It sure was a long one. Who expects a cold to last for five weeks? For the first four weeks I kept telling myself to be patient. "You just have to be patient, Spark. This too shall pass." At the fifth week, I lost patience, and that's when my immune system started winning. Lesson learned: the way to make a cold go away is to be impatient. Next time I'm going to start out intolerant and stay that way.
It's lucky for me that my will to live returned just as I was heading into a difficult work week. I had to cover the desk of a hard-working woman who was on vacation. I would liken the experience to being a 16-year-old student driver who finds herself in speeding traffic on an 8-lane highway. It's not that it's an impossible task, it's just overwhelming if you're not used to it. It was a challenge, but I got through it. I don't think I would have had a chance if I were still sick.
To cap off the week, on Friday we had some plumbing excitement. Regular readers will know that my workplace has a history of exploding toilets. Fortunately, this time the toilets did not actually explode. They just gave us a geyser show, kind of like at the Bellagio.
Ken and I went for some retail therapy at Yorkdale, the fancy mall. This is where the super-rich go to pick up their designer everything, from Jimmy Choo shoes to Pink Tartan fringed jumpsuits. I have a history of feeling decidedly out of place in these stores, as though the sales staff could probably smell my middle-class background and hated me for it. Ken used to almost forcibly walk me in, and then I would trail around after him anxiously, not touching anything in case I got my immigrant-family-low-self-esteem cooties on it.
After a few years of window shopping, and a couple of decadent purchases (a Kate Spade raffia handbag, a silver Tiffany ring), I got more comfortable in those stores. I figured out that the sales staff don't hate me, and in fact they size me up as a decent potential customer. I can stroke the chinchilla fur coats in Holt Renfrew without getting kicked out of the store.
(If you have never patted a chinchilla, alive or on a garment rack, you owe it to yourself to do this. It is the most delightful sensation. Their fur is like no other fur; it's so soft that it feels like running your fingers through slightly cool whipped cream that's not at all sticky. Put it on your bucket list.)
Now that we're official Cartier customers, we have transitioned into dangerous territory. I thought spending $200 on a handbag was living the high life, but there's a whole other level that we have barely begun to explore. We stopped in to visit with our friend, the Cartier salesman, who was glad to see us. He tried to tempt me with a watch named after a French bathtub. (I tried it on and it was awfully pretty). The price tag was $10,000 CAD. I mean, wow. I would be terrified to wear it out of the house.
We also perused handbags. I had plunked my purse down on the glass countertop while I tried on La Baignoire, thinking that this would be at least slightly impressive. But the Cartier bags start at 10 times the cost of my little Kate Spade. There's no comparison. The salesman leaned forward and asked, with complete sincerity, in a hushed tone of voice, "You mean, you don't have any luxury handbags in your collection?" He seemed concerned for us, the way a friend might if you admitted that you weren't sleeping well. How can we say that we're experiencing a proper quality of life under these circumstances?
I have no burning desire to expand my "collection", nor do I feel a need to own a handbag that costs more than the total on one of my paycheques. However, just for fun, after that, we went to the Louis Vuitton boutique and "tried on" their $ 4,000 handbag with the clever, LV twisting clasp. You turn the L so that it lines up with the V and when it clicks into place you can open the bag. Turning the clasp was almost as much fun as patting a chinchilla coat. The "click" that you could feel more than hear at both extremities of rotation was the most satisfying mechanical sensation I can imagine.
Is there a luxury handbag in my future? We'll see. I have a feeling that Ken might have taken this up as a challenge. Maybe one day. Or maybe not. Either way is okay with me.