February 4, 2009

"One is Never Lost"

Holly-"I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's."

Paul-"Tiffany's? You mean the jewelry store."

Holly-"That's right. I'm just CRAZY about Tiffany's!"

Tiffany and Co. There is nothing on earth more classic, more classy, or more right.

I fell in love with the place in a strange and unlikely way. I was at work at a hospital when I was 18 years old. I'd finished my job and was mindlessly flipping through a fashion magazine-probably Vogue or Vanity Fair. My fingers stopped when I saw a gorgeous photo. It was a picture of a guy and girl in a canoe. Behind them was the skyline of a huge city they had just rowed away from, and a bridge was on their left. It was a black and white image, with the guy leaning forward, handing the girl a small box with a ribbon tied around it. A two-paged ad, it seemed larger than life. On the very edge was a color I would learn later is called, and actually trademarked, 'Tiffany Blue'. I ripped the pages out and kept it. I still have that ad today.

It was legendary, but it seemed very unreachable, until the next summer. I was on a vacation, and went to Chicago for a week. One whole day was spent walking Michigan Avenue. I saw the storefront and felt like I'd spotted a celebrity, but was too intimidated to go in. My dad was with me, and insisted. Feeling every bit not good enough to be a customer in a store like that, I walked in with my flip flops and pair of jeans with holes ripped in them, and was in awe. The jewelry was amazing of course, but so were the people. It was as if they couldn't see the clothes I really had on-they smiled, made small talk, and seemed completely oblivious to the poor kid I was (and still am). Everything Holly Golightly said in the movie suddenly made sense to me. It was the perfect store.
I couldn't get married without a ring from Tiffany's. Somehow, I got it. But when I gave the ring and the last name back, and packed my things to go home, I knew I couldn't leave it at that. Once a Tiffany's girl, always a Tiffany's girl. So my present to myself for Valentine's Day came home in a little blue pouch, inside a little blue box, inside a little blue bag.
I walked in this time confident, despite my chipped nail polish. I knew what to expect. Brushing past the diamonds on the first floor, I rounded the stairs to the second floor like a pro. A saleslady with short, slicked back hair smiled. There were so many things to look at, and so many I wanted. I tried on a bracelet. Then I looked one necklace, then another. I wandered around all the charms and some of the collections. But one necklace caught my eye, and I debated on spending the money for at least a half-hour. She asked me why I hesitated, and I was honest with her. She smiled knowingly (although, how could she know?), and told me she could give me her card, and I didn't have to buy it today. "Yes I do!", I told her. "That's half the magic-being able to get something here in the store!". She nodded. She knew.
Finally, I asked to try it on, and she had me lean forward to fasten the clasp for me. She moved a pedestal mirror to the glass counter. As the catalogue says, "With this popular Tiffany motif, one is never lost." There it was! A small silver heart with "Please Return to Tiffany & Co." engraved on it. There was a slightly larger mother of pearl heart behind it. Both dangled from a delicate silver chain. I had to have it.
She wrapped it up quickly, and I was outside on the sidewalk before I knew it. I know I should regret spending that much money on something, especially something I don't need-especially when my car is sitting at the repair shop tonight after not starting at lunch. But I don't. I can't. It's Tiffany's. It's magic.

Holly-"You know those days when you get the mean reds?"

Paul-"The mean reds, you mean like the blues?"

Holly-"No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?[...] Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!"

-Both quotes from "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

3 kind comments from you:

Dena said...

My day will come...one day!

Nicholereo333 said...

I love this, but I definitely beat myself up when I buy shoes or clothes don't think I'm quite ready for Tiffany's...I'll find some way to entertain myself for Valentine's Day tho

chambanachik said...

You both will have to have the experiance sometime...and as for Valentine's Day, if we're not otherwise engaged, the three of us should get gussied up and go out!

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