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I was in Vegas for a night and a day to attend an event involving my boyfriend's environmental nonprofit: they were partnering up with a high-end jeweler who made sustainable (and affordable) bracelets with part of the proceeds to be donated to the organization.

At the Vegas airport I surrendered to my craving for a Cinnabon and managed to leave my clutch purse on the counter and walk away. Only when I was rooting around in my overnight bag for money to pay the cab driver did I realize the idiotic thing I had done. (That's what I get for a: not taking my ADD medication and b: loving the carbs.)

Many phone calls later, I managed to establish that the purse was still at Cinnabon, waiting for "the guy" to pick it up and take it to the airport Lost & Found, who kept telling me they hadn't yet received it, because they don't send anyone to pick anything up, the item has to be delivered to them, which Cinnabon didn't seem to understand, but in any case someone at Cinnabon kept forgetting to call some other person who was somehow required to complete this incredibly complicated operation of getting the purse from one place to another which meant that the purse didn't go anywhere for a long time.

I resorted to bribery: "I will pay you, or anybody, one hundred dollars if you run that thing over to me at the Palazzo right now."

A pause.

"Sorry, ma'am, but we're not supposed to do stuff like that. If we do that we'll get in trouble."

I cursed those ethical, rule-abiding Cinnabon employees.

The VIP pre-party took place in the backroom of a restaurant. The magazine Marie Claire was somehow involved. Make-up artists were stationed around the room to do your face for free. I submitted myself to the ministrations of a young woman in a black cut-out top that showed part of the tattoo on her back. It was large and elaborate, she informed me, because she got tired of having just the little tattoos -- "Britney Spears tattoos" -- and wanted to make a statement. The design -- which went from her shoulder to her waist and reminded me a little of the tattoo in the Kushiel's Dart books -- was centered around a stylized sun in honor of a friend who died in a motorcycle accident: "He had that same tattoo. A year after the crash, my husband got it also."

The closest I ever came to a tattoo was in my early twenties, when I was teaching ESL in Japan. I made an appointment at a gleaming, high-tech parlor in Osaka. But before the appointment could take place, my boyfriend -- the big love of my university years -- and I broke up. Since he'd been the one to design the tattoo (he had faxed it to me over Christmas) I rather sensibly decided that no way in hell could I ever have that on my body.

The room filled up. A very attractive brunette woman in her forties or early fifties wanted to meet with Dude and talk about what she could do for the environment; only after chatting with her (and commenting on her snake ring, and discovering that we both have an affinity for snake rings and bracelets) did I recognize her from movies and television. (Specifically, I remember a straight-to-video movie where she played an art critic. And what I remember is a scene where an artist she had torn apart in a review sidled up to her at a gallery and sneered, "I'm sorry to have offended your delicate and heightened sensibilities." I got a kick out of that line and started inflicting it on people whenever I had half the chance: "Oh, I'm sorry, did I offend your delicate and heightened sensibilities...?" I am not proud of this.)

There were several reality-TV stars -- "stars" -- in attendance. I didn't recognize any of them, but noted the cameras flashing and people asking to pose with them for photographs. (They turned out to be from The Bachelor -- the tiny brunette woman who got picked, and then dumped -- and one of those godawful Real Housewives shows*). The party moved poolside, where people stood around and wilted in the heat and humidity and mostly ignored the musical performances happening onstage. Dude, who had downed a couple of drinks by that point, had to go up and make a quick speech. (Backstage, the director mentioned the need to kill time and asked Dude, "Can you talk for twenty minutes?" Dude replied, "I can talk for twenty minutes. I don't know if people want me to talk for twenty minutes.") He ended up talking for two. He was articulate and impassioned as he always is, and shrugged at me when he came offstage. "Nobody was paying attention."

My high heels were killing me. I kicked them off and walked barefoot to our hotel room. Dude offered to carry the shoes for me. Because he's like that.



*I did, however, watch every single episode of the first two seasons of Real Housewives of Orange County. "This show," declared my ex-husband, who was still my husband at that point, "is banal and insipid! These people are vacuous!" "Yes," said I, and refused to change the channel.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
mallorys_camera
Jun. 9th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
My ex-husband claimed that 9/11 happened because "Osama bin Laden knew that some day America would produce The Real Housewives of Orange County." A tasteless joke,and yet somehow very funny to those of use who know the difference between Vicki and Jeanna.

Edited at 2010-06-09 12:45 pm (UTC)
moschus
Jun. 9th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Ha. And I *do* know the difference...
(Anonymous)
Jun. 9th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
Talk to me...
I rather enjoyed this little slice of life. I may, in fact, say to someone today: "Did I offend your delicate and heightened sensibilities," although I won't remember whom I'm quoting. I think I may have said it several times also, after having seen the film. You have such a strong voice here, and I revel it it. So, did you get the purse back? -Dufflyn Lammers www.dufflyn.blogspot.com
moschus
Jun. 9th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Talk to me...
Thanks. And yes, I did.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 15th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
I come here, and you're brown... I got to TW and you're blonde... just wondering what you're sporting these days. I just went brown and it's leaving me blue.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2010 11:32 am (UTC)
So, I'm left wondering... did you get the purse back, and how?

I wish you'd have taken a pic of you after the makeup.. *S*

Dave C
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
It can be annoying
Sometimes we know that companies have some procedures but they should be as flexibleas humans need it (http://learningtomakeup.com)

Nice description of the event!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

I'm the author of three published novels: the dark fantasies BLOODANGEL and LORD OF BONES (Roc/Penguin) and the YA supernatural thriller UNINVITED (MTV/Simon&Schuster). I also have stories in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2 and ZOMBIES: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE HUNGRY DEAD. I'm working on a psychological thriller called THE DECADENTS. I am divorced, with sons, and live in Bel Air.

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