Saturday, August 8, 2009

Forty Carrots and a yogurt, also making a stranger almost cry

So I was in Bloomingdale's yesterday, looking, like you do for those famous underwear they had in the '80s that said bloomies across the tush. I was not looking for these for any real need to have words emblazoned across my posterior, but because due to an unfortunate packing snafu, I found myself clean bloomiless in the city, and either of the solutions to this problem are not exactly comfortable, and well, I'm pretty resourceful, so off I went to the cushiest most non-belongingest store I could think of, since I was on the upper east side (hey, that's upper to me, I grew up in Brooklyn), that was Bloomingdale's.

While I was there, I did not buy bloomies, and I also did not buy the Natori comforter cover that I fell in love with so strongly and unabashedly that I almost pitched an 8-year old's it-costs-$40-to-get-a-hair-wrap-and-my-mom-says-no-style fit when I saw that the cover alone cost $600. I also accidentally touched a bra that had been reduced to $105 on sale. At this point I backed slowly away from the merchandise, and headed to the main place any- and everywoman needs to go to in Bloomingdales, which is the seventh floor. First I visited the spiffy and spacious ladies' room, well-regarded, well-appointed and echoey with emptiness in a million-dollar-a-square-inch (or so it would seem) real estate market.

After this, I returned sadly, past the comforter cover which I would never buy, and headed, like you do, to Forty Carrots. Which looks like this, only less pukily green in person.

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Wherepon I paid a small fortune for a plain (tart) yogurt with chocolate chips as a topping, which I pointed out to my sister, were actually in the middle of the yogurt, which she said made them a middling, but I found them more than fair (oy! do you see how this is genetic?). And said yogurt looked like this, and weighed as much as a large parrot I once had pressed upon my shoulder which made me grimace and cry because I was only six, and the claws grabbed into my shoulder, and who doesn't want a picture of their kid with a parrot's claws buried into her shoulder skin and the kid's face contorted into a wail that says, get this thing offa me?

Here's the yogurt:

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And while I could have stayed in the beauty parlor-turned-yogurt eatery (or so it would seem)

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I had miles to go before even thinking of sitting down, so instead I got into this beautiful elevator

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Whereupon I was accosted by a sixty-something stranger who whipped a fused-glass-looking plastic bangle out of a bag at her side and asked if I liked it. I didn't, but I just said I'm a little more into sedate colors, and tried to leave it at that. She engaged me in conversation for seven long stories down in the beautiful elevator, and walked with me almost to the exit, talking about the bracelet while I made quick work of my yogurt and the middlings. Finally I asked if the bracelet was for her. And she said yes.

So I said, "my mother would tell you to 'wear it in good health'." And the woman looked at me and I saw her eyes grow wet, and she lowered her voice and said, "my mother would have said that, too." And then she thanked me twice, one of the thank yous perfunctory, and another more sincere, and walked off into the handbags.

And I went outside and finished my yogurt. And continued what shall heretofor be known as undiequest 2009.

4 comments:

Alejandra said...

I would've just gone to Kmart, but that would not have been as fun. :)

expateek said...

Oh, Eileen, that's lovely. Well done. You obviously said exactly the right thing.

Hope you found some knickers before your return trip. Hate to think of you returning to South America "commando-style".

Eileen said...

@alejandra, yeah, yeah, I know, but I thought it might be fun to see how the fabulously wealthy dress.

@expateek, the best part of it is that in Chile we call it "andar a lo gringo," when you go without undergarments, though I've never really heard an adequate explanation of why that is. I'm well suited up though now, thanks!

Margaret said...

ja-ja... andar a lo gringo is because Chileans have (or used to have anyway) the idea that gringos AND gringas do not wear underwear! (too much Sharon Stone perhaps?) Ironic when you think of those teeny tiny dental floss thongs that are so common here!