Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Signature Indecision

I don't know why or where it comes from, but a good part of my life has been dedicated to finding signature stuff.  A signature drink, signature scent, signature style.  I've always enjoyed the idea of being known for something and there's a super fun control freak in me who craves the specicifity and routine that a signature provides.

Actually finding my signature items has not gone as well as I'd hoped.  Turns out it's really hard to commit to just one thing and having a signature seriously limits one's ability to try new things. 

During college, I was bound and determined to find my signature drink.  It would be my drink, the drink I would always order, and it would so mine that if I was away from the table or had yet to arrive, everyone would know what to order me without my having to say a word.  That's how signature drinks work.  Given its importance, the drink had to meet certain criteria: 1) it had to be timeless - signatures last a lifetime so they must be as appropriate at 80 as they are at 21; 2) it had to be delicious - I have to drink it forever so I better enjoy it; 3) it had to be universal - signatures have to travel so it had to be something I could order anywhere and something that would be acceptable if fine dining or at a dive bar. 

In my college years, my drink of choice was a kamikaze.  I went a lot of miles on the kamikaze.  But ultimately, I do not want to be an 80 year old ordering a kamikaze so it had to go.  You have to put a lot of thought into these things.  I switched for a while to the similar but more adult-sounding vodka sour.  There's still a soft spot in my heart for the vodka sour. 

The quest ultimately ended after a fateful night out with my cousin Laura at a dive bar where we knew the bartender and the drinks were free.  Not one to squander an opportunity, Laura and I vowed to find my signature drink that night.  Who would have guessed that mixing a dirty martini with an Alabama Slammer with a gin & tonic with a margarita with a Long Island iced tea, so on and so forth, would end badly?  Even more disturbing, why did I ever think an Alabama Slammer might be my signature drink?  We gave up after I wanted to leave, but first decided I needed to lie down and in the entrance with half my body inside and half my body outside the bar seemed like the best place to do that.  My indecision over whether to be in or out was symbolic of my inability to commit to a drink, despite hours of effort. 

Since then, I order what I feel like depending on where I am and the situation, which is no way to operate.  Joe and I were recently out to dinner and the waitress came to take our drink order while I was in the bathroom.  Joe didn't order me anything because he "didn't know what to get me."  I know.  Dagger to the heart.

My quest for a signature scent has gone equally poorly.  You know how you can catch a whiff of a certain scent or someone's perfume and it can instantly bring you back to a certain time or remind you of a certain person?  I have this idea that I want my children to have that.  A scent that they always associate with me and with their childhood.  And if after I'm dead it brings them to tears, then that's just a nice bonus.  This is where someone should assure me that I'm totally normal.

For a while it was Chanel No. 5 because I felt like it should be Chanel No. 5 because it's just timeless and fantastic, but turns out I'm not necessarily in a Chanel No. 5 place every day.  For a while it was Bulgari's au the vert, which I still love.  Currently it's Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume, which is not a perfume at all apparently but a fragrance made from a single element.  So now I'm all sorts of confused. 

And a signature style?  Forget it.  Unless yoga pants and a T-shirt counts? 

I'm beginning to think it's silly to settle on anything in your 20s.  Maybe signatures are for your 30s, when you're more settled and know yourself better.  I don't know.  I could really go for a vodka sour right now though.


chickster said...

Whatever happened to those Gap perfumes like "Dream" or "Cloud"? One of those should totally be your signature scent!

Christina said...

I did rock some Dream pretty hardcore back in the day.

LWhits said...

I still have an old bottle of dream that gets used about twice a year! And this post has me laughing with tears in my eyes.