WBEZ | perfume http://www.wbez.org/tags/perfume Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A little something for mom http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/little-something-mom-107077 <p><p dir="ltr">I was grateful for all the generosity that came my way after baby Paul was born: some gifts in particular were especially treasured. Food was appreciated because that was one more meal I wouldn&rsquo;t have to cook.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3138738745_1885547782_o.jpg" style="float: left; height: 405px; width: 280px;" title="Flickr/Idhren" />Baby clothes were great because that prolonged the time until I&rsquo;d actually have to buy my son his own outfits (I lack the gene that makes me want to spend hours in the children&rsquo;s section. I find shopping for baby clothes almost as tedious as shopping for men&rsquo;s clothes, which is just the most boring thing in the world.)</p><p dir="ltr">Target gift cards were like manna from heaven because they could be used to buy diapers, formula, coffee, wine, cereal--all the things we needed. One friend just wordlessly took the baby from me and changed his diaper, to save me a trip from getting off the couch.</p><p dir="ltr">All of it was amazing.<br /><br />But one of the presents that most rocked my world was not related to the baby at all. It came from my friend Dave&rsquo;s mom, who is one of those wonderful moms who is not my biological mother but whom I think of as being a little bit more than just &ldquo;not my mom.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The small package that arrived near the holidays was sent from Macy&rsquo;s and was addressed to the baby, which wasn&#39;t that uncommon. I gave it to Steve to open, thinking that maybe it would be some sort of keepsake Christmas ornament. He read the card aloud, which said &ldquo;Dear Paul: Please give this present to your mom.&rdquo; So he handed me the small red be-ribboned gift box, which I opened to find a bottle of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m not exaggerating when I say it took me awhile to process this gift. Was it a mistake? Did Dave&rsquo;s mom mean to send me something baby-related but Macy&rsquo;s accidentally switched it with a bottle of perfume? Had I at some point talked about perfume with Dave&rsquo;s mom, maybe complimented hers, and she sent me some after the fact? Why would she send me perfume? I didn&rsquo;t need perfume. This was so weird.</p><p dir="ltr">A little while later, after taking the perfume out of its tissue paper again and trying it on, I realized that the impracticality of the gift was the essence of the gift. After the baby was born, I didn&rsquo;t exactly feel like a million bucks. I had 30 pounds to lose, I was exhausted physically but getting four hours a sleep at night, and my body was awash in mind-crushing hormones. A pretty bottle of perfume in a pretty box was, obviously, meant for a totally different woman than me, a slender cosmopolitan gal who has fun places to be and great clothes to wear them to. Not fat jeans, a boob-compressing sports bra and a pair of Birkenstocks that smelled like cat pee.</p><p dir="ltr">Dave&rsquo;s mom&rsquo;s present (which I wear every day) was a reminder that someone out there knew that there was more to me and my life than the newborn baby, even if I had forgotten it. It was a treat, a luxurious, extravagant, girly treat that was only meant for me and not the baby or the husband or the house. The fact that it took me so long to realize what it was and what it meant was a sign that I really needed it, too.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;ve written before that moms need reminders that they&rsquo;re more than just moms, and part of this entails knowing moms who can help you remember that. I&rsquo;m excited for my first Mothers Day and all (hooray for a 3 PM steak dinner!) and have always appreciated my own mother for the great job that she did raising me, but this year I&rsquo;m also incredibly grateful for all the other mothers in my life who gave me support, sympathy, food, gift cards and fancy perfume. Even after all this time I&rsquo;m still finding my way back to normal but I&rsquo;d be a lot further away from the destination if it weren&rsquo;t for them.</p><p dir="ltr"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Thu, 09 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/little-something-mom-107077 Do you really want to smell 'inevitable'? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/do-you-really-want-smell-inevitable-103898 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brad-Pitt-Inevitable-Chanel-n-5.jpg" title="" /></div><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.32085354273984656">I knew that Brad Pitt had a </span><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGs4CjeJiJQ&amp;feature=player_embedded">goofball Chanel commercial</a> going around that everyone was mocking but I wasn&rsquo;t aware until I saw this ad that apparently the whole campaign is called &ldquo;Inevitable.&rdquo;<br /><br />The title of the campaign is another misstep in Chanel&rsquo;s marketing. I&rsquo;m pretty sure the company didn&rsquo;t set out to create a set of ads that would be made fun of, but there you go. And now there is an added word that further fails to convince us that Brad Pitt is someone from whom we want to buy perfume.<br /><br />&ldquo;Inevitable&rdquo; doesn&rsquo;t read like two sexy planets drawn together by their gravitational fields. Instead, &ldquo;inevitable&rdquo; reads like someone groaning as they see Brad Pitt approaching from across the room at a party. You could replace &ldquo;Inevitable&rdquo; with other negative-sounding taglines like &ldquo;Unavoidable,&rdquo; &ldquo;Inescapable&rdquo; or &ldquo;Mandatory.&rdquo; &quot;Uggh, inevitably, it&rsquo;s Brad Pitt,&quot; you might say. &quot;Quick, look away. Did he see us? Crap.&quot;<br /><br />Brad Pitt was once a sex god, but as we all know, <a href="http://www.thesuperficial.com/brad_pitt_is_a_chameleon-01-2006">he copies the style of the woman he is with</a>. As such, Angelina Jolie used to be known as an predictably unpredictable sexy wild child, until she decided that she didn&rsquo;t want to be fun anymore. Thus, Brad took on her persona, and now they seem like the world&rsquo;s most dull yet beautiful couple. (Nothing sounds less convincing than <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2097340/Brad-Pitt-Angelina-Jolies-naughty-thats-reserved-just-him.html">telling CBS <em>This Morning</em></a>&nbsp;that your partner is &ldquo;still a bad girl.&rdquo; Right, OK.)</p><p>At said party where Brad Pitt would inevitably corner you, you just know Angelina would take herself very seriously and only want to talk about charity stuff and then Brad would come by and &mdash; ugh, inevitably &mdash; want to discuss <a href="http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/celebrity/160693/brad-pitt-and-angelina-jolie-spend-1-million-on-banksy-artwork.html">art</a> and <a href="http://www.theawl.com/2012/11/the-brad-pitt-bed-ziricote-with-farm-raised-stingray-skins-and-nickel-details">furniture design</a> and their children or whatever. (Or, worse, he&#39;d speak to you the way he does in the perfume commercial and you&#39;d have to decide whether he was a) drunk b) having a stroke c) insane or d) just a big creep.) You&rsquo;d nod and pretend to be interested, and maybe you&#39;d try to change the subject and say &ldquo;What TV shows are you watching these days?&rdquo; and then Angelina would butt in and say, &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t watch television,&rdquo; and then you&rsquo;d smile and finally excuse yourself to get another drink and feel relieved, and then later on you&#39;d ask your friend, &quot;What is <em>up </em>with Brad Pitt?&quot; and your friend would say &quot;Ugh, I know, right?&quot; That&#39;s what &quot;Inevitable&quot; conjures up.<br /><br />Unless, perhaps, Chanel is going for something useful with their new perfume. Get a whiff of the Inevitable and you can make your escape before it&rsquo;s too late.</p></p> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 09:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/do-you-really-want-smell-inevitable-103898