Thursday, November 24, 2005

Friendship, shoes and manners

Dear Marc, did you ever hold a clothes swap? You know, where all your friends bring their tired, their needy, their never-used designer clothing? I have, I do it all the time. Nothing can stop me from getting rid of stuff I hate and getting pretty clothing in exchange. But every time I do hold a clothes swap, I am reminded of the intricate web friendship weaves into the world of fashion.

Like the other day, when 5 or 6 ladies came over (it’s not that I can’t count, but I’m drinking red wine and am munching wasabi peas and between these two vices, I don’t care to count. Typing this took me longer than counting those friends. So what. Let it be.) to trade their clothing. One friend brought out a lovely pair of high-heeled, pine forest in the dusk-green pumps. They were magnificent. We were all wondering why she did not want to keep them. Were they uncomfortable? Heavens no, more comfy than sleeping on silk and velvet. Were they ugly? Hell no, anyone could tell. Were they the wrong size? No, not even Cinderella had met a better shoe match. So what was the problem?

My friend had copied a friend’s style. It felt good in the store, stealing a style she had long envied. But with the little high heeled babies in her own closet, all of a sudden it did not feel so good. She had to bring them to a lousy clothes swap. I think this was the right thing to do. But it’s sad to have to conform to the silent rules of friendship: Thou shall not rip off your buddy’s pump style, even if she doth not wear them very often.

Take 2. In my closet hangs a little swan feather bolero. You got that right. Perhaps it should fall into the “what was I thinking” range. But it will go into this column, because the wine tells me so. One of my friends, a beautiful blonde, got married in it. To a handsome young man with brown eyes the color of a perfectly moist brownie. I like that bolero. But I never use it, so I thought why not give it to her, as she also happens to be one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. I gave it away, but she hasn’t picked it up and I haven’t been by her house.

Then a second friend calls me, asking if I have anything white and fluffy to wear, her lady choir is having their 15 minutes in the spotlight and they have decided to be glamorous. Here is my etiquette question for you: Is it OK to lend something out that you have already given to someone else?

My God, how Carrie Bradshaw is this letter?

I have lots more on this note. But this will have to do for tonight, this is already so long. What’s the strangest friendship situation you ever experienced because of clothes?

So curious to hear your answer to this!
Loving spoonfuls from
your e.


sgazzetti said...

1) I think it's okay to loan the bolero for this brief, appropriate occasion. After all, you've only allocated it, not actually given it away yet.
2) Very Carrie.
3) I was 20, in Amsterdam, and VERY cold. In an old Army-Navy shop I found an ancient, cozy, double-breasted black wool Dutch army greatcoat (how hard was it to put those adjectives in proper order?) It had silver buttons with the Amsterdam city cross on them, and a massively high, stiff collar for full protection from the elements of the Low Countries. I loved that coat and wore it for years. Then it mysteriously disappeared. Many years later I was visiting my ex-wife. We had reconciled our differences and were managing to be cordial. That's when I found the coat in her closet.

My favorites are the clothes that we buy out of sheer necessity while travelling. They are the best souvenirs of all.

Agathe said...

I love having clothes swaps! Unfortunately non of my friends seem to feel they have anything to swap, so I just give away everything I don't wear...