You know who’s funny? Valentino. He’s a designer, and this weekend I read an interview with him from earlier this year. It’s in InStyle magazine, which I love. I love it because it pretends we’re all on the same planet with celebrities. The planet on which people sometimes go to the Oscars but they also buy teeth whitening rinse from Walgreens.
Apparently there was a documentary out this year about Valentino’s career and lavish lifestyle. Here’s a question from the interviewer and his answer. I don’t have permission to reproduce this. So I’m paraphrasing parts of it and encouraging you to, like, buy an InStyle magazine or something.
Q: You have houses in London, Rome, Paris, New York, and Gstaad [I don’t even know where that is]. Do you enjoy playing the grand host?
A: I love it, but not right now. Now is not the time for lavish parties. The situation is difficult for many people, and you must keep things in perspective and scale down.
It’s so weird that I think that’s sweet. Houses in five different cities and yet he knows the situation is difficult for some of us? How does he know? And listen to this: He demands fresh flowers in all his homes. In Paris, he has his own rose gardens, as well as an English garden, “and we also have a field of nothing but lavender.”
A field of nothing but lavender. It’s actually kind of nice to know that exists somewhere at all. And doesn’t that remind you of An American President when Annette Bening asks Michael Douglas how he managed to be president and give a lady flowers at the same time? And he said, “Well, it turns out, I have a rose garden.”
That’s how I feel at the end of the day when my shoes are off and I’ve sunk my toes deep into the softness of my chair in the living room and the kids are back around me where they belong instead of far from me at school or, you know, the yard. And the State has released Michael from its life-sucking work force (I didn’t really say that, Missouri) and the cat wants in and life hangs in that really happy balance between a kind of hard today and an unpredictable tomorrow. That’s when I feel like I just might have a field of lavender or a rose garden but I just forgot about them for a while.