One of the great highlights of my conference experience last month was going shopping with my good friends Urania and Veralinda on the last day. We started with breakfast and coffee at a chic little cafe and then headed directly to Anthropologie (which many of my readers already know I have an ambivalent relationship with). But one of us had store credit to burn and the other two were game.
We had a great time, spent too much money and each ended up with the same sweater. Two of us hadn't noticed the green "knotty pine" cardigan until Urania tried it on. I should mention that Urania is tall and fabulous looking. Veralinda and I are shorter and a bit more zaftig. We also look fabulous, but have to pay attention to things like waistlines and hems. We all thought it looked like a Grecian breastplate on Urania, making her seem exotic and powerful. Immediately Veralinda and I had to try it on too. It looked fabulous on us as well. I felt I looked a bit less amazonian, and more like some sort of wood-sprite. Veralinda looked like an art collector from the 1930s (to my mind she very frequently looks like she walked out of a 1930s film). It was on sale. All three of us bought the sweater.
We rationalized that since we each live and work several hundred miles away from one another, no one will ever know. Unless we decide to do a panel on "sameness" at the next conference.
The following week, I went home to chilly, snowy "God's Country" and wore the cardigan at my family's Thanksgiving dinner party. My mother has excellent taste but lately she has found my color and texture combination a bit too complex. I was anxious to know what she thought of the sweater. She liked it a lot. I said, proudly, "doesn't it look like a grecian breastplate?" My mother looked utterly surprised. "What? No, it looks exactly like a funnel cake."
There you go. Urania gets to be Penthisilea and I get to be sugary fried dough.