Him: (Flustered) “You can’t wear that shirt.”
Me: “WHAT?? Why not? I’m not on the show floor. Myriam said I could even wear midriffs as long as it wasn’t during show hours.”
Him: (Looking down at my… um… *shirt*) “You just… (now, blushing) you can’t wear that.”
Me: “Hey, after two kids, I’m proud of these suckers (no pun intended). I’m wearing it.”
The above conversation was between my co-worker, Chris, and me, right before we stepped out for the evening on the first night we arrived in Vegas. Let me give you a little back story on him and us, though…
Chris is my twenty-four-year-old colleague, friend, accessory, and sometimes confidant. Over the last year we’ve worked together, we’ve developed a fantastic relationship. Mind you, I’m eighteen years his senior, so it’s sometimes like an “older aunt to younger step-nephew” relationship, but he’s a funny guy and he’s new to the industry, so he’s not jaded like so many seasoned salesmen I know.
I can pretty much guarantee that on any given night I’m going to get a text from Chris with a picture of him at the pool, or him on a golf course, or him with a hot woman, or him saying “I just made a $50,000 sale!” or him exclaiming “NEW YORK IN FIVE WEEKS, BABBBBYYYYYYYY…. YEAHHHHHHH!” Never once am I annoyed, or disappointed, or bothered. I like Chris in my life. He keeps me young, but if I’m being completely honest, he’s not the only one of his kind who does.
Christopher and I headed to Parasol Up to grab a drink before I was to head out for a “gals only” dinner at Giada De Laurentiis’ new restaurant at the Cromwell. A quick visit to Parasol Down to check out the scenery led to a run-in with Neiman Marcus’ Larry Pelzel, as well as my personal faves, the beautiful and personable Lita and Mike Asscher.
“You really do know everybody,” Chris said to me, and as I turned and winked at him I said… “My love, you have *no* idea…”
As we hopped the escalator to head back up, we saw the frighteningly gorgeous Sam Jansen (it’s true; I’m actually afraid of him, he’s so damned good looking) while also running into beautiful Rebecca Boyajian, who coincidentally, was part of the group of women I’d be joining for dinner. The four of us grabbed a spot at the bar and ordered our drinks – two Proseccos for the ladies, and two whatevers for the gentlemen (I don’t really pay attention when men speak. Sorry. It’s the “manly” side of me.) What I did realize, however, was that the bartender thought we were a bunch of dipshit millennials (clearly the guy didn’t spot my grays) and tried charging us SEVENTY DOLLARS for the Proseccos. Dude… this is when I gained a whole new respect for Chris Matty. Before I could open my mouth, Chris went BATSHIT on the asshole man for clearly trying to take advantage of us, so as I went to take my first sip of bubbly, the bartender literally took the glass out of my mouth.
Once the four of us finished our spirits (and Sam realized he had misplaced his wallet… OOPS!) Rebecca and I headed off in a cab to join our WJA sisters for dinner.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by our host, Brandee, and took our place at a fittingly round table with a fabulous view of the Strip. Brandee almost immediately turned to me and said: “You realize you’re not allowed to blog about any of the conversations that happen here tonight, right?” To which I replied, “I can only make that promise if you and everyone here says that whatever they say is ‘off the record.’”
Brandee (without skipping a beat): “Off the record.”
Des: “Off the record.”
Fran: “Off the record.”
Monica: “Off the record.”
Rebecca: “Off the record.”
Kristie: “Off the record.”
Me: (In my mind) “Y’all suuuuuuuuuck so badly.”
So, that’s pretty much all I can share about the dinner. Can you believe how stupid I am? I gave them the out and they took it and I can’t share a damn thing. I hate me.
OH! I will say this, though, since it’s super important to the rest of the story. As the dinner was ending, Brandee went ahead and checked her phone and said, “Okay, so, we’re going to a speakeasy now, is that cool with everybody?”
For me, she may as well have said, “Hey, I’ve got these five trash bags filled with hundred dollar bills, chocolate, and naked pictures of Paul Rudd that I don’t know what to do with. Can you help me by taking some of them?”
As we waited for taxis to arrive, I began a texting frenzy to a couple of my twenty-something male cohorts to try to get them to meet up with us there.
“Okay, so, a bunch of my middle-aged smokin’ hot friends and I are headed to a burlesque venue called ‘1923’ at the back of Mandalay Bay. It would be nice if we had some eye candy for a change.”
“No, we’re not going to Eye Candy.”
“Yes, I know that’s also at Mandalay Bay.”
“Christ, do you want to go or not?”
“Okay, it’s called ‘1923’ and when you get there, the password is ‘Miami.’”
“Yes, you need a password.”
“Yes, I’m dead serious.”
“Yes, I know you love Vegas.”
“It’s burlesque, not a strip club.”
“You really need to get out more, man.”
And so it was that as our group walked up to the bar and gave the doorman our password, a bookshelf became a hidden passageway into a dimly-lit room with go-go dancers and hipster bartenders. There were people everywhere – three deep at the bar, yet whose was the scruffily-bearded, English face I saw first in the crowd?
“BABS IS HERE!”
Voila. Instant eye candy. Thank you, oh, thank you, you wonderful speakeasy gods.
What… a… CROWD! The jewelry industry’s best and brightest apparently all got the memo – or at least, got the password. Amanda Gizzi, and Jen Cullen Williams, and MY FRIENDS FROM HALE’S and Danny Chandler, too! Lecil and the Henderson crew were there, as was Ron Saltiel, and, no surprise, Raymond Hak. There were beautiful performers (that brunette?! Wowsa.) and the drinks were free as long as you tipped your servers. I felt like I had died and gone to single-malt-scotch heaven, down to when my eyes caught Lucking and Chris Matty doing the bump for a small audience of women.
I FREAKING love this job.
After a couple of brown liquors and an inappropriate offer or two from a handful of overly excited patrons, I decided it was time to get my arse in a car and head back up the Strip to the Wynn. I slipped out of the side door and headed for an exit, walking past the Eye Candy bar and hesitating for a split second on whether or not I should peek in… “Naaaaah. Nothing could make this night any better” I thought, so off I went into the neon madness, with not much more than the next day’s events on my mind.
Tune in to Part THREE to check out how the opening day of the COUTURE show went and what really went on at the “Power of Blogging” panel! (Spoiler alert: no one was maimed but blood was definitely spilled.)