with anything unless I’m excited about it.

That’s one of the differences between me and most of my male contemporaries, and maybe it’s a deficiency. But it’s one of those things that will be hard to look back on someday with regret, because I can honestly say I could die tomorrow without the burden of wishing to feel anything that I haven’t already. I’ve already felt the meaningful and memorable feelings.

Of course, if I was dead I wouldn’t have feelings anymore, which is pretty awesome when you really think about it. In the brief moments on earth I’ve experienced, I’ve taken advantage of the opportunities worth taking advantage of.

That’s why, with this woman, I haven’t waited around on the sidelines. She’s been worth the wordplay.

Whether it’s her or someone else down the road, the only way I can exist is with someone totally special. Perhaps it’s the irrationally high opinion I have of myself. Perhaps I still fancy myself as a romantic and there has to be some sprouting narrative attached to the minutia of everyday life.

I couldn’t tell you, since this isn’t an avenue I explore very often.

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