A price to pay


A fresh faced blonde French girl approached me.  She looked tearful.  “Oh please” she said.  “Can you get me one of the necklaces when you go in? I give you the money now – or after, whichever you prefer”.

We were at the launch of Isabel Marant for h&m.  I’d been awake since 6am and virtually leapt out of bed at 7.30am. Few things are more motivating, if it’s in your blood, than a designer collaboration at said shop.  I was like a child on Christmas day – rushing downstairs to find what Santa had left.

“It is a rush isn’t it?” said a man at the top of the queue waiting for the shop to open.  “Well, yes, I suppose it is a bit” I answered, then: “You realise you’re the only man here!”  “Yep” he said.  “I do all of these.  I was here for the Versace one last year and Marni the year before. The thing is us men generally don’t care that much about clothes to make an effort to get here for the opening of such events, but if you’re a dedicated follower of fashion, such as me – then you get yourself down here!”

“Yah” a women next to me agreed.  “I’ve been to them all.  The Martin Margiela one was fantastic – I’m still wearing those pieces.  We’ve done them all haven’t we?” she said to her friend.  “We plan it like a military operation: do all our research beforehand”.  “Exactly” said Mr, “We may all be friends now, but once we get in there – it’s every man for himself!”

“Seven minutes to go!” said someone in the line beside us.  “Would you keep my place please – I just need to go find somewhere to put my coat”. I said, “Sure” replied my new friend quizzically.

I returned coatless.  “Seriously?  You got rid of your coat?” said Ms Martin Margiela.  “Wow: Fierce!”.  “Well, you don’t want anything holding you back at this stage!” said Mr, grinning.

The shutters went up, and we were off. A couple of hours later found me searching for the little French girl.  “Here you are, I got you one” I said holding out the necklace.  “Wonderful thank you!”  She opened the box.  “Oh, but it is damaged!”  “Well, just take it back and I’m sure they’ll swap it for you”.  “But I can’t do this alone.  Will you come with me?  I can say you are my mother”.

I stared at her. “Mother!” I replied, indignantly . “Yes, we can pretend you are my mother!”  “I have to get to work – I’m sure you can manage” I said, turning on my tail to leave. After all, there are limits.


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