I am that girl, who, while I have had great loves, have never gotten great gifts from those great loves.
Growing up in the Bronx, a girl’s medal of honor was a gold double nameplate from her guy. His name in golden flowery script, fused above hers. Maybe, if she was lucky, a diamond chip over the “i.” Emily, Toni, and Gina were all bestowed this 14K badge of love. But not me.
Things failed to improve over time. I remember a black leather fanny pack from my college love on our one-year anniversary.
A decade later, on the first Valentine’s Day I spent with the man I was sure I was going to marry, I was bequeathed a copy of Wicked, a book about a witch, and not the good pretty one who wears pink sparkles but the one who gets crushed under a house.
Apparently, I was just not destined to be that girl who men spoil, pamper and indulge. And so I had all but given up on getting good gift, when Andy, an attorney I had been dating for three months, suggested we go shoe shopping for my birthday.
I was stunned to find myself in the hallowed halls of Saks, Prada and Fendi, places I have only ever been to gawk, never to buy. After three deliciously fretful hours, I arrived at a decision: A suede 1940s-inspired peep-toe platform pair of Fendi’s in a trio of succulent scarlets, magenta, maroon and blood red.
They were me, they were perfect, they were forever, they were $640 + tax.
Things didn’t work out with Andy and me, regrettably. But I will always be thankful to him for giving me something even bigger than the greatest shoes I will ever own… he gave me a chance to see what it’s like to be that girl, if only for a day.