Lots of girls have bad habits they’re embarrassed to admit. Some involve illegal substances. Others are just gross. Mine involves a jewelry store.
I’m living in New York City for the summer and there are a lot of great places that I’ve been. But my favorite would be Tiffany & Co. I won’t say that I go by there every day after work – because it’s already embarrassing enough that I admittedly went to Tiffany’s yesterday after work (and maybe before that) to throw myself at their beautiful, sparkling diamonds – but I have gone shopping there by myself. Is there anything more immediately delightful than the feeling of pushing through those revolving doors on 5th Avenue, with a Holly Golightly air in my step, entering the open splendor that is Tiffany & Co? Maybe. But it’s still a great feeling.
Inside that shop, they don’t know that I’m an intern who can’t afford their cheapest item. When you walk through those doors, you are a potential customer and they treat you in a way that just doesn’t compare to the reception I get at the dorm each night when I get home. Everything is pristine and perfect, which makes me feel pristine and perfect, especially coming in from the hot and muggy summer weather. Yesterday, as I made my way across the floor to the elevators, I was greeted (again) by a charming, suited young man in the elevator, asking me which floor I would like to visit. I promptly directed him to take me to the second floor, and as we arrived he announced with his British accent: “Second Floor, diamonds and pearls.”
I was on Cloud 9. I slowly stepped out and marveled at the sparkle I could see from the elevator. As I approached the case with the Tiffany Setting Engagement Rings, I had to contain my obvious excitement and wipe my drool off of the glass, because that is not lady-like behavior deserving of a Tiffany’s Engagement Ring. Luckily, they did not notice, and I happened to make the counter crystal clear! (You’re welcome Tiffany & Co.) Despite the fact that I was sans-man candy, a sales associate promptly drew near to inquire about my visit that day. Coolly, I answered: “I would very much like to look at this ring, maybe starting at the 1 Carat?”
With a smile on her face, she cheerfully reached in and presented me with a 1.25 Carat Tiffany Classic Diamond Ring. I carefully slid it onto the proper finger and like a star struck thirteen year old who just saw Justin Bieber on a projector screen five miles away from where he actually was, I let out a silent gasp. Nevermind the fact that I am completely single at the moment and would be mortified if my future husband randomly found this post on the internet. The trip was about more than marriage or the prospect of marriage. Tiffany’s is a widely respected and desired jewelry company and going from an unpaid intern to a successful, self-sufficient woman who can own a Tiffany’s diamond would be partial proof that I had made it. Now, I’m not talking about getting a present from a family member who is already established with a career and salary. When I walk into their store and receive the dignified service that we all deserve, I can envision myself one day having the adult life I always wanted. It’s the New York City dream.
Of course, I didn’t let on that this ring (and everything that comes with it) is still just a figment of my imagination. I tried to act nonchalant, questioning the carat to finger size ratio and analyzing the four C’s (carat, clarity, color and cut) as if I was entertaining the idea of actually owning it. I also proceeded to try on two more rings. As I reluctantly gave back the rings, Nina, my lovely sales associate, wrote down the ring information (I won’t even tell you how much they were) on her pretty blue business card and said to guide “him” her way when we were ready to make a decision. Clearly, I was not going to reveal that there was no man in the picture yet – it’s like watching those episodes of Say Yes to the Dress where they admit that they aren’t even engaged yet and they’re trying on wedding dresses. It’s just not something you admit to the consultants! Finally, I made it out alive and with my expectations that much higher.
Okay, so some of you may be thinking, “wow this girl is a crazy, materialistic bitch,” but I really hope you’re not, because that’s just mean. I don’t actually think that getting an engagement ring from Tiffany & Co. is the most important thing, and having an expensive diamond is definitely not a priority. I will be happy just to have the love of my life wanting to spend the rest of his life with me. But Tiffany’s marketing has worked. I have the little girl fantasy of one day being presented with that Little Blue Box wrapped in a white ribbon that will send my heart into spins. There are times when flashbacks of scenes from Breakfast at Tiffany’s flood my mind, and I just as much love that scene where Paul gets a Cracker Jack ring engraved for Holly (the timeless Audrey Hepburn) in the movie. Every girl has the right to a dream. I would in no way love my fiancé less or be disappointed if there is no Little Blue Box, but since currently I don’t even have a boyfriend, I am allowed to indulge myself with role-playing of an overly-happy, engaged women going into Tiffany & Co. to try on engagement rings. I just have the confidence to admit it.