Wearing the jacket

Dazzled from the start. I had to own this jacket. The only one in the store, none online, only size left, large. Too big, but it didn’t matter. I was going to own this jacket. Did you know that bling makes people smile? Not only could others enjoy the sparkle, but I could too, even though I was wearing it. The entire garment was covered with bling, the front, back, and sleeves. Couldn’t miss the sparkle. The large size worked out. it’s a jacket after all, so you can belt it, tie it like I did, or just leave open. I removed the shoulder pads, so I wouldn’t look like a football player. This jacket had a lining, a workable zipper, looked like construction was done the way a jacket from a good store would be proud to sell. Right?

The time came to wear the jacket, last Saturday, for a dance where we take lessons, Fred Astaire Southport Ballroom. I happened to notice the trail of bling as I walked, It began in my house, spread to my car, into the ballroom, like a huge bling blanket. My shoes were slathered in bling. Tom was too. The ballroom floor never sparkled before; it was beautiful. I began to wonder if I was breathing bling. Here it is Wednesday and I’m still breathing alright, so as far as I can tell, I didn’t ingest any of the shiny stuff.

Anxious to fix the flaky problem, the next morning, the first thing I did was take the jacket outside, shake it, brush it, beat it. All I accomplished was to beat bling all over the slate stoop. We have had rain and wind, but the bling remains stuck to my stoop. One more attempt to tame the bling. I hand washed the jacket in cold water, no soap. I wrung it out as best I could and hung it in the shower. My hands were full of bling, so was the sink, the shower and the hanger.

The Jacket, now limp from washing. Bling falls off as you look at it.

Give it up, I told myself. I placed my gorgeous blingy jacket in a huge art bag and took it back to the store, right to the manager. She was more than happy to give back my money, but she said to please leave the jacket in the bag, she didn’t want the bling all over the floor. I asked if she thought that her high quality store should sell a garment that sheds. She said, “ Of course. We sell millions of these.”

Do you have any fashion disaster stories?



Extraordinary bedroom of Louis XIV in the palace at Versailles

Did you ever figure out how to make hidden spaces behind closed walls?  This is more than storage.  Hidden spaces are where you save stuff out of sight.  My daughter-in-law Joanne reminded me how they have pretty kool storage ideas—turning unused wall space into a computer closet, housing an attic behind a bathroom mirror.   Great storage in a 1/2 bath  in the Woodcliff Lake house behind mirrors.  And those areas are good for the large things.  Small things can be tucked behind outlet/switch cover plates, behind bricks, in door panels,

inside drapery linings, behind decor and more.  The movie “The Man in the Iron Mask” was on AMC (American Movie Channel) on Sunday past.  The wooden panels tickled me to see them open allowing King Louis XIV to leave his mistress’ bed chamber undetected. Getting any ideas?

The most interesting hiding places are behind moving walls of a library or walls that open between rooms.

The Queen’s bedchamber.

Queen's bed chamber in the Versailles

There is a barely discernible ‘hidden door’ in the corner near the jewel cabinet by Schwerdfeger (1787) through which Marie Antoinette escaped the night of 5/6 October 1789 when the Paris mob stormed Versailles.


Secret room/hidden door

Hidden rooms and secret passageways are the stuff of legend. Only found in ancient castles and fantasy books, nobody actually has a hidden door in their house, right?  Wrong. There is now an entire industry devoted to providing the slickest, most beautiful and subtle hideaways for adults who still have the dreams, and now the cash, to make fantasy a reality.

Would you like a secret store to stash your stuff?  How creative can you be? A moving wall, bookcase, panel might work.

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