While Paula was in San Francisco at her hometown Barney’s with her homegirl, Sasquatch, I was stepping into a Barney’s I hadn’t entered in over fifteen years: Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, a million miles away from Madison Avenue in every way. The flagship Barney’s store on Madison Avenue, up until that instant, was my hometown Barney’s, and I felt like I was cheating walking through these shiny glass doors off Rodeo Drive.
Two moms I met at my kids’ new school had reached out to the “new girl”—me—and asked if I’d like to join them on a quest to find one of them a dress for her son’s upcoming Bar Mitzvah.
As I tried to shove my thighs into Céline OTK boots, waiting for my new friends to arrive, my head was swimming.
I am overwhelmed by newness in my life. New faces, new names, new places, new grocery stores, new teachers, new doctors, new cars, new weather, new streets, new restaurants. New everything.
Being back inside a brick-and-mortar store felt good, but I didn’t feel good in this particular Barney’s. The old life of my younger single twenties mashed up against my new life: husband, forties, two kids, a dog, SUV, cellulite and stretch marks.
Though the smells of the store matched Madison Avenue, I saw my twenty something self shopping “just to look”. In 1994 my art director salary couldn’t afford that kind of luxury. I would drive past this Barney’s on Wilshire every day, to and from work. During my weak moments, which were many, I’d pull into the parking lot just to dream the dreams of my future self walking those fashion-packed floors.
I realized my dream was now my reality. As my new friends approached with warm hugs and hello’s, I felt lucky in this future, full of promise and new dreams to have and fulfill. And one of those dreams was hanging on the second floor. This time I got to take it home.
I have to get used to the new weather here, however. I can’t totally abandoned the chill and change of seasons in New York. Soon it will officially be fall, then winter, and I’m dreaming for that one cool day when I can wear this in my new LA, embraced by the smells of Madison Avenue.