I recently turned yet another year older (exactly how many is totally irrelevant) and, as much as I'd like to ignore this process, my friends insist that it's cause for celebration. Who am I to argue if they want to drink, eat cake, and give gifts in my honor? Yet I always seem to be confronted with the same complaint: that I am "impossible" to shop for. I'm always really confused by this statement. I don't have specific style hang-ups (must be a certain brand, refuse to wear a certain colors, etc.), and I actually swoon over anything with the slightest hint of personal sentiment.
My longtime friend Nazli hit the nail on the head in this regard with the gift she got me. Not only did she pick something that immediately carried a connection to me in her mind, but it came with a great back-story that could have potentially resulted in bodily injury and an assault record.
Let me clarify:
When I unwrapped Nazli's gift I found a black-and-gold Kate Spade enamel bangle embellished with the phrase "Crazy Town". I was told just before opening to pay "special attention" to the inscription. JUST A NEW YORK MINUTE . Not only was it a beautiful bracelet to begin with, but the inscription embodies everything that I love about the ever-changing nature of New York.
But when Nazli said "I almost fought some girl over this," it only got better. The story goes that while browsing the jewelry to find that perfect piece, she saw another girl examine the bracelet, put it back on the counter, and continue to browse some other jewelry. Curious as to what it was, Nazli picked it up and realized that this was the ever-elusive "one". She had to have it, because she knew I had to have it.
She asked the saleswoman if there was another one (always go for the one less-fondled). Nope, just the one. She would buy it. Until, that is, the other girl who had so casually discarded it a moment ago suddenly became interested. "Um, actually, I was going to buy that," she interjected. But Nazli already had it in her hand.
I imagine that the glares and off-color comments in the exchange that followed were like something out of a documentary on jungle animals fighting for their prey. Gift or not, to me this is what fashion and style are really about. It's not a matter of gobbling up the latest trend, or that one item that's only coveted because everyone else has it too. It's about that piece that speaks to you, that you must have, that reflects your personality. Whenever you look at it you remember how badly you wanted it and why. You're excited to wear it whether it's the first time or the hundredth. You don't care what anyone else thinks because you love it. And, if necessary, you'd be willing to fight for it.
Please note: I do not condone or encourage physical violence on any level. But girl, you do what you gotta do.