It’s true. There’s a new man in my life. His name is Louis. OOOOooooh, sweet Louis, goes with me everywhere, and he makes me oh so happy. Not as happy, mind you, as my sweet Angel. Or any member of my family, obviously. But happy in a . . . how does one explain it? Happy like how I feel when I wear Mom’s ginormous, perfect, rare, spectacular cornflower blue sapphire ring (all the while pretending, of course, that it’s mine).
After my brother died, I bought Angel (the best $750 I’ll ever spend, it was love at first sight. I didn’t dicker one dime on the price, because I knew I was getting a steal.). She’s named Angel because Jeremy always called our lhasa apso, Zachary Mark, “Angel Breath” and “Humbleeina.” I went with the name “Angel B” in honor of Jeremy, and our sweet little brother/dog Zachary Mark (who’s up in heaven right now with Jeremy. Zach got his name because my mom wanted another baby so badly, and had she been able to have one, she would have named him Zachary Mark. She wasn't able to have a fourth child or adopt one, so our family adopted a different kind of little brother, a lhasa apso kind, and we named him Zachary Mark. Mark is my Dad's middle name--I'm sure he was thrilled when we named the dog after him.).
Anyhow, Angel was born on November 7, 2006, exactly two weeks after Jeremy died. I tell Angel all the time that her Uncle Jeremy sent her down to earth specifically for me. And he really did. Angel is just that: my sweet little Angel from Heaven. My Breath of fresh air. She makes me so happy, my adorable constant companion these past three years. She’s the love of my life. (Jeremy, by the way, always called me “Weebeeleeina,” “Weebee” for short.) I miss Jeremy so terribly much. I still sometimes go to dial his number, when a song comes on the radio that reminds of him, or when I read an article that I know he’d be interested in, or when I see a police car with its lights on (Jeremy got my dad out of a speeding ticket when he was a very little boy, because he was so fascinated by the officer’s car and lights). I’m so grateful for eternal families and the sealing powers of the Priesthood so that death has only separated us in mortality, not for eternity. And I’m so grateful for Angel, and the love and comfort she never ceases to give me. I know I sound like a crazy dog lady right now, but I don’t care. Angel’s the best decision I made in my twenties. Mikell always tells me “Aunt Whitney, you chose the right dog.” And she’s right. I sure as heck can’t choose a man to save my life, but darnitall, I chose the perfect dog. She’s really not a dog at all, actually. She’s my daughter. xo
Anyhow, my second divorce obviously didn’t impact me nearly as much as the passing of my brother, but it still merited a little something special. So after it was finally final—after I restored my name at the Social Security Administration—I went to Saks at the Biltmore to celebrate. I was there with one purpose: drop some cash at the Louis Vuitton Boutique. Hmmmmm, a small slice of heaven right down the street from my condo. I walked in, told the sales associate the exact bag I wanted, and $747.27 and the amount of time it took her to wrap and box my new bag later, I was the owner of my very own Speedy 30 handbag. I went with the classic Speedy bag, around since its introduction in the early 1930s (one of only two bags still produced from LV’s early years, back when it was only known for its luggage), because it is a classic LV. I’d been wanting the Speedy 30 (the perfect size, by the way: not too small—like the Speedy 25—not too big—like the Speedy 35) since my trip to Paris in 2006, when I carried Speedy around the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs-Elysees, but couldn’t muster the courage to fork over the Euros to buy it. I had regretted not buying him ever since my trip. Well, regret no longer! Welcome to the family, Louis. Je t’adore!
To offset the cost, and to not feel so guilty for not depositing my promised-myself set amount for my savings account each month (i.e., the pay cash for a new-to-me, non-gas-guzzling car in 2012 savings account), I sold three of my Juicy Couture bags (I’m now down to only two!), my only SHIH handbag, and one of my BCBG Maxazria bags. The bags were old and worn (two of them had already been professionally-repaired), so I honestly won’t miss them. Considering the cash I got from selling my bags, it’s as though I only spent $400 on Louis. And when you add up what I typically spend on handbags every year, Louis is going to save me lots of money in the long run, since I’ll always prefer carrying him to any of my other handbags. The best part? Louis matches every color, classic monogram he is. So I won’t have to constantly switch purses with every outfit. Phew! What a relief. Grab and go, ‘cause Louis matches everything, merci beaucoup.
I found this article fascinating in the WSJ magazine, by the way, all about Bernard Arnault (LVMH’s CEO): http://magazine.wsj.com/features/the-big-interview/being-arnault/ Way to go on branding luxury. I’m a sucker. Hook, line, and sinker.
What else can I tell you about? Work is still going phenomenally well. I LOVE MY JOB!!! Today one of my co-workers asked me, “Are you always this happy, or is this just how you are at work?” I guess the fact that I love my job is pretty obvious to everybody. The building maintenance guy calls me “Smiley,” the security guy always says, “Hi Happy!,” and the parking garage folks get such a kick out of me that they gave me an entire month’s free parking ($75 value, whooo-hooooo!). I still can’t believe that such an amazing job fell out of the sky into my lap during the worst economic recession of my lifetime. I’m studying a lot for series 7, and now know LOTS and LOTS about bonds. I’m not yet to the options section, but everybody at work has promised to walk me through that bear once I get there. It’s proof that Heavenly Father is so loving that he can take all the crap that happens to us and turn it into something wonderfully magical: like a new career in a totally different field, one which I never would have come upon had I not quit my last amazing job to move to Mexico to be a housewife. Every lesson in life always leads me to the same conclusion: it’s all in God’s hands, and on His timetable. Patience truly is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. To appreciate the sweet, we have to know the bitter.
I started my piano lessons! I’ve had two thus far. I’m learning Debussy’s Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, and Schubert’s Impromptu Opus 90, No.2. You can listen to them by clicking play below. I take my lessons at the Arcadia Music Academy, a short five minute drive from my house. I really do love where I live. It’s close to everything. So centrally-located, safe, with super cute, non-cookie-cutter homes from the 1950s and 60s. After I buy my gets-better-than-my-current-12mpg-car in 2012, I’m going to start saving for a 20% down payment on a home. Not a condo!!! A home. Sans an HOA (don’t even get me started on HOAs, ughhhh—the best thing about moving to Mexico? I got to resign from my post as HOA president). And I’d love to buy a home in my same part of town. They’re just so dang expensive, even since the home market crash. But if I could find a modest home, without a pool to take care of, perhaps 1400 square feet or so, with a garage, and a yard for Angel . . . Yes, being employed is a wonderful thing! It buys me things. Like piano lessons, shoes and handbags, gas and insurance, food, a roof over my head, a 401K, you know, the necessities of life.
This is an actual recording of the composer, Claude Debussy, playing his own piece. I'll never play it this fast . . . ever. I don't think I'd be able to even if my life depended on it. Wowzers. Incroyable!
Here are some pictures of what else I’ve been up to since my last post:
The girls and I had our German night at The Black Forest Mill. It was delicious! We shared the baked brie and the sausage sampler, and I ordered the Wiener Schnitzel. YUM. I'll definitely be going back for more. On Friday and Saturday nights they have live music and dancing, how fun does that sound? http://www.bfmrestaurant.com/id56.html I love all the girls in my ward. They're so much fun!
Liz was in town to see Mary Poppins at Gammage with her family. As a very special treat for us, her best friends, she performed three magnificent, memorized, perfectly prepared pieces for us. Liz is a virtuoso. Truly amazing. She's who recommended the Arcadia Music Academy to me, since she used to teach there. Here she is with her just-turned-one son, Benny.