Friday, September 2, 2011

A diva can dream, can't she?

Last week was pretty weird. First we had an earthquake, then the entire eastern seaboard anxiously awaited the arrival of Hurricane Irene. I'm pleased to say J & I only lost power for about 30 minutes, & overnight at that. Many of our friends & colleagues weren't so lucky. Our sun porch roof also leaked a bit. but it's been known to do that in far smaller storms.

In the midst of Mother Nature's drama, I paid 3 visits to the Baltimore Summer Antiques Fair. I saw lots of friends, including some European dealers I only get to chat with once a year, & of course I had a chance to ogle all sorts of fabulous old stuff. At this point, our house is pretty well-stocked with furniture, china, glassware, etc, although you'll never catch me admitting that around J ("But we don't have *green* wineglasses yet, honey!") I'm still on a budget, too. So, the show was primarily a social event/learning opportunity for me, as it has been in some years past. I've been attending this temptation-packed show for over 15 years & have learned to set my budget before leaving the house. If there's nothing truly amazing in my price range, I leave empty-handed.

Enough maturity, sense, & good financial judgment for now. Time for a trip to Fantasyland. In this pic, I am wearing the most amazing necklace I have ever seen. I often go for elaborate designs - think Moderne pieces from the 1940's or delicate-but-not-cutesy Deco filigree - but here is photographic proof that simplicity need not be bland. Not if you have big enough rocks, anyway. I can't even remember the total carat weight, but yes, those are diamonds - big ones - all the way around my neck. They're set in gold topped with sterling silver, which was common practice before white gold & platinum came into use. The necklace dates from the Victorian era & I would love to know who has owned it over the years. It's obviously been lovingly cared for, & who wouldn't treat such a spectacular piece like the work of art it is? I hung out at this booth for a long, long time - two days in a row - just so I could enjoy the sensation of having all this gorgeousness around my neck. Okay, the fact that the dealer was hot & all of his merchandise was spectacular didn't hurt, either. I think he actually believed that J & I were going to buy this fabulous bit of bling, which is too hilarious for words given its price tag: $130,000, a/k/a more than we currently owe on our house. Yes, you read that correctly. Most reluctantly, we gave the necklace back to the jeweler.

I know there are people who love to moralize about expensive wearables, especially the kind that sparkle. "There are people starving", "No one NEEDS that sort of thing", blah blah blah. That's very true, but do most of us *need* our of-the-moment tech gadgets, super-duper coffee makers, pricey jeans, or "good" bags? Of course not. We buy them because we like them. If J & I had the wherewithal, this necklace would have been mine in a second. We don't. We never will. We're both perfectly okay with that. There's more to life than obsessing over material things you'll never be able to own. Cool stuff enhances life - a lot! - but it won't make up for being in a career you hate or a soul-crushing relationship just to have a certain amount of purchasing power. Leave that to the Joneses & enjoy your life.

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