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Archive for October 17th, 2011

Personal shopper

17 Oct

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit, wearing watercolor mauve, grey, black sheer blouse over skinny jeans

Daily outfit, Daily outfit, wearing watercolor mauve, grey, black sheer blouse, Alexis Bittar necklace

{ personal: }

On Monday, October 10 at 7:03pm I received a text from a friend. I was sitting at a hair salon with violet, magenta and mahogany in my hair while my husband was getting his hair cut. She wanted to know if I would wear a fully lined, chartreuse jacket with ruffles. TJMaxx had one in my size for $29.99 and she thought of me. Several texts followed announcing other miscellaneous items that were apparently perfect for me. Not quite knowing what I was in for I gave her the green light. I didn’t ask for pictures, I like surprises.

The next morning I arrived at a photo studio at the crack of dawn to be greeted by smiling faces and a bag very full with clothes. While the first shot was getting set up I modeled my new finds. Almost everything fit flatteringly. For perspective, I will add that she’s at least four or five inches taller than me, very lean with fair skin and blond hair. We could not look more different, yet she was incredibly successful with her choices. That’s quite a talent. As I wrote her a check I realized how special this was. Not only did she think of me, she acted without hesitation and had made peace in advance with handling any returns. She was surprised that I kept most of her finds, I was surprised at her thoughtfulness.

How often do we think of our friends? How often does a certain life magic occur that allows us to act on that thought? Perhaps a text or an email. Sometimes that thought results in a purchase, a card or a gift. Some of those thoughts graduate from words to action. I had been feeling a little down recently. A lot of work and some minor, yet chronic, health issues had been sapping my energy. I stated loud and clear to myself that feeling depleted had given the clarity to realize that at this time I must only put energy into relationships that give back.

Another friend of mine has made the forty-five minute drive to have lunch with me several times in the last year. She checks in with me regularly, it always takes me too long to get back to her. I’ve never gone to meet her in her neck of the woods. She’s a musician and composer yet I had never seen her play. Something has always come up. Maybe I have never made the effort. Last week I drove after work to see her perform for the first time. I had made an agreement with myself that I would not flake.

I drove by myself into the sunset, Mill Valley is west from where I live. The black silhouette of Mt. Tamalpais against the green-hued sunset was surrounded by the icy blue reflection of the San Francisco Bay. I drove over the Richmond bridge during my favorite time of day. The imprint of dusk filled me with peace, I arrived at my destination forty-five minutes later. At eight, she and her band-mates took the stage. She’s a small woman with a very calm energy, this was her band, these were songs. This was her moment.

The first thing I realized is that I had not been a particularly good friend to her. I had not been bad but I could not claim to have been good. I had dismissed the effort it had taken her to keep us connected regularly. The second thing I realized is that she is incredibly talented, her complex timing and melodic jazz compositions were enveloping me, body and soul. Fortunately, bad behavior, once recognized, can be amended. I left the performance lifted.

A couple years ago, ready to celebrate another friend’s birthday, I found myself presented with a gift instead. The birthday girl’s sister had sent her a t-shirt. She liked so much she bought me an identical one. Random, unexpected, unabashed love. Driving home from the performance that night I was warmed by the thoughts of love and friendship in my life. I have thoughtful friends everywhere, in and outside work, in my sisters, in my husband, in the blogosphere. When arrived home last Tuesday after the photo shoot, the first thing I did was try on my new clothes all over again. I enthusiastically assembled outfits, as I am fond of doing, deciding to wear a diaphanous mauve, grey and black patterned blouse over black skinny jeans the very next day.

The May before last, I salvaged a bright pink t-shirt with black kitties all over it from a bag on its way to the nearest Goodwill. One of my friends had talked me into running Bay to Breakers with her in the sunny spin of a margarita-filled afternoon the day before. After crossing the finish line, we walked back to her car, sweaty, filled with adrenaline and a sense of completion. She offered me a t-shirt as the coastal winds picked up, I grabbed the one that had been a favorite of hers a few years back and I gave it a new home.

I wear it with my raspberry pink pajama bottoms when I’m drinking coffee in the mornings. Not a single wear goes by that I don’t think of her. Friendships are fluid, constantly shifting and evolving. Sometimes they happen while we’re not paying attention, such as with my lunchtime friend, others delight and surprise when we least expect it. The common thread that connects and strengthens friendships, that creates relationships that give back, is a thoughtfulness that extends beyond expectations, such as when a friend randomly decides to act as your personal shopper. It would seem that I need not look further than my own closet for a little love.

{ hair: }

Daily outfit, violet and magenta haircolor

It was time to touch up the roots so I did what any respectable adventurous, color-loving girl would do. I had my friend and stylist, Nicole,  add violet and magenta. And as my father-in-law, unknowingly quoting Ministry, said, “every day is Halloween.”

{ deets: }

Watercolor pattern blouse/TJMaxx, black skinny jeans/Urban Outfitters, black camisole/unknown, cocktail ring/Ariella, watch/DKNY gifted, Alexis Bittar necklace/gifted, black sandals/Dansko.