What Happens in Vegas

A few weeks ago, I settled into my seat and got as comfortable as possible for the long flight to Las Vegas. I was flying out to work a trade show. Most of the other flyers were also business travellers. A few were heading out on vacation, but it was mostly a working crowd.

Two young women sashayed down the aisle, dressed in sweats but with fashion sunglasses and other expensive accessories. Both were tall and quite pretty, one blond and one brunette, perfectly coiffed and with impeccable makeup. Their carry-on bags indicated that they’d been part of a model search contest at a seaside resort.

They settled into the row in front of me, and started looking through the photos of their recent trips and parties on their iPhones. They took selfies to properly document their flight. And they started ordering vodka drinks.

Before too long, they’d each had at least three or four. The laughter got louder and louder, and the iPhones went from being passed between them to being held high in the air. They were clearly unaware that their on-screen shenanigans were visible to a very large percentage of the aircraft.

They talked to everyone around them, and actually were quite nice – even charming. Still, we’d all seen more than enough of things that shouldn’t be shared in public by the time the flight landed and everyone disembarked. They wandered off to baggage claim, and I figured that was that – two young people having fun, if a bit excessively. Okay for them.

Later that evening, I was walking back to my hotel after dinner with several of my coworkers. Around the corner came a small group of people – almost-middle-aged men and several young women, two of whom were dressed for minimal cover and maximum leg and push-up cleavage, both on impossibly high heels. They were obviously well beyond tipsy, with one of the two leaning heavily on the other for balance.

It took me a moment to recognize the same two women, girls really, who were sitting in front of me on the airplane that morning. They were drunk – thoroughly trashed. The partying that had started that morning had clearly continued throughout the day, and had veered deeply into something disturbing and more than a bit tawdry by that evening.

Seeing a small slice of where those two pretty young things were heading left me feeling very sad. They’d objectified and commoditized themselves, and it looked very much like they were getting the wrong end of a very Faustian bargain.

~ by jld0077 on May 23, 2014.

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