I found a gorgeous vintage tablecloth for my friend La Yen’s birthday the other week. It was at the bottom of a pile of ancient linens in a Florida antique store when I saw it peeking at me. Fine off-white linen with a red hand-done cross-stitching with a taupe finished border, it was simple and beautiful.
When I gifted the linen to La Yen, I explained the provenance of the piece and how I figured it must have been at least fifty to sixty years old. We discussed the hand-stitching and the lovely contrast of colors. That is when Cachi, La Yen’s Other Half, started laughing. He said, “Azucar, if I didn’t know you, you’d be so pretentious, don’t change, but you’re so pretentious.”
The thing is I fear he is right. Here is the evidence:
1. A couple years ago I was complaining to J that these people, with whom we had been associating that evening, were so low brow. He started laughing (much in the same manner as Cachi, come to think of it.) J said, “You know, when you call those people low brow it’s because you think of yourself as high brow. But what you don’t get is, those people don’t care that they’re low brow, you’re the only one that cares. No one else cares.” Humph, I thought, how could they not care? I would care if I were low brow.
2. I used the word provenance in the first paragraph of this entry, and I meant it.
3. Sometimes I attempt to pronounce foreign words with the designated accent. Now come on, that’s pretentious and obnoxious. I don’t think I can stop (help.)
4. Once, when I lived near Vienna, the Lipizzaner horses nearly killed me.
5. The very sight of platform flip-flops gives me the heebie-jeebies.
6. I am always slightly depressed with the level of informality in our culture: both in dress and speech. Thing is, I’ve been steeping myself in out-dated fiction for the better part of 25 years. When you read old books you begin to pick up the patois (see, I did it again) and just fold it into your every day speech and habits. It’s not a conscious affectation (well, not until I started ruminating on it tonight.)
7. J would like me to mention that I dress him for parties and other events when he will be in public. I would like to point out that this is not pretentious; it is simply preventing the inevitable assault on the senses and sensibility of our chosen companions. He says, "Exactly."
8. When I write the numeral seven, I write it with the squiggle in the middle.
9. When traveling I will totally pretend that I am a local, not a tourist, and roll my eyes with my other 'countrymen' at the loud Americans.
10. I only buy organic milk and I won't eat Hershey's Chocolate.
11. I subscribe to The New Yorker.
12. I guess I should just admit I’m a pretentious snob and then move on with my life.