Totem Spirit

Many years ago, in a dark deserted part of Western Florida, my sister and I drove through unlit dirt roads to arrive at the trailer home of a psychic.  Why? I don’t know.  There is not much to do in Tampa in August. You think Ybor City is dark and scary? You ain’t seen nothing…

So there we were in front of a petite older woman who began the readings with our Totem Spirits.  “Totem” she said, “is the representation of the person’s spirit and will help you understand who you are.”  Great, I thought.  Until she pulled up a Moose and my aristo d’enfer alarm went into overdrive.

I have nothing against the majestic moose. It’s just… so…big.

Vanity forbids me from associating myself with anything moose size unless it’s from Cartier, or a summer home in East Hampton. The moment my plane touched down at JFK, I lept over the peasant snoring next to me in business class, and made a run for my private psychic on Fifth Avenue toute suite. She was as horrified as I to hear about my experience in rural Tampa and nearly choked on her petits fours. She wasted no time reaching into the dark recess of an 18th century mahogany bureau and produced an exquisite set of gold embossed, designer totem spirit cards. She guided my shaking hand over the deck and told me to clear my mind, while she invoked the names of Coco Chanel, Hubert de Givency, and Yves St. Laurent. She drank deeply of her Pouilly-Fumé, dragged on a cheroot and said in a gravelly voice, “Chérie, deese ees your vrai totem spirit…” I waited for the smoke from her red lips to clear to focus and when I looked down I saw:

Karl Lagerfeld.

You can go ahead and drool, pant, or reach for the nearest AED, but my totem is the ultimate aristo d’enfer: the driving force behind the greatest fashion house EVER, and the man who makes your selfies look like pre school artwork.

Moose indeed.

Disclaimer: I “borrowed” this photo of Karl, my spirit. I don’t think he would mind. He owns it, not I and I am only using it for vain purposes. :)

Bourgeois Den of Iniquity


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Un aristo d’enfer loathes shopping malls but a bourgeois housewife is drawn like a moth to a flame…

It is not my fault that local peasants enjoy queueing for hours to arrive at that hole in the mall that sells “jewelry.” It is also not my fault that a well meaning friend spent far too much cash in that hovel for my daughter’s 13th birthday.

It is, however, entirely my fault that instead of donating her gift to charity while she was at school, I consciously chose to muck in with the masses in attempt to get back the cash.

Un aristo d’enfer knows how to demand her rights…

In my haughtiness though, I lost site of the fact that this was not Bergdorf Goodman’s, but a bourgeois den of iniquity. My bad.

A two hour (I kid you not) death march toward the entrance and my daughter and I were rewarded with a greeting blinded by a plump, middle aged troll in an ill fitting Chicco’s blouse. We were completely underwhelmed. I announced that it was our misfortune to have to call her out from under her bridge but we needed to dump this crap pronto Squanto. We wanted cash. She squinted at us over bedazzled spectacles and asked if we had bought this ourselves.

“Oh no, we would never buy this stuff.” I retorted. My daughter stifled a giggle at my side.

She wiped the drool from the side of her mouth and schlumped off. She returned with her the head of her order: a magnificent specimen of why one should finish school. Karl Lagerfeld’s worst nightmare incarnate. I pushed my daughter behind me to shield her. Head troll gave me the side eye. It wasn’t intentional, her eyes were crossed from having to look at this crap all day. I don’t count troll among the languages I speak, but through the mumble and flying spittle I managed to catch “franchise” and “exchange.” Cash would not be forthcoming.

I could feel my blue blood pressure rising.

We spent yet more time trading in the old crap for new crap. In the end my daughter chose something she really liked could tolerate. She is an aristo d’enfer in training after all. The trolls gave us the obligatory “we’re-so-sorry-we-couldn’t-accomodate-your-simple-request” nonsense. I countered with, “I don’t care. It’s crap anyway.” I did not insist that they bow. It would’ve caused their thick bodies to fall over. I felt generous and magnanimous. Our ordeal was over. My daughter high fived me as we left.

We made a beeline for the nearest Chanel counter. It only took two Champagne flutes of Cliquot and the entire Sublimage skin care line before I felt like my aristo d’enfer self again.


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