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Sunday, April 3, 2011

The A-Team

Mrs. Apron and I found ourselves at her Happy Place yesterday afternoon. She was feeling down and needed a little lift, and, while even a good husband (who just happens to be an allied therapist) can't fix upset or anxiety or depression, he can nevertheless chauffeur his wife to her Happy Place.

I am, of course, talking about Anthropologie.

Years ago, when I realized the effect that this store had on my wife, I deftly incorporated its charming fabrics and (usually) well-constructed garments into the life she and I were building together. Special events like birthdays, Hanukkah, and anniversaries invariably contain, amongst other goodies, an offering from Anthro. Mrs. Apron's closet is brimming with ebulliently-hued skirts and precious tops, and I'm proud to say that I acquired most of these objects for her. She has always been one to embrace color in a wardrobe and her aesthetic fits in with the store's almost perfectly.

Sure, there are the flowy tops that are designed for vacant-eyed, waifish yoga instructors, the ones whose shoulder-bones protrude from underneath barely-there garments. Those are not for Mrs. Apron. There are also lots of dresses designed for chicks with A-cups-- those are definitely not for Mrs. Apron. But I know what to stay away from, and my offerings are invariably adored by my wife-- I really only struck out once, and it was a sizing issue, not a style issue.

Frankly, Anthropologie is one of my Happy Places, too, because entering that store makes me think of my wife, and good deedery of the past, and the challenge of finding that one right skirt or top... I don't know... excites me.

You're convinced that I'm gay right now, aren't you? Well, if I were gay, then I wouldn't really notice that the salesgirls there are impossibly attractive, now, would I?

Ha. How about that?!

Well, they're almost that way. As Gilbert would say, "All but perfection."

See, at Anthropologie, the environment is crafted in meticulous exactness. The displays by themselves are pretty much works of art-- from the bedframe made entirely of plumbing pipes to the current display featuring tree-trunks constructed with wine corks-- you are meant to be essentially wisked away to some sort of imaginary, dreamlike fantasy world-- where the soundtrack from "Amelie" plays on loop, where the colors chartreuse and coral are the order of the day, and where 110-pound girls with doe-eyes and little walkie-talkies shoved into their back pockets strut around in the company garb, eager to please little sales vixens with their hair carefully/carelessly teased up and their swagger confident but non-threatening.

As their wives try on clothes meant for girls twenty years their junior, the pot-bellied husbands sit languidly on the $2,340 shabby-chic couches swathed in bright red fabric emblazoned with peacocks as they take in the, ahem, scenery.

Of course, it isn't always like that.

A couple of months ago, I went to Anthropologie to return my one size mistake skirt that I had purchased for my wife for Hanukkah. It was a beautiful gray wool skirt and it had, duh, a peacock on it.

"This is causing me much emotional distress," my wife reported after trying to wear it, "take it back to The Place and make it go away."

So, I did that. On one of my week-days off, I drove to The (Happy) Place and brought it back. I was momentarily stunned when I walked into the store and saw no pert-chested sales-yummies strutting around, but three sagging, frumptastic, droopy-eyed fifty-year-old sows wearing ill-fitting, drapey versions of Anthro garb. At any moment, I expected Judy Denche and Joan Plowright to walk out from the back of the store and start refolding the blouses.

Damn, I thought to myself, so this is the B-Crew.

Kept hidden from the general public during the weekend (when Mrs. Apron and I are normally at the store) these deformed old crows are released from their basement manacles during the work week dayshift to serve as piss-poor replacements for the gorgeous, smooth skinned maidens who, during normal working hours, are kept in a protective down-filled coccoon, spooning each other-- each one wearing Ogilvy Sisters Soap facemasks and tank-tops constructed from Phoenix feathers. On Saturday morning, a gentle bell rings, summoning them from their slumber, signaling that they may rise, don the delightful Elevensies skirts, the Tabitha jackets, and the sailor-girl tops with the plunging necklines, switch on their walkies, and command the retail stage, while the dour-faced hags are banished to the furthest depths of Hell to break rocks and make license plates. The Anthro Angels have come to rule the roost.

They are the Weekend Warriors. They are, without doubt: The A-Team.


  1. While reading, I somehow managed to get dip in my hair... at eye level. I am still working out how I can blame you for this.

  2. Rosalie--

    Are we talking, like, sour cream and onion dip, or, like, chaw?

  3. ew! No, it was some sort of Cabbot veggie dip, which I was dipping pretzels in because I'm afraid to look in our crisper.


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