GUESS WHO LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON??
On Tuesday, May 1st I attended a lovely celebration party for a brand that brings me back to my early teens. GUESS, the iconic brand is celebrating 30 years of being that little triangle logo with the question mark. They never changed the logo, added others along the way, but always kept true to their roots. In major cities across the country GUESS stores and Marie Claire are hosting local in-store parties. I was invited to the one here on lovely Lincoln Road in South Beach. What follows is my take on the night, how the evening brought me back to my youth, back to the present with BIG HOPES for my future.
I arrived at 6:30. The lovely girl at the door asked me for my name. I said LisaTakesMiami and she found me. This was pretty cool. She said “oh ok you’re a bloggggger cool ok, here you are, enjoy and don’t forget if you shop, you get a goodie bag.” Already I know it’s going to be a fun night. Two words “GOODIE – BAG.”
One of the things I love so much about Miami is that here you can get on all sorts of invite lists to really cool events. In New York it’s a big clusterfuck of pretense. New York is a whole other animal. There’s a main list and then 10 people have their sub lists and there’s a degree of access granted depending on whose list you’re on. Please. I did that life. I got in. It was rarely impressive with nothing but a bunch of eccentric uberdorks trying to come across as hip, current and new. Blended in there would be some music industry people, if you were lucky maybe some marketers and some bankers who loosened their ties to try to score some “hot PR chicks.”
For the most part these NY events were filled with total snobs who would comment about the “bridge and tunnel crowd” meanwhile, they grew up tipping cows in rural Indiana and now claim New York City as theirs. Kiss my ass. When I was a kid riding the 6 train from the Bronx to Manhattan to go to a show at Radio City Music Hall, these people were pissing themselves at the Piggly Wiggly. Just because you can score corporate box seats at a Yankee game and get invited to a trunk show at Barneys, doesn’t make you a true New Yorker. But whatever… I can’t stand those faux New Yorkers who only know Manhattan and refuse to go to Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, or dare I say it, Staten Island or Jersey. Anyway get my mind off of New York. It instantly makes me aggressive and pissed off. Back to Miami, my new home and the fun GUESS celebration event.
Ok so I walked in and was immediately handed a glass of champagne or probably prosecco either way who cares? It was bubbly, yummy and best of all, free!! There were very cute male models with trays of mojitos and mini red velvet poppers. Sweet men, sweet drinks, sweet snacks, and sweet music. Perfection! So Miami.
Being that I declared a DUDE DETOX just a day or so prior, I was out and about for the first time with my new agenda. I was rattled. I felt a bit out of sorts. I needed some sort of vice. The free cold drinks made for vice number one, but then I was attracted to a pair of sexy as all get out, ass kicking sandals. They were so me, leather, wood, studs, buckles. Not too trendy yet trendy enough and best part I can run in them, dance in them and do lord knows what else in them (but not until August 1, when my DUDE DETOX is over). These shoes attracted me just as a man would. They called out to me. I couldn’t resist and they were on sale so of course they had to come home with me. I fully embraced and acknowledged that my DUDE DETOX is first going to weaken me, then test me, and then empower me. This I know for sure. Phase one is weakness and when weak. I shop.
After I purchased the shoes I struck up conversation with other guests, was photographed in my new shoes and I started to look through this AMAZING coffee table book of all the iconic GUESS advertisements over the last 30 years. There was a classic Claudia Shiffer image which I remember having on my dorm room wall in college. The store started to get more crowded with guests and that’s when these retro jeans caught my eye. I remember them from junior high. Animal print jeans!! I picked them up and was instantly 14 again. “Oooooh I had these when I was a teenager!” I brought them to my chest, closed my eyes as if to hug them and the thought of escaping back to being 14 again. The sales girl who saw me drunk on nostalgia and buzzed on prosecco, came over and told me I so needed to try them on. In my weakened state I agreed. Oh and the shirt toooooooo. I grabbed a retro GUESS t-shirt with the triangle logo on the front. Off to the fitting room I went. SKIPPING!
When I got into the fitting room and stripped down I looked at these jeans and the 41 year old in me said, “Lis, sweetie, you realize that you did these jeans the first time in 1985 so you might be too old to pull it off again.” Whatever!! Silence practical smart, Lisa!! ZIP IT!! Right now in my mind I’m 14 and these jeans are goin on. I presumed unlike my first pair (a size 24) I would be a bit up in size so I asked for a 29 which I GUESS is equivalent to about a size 4. They were HUGE!! I was happy. I asked the sales girl what she thought. She grabbed at my waist and said, “oh honey you need a 27 maybe even a 26.” EGO was boosted, now I’m committed. If they fit, I get them. DONE AND DONE. She came back with the size 27’s and when I zipped them up I was instantly transported back to 1985. It was the Levittown Roller Rink (Levittown, Long Island, NY) I was hoping the cute boy in the parachute pants and Member’s Only jacket would ask me to skate so I can feel his clammy sweaty hand in mine. So gross, I know but his validation was like a drug. I was 14.
There was a knock on the fitting room door. I came right back to 2012. “How are the 27’s?” asked the 19 year old sales girl. (P.S. I can be her mom if I had her at the age my mom was when she had me). “Ooooh they look good.” I responded proudly. Salesgirl asked me to come outside and when I did I said ok so here’s the rule… typically if a woman was old enough to do the look the first time around, she’s got no business doing it again. She looked at me asked if I was insane and said that I look sooo HOT!! She went on with, “are you kidding me? How the hell did you have these jeans in high school? You are what, about 28? 30, 31 tops?”
So now at this point I’m thinking corporate management at GUESS sends their staff to a special sales training session where they are taught exactly what to say to customers. “I looked at her and said sweetie, you’re 19. I can kinda be your mom. I’m 41.” Then loudly, in the middle of the crowded fitting room, she shared for all “YOURRRRRRE FORRRRRRRTYYYYYYY ONE?? HOLYSHIT NO WAY, BRIAN BRIIIIIIAN!!” She called out to the other sales guy. “Look at how smoking hot she is. She’s FORRRRRRRTY ONE!!” I just stood there. I had two choices, be mortified or be me. I went for being me and I started jumping up and down like I was 14 yelling “YAYYYY, I AM GETTING THEM. I AM I AM I AMMMMMMMM.”
Off to pay I went and I scored another goodie bag and another cocktail. BEST EVENT EVER!! This time I was going for the mojitos. After I gathered what looked like a barricade of shopping bags, I positioned myself by the accessories section with 3 other girls to chat and listen to music. I was telling them about my DUDE DETOX and my subsequent shopping bender. I begged them to intervene if I even looked at another article of clothing.
The next thing I know I’m looking directly at this man who is in my personal space handing me another free drink, telling me how fantastic I am. I have no idea when he approached or how but I was my typical friendly, open self and this demeanor clearly opened a door in this man’s mind. I knew instantly I wasn’t at all attracted physically but his vibe was fun and I’m all about meeting fun people, so I went with it. The problem was, I behaved in a way that made this man think I was picking up what he was putting down and that he had my approval and therefore permission. I had his attention his validation, the same drug and now I’m 41. You give me booze, male attention and beautiful clothes and it’s pretty much a recipe for disaster.
The music was good. We were getting along but there was that uncomfortable ugh this dude is totally thinking there’s something more here and there SO isn’t. Oh here’s the dipshit, nice girl Lisa voice in my head…”Awwh Lis, he’s nice and fun and oh Lisa just be nice. Don’t crush this guy’s soul. There’s no need to be harsh. Just let him have his fun and maybe you can make a friend. Then at the end of the party you leave. Done!” The problem with nice girl Lisa is that she is an approval seeker. She’s the one who allows men she isn’t really all that interested in get too close, too touchy, too grabby and it ends up sending the wrong message. Nice girl Lisa fails to see the bigger picture and fails to look at the list of what she says she wants and SETTLES for what she is given. Nice girl Lisa doesn’t lead the relationship, she follows it.
The DUDE DETOX is to get nice girl Lisa to become more like ASSKICKER Lisa. The ballsy, take no shit, stomp out injustices, mouthy, my way or the highway B.I.T.C.H. (as in a Babe In Total Control of Herself). Yes, these two Lisa’s are currently at odds with one another and it has led me bad decisions regarding who gets my time and how much of it. This is where I am very much still 14. I am attracting the wrong people. I am obviously attracting the right clothing but, when it comes to guys, not so much. But it isn’t all bad. I have been fortunate to meet some very cool guys. I’m still friends with them. But they all started as dates or hook ups BEFORE being friends and that is what needs to change.
The GUESS event was bustling. People were shopping. There was a line at the register and it was nice to see so many people excited about a brand that I think anyone who was 14 in 1985 carries in their heart.
GUESS is known for the bold bombshell look. It’s the bedroom eyes; the messy big hair that looks like you just came from or are on the way back from getting laid. It’s the whole temptress look and one of the many looks I have in my arsenal. I adore GUESS and always had something GUESS in my wardrobe my entire life.
The party was dying down and my little pursuer was quick to grab my shopping bag, my hand telling me, not asking but telling me C’mon let’s get out of here. NO nooooo I’m on DUDE DETOX the destination wasn’t going to be his place or mine. It would be Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road where another vice awaits. FOOD. “You hungry?” he asked. “Oh yes I am.”
We scored a simple lounge type table, sat side by side and he was intent on getting me to look in his eyes and when a guy who isn’t doing it for you other than a fun friend, is demanding that you look in his eyes it’s awkward and a perfect time to sip some water and ask a question. Now, this dude is from New York and he’s full of himself. So I lobbed a comment at him and then sat back let him talk as I enjoyed the sushi. I don’t remember much of what he said. I was more into the sushi quite frankly. He wasn’t my type and securely placed in the friend zone.
The check came and I went into my purse to get my credit card. I wasn’t interested and was fully prepared to pay my share. It’s only fair. But he insisted on taking care of the tab. I was gracious and thankful and eager to get back to my apartment to walk my dog. I had enough. It was midnight. I was out since 6pm and I started to get anxious about my dog being left for so long and for what, an ego boost from someone I wasn’t event interested in.
The next day there was a text in the afternoon. I thought (kinda hoped) he would be a “Miami Fader,” a guy you meet, hang out with, have zero physical interest in that catches on to this and to save his pride just fades away. But nope, not this guy. He was just as aggressive via text. Ugh! I responded back making it clear I wasn’t interested in anything more than friendship but it was too late. My actions unlocked a door and this guy kicked it right open. So the next few HOURS yes, HOURS of my life would be spent exchanging texts because nice Lisa doesn’t just NOT REPLY to messages and ASSKICKER Lisa always has to have the last word so sucked into the bullshit I become. I have NO ONE to blame but myself.
It took a turn for the ugly when the typical self obsessed guy with a major Napoleon complex started with awful language and insults simply because he couldn’t take rejection with dignity and class. It was also his way of making it clear to me that I had sent a mixed message. What I had already figured out in my head was not at all translating in my behavior. It was a moment. I had seen some light. It’s day 3 of my DUDE DETOX and the universe is answering by sending me a lesson in the form of this man. What an opportunity for growth and change. Meeting him was divinity serving up a lesson. I ended up apologizing to him, wishing him well and thanking him for pointing out A MAJOR PROBLEM that I must move quickly to fix if I am to truly grow and attract exactly what I want and need to be happy.
Once again, the GUESS event was the first outing since I declared my DUDE DETOX. I bought an outfit that I had when I was 14 and I behaved as a 14 year old. Shame on me! But with a new day comes new opportunity to apply the lessons life taught the day before. I write this blog appreciating the valuable lesson I learned. Just because I can still wear the outfit I did when I was 14, doesn’t at all mean I have to behave like a 14 year old all caught up in the validation drug of male attention. I am 41. I have loved deeply. I have been hurt and I have hurt others and it is time I leave the little girl bullshit behind. The jeans however, have found a spot in my closet and shall come out with me to have adventures this weekend. This time I shall enjoy being very much a woman, learning and growing, open to more lessons in the GUESS jeans I wore as a 14 year old girl.