Once upon a time (January of 2008), in a castle far away (Excalibur) a young prince charming (me) set out to conquer a land of glitz and glitter ( Las Vegas ). This Prince traveled to this exotic location to the yearly bazaar (The CES Show), helping to sell his kingdom’s inventory of silver (MP3 players) & gold (plated cell phones).
Never one to pass on an adventure, the young prince put on his finest garments (slacks and a sports coat) and set-out to find some fun. He went exploring the castle, talking to the locals and learning their games (mostly blackjack at $5/hand). This castle was nice but the night was young (and the money was running out quickly after a cold spell)… he would go explore the ancient lands of Egypt and visit the monument build for a king (the Luxor Casino).
The journey from the castle to ancient remains of Egypt passed through a series of tunnels. In these tunnels, time and space seemed to stop and moving between these two distant lands took no time at all (thanks to a very helpful series of moving walkways). It was in this magic land where he saw her for the first time.
She was beautiful, her hair golden blond and her eyes piercing blue. Their eyes met immediately and they were instantly drawn to each other (again, thanks moving walkways!). Before saying a word, she walked up to the young prince and looked deep in his eyes and grabbed ahold of him. After 26 years on earth, his princess had finally found him!
About this time they see it… they are entering the great, ancient pyramid. It is electric and he has her, his sweet princess (who, I think was named Sarah). They drank and played games (craps this time). The had deep conversation (oh, I like vodka too!) and planned what was sure to be the rest of their lives together.
She was breathtaking in every way. Beautiful, fearless, bold. She was his princess and he, her prince charming. The fell deeply and madly in love and, like in all fairy tales, lived happy ever after.
Or not. I was shocked when I met Sarah in the tunnel between Excalibur and Luxor. As we walked and talked, I made a mental note to ensure that when I got home I bought a sports coat for every day… I must have looked gooood to get a girl like this.
We went to the casino and started playing the games. I, of course, buying for two, placing bets for us both and genuinely attempting to look like I wasn’t as shocked as I was that she had actually chose to spend this time with me. This went on for 20, 30, 40 minutes and maybe even an hour. We laughed. We held hands. She may have even kissed my cheek once or twice. I was in heaven.
But this was real life and the fairy tale ended as quickly as it began with the words that surely you already guessed were coming… “So you ready to go up to your room?”
I had, accidentally, picked up a Las Vegas hooker. I turned bright red and for the first time realizing what everyone in the entire world would have already known… This was not true love. As I starting fumbling my words to explain, she grabbed my hand and told me she knew. She knew that I didn’t know what was going on and that I was so sweet she couldn’t bring herself to break my heart. She kissed my forehead and was off to find her next prince charming.
As for me? I learned two things that night;
Fairy tales aren’t real.
And love does have a price… $1200 a night.