I have owned three cars - two given me by the 'rents - all Chrysler products. An '88 Plymouth Horizon that absorbed abuse like a sponge until I received a Plymouth Acclaim in college. I had no concept of car maintenance, but that thing ran and ran and ran. For over EIGHT years! The first car I bought for myself had to be a convertible, and what could be nicer than a Sebring. It was affordable, but more importantly, she is beautiful, luxurious, low-maintenance, and I know she'll be around forever.
My favorite uncle, the impossibly handsome, intelligent, cosmopolitan and multi-lingual Jimmy, used to bring me a jar of Nutella from France each time he visited home. Not only do I adore it's glorious chocolatey goodness, silk-velvet texture and that accessible-as-peanut-butter-but-way-cooler image, but it's like having my favorite uncle with me again, hearing him call me Megoo and admonish me to study French. Nutella was his way of making sure I stayed curious about the world beyond my small Ohio town. It worked.
Yes, Swatch was cool when I was ten, and we all wore three or four stacked on our wrists, set to London and Tokyo times as well as the time zone we actually used in Ohio. When I was 15, I went to Europe for the first time and before I left I bought a new Swatch - black band with a mirror face and glow-in-the-dark hands. I wore it 'till the band broke off. Then I just carried it in my pocket. It went through the laundry TWICE before I replaced it, even though it still worked. In fact, at 28, I still have that ticking watch face with my jewellery.
A 25-year career in pop music is an accomplishment in itself, but Duran Duran has done it with both fashion and style, with both pomp and humility, with both considerable beauty and 'undominate-able' brains. They have grown with me. A candy swirl of "cute" boys and dance music when I was 10, but a tour de force of attractive men with intelligent and literate songs now. This band made me feel sophisticated as a child, and like a kid again now. This is not about the music, even though it's gorgeous and influential. This is more about the IDEA of Duran Duran. To this band we all owe lavish-production videos, the necessity of being a "total package" pop star, and the resuscitation of the 80's vibe today. My children will be listening to these guys, because I will see to it that they're cool enough to seek them out.
I wear Spring Flower, by Creed. I also wear Joy and Paris, but Spring Flower is special. Just picking up the bright-pink bottle tied with a sweet flowered ribbon, I feel calm and beautiful. . .when, frankly, I am harried and average. The fragrance transports me to another time and place - one I've only dreamed of. The heft of the falcon, the arms on the bottle top, the knowledge that the House of Creed has been around since 1760, all combine to make me feel like it's not just perfume. It's history and luxury and beauty in a bottle.
I had longed for a proper fountain pen for years when my love, who had been away for months in Switzerland for school, brought a Mont Blanc home for me as a special present. Not only did it express to me that I had been in mind during our unwelcome separation, but also that I was viewed as a treasure worthy of treasure. I love that pen, and carry it always near. The most special correspondance of my life has flowed from that pen, and the most special love of my life is honored by it's commemoration with a token of the highest possible reaches of beauty and quality. This is what Mont Blanc is to me - perfect goods to record perfect moments, and to make perfect memories.
I can't live without the skin care, and I wouldn't want to live without the Mary Kay aims, ideals, and sisterhood helping me always on the road to becoming the person I dream of being. The makeup is so good you want it bad, but as Mary Kay always said, "It's not about the makeup."
If water were perfume, Evian would be Joy de Jean Patou. To drink it is to take in the beauty of the Alps and allow it to become part of you. The delicate floral quality and immaculately clean taste of Evian define purity. Yes, it can be an indulgence, but it can also be the fountain of youth, a trip to the day spa, and the elixir of life, all packed into a one-liter bottle.
Jane Austen is the finest novelist of the English language. Really, it's true. As I teach British Literature to high-school seniors each year, I sometimes struggle to make Beowulf, Animal Farm, and Romantic poetry meaningful to my students. But I never struggle with Pride and Prejudice. Austen wrote a novel that seems as immediate, funny, and heart-wrenching to my 17-year-old students today as it is reported to have been to its original intended audience nearly two hundred years ago. Many modern young people experience the trials of navigating society, a ridiculous mother, an embarrassing family, and a heartful of seemingly impossible dreams of love and contentment. Jane Austen wrote novels that we will enjoy forever. If that's not a true classic, I don't know what is.
I'm in total agreement. Johnny Depp is more than an actor. . .he is a FORCE. This man is not only shatteringly talented, witty, intelligent, insightful and flat-out cool, he's a real panty-dropper to boot. Most importantly, I believe that the magnetism and talent will remain even if the eyes cease to smoulder "come hither".
When I was a little girl, nothing soothed me like looking at A is for Annabelle, an alphabet book by Tasha Tudor. As I grew, I discovered a whole world of her books and her illustrations of children's classics. Tasha Tudor's art provides me with images from a simpler, more gracious place in time, in the world, and in my own heart.
Laura Ingalls Wilder provided the world with the (slightly fictionalized) story of her young life in the Little House Series. The "Little House" books enrich my life every day. From them, I have gained knowledge of how to make everything from soap to button lamps. I have a sharp idea in my head of how I would like my future family to care for each other. I have an idea of what my spiritual ancestors--American pioneers--had to face, and face down. The Laura of these books is not precisely the real one, but she is a real girl, and her stories are truth. Everyone who ever reads this series will come away the better for it.
I, too, love Twinings Tea. Tea is something a lady should always have on hand at home, and I think Twinings is the best. I prefer the Lady Gray, but all the varieties I have tried are equal both in quality and in their ability to make me feel better. I realize that a simple cup of tea is no panacea for all of life's ills, but my pretty cup of delicious, fragrant Lady Gray certainly makes me feel better! For a headache, a heart ache, or the insult of rising before dawn, Lady Gray is there for me, and I am ever grateful.
I look forward to passing it on to someone dear...
I have three sets of Noritake china. Service for ten, because twelve is too many, and eight is not enough. The oldest set I bought at a junk shop for a song, but the newest I bought for myself at a department store. Point being, Noritake has been around for a long time, and it certainly isn't going anywhere. I love owning something that I know in my bones is part of a tradition -ladies have chosen Noritake as their "good china" for four generations now, and most of it will be around for a long time to come. Furthermore, the older sets are still just as beautiful and glossy as the new. I look forward to passing it on to someone dear when the time comes, and I know that it can give them just as much joy as it has given me.
Eddie Izzard is my test for potential partners and friends. If you "get" him, you're in. If you don't, well…He brings more to the table than any other comedian working right now. He's intelligent as well as clever; his comedy requires something from the audience without being painfully esoteric.
I want to be a Golden Girl when I grow up! These women and this show brought the idea of the sexy, active, vibrant, independent "grandma" to the cultural consciousness. Further,‘The Golden Girls’ put forth the friends-as-family household as an option for older women. Besides, it is hilariously funny. After all these years, having seen every episode dozens of times, I still laugh out loud as I watch each evening.
The first time I saw Switzerland, I did it as a chaperone to a school group. As my hot, tired, stiff, footsore and grouchy students tumbled from the TGV, I didn’t know how I would get through the bus ride into Bern with my now-motley crew. As we entered Switzerland, it was as though a rain of refreshment fell upon us. The mountains, the pure air, the stunning views, and the relaxed atmosphere drew all the quarrelsome fatigue from our bodies and spirits. We spent an afternoon in Bern and the next few days in Lucerne, where we were refreshed and refueled. We spent just as much time exploring and on our feet. We shopped and toured and tasted just as voraciously. But Switzerland itself cleansed and renewed us. I will remember that forever, and I return each time with relish and delight.
I recently had to replace the screwball on a much-beloved Tiffany key ring. The new ball, a six dollar item, was given to me in a blue velvet pouch, in a little blue box, in a little blue bag. Tiffany’s is not about the gorgeous jewels or the iconic blue boxes; Tiffany’s is about service and respect. Tiffany’s is to me the place where my little love token from college is treated by professionals with the same care and reverence as it is by me. It is where no replacement was offered, but a polishing is given with compliments. I trust Tiffany’s to value what I value, no matter how small a matter it may be.
Sex and the City blazed a trail for millions of single women. While yes, it is technically just a television program, it was a harbinger of a new way of looking at Being Single in America. While these four women had all the same worries and crises of I and all of my girlfriends regarding single life, the themes of the series argued that it’s ultimately OK to be single, that happiness comes in its time, and one’s friends are what is truly important. I will forever exalt any support, from any quarter, for the concept of friends-as-family, the idea that one must rely on herself for identity and worth, and the conviction that every girl deserves nice shoes.
If an alien life form came to me and asked to see the most beautiful specimen of a human, I would point them in the direction of this breathtakingly lovely woman. We, in the US, do not get enough exposure to other nations and cultures. I think Aishwarya Rai could be just the inducement certain young men need to view some Indian cinema!
How many sodas are spicy? I can only think of one. Given ginger ale for tummy aches as a little girl, I still long for Vernors’ sweet, nose-tickly ginger flavor every time I feel flu-ish. Of course, as a grown up lady now I often enjoy my Vernors with a healthy splash of vodka.
Ah, the classic Keds! A plain white canvas sneaker that has been around so long my beloved grandma wore them when she was young, as did my mother, as did I. What else, when new, looks crisp and appropriate for brunch at the club and then mellows into the most comfortable and casual summer gear imaginable? Shoe styles change, but Keds look new every year. They are always "now," for they are timeless.