For some aimless afternoon fun, I braved walking into Holt Renfrew downtown. Normally when someone who looks like me walks into a store like that, the staff sends out some sort of pheremone to dispatch the haughtiest amongst themselves to follow me around. But that did not happen, and I wandered freely amongst the two-and-a-half floors of the too-bright store full of ridiculously expensive things.

I walked past racks and mannequins, shelves upon shelves of handbags, cases full of shiny things and fine timepieces, and shoes by the pair. And makeup counters, but I always avoid those in any store. Two whole floors of women’s things, a half floor of men’s – and suddenly, it hit me while staring into a great big backlit display of sunglasses – wall o’ shades – everything here is just decoration for the body. Expensive objects to cloak the body and things to wear for awhile until they go out of fashion, nothing more.

I have no money to spend on such armour – how Carrie Bradshaw could afford multiple designer ensembles on every danged episode of Sex and the City is a complete mystery to anyone who has actually tried to live off their writing – but even if I could buy things at places like Holt Renfrew, I would still find it strange that you can’t buy anything there like art for your home or implements for a hobby, like silver pens or cashmere yarns.

Nope, it’s not about beautifying your world or taking enjoyment in doing, this stuff is all about you, the hobby of grooming yourself continually and elaborately, like a big expensive monkey.

But we all like pretty things and I guess I can’t fault Vancouver’s richies and pretties for liking the pricy stuff. (Another thing about HR I found odd – no price tags visible anywhere…) So I’ll end this post by giving a little shout out to a shop called Room 430 where everything is designed and made in Vancouver, and not only that, the designers help dress those of us who can’t dress ourselves. It’s my favourite place to get something special when I do actually need to look nice.