Every outfit speaks volumes. Sometimes right on the tag. On the front, this one says in a sexy 1980’s cursive: Sophistication.
On the back, a fantastical creation story: MADE IN INDIA Congratulations on your new purchase. This dress from our sequin and beaded collection has been entirely handcrafted. It takes a team of 5 skilled workers 15 to 20 days to complete one dress.
All those hands. All that meticulous stitching. All for a sophisticated $99.50 American dream.
Yet there the tag hangs, still attached to the dress, like an albatross on an unforeseen 30 year tour. Over time, this vision of sequins and silk—trapped in a closet, beautiful and unworn— turns into nothing but a missed opportunity, then a waste of space. So it spends a brief purgatory in a thrift store in Boise. Before it arrives at last at PARADiSE: Stories of Buying a Stairway to Heaven. For $18.75.
This is the fortune I gain from the tag story: You can find immeasurable beauty and riches that cost you next to nothing. But you will have to dare to look in unexpected places. Sometimes, you (or it) will have to wait a long, long time to truly be seen. So if and when you find your bliss…
Wear your paradise. Wear it out.