Thursday, May 15, 2008

Swanning Around at Birks

I like to think that, fundamentally, I'm not a superficial person. But I do experience occasional moods of superficiality, during which I feel enthused about experimenting with different colours of eye shadow and wearing a different pair of shoes every day.

Luckily those moods don't last long, because I don't own that many pairs of shoes. Also I can't pull off non-neutral (guys, that means brownish and/or greyish) eye-shadow. If I get too caught up in my moment, I'll go nuts and slap on some emerald green, royal blue, or raspberry pink (from a palatte given to me at my last birthday) and then spend the rest of the day trying to rub it off with my fingers while frowning at the mirror in public restrooms.

I don't own enough jewellery to justify a proper jewellery box, but I do have a very sparkly engagement bling. Ken bought it for me from Birks with his life's savings, because he loves a grand gesture and has very good taste. The ring is gorgeous and I treasure it.

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with Birks. It is a supremely swanky retailer. They don't have a lowest price guarantee or a giant warehouse. It's all 3-inch-deep cream pile carpets and class in that place. Before Ken bought me my ring, I was intimidated by it. He'd take me in to window shop, and I'd be on edge, expecting to get kicked out because my jeans weren't the right designer and my sneakers were scruffy.

Now, I am one of the elite. The eagle eyes of the sales people spot my Birks bling in a heartbeat, and a red carpet rolls out at my feet. Can they get me a bottle of water? Would I like my ring run throught the cleaning/polishing machine? Is there anything I'd like to try on?

That's not to say that I don't still get intimidated from time to time. Once I was admiring a firey $300,000 diamond necklace. I can't find it on the website, probably because it was one-of-a-kind. A saleswoman sneaked up behind me and said over my right shoulder "Would you like to try it on?" I jumped a mile. I couldn't say no fast enough. It was like I thought I might break it, or steal it by accident. There was no way that necklace should be worn with a $12.00 Smart Set T-shirt. It might even disintigrate on contact with my lowly neck.

Even given the risk of another such encounter, I'll take any opportunity to pop into Birks, just to "see what's new", and swan around with my bling flashing under their specially adjusted, diamond-loving pot lights. It's fun to play princess for a little while.


unsigned said...

Bling! Bling! Now all you need is some spinning rims for your car! Gold fronts! Crystal! A fur coat!


Karen said...

Wow. I guess we don't have Birks in the US. Is it akin to Tiffany's? That is what I was imagining.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

i think everyone is superficial to some extent, it's all about if they let their superficialness overpower their better judgement and reason

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Ooooohhh! Shiny!!! LOL

Everybody deserves some superficial days and some rare bling. Besides if he paid a lot for it you should get his moneys worth by going in and getting your ass kissed as often a possible.

Have a good day!

whatigotsofar said...

Thank you for the makeup definition. I was easily lost at that point.

I've worn some pricey watches (a Paiget with something like 64 diamonds in the band). None of which are mine of course, but I don't feel grander with the jewellery on. I feel stuffy and confined by the jewellery. I too am afraid of damaging it, or worse, showing it off to the wrong people and getting mugged for it.

Dianne said...

I do a similar trip to Tiffany's. it's hilarious when I think about it - I get all dressed up to window shop.

we also have a really snooty, fancy mall near here. I still haven't figured out how to disguise my car ...

Leighann said...

The prices on their website burned my eyes! *giggle*

I don't do crazy expensive jewelry, the dish water would ruin it! :D

Sparkling Red said...

Unsigned: One of my mom's cousins is in the fur business. I could get a good deal on a fur coat if I really wanted one. What would you choose: mink, or helpless baby seal?

Karen: Yes, it's like Tiffany's. There must be a few Birks stores in the US because there's an American side to their website... or maybe the just take online orders in USD?

Tequila Mockingbird: Well said! Esthetics are an enjoyable part of life. People who go to the other extreme are no better off.

Ron: For sure. Ken will always suggest that we stop by Birks when we're in the neighbourhood so he can witness firsthand the power of the bling. We window shop for what he would get me if one of those lottery tickets ever pays off big. I can't choose between emeralds or rubies so I've told him I need one of each. ;-)

Whatigotsofar: I hear you. I wouldn't want to have jewellery so flashy that I had to be worried about my safety.
64 diamonds in the watchband? That's crazy-excessive! I'd go into a trance everytime I caught sight of my own wrist.

Dianne: We're supposed to live in an egalitarian society, but all the old symbols of class and wealth are still very present and powerful.
How about one of those bumper stickers that says "My other car is a Jaguar"? Nothing says "classy" like a bumper sticker. ;-)

Leighann: Yes, the prices are redonkulous. I consider my bling to be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. But there are women who shop there regularly. For a year after my ring purchase I was on their notification list for sales and collection openings. We didn't buy anything else so they gave up on me.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Every woman needs a bit of "princess time". You go, grrl!

Jenski said...

I have this smokey plum eyeshadow I love. Makes me feel pretty and it is not too much color.

Trying on unaffordable bling would be a great pastime! You need to see what is out there that would match your engagement ring, right?

Aurora said...

I always wondered what it was like in there. Now I've been in... it reminds me a bit of an expensive restaurant. What surprised me was how old-fashioned it seemed. I guess they don't need to cater to a younger crowd! Have you been to Swarovski's ?

mex (aka Syb) said...

I wear my mom's rings.. 3 diamonds (about a K or more each in size) set together in a threesome... (she died as you know from that comment you made.. thanks BTW)

Anyway.. the other night I went to Belks to exchange some stuff AND.. I switched to my nice clothes.. and wore the rings.. which I do every day anyhoo...

and OMG.. the WAY you are treated.. when you wear nice stuff.. I came home w/ all kinds of freebies.. but this is getting sooo long that I may as well write about it on my (alleged) blawg

I'd hyperlink it back here.. but my pea bain has forgotten hpw.. I am such a nit wit!

l, s

Nilsa S. said...

I am absolutely in the same boat as you. I am such a casual person. More and more so the longer I date Sweets. But, when we got engaged, I asked him to take the stone from my grandmother's ring and do something with it. What we didn't know was how big the stone is. It's beautiful. And sparkly. And makes me feel oh so feminine even when I'm wearing a t-shirt, cargo pants and city kicker shoes.

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: Next I want a diamond tiara. ;-)

Jenski: Smokey plum - I can picture you looking hot in that. I do love the "smokey eye" look.

Aurora: I guess that goes to show who has the most money to spend - older, conservative people. I've been in the Swarovski's in the Eaton Centre. I like some of the smaller items, but the big crystal sculptures are atrocious!

Mex (aka Syb): I believe that jewellery carries the energy of the person who wore it. It's sweet that you wear your mom's rings.
Once I bought an antique ring but I stopped wearing it because it gave me a bad feeling. I believe the previous owner was a very unhappy woman.

Nilsa: I love the cultural norm that allows women to wear a fancy engagment ring all the time, even with jeans and a hoodie. You always have a reminder of romance and glamour right on your hand at all times.

nicole said...

Now I will call you princess :D