Friday, May 25, 2012

The Character Arc of a Louis Vuitton Purse

This is my Louis Vuitton Purse. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
I have always wanted to be older. I even won an award at sleep-away camp for Most Likely to Act Older than My Age. It was a red stiletto made out of construction paper with my name on it. I think it was meant to be a cautionary award, but I was shockingly excited to have won it and I kept it for years. It meant my plan was working; all those camp fires with my Roots hoodie unzipped to show my bathing suit top were not in vain. All those times I pulled my bathing suit high up on my hips above the waistband of my shorts to show that half inch of untanned flesh was not going unnoticed.

I truly hated myself for wanting a Louis Vuitton purse, but since I make all my important decision in the following way, “What would Monica Vitti do in L’Avventura?” it was clear that a Louis Vuitton was somehow in my future. I felt like it would make me look older, more relaxed, more secure, successful and of course more beautiful in an ugly way. I say “ugly” because by wearing a symbol of conspicuous consumption, you automatically put your peer group on edge, followed in short order by women who are actually older, more relaxed, more secure, more successful and more beautiful- but still do not have a Louis Vuitton purse. I had not immediately realized that this would be the case.

While it was still in the contemplation stage, the first reaction was, “Well, why would you do that?” Followed by “My mother had one and the handle turned ugly brown…yours will too in about a year”.

The trip to the store was not that friendly. You are dealing with sales assistants that don’t make enough to afford one either, causing one bizarre conversation after another.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, I would like to look at that purse” you say and point at one of the wooden cubbies artfully backlit while an unceasing torrent of Asian tourists jostle you trying to get the sales girl attention. She will bring it down and then stare at you while you gently touch the purse, pretending to look at it as though you have not already spent months on the website looking at it from every angle.

The sales girl will become bored with you and move on to an elderly man who is whispering hoarsely in Mandarin, holding three belts in one hand and some key chains in the other. When she returns, you ask “Is it made of leather?”

“Yes”, she sighs clearly irritated.

Reader’s note: No. It is not made of leather. The most popular Louis Vuitton bags are made of canvas sealed in plastic. Not joking. The only leather part is the untreated leather handle which turns a deep tan from the oils on your skin and sunlight and pollution. You can use a leather moisturizer to clean it, but this accelerates the browning process.

You ask “Is it suede on the inside?”

“Yes” she answers a little distractedly while looking at her nails. You can tell no one has asked this before.

Reader’s Note: No. It is not made of suede. It is made of brushed cotton which is lovely and soft, but not suede.

She leaves you again to help someone else and you realize that she does not take you seriously. You gaze around the room trying to ask yourself, “Is this really the one, worth a small mortgage payment?” and when she returns you whisper “Yes, I would like to buy it”. She pushes the shop-worn bag (with a half-brown handle) toward you and you realize that she is saving the newer ones for someone else.

“No” you say with more confidence than you feel “I would like a new one”. You are beginning to get how to play this game. She shrugs, which in hipster means: I admit defeat, worthy opponent and slowly ambles to the back room. She returns and presents you with a new one which you inspect carefully, then buy. Your throat is dry and your face is red. Is this really who I am now?

The first question is always, “Is it real?” This is after the cursory scan of your eyes and then the purse and then your body. The second is a statement “Wow, those cost a lot!” At which point, I smile demurely and look down. This is how I imagine pretty girls with fathers receive compliments. Very rarely – from girls I would never imagine even know what Louis Vuitton is - “How much was it?” To this I say with a big sigh “It was a lot.” Followed by dead silence.

I was thrilled to have it, but I was hopelessly embarrassed by the purse. I threw it on the floor of restaurants and airports to show the world how little I cared about it; as if to say, “See, nothing has changed! I am still the big loser you love to hate!” The purse cast in sharp relief how ill-prepared I was to be successful and confident and enjoy the fruits of my labours. The purse made me even more insecure.

Ultimately a grown woman - hugely successful and on television to give her business opinion on the stock markets - walked up to my desk one day shortly after Christmas. She had a brand new purse under her arm. It was exactly the same as mine.
"My husband bought me this", she stated.
I said it was beautiful.
“He also bought me the wallet", she stated in a dull, flat tone showing it to me.
I said how nice it was, how it could double as a clutch given its large size.
She quickly cut to the point “I see you have the same purse; do you have the wallet as well?”
No, I said.
She pursed her lips and seemed satisfied.
Finally: “Did you buy it on your own or is someone taking care of you?"
Once the shock wore off from being demeaned to that extent, I realized a second truth. I worked in the same office as this woman she did not believe I had enough money to buy a purse like hers.

I have had the purse for a year and, as predicted, the handle has gone horribly brown. The canvas is no longer stiff and the purse slouches unattractively when left to its own devices, although I make an effort to never put it on the floor ever again. I want to be friends with my purse and I worry that I gave it low self esteem. These are just some of the thoughts that go through my head when I look at it.

I believe it was Naomi Wolf who first said, we women must be careful that we do not become our purses. I.e. an accessory; a vessel to put things in. A vessel for a man to put things in. Somewhat useless, since men use pockets. A purse’s value is how it looks, not how useful it is. A purse’s value increases depending on the name stamp in gold upon it. Stamping implies ownership, a large brass plate is what we put on buildings to advise the address, but only if the address is worthy. There are no large embossed brass plates in the slums. If a woman is a purse, what name is stamped on her? What name is stamped on me?

I will never buy a Louis Vuitton purse again.

Friday, May 18, 2012

coffee meet ups borning

Meet Joseph
This is Joseph's online profile

~About Me~

I have pictures just not on display, I'd rather have the choice of who I send a message to and not who sees my picture and sends me a message purely on what I look like.

I'm a naturalist, environmentalist, humanitarian that enjoy being outdoors, mountainbike riding, walking, hiking, rollerblading, kayaking, I prefer summer over spring, spring over fall, fall over winter but appreciate all seasons in there own way.

I would like to further my knowledge and wisdom continuing learning all I can about many topics from history to geography, ancient civilizations, Greek methology, Egyptethology, ancient rome, British history, the lost island of MU etc etc.

(Reader’s Note: …the lost island of What?!)

what makes me unique is I'm awake, I'm not a person who believes much of what I read or see.

(Reader’s Note: Remember this. It will be important later.)

I like music with a good beat from classic rock to some Jazz to older hip hop and reggae music not played on the radio... No top 40.

Down to earth realist who is non judge mental open minded is the type of character I have. I'm passionate about life and positive energy, to me this is what life is about and helping others, being selfless, it's not about the status the ego, the car, the house, the clothes, the job, it's how you treat others because all that material stuff can be gone in a second and you won't be remembered for what you had, you will be remembered for who you where, what you stood for and your charactor as a human being.

Let's be honest we can say all the good traits about ourselfs but you dont truly know unless you meet in person if you will be attracted have a connection chemistry and personalities getting along.

Over messages you can't get to know anyone, sure the first few messages and I'm not talking 10 words or two sentences but actually writing a short chapter is aparagraph at least and gets a conversation go.

~First Date~
Meet up have a drink do an activity like pool, bowling, walk, hike, rollerblade, winery, ice skating, hot chocolate, tea, ice cream, museum, art gallery, bite to eat, dancing.

as long as its something other then the same old coffee interview, which I don't do nor do i even drink coffee coffee meet ups borning and not my style....

Doing something fun like an activity gets a better way to see a persons personality cause really that's what it's all about in the end. Looks get you in the door personality gets you a friend and things blossom from there.

So the women who are checking out my profile after receiving a message from me, please send me a paragraph so we can have a conversation to get started or at least send me a message back to acknowledge the message I sent thank you. Thats not to much to ask for is it?

Did you enjoy that, Dear Reader? He seems normal, right?
Wait! It gets better. This is what he wrote me via text message…

Reader's Note: FML

Friday, May 4, 2012

Magical Sex Ninjas

New Canadian slang (ma-GIK-hal secks nin-JAHS)

1. an imaginary creature that haunts the nightmares of women concerning the fidelity of their boyfriends or husbands
2. The false belief that certain women can control a man’s behaviour using a variety of increasingly creative sex acts.
3. The false belief that sex is enough to support a healthy marriage at the exclusion other important factors.

When I was growing up, I did not develop early; I had a very skinny body and I liked reading. I did not have a popular sibling nor did not have a lot of money or an exciting hobby. As a result, I was not popular or well-liked by large groups of people; and I am old enough now to be grateful for that. More importantly, I was not taught at an early age that I was only valuable for the pleasure I brought a man. If he liked me, it was probably because I had a nice smile; I had braces. Twice. And five teeth removed. And head gear. When it was all over I had pretty straight teeth. People still comment on it, as in, mothers point at my teeth in the grocery store and say loudly to their children “See? She had braces and look at how straight her teeth are!” The children just glare. I can not imagine my parents trying to convince me to get braces. If they paid for it, then it was happening even if I had to be chained to orthodontist chair to do it. (That only happened once). The lesson I learned there was, kids are mean.

But by the time I was ready to enter high school I did have something that people seemed to be interested in. Remember that skinny body and ultra straight teeth? Well, it may come as a shock to you but modeling agencies have an interest in children who possess those features and I was in commercials and used as a movie extra before I turned 13. I had an ACTRA card and everything. This world was very strange. First, the adults were all men and incredibly pissed off; they encouraged you NOT to eat despite the tables groaning with food, not to play with the dog despite how cute he looked and they all smoked. It was just adults in total power and children fending for themselves. No one told us what to do unless you were in trouble, otherwise you just guessed. You had to stay jolly despite being cold and it raining for hours, or else your part was given to someone who was “happier”. The lesson I learned there was, people are mean but an outgoing personality is everything. I stopped accepting offers because the person who was supposed to drive me suddenly disappeared out of my life and no one wanted to take their place. In retrospect I find it strange that everyone was so willing to give up what was - in fact - my first paying job. But everyone acted like it never happened and so I bid a fond farwell to the “acting world” and went to high school…

Finding a man you would actually want to have sex with is fun. Finding out he would like to have sex with you is exciting. Not just mentally stimulating, but it makes your heart beat fast and your legs tingle if you think about it long enough. It’s a serious high and being high makes people want to talk. The only problem is, if fucking isn’t your full time job then there is sometimes a desire to seem more skilled than necessary when you finally do start having sex with a man. And the way to convince people you are an expert is to talk about it. (Right?) Welcome to High School. At every high school there are those girls. The girls who had guys who wanted to fuck them. The girls who proclaimed loudly (at my Catholic high school) that they were taking birth control to prepare for the Sex Olympics.

Yes, that’s right; at my high school sex was an Olympic sport.

They sat in a perfumed coven at the back of the classroom and made endless sex jokes at 8:30am in first period history and high-fived each other. Every. Single. Time. And from their conversation, they had clearly invented the act. They redefined it. They swung from the chandelier while oiled up with party hats on their tits and their kilts up to their waists. Ok, I made the last part up but that is what they would have you believe. They were my first introduction to magical sex ninjas.

With fake nails and brilliant blue contact lenses, artfully bleached hair and dark golden tans, these girls frightened me. They were full grown women; as completely sure of their place in society as wives and mothers; so exquisitely jaded. While it is common now to see these women on reality shows today, at the time (read: in 1997 the year cell phones hit the Canadian market) they were quite literally aliens. I felt like they should attend different classes than me because nothing I was learning would ever be applicable to their strange world. They were on a first name basis with their mothers. They had prescriptions for valium for “stress”. They laughed about buying fur coats “by mistake”. They went “clubbing” on the weekend (I term I had never heard before). They already knew complex games of sexual politics; who to sleep with to make another jealous, or to make another want them back and how to improve their position through choice of sexual partner. I had so little in common with them, it was laughable. Furthermore, I wanted nothing to do with them because I didn’t take them seriously. I couldn’t see how in the world anyone could. It was my first introduction to men and their desire to see something extraordinary, rather than authentic. It was a valuable lesson.

Magical Sex Ninjas believe that ~ like the courtesans of Renaissance Europe or the harems of the Aga Khan ~ they are skilled in the ways of seduction. That they possess secret skills that not only arouse men, but make him vulnerable to her every whim. The important thing for us regular girls to know is that these skills are secret. They can’t tell us about them, can’t tell us where they learned them, it’s just really really important that we believe they exist and that someone else (not us) has mastered them, and that we never, ever will. The irony is that the younger the magical sex ninja, the more magical in sex the ninja will believe herself to be. In the same way there seems to be an inverse relationship between how attractive a man is, and how dirty his porn is. An ugly man will want a perfect 10 model to kiss him on the lips; a handsome man will want the ugly man to go down on him. Go figure.

For all the accomplishments in our civilized society, we do not have an even playing field between youth and beauty and everyone else. This imbalance is more pronounced if you add sex to the scale. As a result, young girls wield an enormous amount of power when it comes to negotiating sexual terrain, and yet they remain the most exploited. The ones that do not believe they are worthy of love. Strange, yes? But let me be clear, there is no such thing as a magical sex ninja. There are just girls who allow themselves to be victimized. You are behaving like it is the only worthwhile part of you. You are giving it away to the lowest bidder. Men don’t have a chance to undermine you; you have already beaten them to it. I think you believe that the word “tits” is the magic word, instead of please and thank you. Please believe me when I say: I’m so tired of hearing you say it that I inwardly groan. No one takes you seriously.