Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Girl with [one] Pearl Earring

My friend Betsy is visiting Paris this week, and was regaling me with stories of her job at an important Boston cultural organization. They had a recent visit from a famous Parisian artist who arrived with petite amie in tow. Said parisienne sported royal blue hair to match her royal blue sheepskin full length coat, with matching royal blue snakeskin cowboy boots.

Paris is so full of Fashion Statements like this. We who reside here mostly just observe and make a mental note when we are in the presence of such a phenemenon. We might coyly comment about it later to a friend, but would never say anything directly to the image-maker, such as, "Wow, I really like your all-blue get-up."

Which brings me to the pearl earring. Twice in the past month I have returned home from an important social event much chagrined to find that I was sporting only one pearl earring. This has not been intentional. I think with all the scarf-coiling and uncoiling that goes on, it's inevitable that one would lose an earring. I'm peeved because in both cases it was from a favorite one-of-a-kind pair.

The difference? In the states, someone -- anyone -- would have noticed the single-earring deal, especially on some bourgeois babe like me, and warned me, "I think you've lost an earring," in the same way that anyone less than heartless would tell you if you have spinach between your front teeth.

Not so in Paris. I guess people think it's a weird, defiant fashion statement,on my part, much as the Blue Lady. Or else that I'm a clueless scatterbrain. (OK you may stop smirking now.) This also perhaps might explain why Parisian women seem to wear earrings less frequently than their foreign counterparts do. No cross-signals or gaffes on the fashion intentions. Or embarrassment at the end of the evening.

Drat. Maybe I should just wear the two non-matching pearls that remain. That would be a new fashion statement.

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