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Random acts of randomness

Colleen Norris

Ever since I can remember, random stuff has happened to me. I am a serious magnet for randomness.

Me moving to Vail, totally random. I was destined, or so I thought, for New York or Chicago, to live the life of riding blue lines and subways to museums and libraries, feeding pigeons in parks, and doing whatever city people do. I had never skied or snowboarded in my life. In fact, I had never been to Colorado in the winter. I came for the summers and when I moved here my intent was to be in a city by October.

That was last season. I know, it happens to everyone, everyone in Vail has a story similar to mine. People come for a season and stay a lifetime. Who wouldn’t? The outdoor activity options are endless, making enough money to afford to live here isn’t difficult, and of course the carefree lifestyle and people who live it are all solid reasons to never leave. The people of Vail are some of the most generous, open-minded, and laid-back people I have ever met. But, sometimes, the people who visit are even more interesting, and the ability to meet these people is just another reason to stick around.

It was a normal day in Vail Village. The sun was shining, people were milling about. I was shopping when my dirty old habit of eavesdropping tuned into some guy telling a few employees to “pick out whatever for my girlfriend, I don’t know what girls like in this shop, but I’m sure she would like something. You pick it out, I’ll buy it.” My almost primitive shopping instinct went into overdrive and I blurted out: “I love to shop. I’ll pick something.” The man took me up on my offer and followed me around the store, turning down every item I picked out. He finally picked out a sweatshirt he liked and I agreed that any girl would love it (except for maybe this one). Mission accomplished, he has a shirt for his girlie. But, this stranger’s generosity does not stop there. He insisted on buying me whatever shirt I want. I go for the kill and five minutes later, I am walking out of the store with a new outer layer. That would have made my day, but the kind old guy asked where he could get a good martini. I happened to be on my way to enjoy a delicious adult beverage at Vendetta’s and suggested this as his destination for his “one” martini.

One martini turned into several, he kept buying, I kept “flying” to get the drinks. It turns out that the guy was a songwriter and wrote a few delightful tunes that keep karaoke nights happening. Apparently, he was big time in the ’80s, Stephen Tyler even sent him a ring, which he showed me while slurring the story and sloppily spilling his martini. I eventually faked dinner reservations and bailed, it was getting far too weird, even for this bird. But before I left, he asked if I need money. I laughed and told him no, but he proceeded to stuff a wad of cash in my hand and mumbles “for dinner,” I tried to hand it back, but he wouldn’t take it. I’m not one to argue, unless drinking tequila (which I wasn’t) so I took the cash that paid for a spectacular night out.

The first time I wore the shirt I felt a little uncomfortable. It was borderline call-girl, I had been compensated with money and material items for my time (and I assure you, only time and conversation). Then I realized that I was wearing a sweet shirt, had free drinks and a nice, free meal. All I had to do was talk to some crazy dude about his glory days of being an ’80s songwriter, which may or may not have been true. The potential for randomness and to meet even more interesting people is at its peak in this valley. After all, it was just another day in Vail, livin’ the dream. Go Cards!


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