My friend, Tracy, who was invited to join me for part of my Vegas trip decided to accompany me to the restaurant to “make sure that I was OK”. She went over to the takeaway counter of the restaurant located just outside of Serendipity 3 to get her food to go while I waited for Gabriel, Kimberly and Joshua – complete strangers – to arrive.
OK, they weren’t COMPLETE strangers.
I’d known Gabriel on the Internet for years, which, yes, sounds creepy when you say it out loud. We met through a Facebook Mariah Carey fan page I used to run years ago and became Facebook friends through that. He seemed normal – you know, as normal as obsessive, Mariah Carey fans can be.
Though the day before I left for Vegas two of my colleagues pretty much cornered me inside of a cubicle and gave me “The Talk”. You know, the You-Have-Be-Careful-Traveling-To-Vegas-Alone-As-A-Female-And-Don’t-Trust-Anyone-And-There-Are-Pimps-Everywhere talk.
Yeah. That talk.
It was kind of sweet that they were concerned but perhaps it was unnecessary. Though I smiled and listened as they had their serious faces on and probably thought I was nuts for meeting up with total strangers from the Internet in a different state. And I promised to text them during my trip to let them know that I was alive, which I did.
But the truth is, I kind of do this all of the time. Not just when I’m traveling but when I’m at home, too. I’ll generally join groups or travel events and meet people that way. So in a way, what I was doing wasn’t completely out of the norm for me. But I guess for society, in general, it’s uncommon to do such a thing. This is probably why people gave me strange looks when I said I was partly meeting up with a friend and partly hanging out solo in Vegas. The first thing I was asked when I mentioned my Vegas trip to anyone was “who are you going with?”
People don’t like to do things alone, I’ve noticed. But what if you don’t have anyone do these things with? Are you just going to sit at home and not do it?
Nope. Ain’t gonna happen.
I’d gotten to know Gabriel via the Internet (which, yes, again, sounds creepy). The others I was meeting up with, however, I didn’t know as well but seemed nice through an online group we were all a part of at the time.
They’re Mariah Carey fans. How bad could they be? My experience with Aussie Mariah fans was a pretty good experience, so I highly doubted that this experience would be disappointing.
They were meeting me in front of the restaurant. Teddy, another guy from the Internet group, was running late. And I was kind of anxious. And excited. And, quite frankly, all over the damn place.
They finally came to meet me and I gave Gabriel an awkward nice-to-finally-meet-you-in-person hug and smiled at Joshua and Kimberly and greeted them with a “Hello”. Mariah Carey’s song “We Belong Together” was playing the exact moment they arrived. It was a sign – and, you know, her music was playing a lot around and inside of Caesars Palace since she had her residency there. But it was totally a sign.
The first thing I noticed about them was what they were wearing and the first thing I felt was total panic.
Why are they not dressed up? Why don’t they have their fancy clothes on? Why are they doing this to me? GAH!
Let me explain.
After the concert, we were going to 1 Oak Nightclub – an after party hosted by the one and only Mariah Carey herself…or at least that’s what it said on the flier. I verified with Mariah’s Twitter account and it was true. There was going to be an after party and tickets for admission were on sale. And since I was already kind of bummed that I didn’t have my hands on a meet & greet pass like my Aussie friend, Georges, who attended the Vegas show a few weeks prior, I thought this might be another opportunity to get closer to Mariah.
And you guys know I’ll take almost any opportunity I can to get closer to Mariah, including chasing her car.
We all had tickets to the after party at the Vegas nightclub. The only problem was, even though I didn’t show it, it caused me a bit of anxiety. OK – a lot of anxiety.
I mean, I’m always kind of anxious when I go to a Mariah show but nightclubs are not my thing. But if Mariah was going to be there, I was going to be there.
The ticket for our entry had A LOT of rules on what you could and could not wear, which is partly why I decided to wear the black strapless dress from Australia and, well, not to brag or anything but I look pretty damn amazing in it.
Gabriel, Kimberly and Joshua were wearing mostly t-shirts and shorts, which was fine but that attire would not permit them into the nightclub after the concert, and I was already kind of freaking out and what they were wearing did not help.
“We’re going to change after the show,” Gabriel said.
“Oh. OK.” I responded trying to stay calm. But on the inside I was in a total panic. Change AFTER the show? Are they nuts?
Our table was ready for Serendipity 3 and I introduced Tracy to the Gab, Kim and Josh. After awhile, Tracy whispered to me that they “seemed normal” and then left. Teddy soon arrived, said I looked beautiful (but of course) and the five of us had a lovely dinner and chatted about our lives and our love for Mariah.
Teddy was cool, except that he kept saying that I was in my 30s and I kept correcting him and telling him that I am NOT in my 30s.
“I’m 27!” I would say.
“Oh, well, let’s just round it up!” He’d say, teasingly.
It was nice to know that there are people out there who you can bond with over common interests. While we were all strangers from different parts of the states, we had one thing in common: Mariah Carey.
I kept my fingers crossed that I’d somehow meet Mariah Carey that night at 1 Oak Nightclub even though Teddy told me that was unlikely as he’s been to these types of events many times and the celebrity always makes a brief appearance and then quickly leaves. He also mentioned that even though we had our prepaid tickets to get into the club, there will probably be a long line and if it’s past midnight, we’ll be denied access into the club.
That motivated Gab, Kim and Josh to go up to their hotel room and change into their fancy clothes before the show. (Thanks, Teddy.)
I attended the #1 To Infinity show two nights in a row in July and both nights I had pretty amazing seats and Mariah’s performances were pretty incredible.
The nightclub experience, however, was a bit disappointing.
I found it bit intriguing and a bit upsetting that gender-based appearances have such a strong impact on the nightclub industry (and, well, on almost everything else in the world). They wouldn’t let Teddy in because although he was dressed nice, he didn’t have a shirt underneath his vest. Luckily he predicted this and went back to his car to change. Guys with shorts were denied access into the club. Meanwhile, girls who wore practically nothing were permitted into the club.
It seemed like it was pretty much a typical nightclub in Vegas. In fact, most of the people in the club didn’t even seem like they were Mariah fans. There were brides-to-be and the average Vegas party-goers but where were the Mariah fans?
There was one girl who stood out from the crowd. She wore jeans and a long sleeve shirt purchased from the Mariah store, which is how I knew she was here for Mariah. And, also, it looked like she was hiding in the back pretending to look at her phone while the couple next to her were grinding up against each other. They were not Mariah fans.
I went up to her and asked her to join my group and we stuck together the rest of the night. We also hung out before the show the next day and I may have had one too many cocktails and I may have walked into the venue like I was diva and I may have taken a few sips of my new friend’s strawberry daiquiri. Because we’re totally friends now.
Mariah Carey did make an appearance at the nightclub but with any celebrity comes security blocking my way. I was close enough to snap a few pics of her and I’m pretty sure at one point Mariah and I made eye contact and then I quickly looked away because OMG MARIAH CAREY IS LOOKING AT ME.