Monday, April 12, 2010

Wise Old Fool

"Heeeeeey Beeeeeee," buzzed Nancy, my twenty-something year old cohort, as she bustled into my office holding her hands behind her back like a perp from Cops. "Guess what I got?!"

Not in the mood for surprises or fortuitous news for anyone other than myself, I cheerily quipped, "Herpes!"

Nancy, humorless and/or deaf, proceeded to swing the sleek, black, Marc Jacobs shopping bag that was hiding behind her rotund derriere (which I hope morphs into a sack of ricotta once she hits thirty) and gently placed it on top of my inbox. The cheesy grin on her face begged me to guess its contents, and after seeing the bag, I was somewhat curious. But, I wouldn't dare give her a smidgen of satisfaction; so I responded with a disinterested shrug.

Nancy, still oblivious to my nonchalance or the mountain of unpaid invoices in front of me, proceeded with her intrusion upon my workday and reached into the bag to showoff whatever was in there to taunt me. She then pulled out a slinky, black romper by the straps and dangled it in front of me like it was some kind of invisible, couture marionette. No longer able to play it cool, I immediately reached for the silk garment but my thirty year old pounce was no match for Nancy's agile reflexes as she quickly snatched the item away from my desperate grasp.

"I just wanna seeeee," I pleaded.

"You see with your eyes- not your hands," she fired back. I was momentarily taken aback- not by her sass, but by that fifth grade line she'd dug up. Touche'.

I explained to her that I just wanted to see if it was really Marc Jacobs to which she took supreme offense.

"Ugh, why wouldn't it be?" Nancy snapped while pointing to the newest addition to my inbox. "You see the bag," she continued as if making a valid point.

Big effing deal, I carry my frozen Lean Cuisines to work every day in a Dean and Deluca tote.

In all honesty I did not doubt the authenticity of Nancy's outfit. She wouldn't touch a knockoff with a ten foot Visa. Forever 21's poly-acrylic blends are like Kryptonite to her. I just wanted to feel and hold the designer darling I'd been mentally masturbating to ever since listed it as the "Must Have Item" of the summer. I thought back to that very same email blast and remembered the reason I didn't have the "must have" was because I didn't have $268 to splurge on what was basically a grown-up onesie.

While Nancy was in the midst of telling me the sordid details about how she came upon the romper, how great it looked when she tried it on, and where she plans to wear her piece de resistance, the Hate was busy stewing up ways for me to drop a big, fat, smelly deuce on her gloat-fest. The best I could come up with (aside from violently screaming, "I hate you, you spoiled brat," while taking a pair of scissors to the romper) was to try to make her feel like a selfish idiot by chastising her for squandering money on a material item designed by a cokehead given the current economic climate, and the poor naked Haitian children who are in dire need of rompers.

I bombarded Nancy with so much pseudo-moralistic, goody-goody, psychobabble that even Sarah Palin would consider me a formidable running mate. When I was done with my diatribe, Nancy felt bad enough to run out of my office with her head hung low, but not exactly sorry enough to return the jumper, or give it to someone more deserving.

After Nancy fled the scene I reflected on why I resorted to such tactics to make her feel bad. Trust, if I owned that jumper, EVERYBODY would know because I'd wear it every Thursday or Friday (my cute days), and find excuses to prance back and forth to the copier just to show it off. Nancy is single, hard working and pretty fiscally responsible, so she should feel entitled to splurge on the occasional frock. Meanwhile, the only reason I can't afford such luxuries is because I'm drowning in a sea of debt with merely one pair of Gucci pumps and a failing liver to show for it. I had a Marc Jacobs skirt once, but in my careless haste to buy it, I got the wrong size and ended up passing it on to a friend in need...of fashion. Poor, little, rich Nancy shouldn't be scolded by an old hater just because she's getting it right in her twenties.

To add insult to my already injured ego, I actually found a short, black romper this past weekend at a chain store in Jersey. It was on sale for a paltry $24.99. And instead of commending myself on my thrifty threads, I'm dreading the fateful summer day when Nancy, in her fine silk, and I, in a flammable, cotton-poly-rayon blend, will inevitably cross paths on our way to the copier.