Friday, August 13, 2010

In the Line of Fire: When Fashion Harms Others

Many of us abide by the beauty rule “no pain, no gain” and may, at times, allow for a certain amount of personal discomfort all for the sake of fabulousness. But when does this healthy desire to put one’s best foot forward develop into an unwholesome obsession? Perhaps we’ve crossed the line once we’ve endangered our friends and loved ones.

A few months before our first anniversary, B generously took advantage of a rare opportunity, which under normal circumstances would never have presented itself (at least not with our budget), and gifted me with an extraordinary art deco anniversary ring. My elation upon receiving the stunning bauble easily carried on past our actual anniversary date, and I imagine it will only continue on for years to come. Little did B know, though, that my joy would cost him much more than any monetary value…

Anyone well acquainted with B knows that he is not the least hairy of men in existence. My side of the family endearingly jokes that he could shave and then re-grow a beard in approximately two hours; he does not always find such jests to be endearing. Regardless, the man has some hair. Even now I question, who is to blame? The ring? The hair? Last night, not a moment before we both yielded to a peaceful, nocturnal slumber, I gingerly reached for him in an innocent attempt to bestow a goodnight kiss. The immediate events that took place after this loving gesture remain fairly blurred in my mind. All I know for certain is this. When I pulled my left hand back from his chest, I sensed a slight tension followed by a distinct POP! B cried out in pain, and I instantly realized what cruel joke fate had played upon my poor husband. One of the prongs on my sparkling anniversary ring entangled itself in a strand of hair and wrenched it from his chest! He reached for the light in order to examine the site of the potential wound. Much to our relief, any visible scars were minimal, but the emotional scars…they may never fully heal. To escalate the already present trauma, my ring proudly boasted of its prize, as wedged tightly between the rock and the prong was B’s blond chest hair. He quietly removed the retired strand and returned the ring to my finger. His stoic demeanor belied the storm of emotions raging inside.

As upset as I am with my ring’s flippant, nay, violent behavior toward my husband, I am afraid I cannot bear to part with it. Perhaps I am no better than Gollum, but it is precious to me. Perhaps Smeagol also possessed a healthy respect for all things fashionable and slowly surrendered to Gollum, as his obsession crossed all healthy boundaries. Perhaps I had better halt any further Lord of the Rings references before I lose all of my readers.

Heed this cautionary tale, and scrutinize your own position on fashion. Consider the strength of your personal relationships, as very few can buffet the attacks of bejeweled accessories.

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