I've seen it happen before because it happens on every trip. People are nervous about taking that leap, traveling for a weekend to meet people they don't know. But the truth is, it's always special. This is the third time I've done it and it's the third time that sometime during the first night together, I hear a "click" - and the friendships are sealed.
The reason why is simple. It's because the people who take a chance on a weekend with strangers are actively looking for the same things - happiness, some sense of normal in the crazy world of widowhood, and a reason to laugh. And when they get together...that's where they find all three.
This group, however, passed "happiness" around the middle of the day on Saturday and stepped into downright giddiness by dinner on Saturday night. I'm not entirely sure what did it, but I think it had something to do with the limo driver who implied that the one lone widower in our group of ten killed off our spouses so that he could have all nine women to himself.
This was then topped when we realized that the limo we were riding in had an enormous advertisement for a strip club across the back and the disappointed looks on the faces of the people standing outside our restaurant when they realized that the limo was not, in fact, filled with strippers.
But nine women and one man who then looked like a pimp.
It has been determined that the Vegas trip should be an annual thing, so I'll need to get to work on that at some point. But for those of you who are thinking about coming next time, you need to be brought up to speed on the Widda Getaway: Las Vegas terminology.
This is code for "there is a person over there who shouldn't be wearing that." We had to come up with this word because the first time one of us stared at someone, mouth agape in shock, nine other heads whipped around to see what the person was looking at. "Peaches" must be said in order to let everyone know that something should be looked at one at a time so as not to be too obvious and, subsequently, get our asses kicked by the offender.
Now, I've been to Vegas before, but I always seem to forget about all of the walking required. This isn't just about the size of the hotels, but also the route you have to take to get to each one. In other words...you can't get from point A to point B without hitting at least points D, G, U, and Z. We even hit a walking detour which had us going back into the hotel we had just worked our way to get out of, making us all feel like rats in a maze. LET. US. OUT. We need to see sunshine or at least get to a casino that simulates it.
A Rub for Good Luck
This is not a new concept - we didn't invent it. But apparently, according to one attendee, luck has a better way of rubbing off on someone if they don't know the rubbing is coming. In fact, it works best if the lucky person is in mid-sentence with another person and the unlucky person runs up and rubs up against the the lucky one. This spontaneous rubbing can be a shock at first. But hey. We're all friends, right? I mean we've known each other for 24 hours!
Okay, so we really didn't go there to make a little extra cash. But when you see one man walking down the street with nine women...what do you think? Frankly, I don't know why more men don't sign up for these trips. Really...the odds are in your favor.
And this time it wasn't a hangover or a spouse we just met earlier in the weekend.
Click here for more information about the upcoming Spa Weekend in Colorado. Join us if you can!
Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014). She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.