There was a time which lasted pretty much from the time I was about five until, well, now, where I loved to buy things. Not anything, but fancy expensive designer things. My love of all things fancy and expensive started under the care and tutelage of my Gramma Jeanne and my favorite and much admired Auntie Susie.
Most children, then and now, would climb on jungle gyms in the park or slide down metal slides that would burn your tush on hot summer days… The parks always smelled like weird metal. I hated that smell. I hated looking up at the electric poles; I hated swinging, sliding and climbing…
Gramma Jeanne would take me to the Saks children’s department. It smelled nice and fancy. I could slide winding banister or run down the wide winding staircase with lavender carpet. I felt like That Girl or Doris Day singing Que sera sera (FUCK I’m old!!!). It was magical and I felt like a princess. I would run through the racks of beautiful clothes.
When I was older, I would go with my aunt to Neiman’s before EVERYONE shopped there. Or to the Style Shoppe in Highland Park a kiddie boutique… Again this is before everyone knew or could afford designer clothes. I felt cool grownup and like a princess.
When I was older still, in high school, my aunt would give me her Armani, Gucci and Sonia Rykiel hand me downs.
When I was older than that, and started working and then married and living in New York, I was in the best fashion playground ever. Then I also had enough income to afford at least some of it and usually on sale. It made me feel good.
Petty I know. It is trivial, silly, truly unimportant and meaningless. I remember buying my first Cadillac and my first Prada bag as momentous occasions. Silly, I know, trivial and possibly JAPy.
I learned before the girls were born that I had too much…You (Gila and Sarah G) are most likely rolling your eyes. But I liked what I had. Then I was packing to move back to Israel and I saw how much I had and how meaningless it was and is.
Fast forward March, 2016. I haven’t bought designer anything for a long time. If anything I am throwing it out; its old, faded, frayed, and torn. I feel like I’m throwing away pieces of myself. I love my life, my job, my children my friends. But sometimes, especially lately, I am struck by the Sisyphus like existence I have; laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, folding packing picking up straightening cooking, working and all over again. Constantly, every day, all day. With no break.
I was talking to a professor of mine yesterday and she made the “kiss of death” statement. “Well I’m like a single mother, my husband is always working.” REALLY!!!??? SERIOUSLY??!! Is he bringing a second salary? Is he a shoulder? A comfort? A bedmate? A partner? I don’t have any of that and I am really at my breaking point.
Two years ago, at this time of year my dad and I had a heart to heart. He told me that I don’t take care of myself. I didn’t feel that way. The shopper, manicured girl, who prided herself on having spa-ed all over the country and in part of the world, didn’t take care of herself? The world traveler? Season ticket holder to the Bulls, White Sox, Kentuckey Derby? Lyric Opera? Chicago Symphony? Habima? How could he say that? I was very happy and content. I still am but now I am ragged, exhausted and lonely..terribly lonely. But so busy and tired.
I feel the same and yet terribly different.
It might be a phase. It’s also the beginning of the end of the school year. I don’t know. I need a change.
I thought today how wonderful a day at Bergdorf’s could be. Going shopping and then to the seventh floor restaurant and ordering an iceberg salad with blue cheese dressing, an order of fries. New clothes, a manicure/pedicure… and then I threw another load in the washing machine…