Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Retail Therapy

So everyone remembers when we all got together and went to Milan for the Spring 2010 Runway shows, right? We all hopped that chartered plane and had such a good time. Carolyn, you may not remember all of it, you were severely medicated for the plane ride. Same for you Michael. Oh and David, you're always severely medicated. Okay, so none of you probably remember it but I do. It's as if it were yesterday when I was sitting front row at the Gucci show...

Or maybe I was just reviewing the show via slide show on my computer? Well, in any case I fell in love with the Gucci Spring 2010 collection.

As is my habit, I was at the mall a few months later and I was visiting (okay, stalking) some pricey items at Gucci Beverly Center, when I turned around and there it was. High on a shelf, but still within reach, lit beyond what should be legal in retail: the world's most amazingly gorgeous blue duffel bag.

I made a zig-zag line through the store so as to not alert security and casually sidled up to the shelf where I reached up and put my hands on it. Electricity flowed through my veins.

Now I am no fool. I know exactly which store I was in and that this bag was hand crafted, rare and was going to be "serious" money. In fact, so sure of its costliness, I didn't even remove it from the shelf. I caressed it, and I left it. The bag and I were now officially dating.

I came home and reviewed my runway snaps. Yes, there it was. The Julia Roberts of Gucci bags, and I was the Hugh Grant of runway watching in my own personal movie, "Not-a-chance of Getting-it Gate."

So I placed a photo of it into my iPhone and carried it with me wherever I went. "See this bag?" I'd say to random strangers (as my friends and loved ones were already sick of hearing about it), "It's Gucci. It's gorgeous. And I'm stalking it."
The photo that has lived in my phone.

Two weeks later, I took Lyle to the mall to show him what our adopted child would look like if I had my way... the bag was GONE.

Lyle inquired about how much would the bag have been if it had actually been in the store. They told us the price and I silently gasped inside (on my face it would have been a very wide eyed blink) and Lyle said, "thanks," and we left the store. I said to Lyle, "WOW. I guess I was right about not being able to afford that bag." And Lyle said very matter of fact, "You can afford that bag. You have that much money in the bank. If that's what you want to do with your money." I muttered something about starving children and someday buying a car or a house and Lyle said, "If that's what you want to do with your money, you can do that too. But if you really WANT that bag, you CAN afford it."

The next day we were at the Gucci flagship store in Beverly Hills (pre-sale, thank you very much) and I hemmed and hawed with the salesperson until Lyle finally took my phone and showed the man what I searching for.

"Oh yes, we had that. But we sold it."
Will you be getting more in? I asked hopefully.
"We did get a refill, but we won't get any more."
How can you be so sure?
"Because it was a runway item and we normally only get one. I was surprised when we got a refill."
Would other stores have one left?
"No. They only make between 25 to 40 of those items. They'll be certain to be gone by now."

We ended our conversation with he'd keep his eyes open if he saw or heard of one via the computer stocking system but that I shouldn't get my hopes up.

We left the store and I said to Lyle, "Well, I guess I guess I dodged a bullet on that bag. Now I don't even have to consider buying it versus feeding starving children." And Lyle said very matter of fact, "Next time you see something you really want that badly, remember just to get it. It won't be there later. You work hard for your money and you can do whatever you want with it." And then I muttered something along the lines of, "well, that street doesn't go both ways, you better save your money for a house or a car or something..." and luckily he didn't really hear me.

While at that Gucci pre-sale I did purchase a pair of white shorts and since it was "pre-sale" I couldn't pick them up until the actual sale day broke. A week and half later I picked up my new white shorts and realized that my $9 flip flops didn't really create the look I was going for with my new pricey Gucci white shorts and I needed some nicer white shoes or some such to go with these shorts.

Since I don't have a car (I ride my bike or take the bus, so I can buy more shoes) I went looking on the Internet. I knew Sak's Fifth Avenue was having a sale because, well, I'm just that gay. I know things. There I found the most perfect white shoes. Made by... wait for it... Gucci! I sent Lyle off a photo to him on his phone telling him of my plans to possess them. A text message came back "Sounds good. I wanted those shoes. You're lucky they aren't available in my size!"

Then on a whim, I left the sale section and went to the regular priced Gucci section online at Sak's. This is how it begins, the hunt for the perfect item, find it at regular price then wait for it to go on sale. But today was to be different. Sitting there on the Sak's Gucci page on the Internet, just as blithely as you like, there IT was...


I let out an audible gasp that woke up the dogs behind me. Then I sent Lyle a picture text message, "MY BAG!!!"

And I received the reply, "We have that much money in the bank."

Then I sat here staring at the page on the Internet.

I kept saying inside my head, "It's too much. Too much to spend on myself. I shouldn't spend that kind of money on myself when we have so many other things we need to take care of." And then it came to me. I was telling myself I didn't deserve a bag that nice.

I thought, "Lyle thinks I deserve this. Why don't I?" "WHY DON'T I !?!" What inside tells me that I am not good enough, worth enough or deserving of an unbelievable pricey work of hand crafted cobalt blue mobile art?!

I signed up to be on the mailing list and was immediately given a 10% off coupon. Armed with my coupon and a deep DEEP breath, I made my purchase!

Then I freaked out and re-read the return policy (just in case).

The shoes and bag arrived a week later.
They had to sit and acclimate themselves to their new environment, like when you add goldfish to the pond.

"Delivery from Saks!" I texted Lyle. Then I burst into tears and left both boxes sitting unopened on the dining room table. I went and had a nap. When I woke up I opened the smaller box with the white shoes inside. They were prettier than online and have the most amazing grey/silver polished sole on the bottom.
I felt guilty the first time I put them on and placed my foot on the ground. Not so guilty that I took them off, but still... they're that pretty.

Then I waited for Lyle to come home to open the box with the bag inside.

We unpacked it together and marveled at the craftsmanship and detail. The inside is lined with brown suede that is unbelievably soft. This photo doesn't do it any real justice.We caressed it, fondled it and then I placed it back inside it's protective fabric bag. I placed it high up on a shelf so no dog could accidentally find it and do it any harm.

Lyle looked me over and said, "I can't believe you just spent that amount of money on a purse."

I turned to Lyle, beaming and said, "We need to plan a trip to Paris for this bag!"


Rachel V. Olivier said...

And thus, you may have single handedly bolstered the economy. I know someone who said that she and her friends have a well off friend who feels guilty spending money. They tell her to go out and spend it cuz there's no way the rest of us can bolster the economy like that. It's up to the people who can! So go forth and spend!

Anonymous said...

That bag is the first thing I noticed in the runway picture. The color is AMAZING! Lyle is a very wise man - you do deserve things like that - especially since you earned it and you are WORTH it! Now, next time I go shopping and hesitate on a purchase because of the $$$ - tell Lyle to expect a phone call. Can you clone him?

"Just David!" said...

fabulous!! and yes, you deserve it!