Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Random generosity.

One part of last weeks weekend my husband and I spent by the pool, all child free and with not a care in the world. We found ourselves right behind a group of three middle-aged women and their children. And boy, what a sight.
They were obviously all sisters and probably even clients at the same plastic surgeon what's with the identical noses. On the very right was the eldest, tanned to a degree resembling the roasted chicken I made last night but with skin too old and leathery to be enjoyable. She kept reapplying two products with an astounding frequency: Water from a pump bottle and baby oil (yes, sunscreen was not involved. Hello, skin cancer!).
The middle one looked similarly older for her possible actual age but with the wine glass and the swinging of her hips she seemed more like that party girl in the 80s who never understood that the party was over.
Last but not least, the youngest of the three with the youngest children too (I never figured out who the other kids actually belonged to). She seemed the most down to earth and the least obsessed with roasting like a bird.
They reminded me of "The Stepford Wives", perfect (or aspiring to be) little barbie dolls with lots of money for expensive accessories of all kinds. The only surprising thing was the lack of personnel present to deal with the children if they needed attention.

At some point the youngest woman got up to take her daughter to the bathroom and she did so by putting on a tunic. A pretty tunic in white, loose fitting with golden embroidery around the sleeves and along the neckline.
And here is where my husband and I come into the picture.
I told my husband that I liked that top. (It's what I do. Sometimes he is surprised, most often he will tell that he isn't as my style is so predictable.)
He said: "Tell her and ask where she bought it." My husband is funny like this, behaving as if he doesn't know me at all. I would never do that. Stepping up, exposing myself, putting myself out there - so not my cup of tea.
So, of course, he stepped up. Because that's how he is.
"My wife is too shy but she wants you to know that she loves your top and also, where did you buy it?"
And while he talked and she asked where I was from, she started to untie the tunic and took it off.
To give it to me.
Because I would never be able to find it. (It's from Marbella.)
Because she had another one in black. (Totally logical!)
Because she was a fashion designer. (Um, so?!)
Because I was slim and it would fit me. (Oh, thanks for noticing...!)

Yes, we refused.
Yes, we told her she couldn't do it.
Yes, we insisted to compensate her with something from Berlin.
She wouldn't have it. She didn't want to give us her number to contact her.
Yes, we thanked her profoundly!

(After she eventually returned from the bathroom she told us her story: Born in Iraq, moved here 22 years ago, got married, had kids. Is a fashion designer selling her clothes in Dubai and Lebanon. Husband in the construction business. Unless her sisters married equally successful, she's probably single-handedly providing them with a lifestyle we can't even remotely imagine.)

(Maybe she was a little crazy? It is crazy. But it does give you an indication, I think. Or maybe it was just her. But I could never imagine anything similar to happen with your average Ammani wannabe high class and actually being just petty and pretentious. How self-centered certain groups can be is ever more apparent in recent times.) 

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