All posts tagged: Las Vegas

I Learned Everything I Needed to Know at a Vegas Cosmetic Counter

In the summer of 1989, I got myself gussied up and stepped onto a gleaming marble sales floor ready to beautify the world, or at least those fortunate enough to pass my counter. A 21-year old small-town girl with retail stars in my eyes, I had confidently parlayed my limited (and decidedly unsophisticated) local-mall sales experience and a few freelance makeovers into credentials for this glamorous new gig, but I was unprepared for the insane, international and immensely delightful cast of characters who would teach me everything they knew about selling and survival—whether they meant to or not. Why and how I came to be in the cosmetics department at Saks Fifth Avenue in Las Vegas is a story for another time, but suffice to say it had to do with a car breaking down in the desert and someone’s uncle’s girlfriend knowing a manicurist who knew someone in human resources. Long story short, Saks—and later Neiman Marcus—empires of elegance, service and style, served as my first salt mines. Livelier and more luxurious than any …

My Quick and Quirky Vegas Wedding

(Photo courtesy Adrianna Dufay) Wife. Even at a relatively young age, I knew I was never going to be a wife. In the books I read, the wife stayed at home while the husband went out and did “things.” The wife took care of the children, cooked, cleaned house and all that sort of stuff, but I hated cleaning, didn’t much care for cooking and I was never going to have children. So why would I need to be a wife? I grew up in the 1970s and 80s, a card-carrying member of Generation X. I was a latchkey kid, during a time when it felt strange if your parents were still together. Divorce was the norm. In my 20s, I attended friends’ weddings, big affairs with white dresses and bridesmaids and tuxedos and catering halls. I was incredibly happy for my friends. But each wedding cemented the idea that all this frou-frou was not for me. I knew I was going to be a lone wolf. A drama teacher once told me that he saw …