A few weeks ago, The Sister and I had decided to switch types. She is now supposed to go for the goofy dorks and I am supposedly totally into dumb jocks. We’re not good at it. Her temporary dude, an engineer (a plus!) also deals (oo, negative), and I can’t sit through In Good Company without commenting on my love for Topher Grace. Not too promising. But hell, vacation tends to evoke a change in behavioral patterns, so we left Minnesota optimistic. Four older cousins, all female, were also accompanying us to Phoenix in visitation of our male cousin. Only one of the female cousins is not married and all the others promised to keep their eyes open for vacation fling material, motivated by a not-having-to-share-a-bed incentive.

If we were looking for dudes over the retirement age, we would have been in great luck, as everyone everywhere was a senior citizen. Everyone. Everywhere. At breakfast, dinner, the pool, and the shops: a pestiferous swarm of silver-haired old people. Which is why we were surprised when cutting across the hotel courtyard for pre-dinner cocktails, we were whoo!ed. Whoo!ed by guys playing beer pong. (Side note: first assumption was Spring Breakers, but they were professionals in town on business).

After two rounds of cocktails while watching the rowdy boys drink enough to swim in the fountain and dance to their booming music selection (which I am almost positive would be labeled “Frat Party 2004 Mix”), the cousins were just buzzed enough to comment that they looked like they were having a good time and how unfortunate that beer pong was not their particular forte. I needed no further egging to propose an alternative to the boys.

“Would any of you be interested in a game of Flip Cup?”

Although I consciously made eye contact with each of the guys, I lingered over the cute one. Obviously. And he smiled when he looked back. His eyes were light brown. Over the cacophony of responses arguing logistics and players and rules, he spoke with quiet confidence, an assurance that his question would stand out and be the one to receive a response.

“Yeah, but are you any good?” (Fucking cute.)

“We’re from the Midwest, of course we’re good.” Much better than wherever it was that he was from and where was that again?


A response that evoked an Elmer Fudd-like nervous death-rattle, gurgling from the back of my throat.

“Um, originally?”

“No, originally from Maine.”

THANK GOD. Still a candidate for Vacation Mission: Cute But-Not-My-Type Boy. In my list of traits to ignore and go for the opposite type, Massholes are … probably listed in the top three. He organized the table and the players while I returned to recruit the cousins.

We cheated at Flip Cup, or Tippy Cup as two of my teammates called it. After the first round, we were delayed not in our flipping skills but our chugging speed. I started laughing uncontrollably when chugging; the cute boy, who stood next to me at the round table, kept teasing me (“Isn’t it funny? God, it’s so funny!”), and I eventually poured my remaining beer on the sidewalk. He, who justifiably could have cried party foul, instead starting laughing, nodding acceptance when I flipped my cup upright on my first try. We lost two rounds before gradually replacing the half-cups with less and less liquid, until the final round, when we barely had a full gulp. So yes, we might have been cheating but the important thing is that we won. And the boys, most importantly the cute one, could have cared less.

Our cab to take us to dinner arrived shortly thereafter and The Sister called out our evening’s agenda in parting.

They came to the bar. And had replaced their beer-pong sweats with preppy button-ups. They looked good. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to meander over to their corner before we were kicked out. Well, specifically, The Sister was kicked out and we followed suit.

For a good half-hour when we had lost The Sister, she had, apparently, met some dude who bought her a few rounds of shots. Shots of Rumple Minze. Never good. But she was on vacation and was drinking to with a mission of her own: Drunkenness. She fell over when I lost my hold on her waist and the bouncer subsequently kicked us out. Her mission: accomplished.

After dropping off The Sister and three of the cousins, the remaining two of us went to meet The Boy Cousin with three of his friends, who were Big Deals back in their college basketball days. As they were all married or involved, not to mentioned friends with my protective cousin, the most that happened was drinking beer in a hot tub until 4:30am. But it was lovely. Much better than the flip-cuppers. And, as I spent my evening drinking with jocks, two of whom kissed the top of my head in good-bye (note to boys: adorable move), I think my mission was also (somewhat) successfully completed.