Today may or may not be the last column from Cherie this year, but life being what it is with all its complications, vagaries and un-met deadlines, who knows? She may be duty-bound to return from her well-deserved vacances to fill in some festive folly.
Cherie likes to think, let's amend that: Cherie likes to delude herself into believing she has her wits about her and her obligations under control. Nothing could be farther from reality. She has yet to wrap a cadeau, hang a wreath or buy a tree. As she has mentioned at least twice, the poinsettias are in situ and all she needs to do is walk out the front door, head toward almost any tree in the garden and cut down masses of mistletoe. Until she moved to France she always thought you bought the stuff at florists. No one every mentioned mistletoe is a parasite that eats your trees. Ah, the country life. . .
But enough about moi, let's get to your questions.
Q: My chere Cherie, Can you please tell me why every place one looks where food is proffered in all its delicious holiday incarnations, immediately beneath one sees the foreboding e-mail address --www.mangerbouger.com?
A: Cherie agrees, this is disturbing and perhaps more upsetting is the phrase that precedes it: Pour votre santé, évitez de manger trop gras, trop sucré, trop salé. (It's a health warning telling consumers to avoid eating anything too rich in fat, sugar and salt.) Now, frankly, what are the holidays for if not for all manner of over indulgence?
Even the most obsessional French woman allows herself that two kilo window she will immediately close after the first of January.
In the Galeries Lafayette catalog, which has a divine food section, the warning was next to a lobster (!)
Q: The bracelets, Cherie, tell us about the bracelets you and Edith were "wearing" in Wednesday's post.
A: Edith was wearing two, wide gold cuffs -- not real -- though effective and smart. (Cherie felt compelled to mention the "not real" part.) While Cherie was wearing on one wrist her real charm bracelet with two other real gold chain bracelets and on the other her Cartier Trinity bracelet and two bangles (real) given to her by her mother.
Q: Dear Cherie, You may find this question to be slightly off subject -- not that that has ever stopped you from going there without prior provocation -- but I'm curious to know: What for you is the ultimate test of grace and politesse on the part of a perfect hostess, which I have no doubt you are?
A: You're right about that -- the last part.
Let me tell you. Cherie would consider the ultimate demonstration of perfect manners to be a response -- with the best smile she can paste on her face as she flutters back her tears -- after the breaking of the above 300 Euro-ish St. Louis crystal flute by an over exuberant guest, something like: "Oh, it's nothing, nothing at all. Here, have another sip out of the plastic cup I'm going to get you from the kitchen." (Just joking about the last part. . .)
Cherie recently had to say something similar to someone who broke a Baccarat high-ball glass chez elle.
Q: Have you seen anything that has caught your eye you might like Pere Noel to leave under the tree?
A: With age, Cherie appreciates what she has, but it has never precluded not appreciating the possibility of what she might get. This year her eyes have fallen on a bauble she feels is not at all excessive. It looks real, but it isn't, but of course anyone seeing Cherie wearing it would assume it is. Cherie trusts you're following along.
It's sort of like the manchette in gold plate above with the large carnelian, but the one I want is studded with "stones" from Les Perles de Noa. It's investment (in elegance) without the big investment (you know).
Q: Of course we realize you observe nothing but the ultimate in style every day, which does not always translate into good taste, as you have explained to us. With that in mind, have you seen anything that might come under the first category while perhaps not always applying to the second?
A: Often. But as Cherie has pointed out on numerous occasions, style can be fun, fun, fun and not be one's tasse de thé. It seems the chapka which is popping up all over the streets of Paris now that the weather is getting crispy is the new bobo look. One friend of Cherie's, a doctor and a woman of style, plans to buy one in cashmere from Eric Bompard. She calls them "garbage men's hats."
Cherie has only seen them, untied, flaps down. That must be the "style" part.
Q: Cherie, I've asked you before, but I'll ask you again: What are you doing about puffy-eyes?
A.: Cherie has tried everything and would like to turn to you. Please share your favorites and your failures. Please tell us there is hope. Cherie has a call into her dermatologist for a serious answer, but until then. . . This is what Cherie does, which sort of works: green tea bags in the freezer and she always has one of those hot/cold eye mask thingies in the door of the refrigerator, just in case.
How about eye cream in the frig? In the spirit of the holiday if anyone has something to say, please say it now.
Q: Cherie (!) you were recently talking about bows -- bows made out of ribbon, but have you seen all the ones made out of diamonds? They're everywhere.
And unless there really is a Pere Noel, Cherie doesn't anticipate seeing these any time soon. (From the top: Chanel brooch; Pomellato earrings and Dior ring.) Baa-humbug.
Q: Dear Cherie, Have you seen anything cute you would like to share with us?
A: Generally speaking, Cherie is not into "cute" -- however, while doing some midnight perusing of the Printemps Christmas catalog she fell upon this photograph. What she wants to know is: How in the world did someone get this adorable baby into that position?