Sunday, January 28, 2007

I went down to Atlantic City last night, trying to make friends with the New Jersey Young Professionals on the long, long bus ride south. It went better than expected: I thought I'd make no friends and lose money, but instead I made no friends and won money. Ka-ching! And really, if you happen to be on a hot streak at craps, you've got a whole tableful of new best friends.

I actually wasn't going to go because I knew the bus ride would be long and lonely. I wish I could spend my life on a deserted island, staring out at the sea, because I hate those events where you know you'll regret it if you go but you'll also regret it if you don't go, and you have to solve that remorse calculus dilemma. There was a trip to Atlantic City last summer that I chickened out on — did the math wrong — so I had to go on this one.

I have to say that I prefer the senior citizens' bus, even though there's no food allowed, and it's dry, and it comes with some crappy movie you never wanted to see that keeps distracting you from your book. The old people, they come to gamble, and my favorite part of the whole trip is at the casino's bus depot, when you're not allowed to move from your seat until the greeter's done welcoming you and raffling off the free buffet. The seniors get all uppity, like they know they're losing ground in the race between them and Death to the Lucky Sevens machine. Young professionals, they shift around in their seats, but since they came to hang out with their friends and not to feed coins to a blinking machine, there's not the same urgency. On the plus side, with the young professionals, I didn't have to spend the whole ride listening to reasons why my generation sucks.

Since I wasn't traveling with the old people for once, I got to see Atlantic City after dark, when it turns from a seedy, low-rent gambling outfit into a slutty, low-rent gambling outfit. The NJYP rented out the Foundation Room for our New Years party mingling (yes, a month after New Years... or maybe eleven months before New Years 2008!) and then Club Worship for late-night dancing, but I couldn't help being amused by the proliferation of cocktail waitresses slumming across the House of Blues floor after ten.... Oh, wait, they aren't cocktail waitresses. I know that Atlantic City is never going to be as classy as some places, but when you're outfit says, "Why did I even bother with clothes?" maybe you can take a good, hard look at your wardrobe choices.