Today, after a delightful lunch with my oldest friend (that is, the friend I've known the longest), I was reminded of two events from less long ago.
The first memory was my first day of work at a hip young digital marketing agency, in September, 2002. Indeed, it's been over ten years since my last true "first day of work." And at the end of that first day, I walked with great intention from Astor Place to the Aveda store on Fifth Avenue to buy myself what seemed like an extravagant gift: the big bottle of their hydrating lotion, one of my most favorite indulgences. Do you know what that stuff costs? In 2002, it was $60. But I'd just survived a breakup and a solo move to a new city. I'd landed myself a job within four weeks and I was quite ready to indulge in a little something special to celebrate. That bottle lasted a year.
I've been talking to a few people about some extremely intresting next steps lately, and today I found myself heading down Fifth Avenue right near that same Aveda shop. Somehow it seemed meaningful to veer off course and step inside. Not exactly closure, but coming full circle. Do you know how much that bottle of hydrating lotion costs today? $77. (You go, Aveda.) I was accosted by a nice young saleslady who desperately wanted to dab my face with some sort of product, so I parked myself on a bench and enjoyed two minutes of a stranger's attention. It still smells exactly the same and so lovely in there.
On my way to the subway, I passed Anthropologie, and the branch-shaped sculptural metal handle on that enormous wood door just reached out and grabbed me and dragged me right inside. Or rather, I confess, I have an Anthropologie problem. I rarely go in, because I covet just about every pale blue cafe au lait bowl and be-ribboned sunhat in the store. I've unsubscribed from their email list to keep from gazing covetously at glitter-pattern tights and taffeta-underskirted dresses that I simply don't need. Today, however, I needed something that made a statement. Something to feel glamorous and special and accomplished, to celebrate the new stuff ahead. And I won't tell you exactly what I bought, but you can rest assured it makes a statement.
Between the store and the subway, I passed the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street. Seven and a half years ago, Mr. Apparently and I were married at the top of the building pictured above. I never tire of looking up at those half-round windows and recalling the gorgeous evening that took place behind them. And then I stepped onto the F train and returned to 2013, where more than one big change is imminent in the world of Apparently.