Interestingly, I now find myself squirming at the thought of sharing such Vegas moments as part of this memoir related writing task!
I’m reminded of my mother at about my age, who could be heard to make ‘tut, tutting’sounds and to say ‘that isn’t necessary’ as gradually more explicit sex scenes began to be shown on television! I particularly remember watching the film ‘The Go Between’ with her. During a fairly discreetly directed sex scene central to a little boy’s dawning realization that he was being used as a go between, Mum got up and promptly changed the channel, saying ‘Now that’s quite unnecessary’! I suspect that she found herself feeling rather squirmy at the time, while I was most concerned that she couldn’t see the relevance of the scene to the story.
Upon reflection, it seems that ‘What happened in Vegas’ moments incorporate adrenalin and endorphin related ‘rush’ features linked to ‘risk taking’ and perhaps even romance, but also involve ‘squirm’ features, both physical and psychological, perhaps linked to guilt and shame! It also seems distinctly possible that as we get older and well past our experimental, risk taking prime, retelling ‘What happened in Vegas stories’ brings up only the ‘squirm’ features!
This is certainly happening in relation to two ‘What happened in Vegas’ moments which involved my going as a tourist to ‘strip’ shows, once at Kings Cross when I was twenty, the other in the red light district of Bangkok during my late twenties.
In the first case, I’d been attending the Economics and Commerce Students Association conference in Sydney in the late 1960’s. My brother was there, as a representative of RMIT’s Commerce Students’ Association, while I was there as a student of the Economics Faculty at Monash University. After the conference dinner my brother and his friends decided to go to Kings Cross with the aim of seeing the best known stripper of the day, the infamous Sandra Nelson. I tagged along, chaperoned of course, by my brother! My main memory of the event was watching the reactions of the men in the audience when a tassle attached to one of the swirling breasts of the stripper became dislodged and flew off into the audience.
This Vegas moment had strong risk taking elements at the time. Writing about it now just provides a squirmy feeling – no adrenalin rush from this almost seventy year old vantage point.
The second event occurred in 1976 when I was visiting young married friends who were attached to the Australian embassy in Bangkok. After a dinner party we decided to go to the red light district, visiting three or four bars, including “The Golfers’ Lounge”. As I definitely feel the squirm factor about sharing the antics observed on the stage at this particular bar with you, I’ll say no more!
Visiting such red light districts certainly doesn’t tick off the new and risk taking features of ‘What Happened in Vegas’ moments for these days.
Also, it’s not something that my peers do these days for distraction (no news of bus trips for seniors in Benalla to see St Kilda night life)!
Perhaps like my mother in her seventies, I’ll soon be saying, if I’m not already, that sharing such ‘What happened in Vegas’ moments isn’t just about maintaining confidences, it’s actually “quite unnecessary!!!!”