Moon River

This one is for the ladies. Love Tiffany’s? Like being on the receiving end of the classic turquoise and white? Well, here comes your man…

I am a huge fan of Tiffany’s. And I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t love to be handed that little blue bag. There is something classic, timeless, and beautiful about the simple elegance that Tiffany’s offers. I may be from Iowa, but I am welcomed there, and treated like a Rockefeller.

I spun through those famous revolving silver doors this afternoon just as the rain began to fall. Inside was chaos. I moved straight for the elevator, floors three and four. I know the place. I know where to find my gold, silver, and crystal. I stood patiently as shoppers clawed over each other, insisting that they were first. One, two, three classic and distinct gifts in under an hour. I knew what I wanted; that helped.

But it was the graceful, poised, and flapless sales attendants that made the experience. They didn’t look me up and down — today I was wearing jeans, black fleece, and a baseball cap. They didn’t scoff at my price points. They smiled, made suggestions, approved of my choice, made the sale, wrapped it up, and moved on. It is an elegant, efficient, and warm process. I left with three Tiffany bags, and a broad smile. My Christmas shopping was done.

It took me a few years to gain the smarts, the bank, and the confidence, to first set foot in Tiffany’s. The first step was the very conscious decision to give better gifts. A book, a CD, and a handmade card don’t cut it at my age. The second was courtesy of The MTV. And the third — confidence — came, like most things, by breaking through the first time. It was a few years ago, and I wanted to buy something special for someone special. I took tentative steps: browsing the website, calling in the order, then picking it up in person. They were so cordial, it was so easy, and I felt so good about what I gave, that I was hooked.

Since then, Tiffany’s has seen me upon Ethan’s birth, Christmas, mother’s day, and birthdays. I have never failed there (though I did suffer a return once, but she was angry with me, and needed the capital).

In my fantasy, I am walking with my intended through Central Park’s Ramble as the autumn leaves fall around us. I drop to one knee clutching a classic platinum solitaire engagement ring in my right hand. I ask her to marry me. She knows it cost more because its Tiffany’s. But she doesn’t care. And neither do I. She says yes. We make the “Vows” section of The New York Times. And we live happily ever after.

Yeah, I’m senseless, and sentimental, but I’m practical. I want to build a relationship on the same classic foundation as my grandparents: simplicity, quality, elegance, and a dash of fairy dust.

Until then, though, this Pathologically Procrastinating Christmas Shopper has again come in on time, and with his patience intact. I can’t wait for Saturday morning. I’m not sure who will find more joy: he who gives, or they that receive.

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