I am getting ready to take a trip soon. I will be off to fabulous Las Vegas for 5 days for some fun and to compete in a tournament, the Las Vegas Open. As always, when the subject of Vegas comes up, it reminds me of some interesting times we have had in our lives that revolve around Vegas.
In the 33 years JK and I have been together, we have stayed at a total of seven hotels in all the times we have ventured over there. Out of that seven, only two are left standing. All the others have been imploded to make room for newer hotels.
We had a really close friend that lived there and became a part of our life story forever. Sadly, this will be the first time that my daughter and I are going to Vegas and we will not get to see this dear friend. Last February, she lost her long time battle to cancer and we are still mourning her loss. She was just a great person who touched so many lives in such wonderful ways. She also spent many years raising money for her local Make-A Wish program. That just tells you a lot about a person. While they are struggling with life threatening problems of their own, they are taking the time to help others that are struggling too. That was the beauty that was Stacy Bromberg.
Recently, my daughter made the decision that while she was there in Vegas; she was going to get a tattoo in memory of our dear friend. I sit here and think about it and it hits me in the gut. While most parents are sitting around wondering where they went wrong with their kids, I sit here and count my blessings and wonder where I went right with this kid. Her heart is big and beautiful. It just amazes me. She just amazes me every day.
Many that know us know that the old guy, JK, and I have been together since what feels like the dawn of time. This July will be 34 years that we met. It was a Friday the 13th…imagine that…lol. However, we have only been married for…
…oh hell…..*note to self: your 18th anniversary is in a few weeks!
…for 18 years on February 3rd. That date was pre-selected because it was the day before we were to compete at the Las Vegas Open. So, we decided to go down to the courthouse to get married. We wanted to keep it simple. No Elvis chapel for us! Now, back then there was no internet or cell phones and stuff, so you actually had to call people and look in phone books to get information. So when I needed information about the courthouse and marriage licenses, I give a call to our pal Stacy who lives in Vegas. And in keeping with the theme that is her life, she immediately said that she was going to be our witness and that was that.
The day finally came where we packed up the car and made the four hour drive over to Vegas from our home in Laguna Beach. As we get closer to town, we had decided to stop at the courthouse first before going to the hotel to get everything done all at once. We had pre-arranged for Stacy to meet us there at 2pm. I had called the courthouse the day before to get directions. This is where things started to go awry. Apparently, the street that the employee told me to turn on off the first street didn’t exactly intersect that street. It ran parallel to it. We were never going to find it. So, there goes Anne to a payphone to call the courthouse to get directions again. We park near the courthouse and we are both so irritated by then that he doesn’t put money in the parking meter. Yes, there was a ticket when we got back.
It was at more than an hour past the time we had planned to be there. And of course, there was no Stacy there to meet us.
We ventured into the room where we had to fill out the application to get our marriage license. It is a pretty non-descript room with a counter that the employees sit behind. But the décor was the most interesting part. They had lots of signs about what you can and can’t do to get a license. The funniest one was the one that said that you can’t marry your relatives. Seriously. They had to have a sign there telling everyone this. We both laughed and wondered, “Does that really happen? Has it ever happened?” Obviously it must have because there was a sign there for it.
It was pretty quiet in there, so we were called up to the window right away and explained to the lady that we were there to get a marriage license. She asked a few pertinent questions and then asked for our ID’s. This was where the fun begins. You see, back when our daughter started school, we had already been together for seven years and in California, once you are together seven years, it is considered a common law marriage. I hated my maiden name. It was hard to spell and even harder to say. Also, having a different last name than our daughter once she started school was a pain, so I made the decision to change my last name to the same as JK and our daughter. It really was no big deal.
Well, I didn’t think it was a big deal, until we handed our licenses to this lady at the courthouse. She looks at them both and then looks up at us with the proverbial “deer in the headlights” look of panic on her face. Then she quietly whispered “You all have the same last name. You aren’t related, are you?”
Well, now we know why they have the sign!
She was forever grateful once we explained how I changed my name when the kid started school.
Finally, we get to the hotel to check in so I can call Stacy and figure out how we can meet again so we can actually get married after all this madness. She agrees to meet us at the courthouse, and says to me “But I am sorry, I gave your flowers away to another couple since you didn’t show up and I figured you changed your mind.” That was the beautiful person she was. She bought me flowers to get married with.
We went back to the hotel, had dinner and went down to the bar for a few beers. It was pretty normal for us, even on a wedding day. Then JK won $600 on the slots. Woohooo!
I really miss my pal, Stacy.
Going to Vegas and not seeing her there is going to be emotional…for all of us.
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