Audrey Hepburn describes “the mean reds” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as being sad for no reason at all; something I can completely relate to. In fact, I’ve always felt a kinship with Holly Golightly…the flightiness, the glamour, the entourage who don’t really know her…and the deep sadness. I know it’s a little trite, and may not line up with what you may think of me, but I do have a deep sadness. Most every day I wake up happy and skip around and go about my day looking on the bright side of things. This is because I believe with all my being in a benevolent and loving God, I have a wonderful family and have been blessed with a wisdom that lets me see people and situations in a more wholistic way than most people I encounter. This wisdom helps me to realise that “this too shall pass” when I’m in pain, that when people are hurtful they are only ever trying to make themselves feel better, and that the only thing I can ever control in this life are my actions, and more importantly my reactions to the things I can’t control. This particular widom also brings with it a deep sadness. I know loss. I know what is to hurt someone so deeply it changes them forever, simply in effort to save myself. I know that most of the things I dreamt about when I was a little girl will never, ever come true. And this is all ok, I can bare it…I’m still here so I know I can. But it’s the waking up and smiling that I find hard to manage from time to time. It’s getting through the nights alone without sobbing that I sometimes find nearly impossible. It’s remembering that I’m not alone, even though it sometimes feels like there’s not a soul on this planet that will ever love me enough to forsake normalcy and come with me on an amazing, difficult, but intensely rewarding adventure.
Sometimes the absolute only thing that makes me feel better is…shopping.
It’s going out into a world of newness and possibility that I find so incredibly comforting. The thought that I can posibly recreate my life for the low low price of $49.95 that is irresistible to me. I walk into a store, not looking for anthing in particular. I didn’t need to go shopping, I just…ended up here. I walk around the store aimlessly, starbucks coffee in hand, sunglasses perched jauntily on my head. It’s a beautiful day outside, I have no reason to be in here! Just popped in to browse, really…just thought I’d take a quick look around to memorize the place, you know…in case I need something later. Or in case my friend does. There’s no temptation to buy anything, really. There’s nothing I need! And then I see them. The most beautiful shoes I have ever seen, EVER. perfect 1.5″ heel, pointy toe, and the most sumptuous leopard-print that has ever existed!!! These are just the kind of shoes I need to kickstart things in my life! Just picture me walking down the street in these, a swing in my step, the breeze in my hair…everything will be new and fresh again! Strangers will stop me to ask where I got them and comment on my fabulous taste…I’ll get contract work for image consulting and model work in magazines ALL because of theses shoes! And the cost? What is a mere $140 to become a brand new woman? I can’t afford NOT to buy these shoes!
So I do buy them. I take them home, I set the bag on my kitchen table and I gently remove the box. I take the lid off and delicately fold back the tissue paper covering my new way of life. And I am changed. My life is instantly different because I believe it is. It’s easier to smile, I put the shoes on and I’m skipping again…and this changes the way people react to me. Things really do go better after that. Oh no, not forever. This is a cosmetic change, and it brings temporary results. But while they’re here, they are undeniable. Of course it is easy to get addicted to this kind of pick-me-up. People will get the same results with drugs, alcohol, even food, more or less. Chasing the high is what’ll get you in trouble. But indulging once in a while in something that works and is not chemically addictive? Now, that’s just good sense.
So Holly golightly has Tiffany’s, the mecca for all women like her and me. I don’t have a Tiffany’s or any one such department store, I wish I did. I go to a number of small shops, depending on my state of mind. And I have an image consulting company for just this reason. I believe in reinvention, transformation on the outside translating to the inside, in the power of what you see in the mirror. Fortunately or unfortunately, I believe in the mean reds. And I believe in treating them.