Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Lady that Lives in a Shoe

You can feel the summer slowly coming to an end. The morning air begins to cool, the birds gathering before making their long journey south and the air fills with the wonderful sound of a credit cards being swept. End of summer always brings my favorite time of the year… end of season SALES. As fall just begins to appear so do all those discount tickets under designer shoes.  I can hear my name being screamed in an Italian accent and am I definitely not the one to resist any foreign temptation, especially any that comes with a discount.
       I still have not broken the disastrous news to any of my friends, especially Sebastian. The remote thought of having an exclusive fashion opportunity missed is just heart-wrenching. Plus I didn’t want to be knocked off the fashion totem pole, I worked too hard and spent too much money trying to get to the top and I wasn’t going to slow down now. I can’t go back to khakis and half-zip sweaters, I know too much now! I don’t understand the North American obsession with khaki pants. Traveling around Europe with my sister we always play the game “Count how many American tourist you can spot.” Trust me it becomes extremely easy since we have adopted the uniform of khaki shorts, cross trainers and the cherry on the cake, a hat. WHY??? Why must we embarrass ourselves when we cross the ocean to Fashion Capital?  If it isn’t the bland color or the oversize drearier that didn’t turn someone on, it has to be those old man pleats in the front. And why is it that every guy believes that the perfect match is t-shirt or golf shirt and a pair of cross trainers. The only things these men are running from are from the fashion police.
I do have a lengthily list of fashion rules I believe every person should obey by, but due to time here are just a few I think every khaki victim should listen to: Rule 1- khakis are to only be found in one of two places a) on the golf course or b) if you work at Best Buy.  Anywhere else there is no absolute need for them, especially if they have 3 pleats in the front.  Here is an extra one to keep in mind as summer slowly comes to an end - Rule 2: Nothing on the trees means nothing above the knees. I’ve made it into a rhyme so anyone can remember it.  Make sure ladies to put a pair of wonderful pattern stockings to cover those pilling legs.
I had already promised Sebastian a fully day of S&G (Shopping And Gossiping…best cardio you could possible get) and I wasn’t going to let a minor sprain stop me from quality time with a friend. Just like any other athlete you work through the pain because you want to win the game. Today’s cardio circuit was “The Room at the Bay,” which is extremely changeling because of all the levels and other athletes that were going to be attending this exclusive event. If you have ever attended a spinning class you know that you must arrive 20 minutes prior to the class or else you end up risking the chance to spend the next hour on the smallest harness. Trust me, even my larger booty with extra stuffing cant handle it. Arriving at the store and seeing other shoppers had the same desire or should I say desperation to get their foot in a sexy Italian skin loafer at a discount price.  Even though I am extremely inpatient and against the concept of lines I knew that behind those large metal door stood Mecca.
      Rows and rows of design item all with the large sign from the gods placed directly in on top of them...50% to 70% off the ticketed item. I’m unsure which will give out first my skinny arms or my maxed out credit cards. After my addiction to purses, comes accessories, then comes dresses, then comes jeans and the finally comes shoes. So you know why I can’t resist a shoe shopping exhibition. Who better didn’t know my addiction to spending then the collection agency at American Express? God even the thought of another phone call from them sends shivers up my spin. I need some therapy and what doesn’t cure a women depression than shoes.
        When you find that perfect shoe, your heart skips a beat as you turn it over and reveal the price. I wonder what people are actually thinking when they pay full price for items.  I on the other hand feel a sense of joy, like a fashion accomplishment when I purchase something on sale, but then it becomes extremely difficult to talk myself out of the 3rd pair of pumps. What seems to only matter in my mind is the words “SALE + Save.” I’m not the greatest at math and that is probably why I can never actually calculate the finally results to that fashion equation to end up with the totally amount owing. I do prefer my method more, it is much simpler “SALE = SAVING.” What would be considered worse leaving empty handed or having a women leave with MY Italian leather loafers and not truly understand the dedication and craftsmanship that goes on behind the heel.
      “How was your date with Hot-Wheels?” Sebastian shouted over the size 8 shoes rack. It was his specialty to create nicknames for all the people we encounter. I think it was just easier for him to remember objects and concentrate all his energy on designer names.  A close friend had recently set me up on a blind date with one of their guy friends...but I am definitely going to contemplate our friendship after gone on the date. Prior to meeting him she had raved about how great of a personality he has and how much fun he is and the closing deal that he is a racecar driver. Now everyone knows that “great personality” is are code word “not the best looker” and fun often equally very boring.  That combination just screams boring date with an ugly and maybe if I played my cards right, fat guy.
       However, the concept of being set up is great thing, it often demonstrates how your friends view you. I’m not saying I’m butt ugly or in need of e-harmony or anything like that...although I wish I was one of those happy couples in the commercials. It provides a glimpse of with how your dearest friends view you, such as if they set you up with a model they think your drop-dead gorgeous and if they set you up with a mountain climber they think your active. But, I didn’t understand how I was being portrayed any longer. Although all my friends know my fetish for automobiles I was starting to wonder what they thought of my appearance. Nothing truly melts my heart more than a slick car pulling up to the curb and you can hear the engine roar. Now I’m not talking about those ‘boys’ with their souped up Honda Civics and their busted tailpipes driving around the Tim Horton’s parking lot. A car to me defines a man’s masculinity and their sophistication in the way they handle the wheel, need I say more! Although I am currently unemployed and broke I can still have standards.
 My friend had sold me on this blind date because of the tantalizing idea of being a passenger to Michael Schumacher. Just the chance to see how a professional handles a high power car turns me on. Now the date began well when I heard the car turning onto my street. The loud roar from a good European muffler started to get my blood pumping. Like any other date, I become a lioness watching my prey from afar waiting for the kill as a peered out my window watch him walk up to my door. I want to make sure that I have the healthiest gazelle to eat; no one likes the leftovers. I myself also like the challenge of the hunt especially when the catch is difficult.
       As he steps out of his two-seater BMW, which I highly approve of, I notice he wasn’t the tallest gazelle. Now I myself cant judge much on height because I am in the first survey check book of 5’1”-5’5”. But height was invented for one reason, to ride those thrilling roller coasters and why else would they invent such a key phrase in history if it doesn’t mean anything of importance…probably because they didn’t want to deflate the male egos, just like that stupid concept that size doesn’t matter. Who ever said that? If size doesn’t matter why would there be the Big and Tall store or Baby Gap. Anyway, it was actually the moment when I opened my front door that I wondered what my friends thought of me.
        “His shoes were atrocious!” I screamed out to Sebastian. How could a dear friend set my with such a violator to both leather and shoes. I couldn’t believe my eyes. How could anyone ever think of buying such a pair of disgusting shoes or even think about putting them on their first date.
            “Ummmm…..I’m unsure about him yet…..the date wasn’t horrible…..he was really polite.” I was rambling trying to disguise my initially blunder, I just hope that he didn’t catch on. I didn’t want to give Sebastian any information to develop an opinion before I have, he has a tendency to force his opinions on others and I was unsure of this particular kill.
        “Ohhh, unsure that doesn’t sound too good. Explain Mamma.” All these beautiful Italian leather loafers just staring me in the face, they knew the catastrophe I experience they could read my soul and I couldn’t lie to them.
         “His credentials almost matched up to an 8. A Sexy car, great personality, a gentlemen, an old fashion romantic and most important he paid the check. But…”
            Like Sebastian he rudely interrupted me before I could even finish. “The ‘but’ the lasting question to if there will be a second date. How big is the ‘but?”
         “Well, there are actually 2 cheeks to this ‘butt’!” We both snickered at my lame attempt to make fun of my situation. “Alright! First, he isn’t the tallest guy I’ve ever dated, BUT I was in complete shock when I opened the door and saw that he was wearing my grandfathers loafers.”
        All I could see were Sebastian’s eyes peering over the Tory Burch wooden clogs that came out this summer.  A sparkly twinkled in the concern of his eye, and I knew he had some ridiculous comment processing in his head.           
 “You could always buy Hot-Wheels a pair of platform Guccis. It would solve the problem of the ugly shoe disaster and give him an extra inch on you.”
       Now what would be worse telling Sebastian, that I’m completely broke and barely knew if the shoes I had picked out were going to be approved on my emergency Visa or that not even a pair of platform would solve Hot-Wheels problems.
        “What’s the big deal about the old man loafers? Anyway, you’ve dated worse, MUCH worse don’t you remember Crazy-Hockey Fan. I can still remember catching you walking on King and Front St with some guy with a giant hockey puck on his head. Now if you want to say worse, then there was….”
“OK, I got the point,” leave it to Sebastian to remind me of my horrible dating life.  “Why do I even have to remind you about the importance of guys and their shoes. Shoes, watches and cars are the defining factor to their personal sense of style. If a guy has the ability to make the wrong move and choose a bad pair of shoes than he also has the ability of choosing an ugly girl or even worse have all the wrong moves. And I for one do not want to wait around and see which choice Hot-Wheels decides on.”
OMG! You always have the best analogies. But since you haven’t had a prospect in weeks or should I say since December 17th, I think you should give Hot-Wheels a chance. Maybe you can suggest bowling as the next date. At least you know you both will have hideous footwear on.”

 Even though he had completely insulted me I couldn’t help but laugh. I just hope that I wouldn’t start crying when I handed the 3 pair of high heels I needed to add to my already enormous shoe collection. I hated that feeling when you approach the checkout. The anticipation waiting for the Sales Associate to lean over the counter and ask you to sign the receipt or whether she was going to say those horrific words, “Your card was declined.” Why did I feel like they are the gatekeeper to heaven and I’m confessing all the sins I have committed throughout my life. I just hope this one time that I’m finally accepted into shoe heaven. Then to finish off the whole humiliating situation they give you that look like they are so much better than you are, like they always pay their bills on time and they have a job. I believe that it is time for the consumer to start becoming more empowered. We are the ones that give these snobby sale associates their jobs; if it wasn’t for our shopping addiction these girls would be homeless. I just hope I find a job before I become the lady that lives in a shoe. At least it will be a Gucci rather than an old man loafer!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OP Symptoms

       What have I done? Quitting a job with a maxed out credit card and a Line of Credit the size of the CN Tower. Even the CN Tower required 1,000 workers to take on the freestanding building. I would consider my debt to be bigger than the size of the world’s tallest freestanding building. But, I definitely didn’t have a large amount of laborers tucked away in my pocket to hammer away on my enormous debt.
            I required some backup to help me out of my devastating situation. I needed something that would relax my nerves before I ventured back into the cave of doom; aka my house. Although the combination is extremely deadly, it always seems to sooth me like a baby craving milk from its mother. I call it my homemade remedy; a large coffee with milk and sweetener and one light Belmont cigarette. My remedy had gotten me through many stressful late-nighters during my University years.  I knew right now, it would definitely hit the spot. I had kicked the habit when I had started dating a vegan last year. He was extremely cute in his extra tight Levi’s jeans and I was extremely naive to think I would deny my love for hamburgers.  Who wouldn’t prefer a juicy Angus burger with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onions and whatever else fits between the buns? Although I had managed to alter my diet with more leafy greens, I just couldn’t commit to a meatless-man. Plus it doesn’t seem right to date someone that may have a hotter butt in a pair of jeans than me. Which girl wants her boyfriend to have more butt-stares than she does? I believe there is only room in every relationship for one hottie and I was not going to settle as the beast.
            I sat on the park bench with my overindulgent self and contemplated what I was going to do. Alcoholics attend AA meetings every week; I wonder if my community center has OP meetings for Overindulgent Personalities? My current financial situation wouldn’t allow me to splurge on private classes or even a personal mentor that I constantly watch on HGTV’s Intervention.  My case of OP would be considered extremely rare in the human species - the attraction to materialistic items especially luscious, sewn fabrics.  I need medical care to cure me of this disease before I end up begging for change holding my purple Chanel purse instead of a tin cup! At least I would be a classy street beggar and less frightening compared to others. Everyone knows that a person with a classic Chanel has exquisite taste and class.
            As I took my last drag I could still feel my heart pumping away in the pit of my stomach. I know I needed something else… an OP symptom: constantly having the need to satisfy myself; constantly wanting more. DANCING! What else cheers up a girl when she’s down, but dancing? The beat of a congo drum can always get your heart pumping. When I start to move my feet it just gets my mood right up. And it always helps being the best dressed girl there, having all the guys drool over fabulous me. Although I may be broke, I still know how to party.  It was time to call the troops in for back-up and I needed heavy artillery before I began to have a nervous break-down. The Lieutenant of the party brigade and always in command: the infamous Sam, or after an infamous summer, Eurotrash Girl. Need I explain why she is the Lieutenant with a name like that? You never know where the night will start or as a matter of fact, where it will end when Sam is in command.  I just need to have a few drinks and totally forget about this whole jobless situation. Liquid courage was also a great assistance when having to crawl back into the cave.
            I sent out a BBM, since phone calls will be left to a minimum because of the cost. I felt like Batman’s butler Alfred shining the Batman symbol into the night sky in need of rescuing Gothem City.  All I needed now was my catsuit to transform myself into a superhero and rescue the male species from the constraints of the unstylish femme fatales that plague the nightclub scene.  But I must remember: when I slip into my telephone booth I best pick the costume that shows some TNA because I was not in the mood to pay for any refreshments tonight.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Declaration

Having such an extraordinary appreciation for exquisitely made designer items, I have a less glamorous job working for my uncle. The disgusting blue polyester uniform that irritated my skin the moment I put it on was definitely one of the negative features of my job.  It was not something I ever wanted Sebastian to see me in.  I would constantly remind myself again that it is only a temporary job to pay my minimum balances on my Visa. Working for family is not as easy as I expected it to be. It’s more than the itchy blue fabric. I thought I would sit at a desk, answer the phones and on occasion check my Facebook updates whenever my uncle left the office. I had no clue I was going to be working for a dictator. My uncle has me doing so much work, lifting boxes, filling folders and sweeping the floor. One of the rules that ensured his camp to run smoothly was no contact with the outside world aka no phones. Now I don’t know about you, but my blackberry had become another limb on my body. I believe that my uncle has no idea to how use new technologies and to ensure he does not look less superiors he bans anything that requires a plug.
Now I often hide my cell-phone under a stack of toilet paper in the bathroom. Whenever I take a quick stop I am able to check all my text messages, emails and place any necessary calls. However, this day was an exception to every other day. Sabatestian was receiving a new shipment of jumbo-size Chanel bags. The purchase of one more bag would definitely put a large dent on my already overused credit card, but I knew the fashion gods would approve and help my financial state. They are the only ones that truly know the importance of quilted lambskin. How could I pass up the opportunity to soft, hand-woven leather with exquisite details, and gold traps at a discount? Just the thought makes any fashionista drool with envy. I did a quick glace around the camp to ensure my uncle had left for his mid-day espresso break. My hand begin to tremble either from the excitement of a new purse or from the thought of being thrown into the dungeon. I quickly dialed Sebastian’s number,
“I was wondering when you were going to call me mamma. I can’t keep these stunning bags on the shelf.”
I knew this was Sebastian way of keeping his profit in mind. I’ve heard him use this line with clients contemplating bags that haven’t moved in months. Did I mention he was receiver of the entrepreneur of the 21st century award?
“Look I don’t have much time, what colours and sizes do you have?” I feel that I’m some drug addict talking to his dealer about the new fix he needs to have.
“Why do you even bother to work there? It’s so beneath you…”
I interrupt him abruptly, “The bags Sebastian, the bags!” I began to start sweating in my unbearable polyester uniform. He knew how much I despised this job, how it put a damper on my social life but he had no idea how much I needed the money.
“Alright calm that cute little bum of yours. I have reintroduced vintages; a cute clutch and three large jumbos.”
 M heart stops beating. “What colours are the jumbos?”
“Cream, black and totally screams you purple.”
“I’ll take it.” I paused… a flash of my statement comes into my head. I need to phrase the second half of this question as the socialite like I am. “How much will you be putting on my credit card?”
“OOHHh mamma, for you only $1,300.  It’s a great deal, it comes with everything.” I thought in my head it’s a purse what else would it come with; the buckles, a strap the beautiful quilted leather?
“Ok. charge my visa. You remember my number right?”
“How could I forget my sugar mamma’s digits. Did you forget you’re my best client.”
Another familiar voice came into my head. I began turning different shades of white, you may think it is impossible but when you go through shock you too will understand.
“I leave just for a moment only to catch you on the phone making a personal call. You know the rules!” his voice began to escalate. This is his was to make sure that the rest of his prisoners to hear him so that they fear him even more. “I don’t care if you're family, you follow the rules or else you leave.”
“WOW that dude has issues. I guess he didn’t get his dosage of crazy pills today. Hurry up and give him his refill before he goes postal on your ass.” I completely forgot I still have the phone in my hands.
“Sebastian I better get going. I will call you later for tonight’s plans.” I slam the phone down before he could hear any more of uncle’s rant. As he walked into his little office you still hear his curses from across the room. All the other prisoners looked at me in shame. They knew that I had opened Pandora's box and the remaining hours spent at the office were going to be torturous.
I have to stand up for myself, for us, for all the harsh treatments that he was putting us threw. As I marched to his little office I began chanting in my head ‘Bathroom breaks are not privileges they are necessities. Labour Rights!’ This is my chance to make the little guy be heard.
“Uncle, can I speak to you.” I tired making my voice as apologetic as possible. “I wanted to talk to you about what just happened.” I knew I didn’t have much time before he interrupted me as I spoke fast. “I never use the phone it was an emergency. I am a hard worker and obey by all your rules, but you really embarrassed in front of everyone.”
It was official, Pandora was released and was taking victims. “I don’t care! What’s embarrassing is that I hired you as a favor to your mother. You come in late, read those stupid fashion magazines all day and take whatever breaks you like. You think I care how I embarrassed you, how you feel?
I couldn’t believe my new discovery, another of the Paleozoic caveman walking among us. I should really contact the Anthropology Foundation of Canada and let them know that these creatures live.  I knew he has crossed the line and he insulted not only my integrity but also the fashion gods.
 I screamed it out before it could actually register in my head, “I quit!” I grabbed my phone under the toilet roll stack and walk out with my head high. But as I began to walk home I knew I was doomed. I’m broke. I have no source of income and just maxed out my credit cared with my new bag.
I am unemployed channel.