I don’t know if it’s the city itself, or just a cultural change thing, but it seems like its super tough to meet people nowadays. It feels like people just don’t really trust each other that much, and are always on guard when it comes to getting out and socializing with those they don’t know very well. I mean, I’ve lived places where it’s been years of me staying in the same apartment, and I barely know what my neighbors look like. It’s a far removal from the Midwest where I grew up, let me tell you. Now, this could be magnified in Vegas, since we’re a city of people working in the service industry constatnly bombarded with tourists year round… eh, who knows?

So, this particular story begins about a week ago, when I decided to finally break down and went to some internet sites to meet more friends.

I can’t believe I just typed that sentence in full honesty… I’m a communication major for gods sake.

As I signed up for both match and meetup, I just thought how weird it is to me that we have to use some computer just to feel comfortable with talking to strangers. I’ve spent the last 3 years in business meetings, and now I feel like I’m going on a job interview every time I use one of these sites to meet new people. So weird.

So the other day I give this thing a shot, and find this group on meetup called “Guys Night Out.” Sounds super chill, meet some dudes, have some beer, bullshit and watch some football… Awesome! Let’s do it.

So I show up to this thing. I’m the first one there, and the parking lot to the bar is empty. Yea, empty, as in no workers or others in the area. I come to find out, from the paper stapled to the wall of the place, that it shut down. When I was about to head out, this lone blue pickup pulls alongside my car. I instantly got a stranger danger, “Hey kid, I’ve got free candy,” vibe from the whole situation. The last thing I need to do is to get kidnapped while trying to attend some football meet up group I found on the internet, talk about embarrassing. I’d never hear the end of it.

The guy rolls his window down.

“Hey… you?”
“Ummmm…. yea. Who the hell are you?”
“I’m from the meetup group, we’re working on a backup plan. Hang on.”
“Ok… no problem.”

Oh god… here we go. A few minutes go by.

“Hey, so we’re all meeting at the Hustler Club.”

OH GOD… Here We Go.

“Alright… I guess I’ll see you there.”

At that point, I seriously thought about heading back home, but I figured “what the hell” and decided to follow the guy. We get there, there’s a small fee for some local card and I walk into this place. It was super bizarre for me to walk into a strip club unplanned during the middle of the day, and seeing my group all huddled around the stage and completely ignoring the game didn’t help things much. As I’m trying to make sense of all this, I’m slowly talking to all of the guys in between dances to get a handle on this thing. It turns they’re all 40+ dudes trying to get away from their wives and girlfriends… there seemed to be a bit of a mismatch here.

So, in a last ditch effort to make the best of this, I hit up the bar hoping that the beers aren’t going to cost me $20 a pop. I order, and the pasty-clad waitress comes back with the drink.

“That’ll be $1.”
“Sorry, excuse me, how much? I thought you said $1. What do I owe you?”
“$1”

OK, now we’re talking. Even surrounded by sexually repressed husbands grinding on girls, I can get by with $1 beers and an attractive waitress. So, as I’m watching the game and drinking while avoiding my group as much as possible, I finally turn around to see what kind of trouble they’re getting into.

They’re gone. All of them.

I look around… yep gone. So, now I’m the perv ordering $1 drinks at a strip club bar watching football, because I got invited on Meetup by a group of soccer dads to an abandoned pub, and then RE-invited to a daytime strip club. Yea…

So I finished the game, and went home. Yes… of course I finished the game, $1 drinks, c’mon!