Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Short skirt and a long jacket . . .

Have you even been browsing the internet, filled out some forms and then gotten a call from the company whose site you visited? It's been happening to me a lot lately - I guess that's one nice thing about this recession - people are trying harder than ever before to get your business.

One call in particular really stands out in my mind. About 3 days after I posted the story about the pink trench coat I got a call from Cappella University. When I was trying to figure out how to get into the costume department at the FBI I got frustrated that I could not find any really quick ways in. . .so I decided that I would give the world of criminal justice a shot. I filled out the online application and got a call from an admissions counselor. She asked me if I was still interested in the program and I told her that I wasn't. After a few seconds it became apparent that I wasn't going to get this lady off of the phone unless I told her the entire story. So I told her about my degree in fashion design and how I am always changing my mind on what I want to do. . . then I told her about the pink trench coat I had seen that had made me realize that my calling in life was to dress spy's. I told her that I did not think a degree in criminal justice was going to help me get there. I've noticed that when people call you and ask you to explain why you don't want something that they usually tear apart your defense on why you do not need a particular product and tell you that you DO NEED THIS PRODUCT (we do this everyday at Macy's when we tell people that they need to open star rewards cards). The lady on the phone started to do this, I recognized the little intro line that they all have . . . but she couldn't follow through with it. She was laughing hysterically at me and said something like, "Oh, never mind miss, you have a great day!" Click.

Of course she probably later got yelled at by her boss for not getting 20 people signed up for college that day - she even might not have made as much money because I didn't sign up for class - but I bet that was one of the more exciting things that had happened to her at work in a few days and I bet she liked it even though it reflected poorly on her performance.

I know how she feels. It's so frustrating that the fun and exciting things don't always get you the results you are after at work. . . and at the end of the day they just translate into numbers that weren't quite met. Even though you had a good day at work you go home feeling crummy and like you can't perform well at your job. What is particularly frustrating at Macy's is that they say they want you to give customer service above everything else, but they don't mean that at all. They want you to sell things that people don't need or even want, they want you to run up credit card bills and charge people lots of interest.

It makes the title of Starving Artist sound more and more appealing everyday. Starving artists get opinions, something I'm not allowed to have much of at Macy's. They get to do things the way they want, and the results don't matter . . . in fact, becoming successful is almost the fear because then people start to think they know you and you slowly start to become definable. Thinking about all of this has helped me come up with a slogan for my lifestyle/line/brand/idea. "What do you want to be today?" Maevery got close to this with the line "for little girls who want to grow up to be princess, rock stars or doctors. And for mothers who want to capture the essence of their daughters youth." In fact, I think it's the same idea.

In college and in all those stupid design contests you're always challenged to find your style. Everything has to be cohesive and well edited. It's all about proving to someone that you can play the game. We've all played the game and look where it's got us -- into an economy that is falling down around us. Why!?!? Because we have all traded what is irresistible for something that is marketable and sound. . . and it's boring. We spend money that we don't really have on things that we don't really like. . . of course it is all going to fall apart - we didn't really care about it, it wasn't really real, it made us feel bad, it made us do things that we didn't feel comfortable with, it made us sell out. Don't we kinda want it to fall apart?

It seems like almost every week I meet a woman who says something like, "when I grow up I want to be..." She knows who she is but she doesn't know what she is. . . I'd like people to know that that is okay if they want to dress like a prep one day and play golf, and the next day they want to wear all organic stuff and go to celebrate earth day. It's not hypocritical to have many different sides to you. God created us as multifaceted gems in His collection, and we all reflect the Father. God is everything and it's only natural that we should want to be everything as well. We've all got a spy in us who is always on the look out, trying to blend in, trying to figure out what our next move will be or what we'll do to eventually accomplish the mission. The question is, do you want to be a spy in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt? Or do you want to be a spy in shades and a pink trench coat? I know for me that I've got to have the hot pink trench coat - it's irresistible for me.

On that note - I did get the trench coat; it went on super sale (probably because it was a little impractical - it was a great idea, but in Phoenix it just wasn't marketable) right at the time that my very practical black coat decided to fall apart for the second time. . . and I am glad it did. I traded the black coat in and got the pink one.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."