Monday, July 27, 2009

it's either quality or it isn't

it has come to my attention that so many used-to-be good quality brands are quickly turning into we-use-cheap-materials-to-make-more-money brands. and it bothers me. a lot. in saying this, i focus mainly on the coach handbag. you know, back in the day, coach leather handbags were "handcrafted in america" with high quality leather and workmanship. i remember over ten years ago when my sister janet picked out a beautiful, large black coach purse to buy my mom for mother's day. the price tag was substantial. a price that was justifiable for a bag that nice made entirely of leather. yes, back then you still paid more because it was coach, but any leather bag can be expensive. as time went by, coach became more popular, and so they came out with bags made with different materials. all pretty nice and generally good quality. then came today. in the past 3-4 years, coach has expanded to a brand only marketable by name and barely hanging on to quality. nearly every bag is made in china and nearly every bag feels like plastic. i've seen so many people with the same coach bag and these days you can't tell what's a knock-off and what isn't. i remember turning to my mom at the grocery store and saying, i don't know if everyone can just afford a coach bag these days or if coach's quality is so bad that the knock-offs look just the same. i really liked coach bags, and i have three of my own, and i have had them for a good 5 years or so. when it comes to expensive bags, i don't buy just for the name or to be trendy. i buy because that is a good bag i will own for a long time and not buy any other bags in the meantime. that's how it goes for the other girls in my family. but these days, coach has cheapened their quality and raised their prices. that makes me sick. it's just another shout of outsourcing to fulfill greed. so all of us have lost interest in this recent coach trend explosion. i'm not going to pay top dollar for a crappy bag. just like i'm not going to buy a pair of bcbg shoes that's made in china when the ones i own were made in brazil. i just can't stand greed. i mean, you're charging hundreds of dollars for a bag that's terrible quality because the good quality it once was made you money, but this makes you more. i mean, i know some things are just gonna be made elsewhere. but i don't condone gypping people on quality materials. frankly i think it's sad that so many consumers or wannabe trendsetters pay merely for a name. yeah i admit, i had that sort of propensity when i was 15, but it's been a while and to be honest i think the best quality doesn't have a name splashed all over it. you can tell just by looking at it. which is kinda like people. there are those who try splash their happiness or their looks or their name or their place in society when there's nothing to show for it. if you're happy, people can see that. if you're top quality, it shows. but nothing shows more than cheap quality trying to be something else. in the end, you are what you are, and you know what you're worth.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

i like my "long" engagement

recently i have been thinking about the benefits of a long engagement. not because i want to say a long one is better than a short one. different time frames work well for different people. i just always wanted to be engaged for a year or longer. and i always thought that it was a little, i dunno, annoying when people said it's harder and temptation is greater. and i'm not saying that it's not. i just think if you're ready to get married and if you're doing so for the right reasons, there is no temptation that can trip you up. my situation is also a little different. gabriele and i live thousands of miles away from each other. i'm going to finish school, get married, and then move to italy next year. that's not something i can get together in 3 months or even 6. i really like the extra time because it leaves me not so stressed and it leaves both gabriele and i knowing that we have a strong love between us. the distance is something we actually appreciate because we get to talk a lot.
something i appreciate greatly about the relationship gabriele and i have is that we communicate. no matter what is on my mind, i know i can tell gabriele and i know he'll listen. i mean, do you ever have those moments where you just want to say something but you also feel like maybe you should just keep it to yourself (whether happy, sad, good, bad)? whenever i feel that way, i just say it. i know i won't be judged for it and i know that gabriele will hear me out. i understand that life and love aren't always going to be perfect. but it's all the not-so-perfectness that helps us grow. so really, i like that sometimes we have disagreements. i like them because we work through them and we talk about them. we have learned a lot about each other and we still love each other! and that's what best friends do.
engagement to me is learning about my best friend and getting ready for the best day of our lives. it's also really fun to talk about invitations and favors and dresses and colors...all through google chat/talk. and believe it or not he gives a lot of good input. and it's fun to have time to talk about the house and the certain-to-be-orange kitchen. it's just fun to have time to have fun and not be rushed about things. it also gives me a whole year to start learning italian. since i'm a slacker i haven't really progressed all that much. but i do have gabriele talk to me in friulian sometimes. :) although that's a language i'll try in about 10 years.
i'm also just really grateful for the many examples i have of friends who are married and doing wonderful things with their own families. how weird is it that i will soon join that world? totally weird.