Tuesday, October 13, 2009

David and Neiman Marcus

Yesterday, David had the day off from school. He has been wanting to visit a new store that has been built in my old hometown, so we made the trip over by car, ferry and floating bridge to Bellevue. UGH. I wish I liked the town, but I don't anymore. It wasn't my favorite place growing up, either, but nowadays it is barely recognizable as same city in which I grew up. Too many cars, too many high-rises, too much money, too fast-paced, too much STUFF for my taste.

What was once a nice, drive-around, walk-around, small outdoor shopping mall with a Newberry's, A&P Market, local drugstore, clinic, a couple of restaurants, a shoe store, JC Penney's, Frederick & Nelson's, and (much later), Nordstrom, has become a flashy, smooth, high-end, all-indoor, extravaganza-mall with huge parking garages all around it. David loves it. I can hardly stand it.

We went to some of the stores in the mall that he wanted to visit (Nordstrom, Burberry, Oakley, Bose) and to a ski store, where we bought tickets to the new Warren Miller Ski film, and David found a ski parka that he liked a lot.

The main attraction for him, yesterday, was the brand-new Neiman Marcus store that was built into a new, luxury-goods mall, up the road from the existing mega-extravaganza Bellevue Square Mall.

I have to admit that I liked this smaller mall better than the larger one. We didn't get through all of it, since David's focus was on Neiman's. He walked right into the menswear department. The Loro Piana part of the menswear department. Do you know what Loro Piana is? Loro Piana is one of the premier manufacturers of cashmere and wool clothing in the world. IN THE WORLD, I said. Mostly handmade, with fabulous quality and details that most of us are not accustomed to seeing, much less owning, in our apparel. And, of course, David, with his incredible, laser-like ability to spot and form a bond with only the finest, loves their clothes. LOVES.THEIR.CLOTHES.

He bought one of their cotton sweaters (on sale) in Paris this summer. He was wearing it yesterday.

Have I mentioned that David loves coats? He fell immediately and deeply "in lust" with a coat that retails for $3,195.00. Not a suit coat, but outerwear. I'm sure it would last for years, and never go out of style. But by purchasing a coat at that price, he would have to wait a much longer time - or start all over again - to save enough money for a car. I mean, he'd be taking the bus in a very fancy coat, for a long time.

David put that coat on 2 or 3 times, modeled it, and really, really wanted it. I wish I had taken a photo of him in it. And in that moment, I wished that I had that kind of money to spend on a coat, but I don't.

I also don't want to buy an item like that for him while he's still growing.

And there is something in me that wants to let him feel the longing for it, for a while. If he really wants it, he might work some extra hours this winter, or look for a good next-step-down alternative, or stalk the item in case it ever goes on sale (not too likely)!
But it was a wonderful experience, to see him recognize beauty and craftsmanship, to hear all about the company and its hand-manufacturing traditions from a very well-informed salesman, and to feel the pleasure of shopping in a store like Neiman Marcus.

We ate a quick dinner in a little bistro in the new mall, and then zoomed across the bridge to catch the ferry home. It was a fun way to spend the day with my son, and I am thankful that he wanted to spend it with me.


ChiTown Girl said...

Aw, sounds like a GREAT Mom/Son day!! Wow, he sure has some high-priced taste, huh?

Stephanie said...

Hi! My best friend's brother has been a featured skier in Warren Miller movies: Dan Gilchrist of Steamboat Springs...he's a telemark skier...I don't know if he's in the new one but maybe...All the best...

Karen and Joe said...

I loved reading that. I used to have special time like that with my son and miss that so much. He was always educating me, too, about culture, music, politics. And I returned the favor, with a differing perspective! David sounds like he has an unusual eye for quality, and a talent that needs to be developed into a career. He may run Neiman-Marcus someday!

Thanks for your lovely words on my blog. Perhaps, someday, I will be able to sit down for that cup of tea with you and sort out the mysteries. I appreciate the book titles and will seek them out, as I find I need to go deeper right now. Thank you for being such a wonderful, compassionate, thoughtful ear.

Busy Bee Suz said...

David certainly has an eye for fine clothes...a talent that most people dont have twice his age!!!
So nice you were able to spend the day with him like this.
I can see our Karen is spoiled with her sweet lovely town she now resides in...and I don't blame you one bit. I like small, quaint and fairly quiet areas too.
Take care...Suz

Kay said...

Your description of the day was so cute! And sweet! : )

I know what you mean about the mall thing. Every mall around us is the same list of the same stores. Boring. I dart in to my one or two stores and get the heck out... Not a mall girl!

That is very funny about the coat... and his tastes! You'll have to tell him that the coat he was drooling over costs more than my first car... and then some! Yeah.. he'd be taking the bus for a loooong time, but looking very stunning in such a fine coat. A classy look for the bus, btw. LOL

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful mother/son day -- he sounds like a guy with impeccable taste. Tell him that my father, who grew up the son of an Italian immigrant, got his first job as a stock boy in the Manhattan Saks Fifth Avenue. He worked his way up and ultimately became a senior executive and retired after working for Saks for 48 years!

karen gerstenberger said...

I love that story, Elizabeth; thanks for sharing. I just told him!

Karla said...

Sounds like a fun mom/son day.

Anonymous said...

Loro Piana is the best. your son has exquisite taste. My suggestion is to look online and see if he can get the jacket for less/slightly used. I have one of their winter coats and its lasted a long time. Also have some sweaters and a scarf.

Dawn ~ BJSMomma said...

Too funny....I am glad you had a fun day with your son...those times are always treasured. Jordan had a friend who lived in Bellevue, so he spent a lot of time there last year. Although he is a completely different shopper (most of the time)...he has a love of T-SHIRTS...especially ones with a story...(ie...Salvation Army & Thrift Stores are one of his favorite "hunting" grounds). :-)

Oh, and I agree with your friend Karen and Joe....who know's...that would mean mad discounts for YOU!
Have a wonderful day!

AnnDeO said...

Oh, I love how you describe that tornness of wanting to gift them their hearts desire, but love to see that longing and plan-making in their eyes to get to their goal.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED that story, too! And what a fun way to spend the day—and I do think there's something to be said for using your own money to buy a luxury item—after the last book I ghostwrote, I bought myself an Hermes bangle bracelet, which is something my characters would wear. It was expensive, but I love it—and it means something! xo, Jiffy

Anonymous said...

I loved this story Karen.
Hope you are "well".

From Seattle,

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Karen, this is SOO cute! I can just see your son riding this bus in his VERY well-appointed coat! He must really REALLY love that coat, huh?

My son is still completely impervious to brand names.... I guess I better enjoy it while I can!

Tom said...

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