Part of the reason I adore travelling as much as I do is the thrill of finding unique and special pieces and treats not available at home. Authentic Greek olive oil, a Parisian fur vest, an Italian leather purse, real Israeli falafel – the list goes on. Sometimes, when I truly fall in love with something and get a little obsessive, I do everything in my power to ensure once my supply runs out, I readily have more. Take, for example, the exceptionally delicious and nutritious Odwalla bar I fell in love with many summers ago working at a summer camp in California. After receiving the devastating news these magic bars were not only unavailable in Canada but in all states except California, Colorado and Oregon, I had to creatively come up with an action plan so I would never have to go without one again. Enlisting the help of my endlessly loving father, I sent him on a mission when on a business trip in Los Angeles a few weeks later. Never mind the closest Odwalla Bar retailer was across the 101, the slowest moving highway in the world, or the excess weight added to his carry-on coming home with the 100 bars of goodness, I decidedly (and selfishly) needed this mission to be accomplished. While happily scarfing a particularly tasty Berries GoMega bar last week, my sister tauntingly asked what I would do if I couldn’t get my hands on my beloved Odwallas anymore. I rolled my eyes at the question, knowing this would never happen – my determination of getting my hands on something once I decide I want it borders on psychotic. But then I stopped to ponder the thought for a moment. Sometimes, even with all the will in the world, there are certain things that will be an exception to the I-want-it-I-need-it-I-have- to-have-it attitude I often assume when shopping.
This mentality goes beyond wanting the Chanel 2.55 or the Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking; I know obtaining every single one of my fantasy designer items are financially out of reach for me and will most likely forever remain in lust territory. This mindset refers mostly to items I scour in fashion magazines, in photos of celebrities, on websites or in stores that I can really envision in my closet and in an ensemble. Sometimes, despite all former beliefs of my shopping habits, I exercise self-control and I put the ostrich feather embellished miniskirt with a price tag as much as my monthly income down. It’s not that I don’t love it or think I wouldn’t get good use out of it (I really would, even though whoever I’m shopping with at the time seldom believes me and will most likely give me “that look” while prying the item in question out of my clenched fists), it’s just that sometimes, even I understand you have to let something go, and unless you are the owner of the slick American Express Centurion card, you really can’t have everything you want. That being said, we all make mistakes. Sometimes, I do buy things I have fallen madly and deeply in love with only to get home and realize I was wooed by the dreamy vision of a runway and not really like it so much in real life after all (hey, I’m no 6’1” waif of a supermodel). This mistake is much less detrimental to my closet than other mistakes and is fairly harmless; it can be erased with a simple “return to sender” packing slip and the cost of postage or a quick trip to the shop it was purchased from. The truly heartbreaking mistakes are when you are convinced you don’t need the item in question and then change your mind. Oftentimes, those to-die-for leather Balmain micro-shorts you saw at hr2 or the Balenciaga platforms from last season at theoutnet.com for 60 per cent off are gone faster than you can say, “WAIT! I want you after all!” These lost lusts haunt me forever, and I often try to come up with a rational reason to why I said no in the first place. To this day, I can think of no legitimate reason for not greedily grabbing a silk Christian Dior scarf for a mere $70 at a vintage store in Toronto. I admired it, felt it, loved it and then left it there. Why? I’ll never know. What I do know is I hugely regret it. That lost lust will haunt me forever, as it was a one-of-a-kind piece I can never replace; some other lucky bitch got her hands on it and I’ll never have the joy of aloofly tossing it over my neck.
Other unforgettable and now unattainable things include my favourite nude lipstick ever, Chanel Rouge Allure in Mythic, now discontinued, a limited- edition Yves Saint Laurent palette I was too late for, an incredible array of delicious beauty loot from Milan’s most gorgeous department store, Excelsior Milano, that does not ship to Canada, and most recently, a pair of leather Chloé boots seen in some fashion magazine in some airport in some foreign language that for the life of me I can’t remember, and despite hours of desperate searching, I cannot find them anywhere, brick an mortar or online store alike. Although I know I could settle for a similar pair, it just wouldn’t do it for me. I would forever be reminded of the original item I lusted after, and then be disappointed all over again that it was lost. I would resent the replacement, and no item, clothing or beauty product alike, deserves that. All I can do is try and fondly remember the piece and wait to enjoy the rush of falling in love with something else all over again.