Thursday, 5 April 2012

Someone Else Got There First

Once again, I discover my own unoriginality. This time it is in the Georgetown branch of Urban Outfitters. I am standing around waiting, while one of my daughters makes a valiant effort to persuade herself that the expensive garments on offer do not look as if they've been made from Ye Olde Tea Shoppe's discarded lace tablecloths and someone's great aunt's boarding house curtains circa 1957. In fact, she is doing more than that - she is engaged in an attempt to suspend her own disbelief and brainwash herself into believing that these misshapen, ill-formed rags might actually appear smart, even elegant and chic, should she ever pluck up the courage to wear them in public view.

I pick up a book (Urban Outfitters sells them too, along with 'quirky knick knacks', in case you've never had the pleasure of entering the store). I don't notice the book's name. The Hundred Best Things Anyone Said? The Hundred Most Brilliant Statements Ever Made? A Hundred Things to Know Before You Die (that 'before you die' franchise is doing surprisingly well, considering its dashing use of the great unmentionable ie death)?

Inside there are a load of banalities by Alain de Botton and other such burblers. Then I turn a page and find this:

"A true friend is the greatest of all blessings and that which we take the least care of all to acquire". La Rochefoucauld.

Yes, I think, that's what I was trying to say.

(The daughter failed to persuade herself, by the way, which may possibly be a sign: if you're holding Urban Outfitters shares, you might want to tell your broker to sell).

6 comments:

  1. yep, your daughter is indeed an accurate 'weathervane' - urban outfitters are currently struggling and the share price has plummeted!

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    1. I like to think it's called 'inherited good taste', but from what you say it may be more a case of 'the wisdom of crowds'

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  2. Eek! I only just saw your note about coming to Philly. If that is till to happen, email me at presterfrank@gmail.com.

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    1. Been there, done that - come to Canberra and we'll show you a good time instead.

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  3. I have a partner who goes into these places with a view to buying and then recalls her experience as a merchandiser in the rag trade and comes out empty-handed having pointed out all the corners that had been cut in the making-up of the togs. We should be richer than we are.

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    1. I have been known to make clothes, which produces the same effect. And even without the knowledge of dressmaking, any fule could tell, for instance, when those low cut jeans appeared and the very short T-shirts - with the resultant display of pasty flesh between (it was not a good time to be out and about) - that it was a cunning ruse by manufacturers to sell clothes for the same price as before, while spending less to make them by using a third of the material.

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