Category Archives: Tiffany’s

Running for Tiffany

Once upon a time there was a girl.  She liked to run.  She liked Tiffany’s.  The jewelry store, that is, not other girls named Tiffany.  Although she assumed they were very nice as well.  The girl in our story wasn’t rich enough to shop at Tiffany’s very much, and she’d never eaten breakfast there at all, but she loved looking through their catalogs.  In fact, she often flipped through Tiffany catalogs while she ate her breakfast in the mornings at her own kitchen table.  And there, with milk from the cereal bowl dribbling down her chin, she could imagine, if only for a few moments, that she was beautiful like Holly Golightly and she was adorned with glittering gems from her favorite store… Until her six year old son interrupted her glorious daydreaming by demanding something like, “Belle!  I need you to put this axe in Princess Leia’s hand.  Thanks!”  
Then the girl would snap back to reality and attach the LEGO axe to the LEGO Princess Leia, and the little boy would run off to play and the girl would glance at the clock, realize she was running late, and wolf down the rest of her breakfast before dashing up the stairs to get dressed for work.

This was all pretty routine until one fine fall day when the girl received an email from a running friend of hers, telling her about the Nike Women’s Virtual Half Marathon and how instead of a finisher’s medal, all participants who finished the race would receive a keychain designed by Tiffany.  Well, if THAT didn’t get the girl’s attention, nothing would.

Now the girl had already run a lot that year as it was.  Still, she had hoped to squeeze in just one more race that fall. The girl had given some thought to using her husband’s entry in an upcoming race that he had to skip due to his sore knee and his foot that he had run over with his lawnmower.  She thought long and hard about it, but in the end she chickened out because, well, it’s against the rules to run a race under someone else’s bib number.  And even though the girl suspected that other runners did that kind of thing all the time, she was afraid SHE would get caught and kicked out of racing forevermore. So she told her husband she wouldn’t use his entry after all.  Imagine! The girl was actually starting to hang up her racing shoes for the season when that fateful email arrived!

The email explained that in order to participate in the virtual race, the girl would need to purchase her very own Nike+ iPod sports kit. The kit contained a little accelerometer that the girl would attach to her shoe and a receiver that would attach to her iPod.  All wired up like that, the girl would run 13.1 miles any time of day and anywhere in the world on October 21st and the sports kit would track the distance she ran, the length of time she’d been running, and the calories she’d burned.  If she completed the miles, the Tiffany keychain would follow in the mail.

The girl decided that this was a fantastic plan and she liked it even better when she discovered the whole Nike+ iPod sports kit was fairly inexpensive at $29.  The girl compared that to the $200.00 Garmin Forerunner system that some of her running friends wore and she decided that the Nike+ iPod system was a bargain.  Plus, the Garmin system didn’t come with the promise of a Tiffany anything!

So the girl bought herself a sports kit, set it all up, and went out to run.  Once outside in the cold fall air, the girl learned very quickly that nothing keeps a girl running like trying to calibrate a new Nike+ iPod system.

The girl was the responsible sort and so she read the directions to her new gadget rather carefully.  The directions suggested the best way to calibrate her new gadget was to run ¼ mile on the inside lane of a track.  But the girl was running out of time.  The date of the virtual half marathon was fast approaching and she didn’t know where to find a track.  So the girl took her new gadget to her favorite trail and started running.  The girl ran one mile but her Nike+ iPod system said she had run 1.05 miles.  So the girl started over.  She ran a second mile, and her gadget said she had run ANOTHER 1.05 miles.  Frustrated with the inaccuracy, the girl continued on her quest to properly calibrate the device to her satisfaction.  In the end, the girl did calibrate her Nike+ iPod kit, and she did it by running 11 miles…  

A week went by while the girl dreamed about that Tiffany key chain.  Then the morning of the 21st arrived.  It was cold and dark as the girl awoke to dress for her race, but stars from the Orionids Meteor shower streaked over head and promised to help light the girl’s way as she headed out once again to her favorite trail.  She started running just as the sun rose at 7:00 a.m., her favorite songs playing faintly in her ears.  She ran and she ran and she ran until she had gone a little over 14 miles.  When she was done, she stopped.  She hopped in her car and drove home where she uploaded her running results into the computer and took a shower.  She ate some lunch then took a restless nap by bribing her six year old son into taking his own nap.  “I’ll pay you $5.00 if you sleep for an hour!” she said.

As she lay in her bed, tired and a little sore from all that running, the girl realized that everyone has their price.  For her, it was the promise of a Tiffany’s keychain that will arrive in the mail.  For her son, it was $5.00 cold hard cash. 

The girl’s husband laughs at all of this.  He says to her, “You better hope the keychain was designed by Tiffany the jewelry store and not Tiffany the teenager who used to sing in malls!”

The girl doesn’t think that is funny at all.  Regardless, she’ll be waiting by her mail box…



Filed under humor, life, Nike+ iPod, running, Tiffany's, virtual half marathon

They say it’s your birthday, it’s my birthday too!

Today is my birthday. I’m 39, ahem, I mean I’m, uh, a late thirty-something. A week or two ago I was happy, unbothered, still one year less old than I am today. It was an age I felt was still fully entrenched in the 30s. But now, I suddenly feel like the only part of me that is left in the 30s are my fingertips, and they are hanging on to the edge of a cliff for dear life.  The rest of my body is dangling over the side, ready to drop into the 40s.  I hope there’s a trampoline down there to break my fall.

My mother used to be unhappy about her “nine” birthday’s: 29, 39, 49. They were an ordeal she wasn’t thrilled about in the least. She didn’t want to talk about it, didn’t want to acknowledge it was her birthday on those particular years. As a child, I never understood that. “But it’s your birthday! You should be happy! You get PRESENTS! And what can be better than that?” I wondered.

I didn’t, in fact, understand that feeling, that… unease, at all until just a few days ago.  The reality that “Lordy! Lordy! Look Who’s 40!” signs and “Over the Hill” birthday cards will probably be delivered in droves next year just to mock me. That undeniable fact that I am getting… older. I guess I’m one of those women that Stacy and Clinton have rules for on What Not to Wear… “No mini skirts if you’re over 35, no low-rise jeans,” etc…  “Women in their late 30s can dress stylishly,” they shout. They advise that we should NOT look like we are trying to be a teenager again. And we don’t have to look like we are wearing our grandmother’s clothes, either.  But the truth is, women in their late 30s aren’t getting carded at the liquor store anymore. And sometimes, we wish we were.

With all that, I suppose I’m finally starting to get it, the way my mother felt about getting older. I think I now understand why my mother never actually turned 50.  She stayed 49 for 5 years or more, until my father agreed she could retire, at age 54. And I believe that’s where she remains. She’ll be stuck forever in her mid-fifties, or at least until she can start to collect social security, sometime in her 60s.

My father, on the other hand, never appeared to mind getting older. Mostly, I think, because he enjoys a bargain. He actually brags about getting that senior citizen discount on his breakfast at McDonalds.

Since my birthday fell on a Monday this year (the worst of all workdays, I believe), my husband decided we should celebrate it this weekend when we’d have more free time. He asked what I wanted to do for my birthday dinner, which he’d planned to have on Saturday night. ” Pizza!” I said. “My favorite pizza. Pick one of those up, and I’d like cake and chocolate ice cream. That’s all.”

It seemed like a simple enough request. Only, my husband doesn’t care for my favorite pizza that much. It’s not that the pizza tastes bad or anything. In fact, I heard that a few years ago when Oprah asked guests to name some of their favorite things, this particular pizza even got a mention on her show! So obviously, there are lots of people who like it. And it’s not that my husband doesn’t LIKE it, so much as he doesn’t think it’s “as great as all that,” if you know what I mean. So he mostly, I believe, doesn’t want to eat it on principle. Because I like it, because 99% of my family LOVES it and have declared it the BEST PIZZA EVER, he wants to NOT eat it, to show how “not great” he thinks it is. To say “It’s not all that you guys!” It’s only “so-so” in his opinion. He’s eaten better pizza, he likes to remind me. And he picked my birthday dinner to stage this protest.

He came home with a small box of pizza, a salad container balanced on top. I eyed the pizza box. “What size is THAT?” I asked (perhaps a bit accusatory). “A medium,” he replied. “What’s WRONG with you?” I asked (definitely accusatory). “Nothing!” he replied, (rather defensively, I might add). “I told you, I don’t like this pizza that much. This pizza is all yours; you can eat the entire thing. I’m not going to have any of it. I’m having this salad, and you can have some of the salad too.” “I don’t WANT salad,” I said. I thought, but didn’t say, “I don’t want your stinkin’ salad!” It’s my birthday! Who wants to eat SALAD on their birthday?” I wanted a LARGE pizza. I wanted leftovers that I could eat cold, for breakfast the next day. Maybe even for lunch too, if there was any left after I was done with breakfast.

He looked in the box as I pulled out a slice. “Uh, Uh!” I said. “You said you don’t like this pizza. You said you didn’t want any, so you can’t have any.” I’ll chop your fingers off if you try to take a piece, I thought. When I looked at the carry out menu attached to the top of the box, I discovered that a medium sized pizza feeds 2 to 3 people. So I ate half the pizza for dinner. I ate the remaining half for lunch the next day.

I had envisioned a casual birthday dinner, everyone enjoying their pizza. I had not envisioned my husband staging his silent protest by NOT eating any of my BIRTHDAY PIZZA. I hadn’t imagined I’d be watching him disdain my pizza while he ate salad and some leftover spaghetti that he found in the fridge. And then, as if to add insult to injury, he told me “Oh! I didn’t bake you a cake yet! But we have preschool graduation cake left over. We’ll just have that for your birthday.” “Whatever!” I muttered, through clenched teeth as I swallowed my pizza. “What?!” he asked, indignant. “We have half a graduation cake left ! We don’t need another cake. We’ll end up throwing out half a cake if I bake a cake. Besides, I didn’t even get to the store to buy ice cream yet anyway.”

I scowled at him. “What?!” he asked, again. “Why are you so mad? If it’s such a big deal I’ll make you a cake. Like I said, we’ll end up throwing a lot of cake out that we don’t eat, but fine. I’ll make you one!” “No,” I lied, “I don’t want one now. So never mind, just forget it.” He argued back “No! I’ll make one. I’ll make you a cake.” Again, I said, enunciating each and every syllable as clearly as I could “I . Don’t.  Want.  One!” “Don’t you understand? It’s not about the cake. I don’t need a cake. Like you said, we have cake. It’s the principle of the thing! You don’t “like” my favorite pizza enough to eat it on my birthday, but if someone invited us to dinner and that’s what they were serving, you’d eat it there. I’ve seen you do it! You claim I don’t need a birthday cake because we have left over graduation cake we can eat. I suppose,” I continued, “if you bought me any presents, you aren’t going to bother to wrap them because I’ll just tear off the wrapping paper and it will get thrown out, which would be a waste of your time and a waste of paper too, right?” I went upstairs contemplating ways to mess with his birthday. Burn the food, maybe. Take a trip out of town for work…

Sunday dawned and I heard Deep Blue Something’s song, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, on the radio. For the longest time I thought the song was about a guy and a girl who ate breakfast at Tiffany’s. You know, the jewelry store? The one where the jewelry comes nestled in a little blue box tied with a white ribbon? I might mention here as well, that it’s one of my favorite stores. You know, just in the off chance that you want to send me a belated birthday gift… But anyway, even with the line “I think I remember the film”,  I still considered it must be a song about a film about a guy and girl who ate their breakfast there. I pondered the song a fair deal when it was first released. How could they eat inside the jewelry store? They don’t serve food there. I don’t believe you’re even allowed to bring food in there. Maybe, I thought, this guy and girl, maybe they work at the jewelry store and they share a coffee and danish each morning before they open the doors! That’s why they can do it. They aren’t customers carrying their breakfast into the store, they work there! They eat it in a back room, or an office, or something, where nobody can see them.

Eventually, my doubts grew, and I got around to reading the book. In case you didn’t know, Truman Capote wrote it, and it’s not about eating danish or donuts in the jewelry store at all. It’s about Holly Golightly, a young socialite prostitute, living in NYC. Tiffany’s is where finds solace, and a feeling of serenity to calm her anxieties and fears (maybe she wasn’t actually looking at the price tags?). A short time after the book was published, the movie version came out, starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. In the opening sequence she’s looking into a Tiffany’s display window. A scene which reminds me of myself, the way I’m often paging through the store’s catalog. I circle things I’d like to have, if I had the money, and I leave the open catalogs out in strategic places for my husband to find. Little “Blue Box Hints” I think of them.  Hints which, if he pays attention, will provide him with an on-going list of things he could buy me to celebrate the various occasions in life, such as my birthday.

In the end, even though I got the wrong sized pizza, I did manage to eat every last piece of it myself. I also got a cake! It was all chocolate and apology, covered in white frosting with yellow writing, and it came with a half- gallon of my favorite chocolate ice cream. And oh yeah, lest I forget, I got a present. A pair of silver earrings that came wrapped in a little blue box tied with a white ribbon.  I’m wearing them now.

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Filed under birthday, Tiffany's