Paying Homage to Pretty

So even though I usually keep the photo posts over on my photo blog, I wanted to share a little bit over here because that’s how much I love staring at pretty, sparkly, lit up Christmas trees.

I think the pagans were right on the mark with this whole tree idea.

Even at this very moment, my tree is sitting lit behind me and I keep turning around to look at its pretty lights and the reflections on the ornaments. Having a beautifully decorated Christmas tree helps to make up for not having a fireplace or mantel, something I grew up with and adored. (Someday….!)

Below are one picture I slated for Zoe Says and another from Flickr that I’m linking here because I couldn’t decide which look I loved most. Ah, the magic of editing software.

However, if you want to see more, because obviously I took lots of different shots from different angles and processed them differently, go here or here.

What are your favorite holiday decorations? (We have stockings up, too, but they pale in comparison to the tree.)

Tree Triptych

Me Own Pretty One Day

An aside before I get started on this what-will-soon-be-rambling post: five months? Seriously? I need to get my act together. I vow to be a better blogstress, even if it means posting one word but getting in an update before half a year has passed. Aside over.

Happy 2010, everyone! We’re living in the future everyone has always talked about. 2000/Y2K was ten years ago (Jesus….) and we’re exactly five years away from the year that Michael J. Fox visited from Back to the Future II. Scary. Ten years ago I was 19 going on 20, living in the Midwest and working at a small office for a non-profit. I had never been to Europe or New York and had yet to go to college. I’m sorry, I’m going on a tangent here because I’m reeling from the fact that a solid decade has gone by. So much has changed and I’ve experienced so much more and yet, some things are exactly the same.

What about ourselves stays the same? Quirks, mannerisms, general likes and dislikes. For example, one thing that has always been true of me is my response to pretty things. Since I was a baby, I have gravitated toward the light, twinkly, pastel, sparkly, soft, or decorated. (I was a candy and sugar freak when I was a kid but I think it was more the response to “absorbing” the prettily colored candy or goodies in my mouth than actually needing to eat it.) Anything gorgeous is going to grab my attention – especially if it’s a beautiful shade of pink. I know. “Typical.” This transcends from the purely aesthetic to touch, taste and smell. And I really shouldn’t exclude hearing pretty sounds, because there are really beautiful sounds in our existence.

I know I’m not the only one because otherwise the pretty shit I’m into wouldn’t come at such a high price. I have an absolutely uncanny knack of finding the most expensive whatever-it-is based purely on what pleases my eye. I suppose I take it as a good thing that I have exquisite taste, if exquisite means it costs tons of money. But for someone who does not have gobs of cash, it can turn into a frustration.

A perfect example of this is when my friend Jennifer visited me last September and we went shopping at Macy’s. Generally speaking, I don’t consider Macy’s to be the creme de la creme, but they really do sell some upscale items. My friend has superb taste but she is fortunate enough to be able to indulge with her pocketbook. I own one Coach purse that I paid for with Christmas money but other than that, I simply do not make enough money and don’t have the years to be able to save up for every expensive thing that I want. Anyway. I was searching for a new purse (I still am. FML.) and she recommended I look at their Furla bags, as the one she owned was Furla and it was soft and supple and beautifully made. So off we go to the Furla area and after a solid hour of looking through the fine selection of purses (all on sale, mind you) I find the one I really want. It’s a gorgeous light shade of gray with the perfect number of pockets, zippers, adornments, etc. I don’t like super gaudy or ostentatious bags and this one was a classic beauty.

Macy’s was having a huge purse sale. Every one of them was discounted. And out of all the purses there, it was the only one priced around $500. Even with the sale and other discounts, I still would have had to pay over $300 and I just couldn’t do it. I agonized over whether to suck it up and buy it but in the end, I didn’t. I have checked multiple Furla sites and have never seen it since. It will go down as one of those lifetime opportunity bags that I passed by, but I just could not justify spending that kind of money on it, especially when I would have put it on my already loaded credit card. (But aren’t Furla bags sooo pretty? See lovely, elegant bag above.)

This is just one example of having to go without the luxury items, but it never fails. Whatever I end up liking out of an entire array of items, it will be the most expensive. Perfume, sheets, stemware, flatware, stationery, makeup, coats, shoes, picture frames, cars, furniture, knick knacks, jewelry, gadgets…anything and everything. If there is a “high end” version of it, I inevitably come across it and say, “I like this one!” and it’s the most expensive one there. It is so rare when I find something that is reasonably priced and meets the high caliber quality I also desire.  (My boyfriend is all too aware of my fondly saying, “You get what you pay for!”)

In the end it’s all about just stuff, anyway. But oooh I still yearn for some things I really hope to get my hands on someday, be it cashmere or crystal. I cannot tell you how many times I have stopped to admire a bakery window or pastry shop because they have prettily decorated cakes and things sitting on display. (My current banner exemplifies this nicely.) If something is pastel, I PINE for it. Pink, yellow, violet, green and white, these are my favorite things. I love pretty shit!!! (I’m positive Oprah would agree with me. She just can’t say shit on TV.)

My dear, patient, loving Kevin shakes his head and knows all too well about my penchant for quality things; because, inevitably, the pretty thing I want will be unattainable. What can I say? I have a good eye. I want what I want, like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. What does this mean for me?

I really need to make a lot more money. Like, a lot a lot.