Well, this past weekend was Memorial Day where it’s to be hoped we spend some time remembering the sacrifices people had made to keep this country as safe and free as it is. I spent some time at the VA cemetery in West Los Angeles, just taking in the whole scene and the decorations of the graves of the dead and the flags in the median on Wilshire. I try not to sully that mood with the wish that our elected officials cold keep the promise they made to living veterans of support and care, but since I typed that sentence I obviously failed.
I will always remember my uncle Tom (yes, I was named for him) showing us pictures of his service in WWII, some of which were from the German camps he was part of the first wave to liberate. I’m sure that he had ones that were even more startling, but we were pre-teens and he told us it was important to know why sometimes people need to fight: some things are simply too evil to be borne; too dreadful to try to forget. Because history repeats itself when we forget.
So in any case, on Saturday a group of us local loonies got together at Maggie’s lovely West Hollywood home for a sniff N swap. She set up a gorgeous spread and people brought things to sniff (I will let them chime in with their identity if they wish to) and of course swap. Due to a last minute thing I didn’t bring my sniffs and therefore didn’t swap, but boy did I get to sniff some wonderful things. Can I just say how inevitable I fond people who are into perfume to be generally wonderful and generous? I walked away with with various body parts smelling so divine I didn’t want to shower (but for the good of humanity I did..) and with a few decants of lovely little things. Some of them made me sad, because they were things that will likely never be seen (or more to the point sniffed) because of regulations that make sure that nobody who may be even slightly allergic would be bothered by them. Of course there is also the fart that it would be expensive to maintain the formulas with some of the original ingredients and companies like doing things on the cheap. But I digress. It was a lovely afternoon with convivial people and I can’t wait to do it again.
Sunday on the spur of the moment I went to Palm Springs. It was warm in that wonderful way the desert gets: very dry so you don’t realize how hot it is. That is until you pass a bank on Palm Canyon Drive that reads 104 degrees. Then it’s just freaking hot and those big old 70’s Cadillacs in what we used to call “Palm Beach” pastels with AC that could keep meat make total sense.
Monday after the cemetery I decided to drive up the coast, stupidly thinking I would cruise through the outlet mall. Yeah, right. 50 cars in line to even get to the exit. So I decided to just ramble around. I stopped at the Oxnard Fry’s (A local version of Best Buy that used to be the go-to place in SoCal for anything electronic or computerized, not selling cheap Blu-Rays, big TV sets and.. discount perfumes!
Yes, on the way to the checkout was a whole aisle devoted to knock-offs with packaging as close to the original as they could legally get but with names that were so obviously fake there was no way a lawsuit could result. For instance there was no way you would be fooled into thinking that bottle of Deed Blue English Rayon (okay, making that up, but it was “deed”) was really Creed or that 818 was really 212. If the labels fooled you the prices couldn’t: even the most naive of us couldn’t think that the people at Calvin Klein spelled his name wrong, mislabeled it “recession” and let it go for $5 per gallon.
There were even testers. I did the deed and it wasn’t bad. It lasted about as long as a fruit fly and resembled Green Irish tweed about as much as I do Audrey Hepburn, but who am I to judge? If it makes someone happy, makes them feel pretty or pampered or even just makes their day go a little faster then good for them.
ThenI cam back to town along the cost and through the farms in Oxnard. It must be the height of strawberry picking season because not only was there a farm stand about every mile or so, the fields reeked of them. Of course I bought some as well as some stargazer lilies that I am willing to bet came from the flower mart in downtown LA. But it was a nice day to be out and to spend a long weekend.
How was your holiday? Let us know in the comments.
Image: my iPhone, of Fry’s in Oxnard