Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Gentle Art of Conversation

The companies names have been changed to protect the hopelessly crass.. and me.

Okay, today was a nice day.  I got up early and went to an event sponsored by the lovely and talented (the woman makes shoes for god's sake- reeeeally nice ones.  To order even..) Wendy put together at the Strange Invisible Perfumes shop in Venice, CA (which you will read more about at a later date on Marina's blog)  

Then I met a friend for lunch at California Chicken Cafe (so yummers and so cheap!) and we wandered around Santa Monica.  We stopped into a store that she frequents that sells, bath salts.  Yes, that's it, it sells all sorts of bath salts.  My friend is a, car dealer, which tangentially touches upon my job since I work in finance at, Chrysler.  As a matter of fact I happened to be carrying a tote bag that day to take notes for the SIP event that I got at work proudly emblazoned with the, pentastar logo.  At lunch we lamented the state of, Chrysler and the fact that the new owner Cerberus was cutting jobs and thinning out the number of models available.

In any case, we stopped into the bath salts place and the owner and my friend chatted.  My friend mentioned that we had lamented the state of, Chrysler.  The owner went into a mini-rant about how, Chrysler was pretty bad to begin with and now was just "pathetic".  That she was appalled when she moved here years ago to see the, autos that Chrysler was foisting off on our area when back home in Washington, DC General Motors was putting out a far better product.

Okay, fine.  Point taken; truth be told I think that some of the line should be cut.  I think the new Sebring is a disaster: a nice car hobbled my bad detailing.  I think it may even go under, or be taken over by another company.  But I am standing there in my Burberry polo happily smelling of about six things better than your crap-ass bath salts could aspire too, full of yummy Cal Chix and behind three glasses of SIP's champagne and wondering over the depth of your bad manners.  I mean, Chrysler is part of LA.  You are in LA.  I am holding a bag that is emblazoned with, Chrysler and the pentastar logo.  I would not walk into your store and loudly declaim that your bath salts are sub-par and point out that no modern bathtub could possibly hold your avoirdupois and suds, even if I thought it, because that would be rude.  I would not point out that you were in a business that has no future, since everyone showers these days anyway (disclaimer: I am going with this for the sake of the simile.  I like baths.  I like bath salts.  In a perfect world my bathroom would resemble the Beauty Level at Bergdorfs.  With a wave pool).

Was there a tipping point where people became so out of tune to that fact that they were talking to other people that they don't take into context that their likes and dislikes are perhaps not universal and should not be presented as such to the casual acquaintance?  My friend Bitsy hates capers.  We are old and censorious friends, so I can laugh off her notion that I am evil and deformed for loving those little hellish balls of silt while chiding the fact that her taste buds froze in 1978 and perhaps she should join the rest of us who have moved off soft foods.  

But for the most part I think it's best to save the really negative stuff until you're sure you are in like company.  Trust me you'll look less like an a##hat.  Even if you're confronted with a recently remodeled entryway featuring key lime and hot pink: look at a point about three feet away and exclaim "how energizing!  I feel brighter just walking in the room!"

Because somebody ALWAYS works at Chrysler..

Oh and as an aside, to straight guys (like any of you are reading): get into perfume.  I was one man amongst about 20 really fine ladies offering up various parts to sniff...


ScentScelf said...

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy reading your blog? Perhaps it's the fact that I grew up in the shadow of the Big Three that prompts me to write you letting you know now...

...maybe it's just because once again, I chuckled my way through post, even while nodding my head...

Husband is trying very hard to be a Straight Man Interested in Scent. I am simply pleased he's figured out why he needs to pay attention to what spot I am pointing to, and why it can be a Very Good Thing to register not only when things are pleasing to him, but to me.

tmp00 said...


I didn't grow up there, but I do have a soft spot for them and think they are criminally overlooked by people who still think it's 1988 or something, hence the overdone simile..

I am going to have so much fun reading your blog!