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I sincerely hope I won't offend my faithful readership of three by expressing my personal views on small findings that bring me pleasure, discontent or misgivings, whether in Canada, the ME, or anywhere else.
Unfortunately, I realize my new favorite things will bely my age and the blasé attitude to high-end items that has crept over me since arriving in the ME over six years ago.
It's sadly true that in a country where it's raining designer brands, I don't quite get as flushed and excited as I used to upon seeing storefront signs displaying Versaci, Ralph Lauren, Baby Dior (I kid you not), Fengali, BVLGARI, Prada (and the list goes on ...) at the local mall.
Hard to believe one could become desensitized to the allure of the bling? Well, let's stop and consider the local lady I met whose baby chomped on a diamond encrusted pacifier and was potty trained on a Swarovski diamond-studded potty. If the idea of regurgitating on a Dior dummy doesn't seem entirely ludicrous, then surely the idea of pooping on diamonds is enough to restore sanity?
Manalo Blahniks start to seem blah, and Christian Louboutins seem old hat when you witness a literal bevy of red soles treading in unison across the shop floor, the only thing visible within a congregation of loosely flowing abayas, hijabs and niqabs.
My former boss (who was a well-to-do local) was admiring my 200 QAR (about 55$ CA) Aldo tote bag last year. She asked me if it was a "Longchamps" (I actually had to Google that ... I'm really not that brand savvy and bag mad). Reality check: if those in the know can't tell the difference, is it really worth shelling out extra bucks on something that's going to get thrown on the car floor, chewed on by the cat, tripped on by Kiddo and stuffed 'til overflowing with receipts, tissues, perfumes, brushes, breath mints, crayons and snack bars?
I'm not entirely jaded. I still have an occasional shopping spree left in me.
Case in point, I happened upon a sale last week at A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz. I walked away with 12 items of clothing priced to sell at 10% of their original sales price. Of course I was excited about my loot, but not quite in the same way I might have been a decade ago. I got home and simply swapped one closet item for each new item of clothing I hung up (that's the O.C.D. in me ... allows me to get rid of the lovely size '0' skirt I will never, ever, ever, ever fit into again, donate it or bin it, and keep my closet manageable).
No laying my bounty on the bed, no fashion show for Smilin' Vic and Kiddo. Just extreme satisfaction at having found some really decent, stylish and properly fitting designer clothing at a near-bargain basement price.
And yet, every once in a while, I do manage to rediscover the "rush" of a really great find. I happen upon a product or an item that I just know will be life-altering. I've included a few of these most recent finds below for your viewing entertainment. Warning, these images may prove disturbing to some. In fact, please pass me a tissue, the pictures are a harsh reminder that forty has come and gone.