Atlantic City wound up somehow being the most perfect end to a relatively uneventful summer, a celebration of our three-month anniversary and a send-off to a new work life, all wrapped in one.
The Mister’s excellent best man and very generous parents surprised us with an amazing wedding gift — tickets to see our favorite comedian, the one and only Louis C.K. at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Along with the precious tickets, came an amazing corner bedroom in the Chairman’s Towers at the Taj.
It was a fascinating place, which could be magical or gaudy, amazing or depressing, depending on how we chose to spin it. And seeing as we knew this might be the first and last time we visited A.C., we opted to live it up. Our Sbarros pizza was somehow the best pizza ever, and I didn’t feel like I’d lost $10 at the electronic Black Jack game we played together — I felt like I’d won back $10 of the $20 I’d offered up.
We strolled, hand-in-hand, past the massive sparkly chandeliers, and gazed at the the jewelry stores and swanky restaurants. We’d chosen to ignore the occasional woman with sunglasses and men’s gym shorts and that Snooki-ed out broad arguing with her meat-head boyfriend, and chose to buy into a more glamorized version of the place, imagining that we were in Frank Sinatra’s town, Classville, USA. I chose to wear my gold chandelier earrings and black fancy looking cocktail dress (a la Old Navy) but resolved to keep the sandal stilettos in my bag. I’d be classy, but not uncomfortable.
After getting our fill of gambler’s paradise (which took about an hour) we made our way up to our masterful home away from home, and gazed down upon the beach- and festival-goers from the comfort of our room. We settled for watching the baby versions of the Harry Potter cast from the first movie, and then excitedly oohed and awwed (or at least, one of us did) upon noting that Ocean’s Eleven opens up in the casino that was downstairs from our very bedroom. We relaxed, we settled in, and for a brief moment, we were home.
About 45 minutes before showtime, we ventured out of our cozy cove and down to the arena for Louis’ show, excited that we’d managed to stay lively for the 10:30 p.m. performance. Everyone looked like us (except the girls had uncomfortably high heels — cue Nelson haha). It was weird.
Todd Barry warmed up the crowd, and then just as I’d hoped, Louis was Louis. He’d simplified his philosophy and honed in on several key messaging, including a call to accept yourself. As he always does, he managed to avert pretension, while reminding us that anything is possible with enough drive and dedication. He was so calculated and focused, but came off as casual and candid. It was pretty awe-inspiring.
Being at the Taj reminded me of an episode of Louis with Joan Rivers, who, in a conversation with Louis after her A.C. performance, reminded all of us that we have to love what we do and embrace it, whole-heartedly. Joan meant for her sentiment to be about comedy, but I think it applies to having a passion for the experience of life, and throwing yourself into it. Or, as I wanted to get engraved on my high school graduation ring but ran out of characters for, “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
Our lavish little get-away was a great reminder that sometimes, it’s fun to play pretend and live the high life. Labor Day isn’t necessarily about indulging, but it is about taking time to enjoy the fruits of our labor — the freedom that life allots us, from time to time. For Jimmy and I, this holiday has meant setting aside some a much-needed “us time,” doing something entirely for ourselves and no one else. We’d been given a free pass, to see a guy who makes us laugh, and a chance to enjoy one another’s company from the laps of luxury. I barely looked at the clock, and tried to refrain from Instagraming each moment, and settle in to the experience. I hope that you all have an experience along the same lines, in which you take a chance, and for a moment, fly away.