LC Van Savage
Faux Is Good
We live in a world of faux stuff, right? Melanie Griffithís lips, beige hair on women of a certain age, great bouquets of magnificent, exotic faux flowers in huge vases in hotel lobbies, the Mona Lisa over the faux fire in the faux fireplace in your favorite gin joint, a great crystal chandelier which when joggled does not tintinnabulate and shimmer because the crystals are plastic, Pamela AndersonísÖwell, just about everything. All faux.
Faux stuff isnít bad you know. Faux often makes many people very happy, such as hair transplants, Botox and impossibly, blindingly white, piano key straight teeth. Well, maybe hair transplants canít be really called faux because donít they sometimes plug in your own hair? And as we all know, many women today are reborn because they got themselves faux mammaries installed. Some have had faux glutes embedded onto their derrieres, and some have gotten new thighs too, although they probably got those diminished instead of added on. When I get a whole lot of money someday, Iíll make an appointment to meet with a nice surgeon in an operating room with a row of extremely sharp knives and Iíll give him or her that money to slice off my wattles and pitch them into a slop jar. l will then definitely have a faux jawline and will be proud of it, and Iíll brag and wonít pretend for one second I dieted away six pounds of trembling chin fat.
Everybody has faux stuff in their lives and in many cases, the faux works just as well as the real. For example, not all of us can afford to drive around in a Porsche, but if we shop carefully we can find a nice small American car kind of shaped like one, and if we keep it moving fast and keep it at a distance it could almost pass.
I love faux stuff because weíll never be wealthy enough to afford the real deal and who cares anyway? If the faux works, then itís good faux.
I had a real diamond ring once. When Mongo and I decided to become glued into eternal wedded bliss---well, when I decided we should do the bliss thing, late one summer night in 1958 he drove me out to the loverís abandoned parking lot overlooking the magnificent slag heaps surrounding Scranton Pennsylvania in his fatherís 1947 black Mercury, and presented me with a gen-U-ine diamond ring. I was thrilled beyond description! I wept! It was not faux. It was a real diamond his dear mother had given to him from her own engagement ring to have made up into a sweet little ring for me. That I had to use a fairly powerful magnifying glass to actually see the stone mattered not; to my besotted eyeballs, it glimmered and gleamed far greater than any blue-flamed glowing slag heaps mounded about Scranton PA. The man was then and remains a wild and crazy romantic fool.
Well, time passed and three boy babies arrived and the rings I swore Iíd never remove, got removed after constantly getting snagged in diapers and onesies and clotted with ground beets, spinach and cling peaches. So off they came and in time the three boys put aside their diapers, matchbook cars and things I hope I never, ever know about, and picked themselves wives. One of our sons took that tiny diamond I used to wear, the slag heap diamond, surrounded it with bigger diamonds and put it into a dazzling golden setting, offered it up, and with that, his intended herself was dazzled and said yes. So that little stone had been born again, a real stone, not faux. Miniscule? What word means something smaller than miniscule? But that stone was alive and sparkling and on brand new finger.
Thus I went through life happily ringless and not ever really regretting it. (I eventually lost my wedding band too. Itís in this house somewhere, hiding from me.) But then, who needs a ring? I know Iím married. And God knows, so does long-suffering Mongo. But Iíve always loved to look at beautiful jewelry, the real stuff. I love to see it on beautiful female hands and pinned on beautiful female clothing or hanging around beautiful female necks. I love to stare at it in jewelry stores. Iím a big fan of real jewelry. I remember once swooning at the sight of the Hope Diamond on display I think at Tiffanyís in NYC when I was a kid. But own all that glitter and ice? Nope. Not for moi. Iím just not the type. Too much worry. It all requires too much annoying attention.
So imagine my surprise some fifty years post slag heap when Mongo came toward me on the street where we live as I walked home from our sonís home one recent very sunny afternoon and in his hand was a diamond ring with a stone so huge and so shiny I had to shield my eyes. Wow. I was speechless and I never am unless Iím at the dentistís. No box; it just lay in his hand.
ďI got it on Ebay,Ē he announced proudly. ďCost me eleven dollars. Whaddaya think?Ē I think I loved it. Faux? The fauxest! Itís so shiny and bright and glitters so much that when I walk through a completely darkened room the thing still beams like a beacon. Sterling silver setting! No, Iím sure itís platinum. Faux. And believe it or not, a couple of people have been fooled, or perhaps they were being merciful. Probably the latter. But do I care? No. I waited, although I didnít know I was waiting, for fifty years to finally get a nice, big vulgar garish engagement ring and Iíll wear it ostentatiously with pride and joy, flamboyancy and swagger. Faux is good. In this case, all three carats of it! Iíd rather have this than a wattle-free chin line. This faux ring gleams and beams brighter than any slag heap anywhere in the world and I shall wear it with pride and joy forever. Iím leaving it to no one. I wish to be buried in it. Thanks Mongo, you romantic old coot!
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