Sitting here, the candle doesn’t smell like firewood, it smells like a boutique clothing store. The kind that markets itself as boho and exclusive, but when you sift through the shirts they’re made of nylon and polyester, and the tags say “Made in Bangledesh.”
I don’t mind, honestly. I like the smell of boho clothing stores. I’ll walk through them and imagine what it would be like if I could back to when I knew a little less, like when I was younger and dazzled by the clothes that were much cooler than I was, wishing I could pull them off.
Now I know more and do most of my shopping online. I make a little more so I can afford to know the difference between Pima cotton and rayon. It turns out I can pull off more too when the clothes are high quality. I’ll spend hours obsessing over finding the exact right jacquard print short, and sandal to match. They don’t make me heady the way the boutique clothes used to.
I’ve learned a lot throughout my years of shopping. I know what’s worth paying extra for and when I’m just paying for a brand name. I can anticipate the building momentum of trends and avoid the gaudiness of annual fads. I can’t unlearn this expertise, and I wouldn’t want to, I think.
I just remember sometimes, when I see other girls laughing in their acrylic peasant tops, it isn’t everything, having acquired “good taste.”
I miss the possibility of boutiques and their candles that smell like firewood.