Today I woke up married to a man named Sven Gustafsson.
Sven is twenty-eight years of age and hails from Stockholm, Sweden. At least, that’s what he says. For all I really know, he’s Wendell Jones from Boise, Idaho. Lending credence to his claim, however, is the fact that he speaks with what sounds like a Swedish accent, but he may just be doing an impersonation of the Swedish Chef from The Muppets.
My unexpected trip to the altar began three days ago in Mount Clemens, Michigan. When all you have going for you is your job as a fast food restaurant manager, you can’t help but to think that a last minute getaway to Vegas in honor of your best friend’s divorce is the greatest thing ever. So off to Vegas it was for Lana and me.
Here’s what you need to know about Vegas: it’s bad. Really bad. Oh who am I kidding? It’s frickin’ awesome! Gambling, a never ending stream of booze, cheap all-you-can-eat places, lights, glitz, shopping, shows – what’s not to love? I love everything about Vegas including, it seems, tourists named Sven who are twenty years my junior.
Sven tells me that we met two days ago at the casino inside the Flamingo Hotel. I distinctly remember checking in to the Paris hotel when I arrived in town, so how I ended up at the Flamingo Hotel is beyond me. But ended up there I did; dressed in a cheetah costume. Why was I dressed in a cheetah costume? According to Sven, I couldn’t find a shop that sold cougar outfits so I took the next best thing that a drunk middle-aged woman on the prowl for younger men could find. Sven, it turns out, comes from a long line of circus performers and that’s why my cheetah look attracted him. Sven’s not a circus performer himself. He’s the black sheep of his family who disgraced the good Gustafsson name by becoming a…come to think of it, he has yet to tell me what he does for a living.
Anyway, Sven showed me pictures that he took on his cell phone of the next forty-eight hours we spent together. There was one of me in the aforementioned cheetah outfit, one of me holding three colossal sized rainbow-colored drinks, one of us getting to know each other’s tongues very well, and one of us getting married by Elvis. I was dressed in a white bathing suit for that. Lana was there as well for the ceremony, looking incredibly unhappy in the wedding picture. Sven thinks she’s jealous that her married life is over while ours is just beginning, but I worry it’s because she was there to witness what may be the biggest mistake of my life.
I’ve told Sven that I can’t move to Sweden because I have two kids in their early teens waiting for me back home in Michigan. He says that’s okay because he has five kids under the age of six who would love nothing more than to move to America and meet their new mom.
I am now the mother of seven. Good thing kids meals are included in my staff discount at the restaurant.