March 2000
s m u g
compulsion
by Leslie Harpold

Acessorizing the Acessories

Being a grown up requires a certain amount of accessorizing. Not the old fashioned belt, shoes and scarf, but all that to-go style technology that reassures us we are leading a thoroughly modern life. For me, this meant finally getting a cell phone. I lie to myself all the time, rationalizing that I don't stop in the middle of the street, speak indoors or in quiet places, that I am the quintessential polite cell phone user, but I know that's mostly a lie.

take one take two

To make me feel less ostentatious, I over compensated with whimsy. I bought accessories for my accessories. First came the colored phone covers. Orange was in my heart, but once it arrived I realized red would match the other ephemera in my bag more closely. One friend, knowing my affinity for things Sanrio passed on this clever little cell phone carrier. It was over, I was committed. I was not only using my phone, but I was trying to think of new ways to pretty it up.

Appalled at my consumerism but equally mesmerized I decided to step back and just get used to the more practical aspects of being reachable wherever I went. Not wanting to be the jerk with the phone took a little practice. Remembering to turn it off before going to the movies, setting it to vibrate in restaurants and on trains took concentration. Rather than think of way to add to it, I concentrated on responsible use. Then my friend went to Japan.

I've never been to Japan but I have the same now fashionable fascination with Japanese pop culture that everyone seems to be about these days. It is this fascination that has lead me to realize that outright adoration of things has become an apologist's game.Right up there I couldn't even say I had a cell phone without apologizing. I can't just like Japanese pop culture ephemera without apologizing for not being into something more oblique and inventive, and feel compelled to mention that I've liked it for a long time before it got all popular, as if this would somehow save me. It's hard to like anything tangible without saying you're sorry anymore. Now we have to be quiet little shoppers, tacitly over consuming, rather than selecting only the reddest ripest fruits from the tree most worthy of being loved.

hello lunchmeat

As I was saying, my friend went to Japan and brought back the perfect solution. The Hello Kitty Ring Indicator. You can turn the ringer off and rely on Hello Kitty to flash red for you when the phone rings. It's great when you're in bars or meetings, or anywhere in public where the ring will rat you out as impolite or the din of the atmosphere is too loud to catch that call from whoever it is that absolutely must know where you went for a nightcap. It's cute, spends most of it's time being completely superfluous and serves as the perfect accessory for your accessories.

I don't know if you can buy them here in the US or not, this was selected as a gift for me because I like that neat stuff you can't get anywhere else feeling. I try not to investigate those things too diligently because so little makes me feel special these days. Chances are they're three for a dollar at Wal-Mart. My friend got himself a Pokemon one for himself on that trip, but on a subsequent trip got this Sumo wrestler one because it was more macho. I tried to explain that a prepubescent little light up Sumo wasn't particularly macho, but I found it hard to speak authoritatively as I had a small plastic Hello Kitty handing from the zipper pull of my handbag, completely discrediting any style judgment I might make.

leslie@smug.com

back to the junk drawer

feature car
net
worth
chair
bumping
uglies
gun
smoking
jacket
barcode
field
recordings
pie
feed
hollywood
lock
target
audience
scissors
three
dollar
bill
dice
compulsion vise
posedown cheese
the
biswick
files
toothbrush
mystery
date
wheelbarrow
and such
and such
hat
blab fan
kissing
booth
martini





i choose youmachismo?






     
feature net worth bumping uglies smoking jacket field recordings feed Hollywood target audience three dollar bill compulsion posedown the biswick files mystery date and such and such blab kissing booth


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