The day we were about to drive out to San Francisco with friends, I realized that I’d left my sunglasses at home. “Do you have one I can borrow?” I asked my friend. She ran into her daughter’s room and returned with a nice pair. They were designer, BCBGMAXAZRIA, and, according to the label inside, made in China. When I glided them over the bridge of my nose, I seemed to feel slimmer. I glowed with the chic of Milan.
My own pair of sunglasses, the ones at home, cost me ten dollars at Walgreens. I don’t invest in expensive glasses anymore because when I buy one, they never stay with me. When I took one to India, they forgot to return home with me. I bought another pair when I returned. But whenever I drove out in our van, I discovered too late that they were in the sedan. Almost always, my sunglasses were in the purse that I was not carrying at the time I needed them. I was always looking everywhere under the sun for my sunglasses.
But the day I received my BCBGMAXAZRIA, they began to feel right on my skin. I’d been given them with the tacit understanding—between close friends—that they were meant to be returned.
I never mean to not return something. When a friend gives me food in her container, I keep it in the fridge for a day or so and then, when I’ve consumed its contents, I toss the container into the dishwasher. A day later, I shove the clean container into a kitchen drawer. In less than a week, I forget all about the container and about the friend.
Sometimes, I’m also a victim of the “no return” policy. People have forgotten to return my books. A friend borrowed our lawnmower eons ago. No one in either family now remembers the incident, least of all, my husband, who will not look directly at our lawn anymore unless it stares back at him from a picture on Facebook. Just ten days ago, a friend borrowed our keyboard. Soon, she’ll begin to think she has always owned a Yamaha keyboard. And I’ll forget that I was the one who bought it.
Of late, I’ve been taking my BCBGMAXAZRIA on walks around the block. They look svelte even when I’m in sweats. They stay tight when I sweat. I may have designs on them but the truth is they were designed for me.
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