In a city where you need friends like family, you need people who will help you with tasks to be imposed on family only. Mike helped me carry an AC unit up to my apartment. He’s edited my resume. He’s helped me MOVE, and in Manhattan, that’s akin to giving someone a kidney.
But most importantly, he’s never shown an irritation at any of the frantic texts and emails I send him at all hours of the night fearing I’ll some day develop a desire to have babies.
As you can see, Mike’s a good friend. So I felt compelled that at some point I need to be there for him as well. Unfortunately, he has his act together and never needs me. My chance finally came when he told me he was heading to Chanel to buy a bag for his partner’s birthday.
For Mike, this was a cry for help. While he is a cultured gay New York City man, he’s still a midwesterner at heart. Walking into an uber chic pretentious money-guzzling trap should never be done without another level-headed friend who’ll have your back in case a quick getaway is needed. I became that level-headed friend.
As we walked into Chanel in SoHo, it was painfully obvious to us (and probably everyone else) we were aliens in a shiny planet. The sales people offered us chilled water as to distract us from realizing we’re spending thousands of dollars in make up simply for the name of an old dead French lady. The water wasn’t even Perrier. I expect better Coco!
Mike scanned the shiny planet for a specific bag. I pretended to help, but I was just trying to refrain from gasping as I surveyed the prices. I assume The Twilight Zone was all about these kinds of stories. Was I really standing in Chanel helping my number one gay buy a bag for his partner? Could I be any more of a cliche?
I couldn’t believe I was contributing to Karl Lagerfeld maintaining his employment. Karl hates women, real women. He’s publicly declared women should eat less so they can fit into pretty clothes. I don’t write that as a scorned over-weight woman. I am not fat. Karl, however, is a super-sized feminine hygiene product. He rags on women who are not a size zero; meanwhile he avoids all mirrors at all cost.
After Mike decided on a bag, the overly polite sales lady did everything she could to get her hands on his Amex. I saw this as my opportunity to ask every annoying question possible. “What is your return policy?” “Do you have discounts?” “Would they fire you if you walked in here with a Dior bag?”
As Mike left Chanel with an enormous bag, we both realized he can’t be seen on the subway. When you buy Chanel, you don’t just buy a bag, you buy a lifestyle…and now you’re stuck paying cab fare.
Mike’s partner happens to also be a sensible midwesterner, which meant Mike had to go back to Chanel and return the bag. Sadly I wasn’t there to witness the prim sales lady take the news. Apparently she refused to speak to Mike. Would Coco have been as rude?
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