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A Night Outback

thunder tracieThere I was, sitting underneath a strobe light and staring at a stage of buff – very buff – men in various stages of undress. Throughout the evening, the men channeled their inner Channing Tatum. There was a milk man, a Roman warrior, a cowboy, and a man in a Renaissance costume. All around me, women were losing their ever-loving minds. They were screaming, jumping up and down, positively salivating over the sight before them. This, my dear friends is Thunder from Down Under, and they come to Reno once a year for two shows at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. You may think I’m joking or being sarcastic, but seeing a woman in her 80s pulled up onto stage, and, well, willingly groping and being groped, I had an epiphany. One of those out of body experiences where I looked around and realized that at that very moment, we were one. The audience, primarily women, was on this journey together, laughing until we were crying together, screaming until we went hoarse together. And although we didn’t know each other, it was one giant Girls’ Night Out. And it was amazing. (and perhaps a little scarring. The things we saw – whew, buddy, I’ll just leave it at that.)

We need those every once in a while. To cut loose and forget about diapers and bath time, and just have some fun with our best girls. When’s the last time you had an amazingly fun night out with friends? Where talking about your kids is strictly forbidden and excessive wine drinking is encouraged? Since coming to Reno in 2012, due to my own dumb insecurities, I have struggled to find a core group of women who I can call on a whim for such a night out. Friendship dating is a separate post in and of itself, but those who have been in my shoes know – it’s hard to make new friends when you’re older. But on this night, full of Aussie male strippers, we were all on the same team, and for that little blip in time, were all the best of friends.


About Tracie Barnthouse

Tracie Barnthouse
A Midwestern girl who has laid roots in Reno, Tracie Barnthouse is the mother of two {A (4) and E (9 months)}, and wife of one (Token). Publicist by day, her job keeps her busy, and she’s still learning that tightrope walk of work/life balance. Barnthouse moved to Reno in 2012 from Sicily, Italy, where she lived for four years. Prior to that, four years were spent on the island of Guam, but she’s come to realize that home isn’t defined by a speck on a map. From overseas travel tips with infants and toddlers to glimpses of everyday life, she hopes to share stories that help us realize we’re all on this crazy ride called Motherhood together.


  1. Great article. I am a recently transplanted Midwest girl too and the friendship “dating” is exhausting.

  2. TracieB

    I feel you! Maybe we can meet for coffee and commiserate. 🙂

  3. April Garcia

    I absolutely love this post! My only regret, is that I didn’t GO!! And you really touched on something so important– we can’t lose ourselves or our ability to have fun! I love how you, eh hem, set the stage, and it sounds like a fantastic time we all need.

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