Thursday, June 9, 2011

Does this perfume make me look fat?

When I was travelling overseas right out of college, I was plopped somewhere I thought I would never go in my life – Okinawa.

I was performing for the troops with a group doing an improv-murder-mystery-show.

Besides enjoying the sights, the local culture, and the soldiers, the thing that I enjoyed the most was the shopping.

Shopping at home was already awesome, so to shop in new and exciting stores in new and exciting countries was super awesome!

Plus I had Laura, my ultimate shopping buddy on tour with me. The two of us would much rather go to Top Shop than go see another damn castle. Together we were power shopping machines.

In Japan and Okinawa I was tempted by tea sets, dragon statues, and lucky cats in every form – banks, stuffed animals, key chains and t-shirts. But what I fell in love with at an open air market in Okinawa was a jacket.

It was groovy. It was cool. At the time it seemed kind of hippie-chic.
It had big wooden buttons.
It had fringe all along the hem and around the cuffs, with beads hanging off of the fringe.
It was rust colored with a moss green pattern going through it.
When I looked closer, I noticed what the pattern was of – elephants.

A chain of artsy elephants with their trunks all connecting. It almost made it hard to make out that they were elephants until you looked really hard, but let me tell you, there were elephants all over that jacket.

I tried it on.
I loved the way it looked. I loved the earthy colors, I loved the fringe and the beads.
However, I did not love the elephants.

Why couldn’t it be a pattern of some other animal? Like a tiger? Or a dragon?

I kept it on, debating whether or not I should ask Laura the most stupid question ever, but I just had to ask it.

Laura could tell I loved the jacket, and was confused as to why I was so hesitant to buy it if I loved it so much.

“Laura, I have to ask you something first. Since the jacket has elephants all over it…do you think people will think I look like an elephant? Will people associate me with elephants if I wear this?”

Laura looked at me for a good long minute.

“NO”, she said.

I was still wary. I really didn’t want to be known as “The girl in the elephant jacket”, but I did LOVE it. So I bought it.

Throughout the early ‘90’s I wore the shit out of that jacket.
I wore it to clubs, to concerts, out with friends and out on dates.
I got a ba-zillion comments on how cool that elephant jacket was.

A few years later Laura and I were back home shopping for perfume.

I fell in love with an scent called Jungle by Kenzo. It was a spicy scent, very warm and very exotic. It reminded me of my time in Okinawa. It was so different from the sweet stuff I usually wore, and just like the jacket, I had to have it.

And just like the jacket, elephants were involved.

The cap of the beautiful wavy bottle was a giant gold elephant.

“No that perfume does not make you look like an elephant”, Laura said, before I could ask.

I bought the perfume and have loved it ever since.
I wore my elephant jacket and my elephant perfume together with pride.

Yummy and non-fat.

Today I have a beautiful little elephant on my desk that my boss brought back for me from one of his many trips. When he gave it to me I did not take offense, I love looking at it everyday.

And I now realize that if I wear a sweater with a deer on it, an owl necklace, or little bird earrings, I do not look like a deer, an owl or a bird.


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