“You Are SO Fancy!” And My Love For All That Is Coco Chanel Propagates Yet Another Handbag

“Everything you have is so perfect and fancy.”

Fancy computer“Wow. Even your computer is all pink and sparkly.”

That’s what the girl in the cheetah animal hat said to me as we checked in at the front desk of a Best Western hotel on the way back from Sacramento. (To read about my testimony at the Fish and Wildlife Services hearing to delist wolves, click here: Saving Wolves)

We asked the obvious, and she told why she was wearing an animal hat.

“Because I burned my hair last night. I’m not sure ‘zactly how it happened, but when I woke up this morning, one side was burned and shorter than the other side, so I’m trying to hide it with the hat” as she pointed to her head.

“I was partying and can’t remember how it happened.”

Oh-kay, hub and I said together…

It was one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received.

She GOT me. Totally.

I love being fancy.

And I love me some Coco Chanel.

Gabrielle_Coco_Chanel 2.55Just the name conjures up magic.

Infinite perfect design.

Aspiration.

Jacqueline Kennedy loved Chanel, too.jacqueline kennedy chanel

If you are a girl who loves and drools over Chanel, the acquisition of the iconic 2.55 handbag is EVERYTHING.  EVERYTHING.

History of 2.55
In the 1920s, Coco Chanel grew tired of having to carry her handbags in her arms and decided to design a handbag that freed up her hands. Inspired by the straps found on soldiers’ bags she added thin straps and introduced the resulting design to the market in 1929.[1][2]

After her successful comeback to the fashion industry in 1954, Chanel decided to update her handbag, for the modern woman. The resulting design was called 2.55 after the date of creation, February 1955.[1]

The bag has a number of amazing features:

  • The lining’s burgundy color represents the color of the uniforms at the convent where she grew up.
  • There is a zippered compartment at the inside of the front flap. That is where Chanel is rumored to have stored her love letters in her original bag.
  • The backside has a back outside flap for storage of money.
  • Chanel, recognizing that modern women needed to have their hands free while attending social functions, designed a double-chain shoulder strap, something common in downmarket products, but rare in luxury circles at the time. The chains were attached by a leather-threaded chain inserted though eyelets. The caretakers of the convent where she grew up held the keys at their waist dangling from the same type of chains as the 2.55 shoulder strap chains.[3]
  • The bag originally came with a front lock called “the Mademoiselle Lock” (in reference to Coco Chanel never marrying). Since the 1980s, versions can also be supplied with a lock in the shape of a double CC logo. These called “Classic Flaps”.[3]
  • The bag has a quilted diamond or herringbone pattern on the exterior. Using a running stitch, this gives the bag shape and volume.[1]The pattern is believed to have been inspired by several sources: by jockeys’ riding coats, by the stained-glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine, as well as by the cushions in Chanel’s Paris apartment.[

Chanel released an exact copy of the original 2.55 in February 2005 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the original. Though the name “Reissue 2.55” should apply only to those commemorative handbags, it is now commonly used now as a name for all the handbags resembling the original 2.55.[3] (Wikipedia)

And now I have my very own.
Another of my life’s dreams fulfilled.

Chanel GST Black boxYes, I do realize that I spent the better part of 2012 obsessing about having a Chanel handbag and I did get one — my very first — the Grand Shopper Tote, but as I explained over and over and over again (ad nauseum) to my hub, that was a DAY bag, my “every day” bag, and I needed (NEEDED) a dressier handbag for special occasions.

Once again, my tugboat man has given me the BEST EVER present.  Yes, I bugged him to death for it, but it’s a testament to his good nature that he STILL thinks I’m adorable…if a bit OVERLY tenacious.

However, I’ve agreed (in front of witnesses) that this will be my last Chanel. Chanel HANDBAG, that is. Because there are Chanel scarves, Chanel rings and necklaces and bracelets, and Chanel shoes and clothes. There is so much more Chanel for Princess Rosebud to acquire…shouldn’t he have been the least little bit suspicious when I agreed so readily? Ha ha. Dumb tugboat captain! :) He should know me MUCH better than that, right?

This one is mine. Mine. ALL MINE. Merry Christmas to ME! Happy Channukah to ME! So gorgeous. So perfect. So FANCY.CHANEL2.55 2 All MINE. A work of art.CHANEL2.55 Spoiled me. Tee hee! See how FANCY I am?Newchanel2.55

Confessions of a Shopaholic

By way of my beautiful-as-a-movie star BFF Cowboys and Crossbones, I got tagged for Confessions of a Shopaholic which is totally and absolutely cool!

Who doesn’t know that I LOVE to shop? Anyone?

It doesn’t matter if it’s a thrift store, consignment shop, TJ Maxx, Ross Dress for Less, Target, or ChanelI love the process of shopping.

I love the colors;  I love to run my fingers through the racks and feel the texture of the fabrics. I can eyeball silk and cashmere from across the room.

Ahh yes, it’s time for another session of retail therapy.

Do you consider yourself a shopaholic?
No. Ha ha. Of course the answer is YES! I will shout it from the rooftops–I’m proud to be a shopaholic!

How would you classify your style?
Sparkles to sweat pants. It depends on what mood I’m in. For example, the launch of my little boat Princess Rosebud called for a nautical theme.Nautical attire

Cozy bedtime attire for sweet Hello Kitty dreams.

hello kitty pajamas and slippers

Or a sexy evening in vintage Valentino at home with the Captain…

vintage Valentino dress

What store can you not leave without buying something from?
I can’t leave Target without buying something. Marshalls and TJ Maxx too. Uh, and then there’s Anthropologie, and H&M. Ummm, the sale rack at Barneys. J. Crew. Geez, I guess I don’t leave many stores empty handed. Sorry, tugboat man!

Where do you find your best deals?
The Barneys outlet, sales racks everywhere, my secret consignment shop.

What designer are you willing to splurge on?
CHANEL CHANEL CHANEL. Chanel GST Black box

Can you hear the angels singing? Isn't it brills?

Can you hear the angels singing? Isn’t it brills?

Do you have a go-to shopping outfit?
It’s usually an all day event; sometimes I dress in skinny jeans and flat boots, and sometimes I dress like I came from the gym which I most likely did. As long as I have my Chanel, I’m a happy girl.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Shoes. Boots. Designer vintage. Jewelry. Diamonds. Opals. All jewelry. Everything is my guilty pleasure. That’s why I feel guilty! Seashells, too.

Via Spiga and Steve Madden (and ChaCha)
Black Boots

Lanvin and Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo and Lanvin

What is the one piece of clothing you can’t live without?
Besides my Chanel, I’d choose my skinny jeans from Anthropologie. Well, all of them if I’m being perfectly honest. I love all my clothes! Especially this Missoni sweater with those skinny jeans from Anthro.
missoni

Who is your style icon?
Don’t judge me, but it’s Blair from Gossip Girl and Hepburn and Erica from All My Children. I said not to judge me! Oh, and I love Stacey London.

These are my tugboat captain wife’s confessions.
Now it’s your turn.
TAG–YOU’RE IT!
These are the questions for you to copy and paste.

TheFurFiles
Rarasaur
Simply Stacia
Chewylicious
CalliesMariner 

Do you consider yourself a shopaholic?

How would you classify your style?

What store can you not leave without buying something from?

Where do you find your best deals?

What designer are you willing to splurge on?

Do you have a go-to shopping outfit?

What is your guilty pleasure?!

What is the one piece of clothing you can’t live without?

Who is your style icon?

Beginnings and endings: 1966 and 2007

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”–Coco Chanel

Two special dates: July 1966 and April 2007

Beginnings and endings.

July 1966 – Detroit, Michigan

I’m in the bathroom, calling out to my mom.

“MomMomMOM MOMMEEE!! Where ARE you? Guess what?”

You know what they say, a mom always knows.

“Honey, I bet you just started menstruating, am I right?” (She was a nurse and always always used a medical term instead of slang. Like we always said “urinate” instead of pee; vagina and penis instead of -well– instead of anything else.)

After a hug and a lengthy (yawn) tutorial about personal hygiene, my mom took me out for lunch and a shopping spree to commemorate this milestone towards womanhood. She told me that when she first began to menstruate, all she got was a slap in the face from her mother, some kind of archaic ritualistic symbolism that had something to do with the fact that her father (my grandfather) was a rabbi. She told me that she was horrified and never forgot it, and if she ever had a little girl, she’d mark the occasion with a celebration, not a punishment.

At school it was called “Aunt Flo” or “Secret Sam” (don’t ask me why.)

Back then everyone used cumbersome huge Kotex pads attached by a hellish contraption known as a “Kotex belt.” Made up of white elastic encompassing your waist along with two plastic clips that attached to each end of the pad, it took some getting used to — and felt very much like my biking shorts do now. It was a great day when I graduated to tampons.

That started years of worry. Worry about waiting to “start”. Worry about what to wear to avoid an accident, and later, worry about NOT starting, waiting every month with a silent prayer to the Period Goddess — please oh please let me start; I’ll be more careful next time. And then getting married and wanting to start a family; holding my breath every month and willing my body to NOT– becoming compulsively scientific, taking temperatures and  stressing over ovulation days and counting. Worry, worry, worry.

Worry about the baby I did become pregnant with…will he be healthy, will I be a good mom, will I produce enough milk, can I protect him from all harm and sadness–the what ifs drove me crazy.

April 2007 was the date of my last menses, my last period. At the risk of alienating my peers, I have to be honest and admit that I had no symptoms of menopause — I experienced none of the common complaints. Oh, I had an occasional hot flash–which I actually enjoyed since I’m always cold — for a few brief moments, it felt like I had my own personal heater. And once in a while, I’d feel a bit tingly which brought back awesome memories of a similar feeling when I was breastfeeding and my milk “let down”. I told my doctor all this and she nodded her head and said she had experienced the same sensations.

I am so happy to be done with all that worry.  I don’t have to check the calendar every month and worry about when or if I’m going to need to carry tampons with me.

It’s not that I’m not still kinda crazy, but my level of worry is diferent. Not that I don’t worry constantly about my son, but he’s a grown up thirty-two- year-old Yale professor and my worry for him is a bit less intense.

I feel freer. Tranquil. Confident. Satisfied. I can take a deep breath now and exhale.

Don’t get me wrong; I do believe Coco Chanel. I still work out like a fiend every day to fit in my size two skinny jeans; I fight the good fight with Botox and color my gray hair, but I’m a very happy fifty-eight-year-old, and proud to say it. Bring on the next chapter of my life. I’m ready!

This post is written for a Generation Fabulous BlogHop. Generation Fabulous is a new website for and about women who are rocking middle-age and beyond. Please click here to see more.

Hairy Hannukah Harry and the story of Hannukah 2012

…or the continuing saga of my life. As my first husband’s mother said to my mom, “isn’t it such a shame you wasted so much money on her education. She doesn’t really seem to do much of anything, does she?”

Looky here, readers, you all need to stop whining right now. Right now, I say!

I’ve peeked inside your private lives. Here’s a typical scenario:

8:00 a.m. You’re home with your spouse before leaving the house to go to work or he goes to work while you “stay home to take care of the kids” which really means you’re going to Tweet and shop all day and change a diaper or two, only if necessary. Not all of you, but enough to make it true. And I know it’s true ‘cos who do you think I tweet with all day?

Spouse: “I’ll home home at six. See ya.”

{Smooch goodbye}

crzy cat lady bathrobe

This is awesome.

Wife pulls the ratty bathrobe a bit tighter and rebelts it because an important message is acoming…

“Now you come right home after work, don’t stop anywhere; no bars, no strip clubs, nothin’. You come right home, ya hear me?  I’m making something special for dinner tonight.”

Spouse: “OK”

He walks out to the car. Five seconds after leaving the house, before the car even backs out of the driveway, he totally forgot everything his wife said. Typical, right?

6:00 p.m.- no hubby

6:15 p.m – no hubby

6:30 p.m. Here it comes…the power texting, phoning, emailing commences.

{no response}

burned dinner in oven7:00 p.m. Dinner burns. wife drank all the wine, spends time sharpening knives. Candles burnt down to nubs, the smoke of one burnt out candle with its acrid scent floats through the air.

The scissors come out to make a few strategic alterations in his favorite t-shirt.

She opens another bottle of wine.

8:00 p.m. His car drives up, front door opens, “Hi honey, I’m home!”

“WHERE. WERE. YOU.”

‘Wha? Why is it so dark in here?”

Where. were. you. I called. I emailed. I texted.”

“Ohhh…didn’t I mention I’d be late today? I -uh- thought I did.”

-End scene-desperate housewives

OK, I could go on and on but the point is that when 99% of you get mad at your significant others when they’re late; when work or whatever–delays their arrival at the appointed hour–you all need to STOP WHINGING AND WHINING about it!!

Since the world revolves around me, take a walk around South Coast Plaza in my shoes (not the Gucci ones, tho. I wear a 5 1/2 and your feet’d stretch ‘em all out.) I was expecting the captain tomorrow, Thursday. I cleaned the house, washed the windows, planned and anticipated the whole homecoming–even made a new welcome home sign–and he called and said he’d be LATE.

HE’S GOING TO BE A MONTH AND A HALF LATE!

HE WON’T BE BACK UNTIL SOMETIME NEXT JANUARY 201THREE!!

I’m not saying not to be pissed at your inconsiderate spouse–I would never think to deprive you of that joy–just think about ME next time.

OKAY?

Your “late” and my “late” are two different things altogether.

Ahem. Now, to give equal time to my cultural background as a full blooded Jewish American Princess, may I formally present to you my Hannukah installation….with the one and only Hairy Hannukah Harry holding the torah. Eight candles represent the eight days that I had to wait before I could spend more of the captain’s hard earned money and buy a huge bottle of Chance by Coco Chanel (of course.)

Hannukah candles

Forget Elf Shaming, try Hannukah Harry!

Chance by Chanel

Of course I got the larger size. ‘Cos I’m worth it.