Saturday, September 27, 2014

On becoming a fashion addict: pillow talk

"Is this happiness? Noticing the subtle signs of life and enjoying them?" (Source)

"You are most beautiful in the morning."
I just stared at him for a second and then smiled. Either this guy is an amateur sweet talker  or he is naively sincere. My hair was grossly wrapped, my eyes puffy and my skin dull and yet he found me beautiful.

The rain was dancing on the window and a cool autumnal breeze was flowing in the bedroom. I rested my head on his chest and listened to all the subtle sounds of life surrounding me. Was I finally happy? Is this happiness? Noticing the sounds of life and enjoying them?

Mark and I had been together for a few months. He was a positive force in myself with his existential talks about anything, including things he didn't know much about and his easygoing attitude. We often seemed to be arguing from an external standpoint, but it was just lively discussion without ill feelings behind it. It was the way we rolled.
He introduced me to his band: a brotherhood of lunatic boys creating rather plain and repetitive music and unlikely to get anywhere in life with that. But I was happy that he truly believed in their success. So I encouraged them. 
I unearthed my saxophone for him. Cleaning it brought up a mixture of sour and sweet emotions, but I enjoyed feeling its cold metallic shape in my hands again and seeing its glow slowly come back. I was as rusted as the thing, but Mark and his friend thought my gigs were brilliant and wanted to incorporate them in their music...So we played without pretentiousness, without stress, just for fun.

My spendings significantly changed in his presence. He was partially filling the inner emptiness they used to fill.  Beautiful dresses and branded shoes didn't impress him. Your state of mind and your philosophy of life did. He was a passionate, curious being and was usually interested in women from his species. I was an exception he was pleased to have encountered. "You have that je-ne-sais-quoi...You are not totally a snob", he used to tell me when we first started dating.

I was still a snob, though. I gave too much importance to appearance for his liking. I would explain  to him that in the current society, appearance is important for social advancement regardless of his opinion and that in the world in which I was evolving being well dressed wasn't an option. However Mark still had an ill opinion of the wealthy students he used to serve meals to during summer. I felt that a hint of envy and misunderstanding tinted his criticism.  He came from a modest family too. He grew up in the suburbs and came to the city for success and fame and hadn't encountered them yet. He evolved observing these snobs surrounding him in his new life without truly interacting with them as if an invisible line separated him from them. He seemingly envied their apparent success brought upon them by their name, rather than their work. I was his first contact with this different species and an outlet of his frustration towards them he was constantly  trying to hide behind a big smile. He eyes often told another story thought...

"You are most beautiful...without makeup, without expansive perfume, without all those designer clothes...", he continued stroking my hair and staring at my rack of clothes prepared for the next week.

Mark wasn't aware of my rather simple upbringing. He didn't know that my je-ne-sais-quoi was the fact that my family wasn't famous or rich either.  I was able to understand him. We came from the same bucket. I felt the same envy when my newly made snob friends would go for pricey entertainment I couldn't afford. But I wanted to hang out with them still. I was finally a Chanel girl and was going to live a Chanel girl's life. He was trying to strip that image away from me, probably because it made him a bit uneasy, but he was unsuccessful so far. Without acknowledge it himself, image was probably important for him too. My posh-woman-in-heels outfits wear tarnishing or rather polishing a bit too much his philosophical bohemian hipster vibe and maybe discrediting him in front of his peers.

"They are the expression of my inner self. They upgrade me and I upgrade them. They make me feel happy on sad days and cozy on cold mornings. They are the door to my universe. Just like my smile. A door to my inner self." I answered him.

He paused a second and continued stroking my hair in silence. I thought my answer satisfied him. He always liked discourses that seemed profound and well thought out. I have to say that I was content with my answer too. It digressed from the true less philosophical and glamorous role these clothes were playing in my life. 
"You are not a snob. You haven't found your inner self yet. They do not represent you." he whispered  firmly before kissing my forehead.

I didn't know what to answer to that. There was truth in his words. I kissed him back and continued to listen intensely to his heart and the rain to block that attempt to damage the Chanel girl in me and my new found sartorial philosophy. 

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