Gaining Traction

Sometimes traditions push us. It’s important not to slip.

My boyfriend, the drummer, has a headache from shopping. “But it’s our first jewelry,” I say batting my eyelashes like a silent film star.

“Don’t tell anyone,” he smiles down at me. He half means it. I half agree but couldn’t help myself this year. We’re giving actual gifts rather than the usual—taking each other to rustic Italian dinner at Hearth in Manhattan. Now we’re walking the streets of our Brooklyn neighborhood the morning after a snowstorm. Our mission: to find me a necklace equal in value to the discontinued Reebok Royal Courts I tracked down for him.

While he favors jeans and plain Ts, his shoes and other clothes have an understated edginess. He’s equally at home in a Rockawear hoodie and a Champion crewneck but chooses each with equal care. Swapping style advice is one of our strongholds.

Still picking out jewelry with the drummer is different. It’s the oldest cliché, but my inner girly girl just blurted it out. Surprisingly some inner man of his took pride in the idea and agreed. Now we’re all getting cranky.

Earlier this morning my girly girl came up with a glamorous, TV fueled notion—me, dressed like Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf in preppy platform spectators trying on shiny things in pretty shops.

Luckily I know Brooklyn. The sidewalk is all slush and ice. I thank myself for making this easier on both of us with black urban snow bunny boots, the Whitney Chukka from Bare Traps. I picked them up for a mere $70 last season. They’re lined with warm faux fur and have the traction of snow tires.

We watch a few shoppers slide by on our way into the bright Williamsburg boutique, Pema. “Is this too traditional a gift for us? Man gives silly woman trinket to win her love?”

“Our third Christmas seems safe. Besides I didn’t want you expecting too much in the beginning,” he smirks.

I frown at him but practically skip up the steps.

“To even things out we’ll find a tie clip for me,” he says. “Man jewelry.”


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January 2008
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