A Las Vegas
The day I almost lost my shirt
This Las Vegas shopping experience happened on a trip to Las Vegas a number of years ago. We were staying at Treasure Island, a hotel I really like because it is a mere five-minute jaunt to the Fashion Show Mall, my favorite shopping destination.
By habit, I always postpone any shopping experience in Vegas to the second day I am in the city. The first day is reserved for strolling along the strip to see what has closed, where the backhoes are at work digging a foundation for a fresh casino and what cosmetic changes the older casinos have made to continue attracting clients. Catching up with the ever-changing face of the city, I guess you would call it.
Day two arrived and I set out for the Fashion Mall shortly after its doors opened in the morning. For years, I have loved this place with its great mix of shops. Unlike some of the newer malls, such as the one at Caesars and the Venetian, I can actually afford to buy things at the Fashion Show Mall! The shopping experience is enhanced by browsing through Saks and Neiman Marcus to see how their products are merchandised. No other department store uses more creativity to display its goods.
The particular trip around which my shopping experience story unfolds was a month before Christmas, so I had my Santa list with me. In Neiman Marcus I found some beautiful sheared sweaters, as soft as a kitten, and reasonably priced. I bought one for me and two as gifts for our daughters.
No matter where I embark on a shopping experience, my Scottish heritage never allows me to bypass a rack of discounted items without rifling through to see if there’s a bargain that fits me. On that day in Neiman Marcus I hit a surprise jackpot. Scrunched in among some mediocre items was a linen DKNY man-styled shirt. One of those pieces you could wear with jeans or as an over shirt with everything from a swimsuit to a sundress. Best of all, it had been marked down four times. It started at $230 and was now languishing on that rack for $60. What a find! (This shopping experience was 12 years ago – I still wear it!)
By the time I left the Fashion Show Mall I had gone through most of my list and was weighed down with bags from a variety of stores. I divided them between my two hands, gripped them tightly and proceeded for Treasure Island. Before crossing the moat into the hotel, I looked down and did a quick recap. Something from this particular shopping experience was missing. Checking my cache, I discovered that my DKNY shirt was no longer a part of my life.
Back I tracked to the corner with the traffic light. While the light was red, I had checked before crossing and knew my shirt had been with me at that point. A security guard was standing near the corner. I asked him if he had seen a Neiman Marcus bag on the sidewalk. I had lost one. He shook his head, looked deep into a nearby trashcan but came up empty.
Downcast, I turned and headed back to the Treasure Island hotel, my shopping experience decidedly on a down swing. Suddenly, my eye caught a sequence of events just ahead of me. A tourist was quickly zipping up her roomy shoulder tote while her husband was mashing a Neiman Marcus bag into a small ball. As though operated by remote control, I walked up to the woman and, with the coolness of a cougar, said, “If you don’t mind, I would like to check your tote for an item I lost.” She was so surprised, she couldn’t even collect her wits enough to object. I unlatched the bag from her shoulder, unzipped it and spied my shirt rolled up within it, the price tag still attached. Yanking it out, I said sarcastically, “Thank you.” Her husband stood by watching, dumbfounded.
I high tailed it up the street for the hotel wishing I had eyes in the back of my head so I could see if they were chasing me or calling a police officer. This is not a recommended way to end a shopping experience! It wasn’t until I had all my treasures safely in our hotel room that the stark reality of the situation hit me. What if there had been a gun stashed in her bag? What if her husband was trigger-happy? They could have shot me and successfully defended themselves by claiming I was robbing the wife. Believe me, I was pretty weak kneed over the incident for the rest of the day.
So, after this Vegas shopping experience, what tip can I pass on to you? Hang on to all your bags! It’s far better to carry less and make two trips than risk having one of your items slip out of your hands. The streets of Las Vegas are jammed with tourists. If you do lose something, chances are you will never hear it hitting the sidewalk or notice it’s escape until it’s too late.