I recently purchased a Mink coat. The thing smells and is falling apart; nothing a trip to mother’s hands won’t fix. A lot of mixed emotions have risen up from this $30.00 purchase (I know, A STEAL!).
The first and biggest issue:
Realizing that I have an irrational need to always buy a deal, no matter what the cost.
Second, the Mink itself. The poor, poor animal that died so I could look ridiculously evil in was a weasel like animal who was pretty adorable (…I feel guilty). The mink most likely played in the sun with friends and liked to swim in the Hudson Bay until it became trapped by a pine box or something. And now, look!, it is part of my closet…sorta.
I remember my seventh grade social teacher announcing to the class one day that she bought a Mink sable and was not ashamed of it! It was recycled, no recent animal had died, what was the harm? I’m a big fan of recycling, so I held onto the thing on the way to the dressing room.
…Then there was “the Mink coat suits me. It brings out aspects of my personality! It adds colour, flavor even! Who doesn’t like flavor”. The purchase was close.
Blouse after blouse I kept glancing at the thing. It stared back. But deep, deep inside there was that nagging third complication: MY POLITICAL IDENTITY. DUN DUN DUN! It nagged like silent termites. I.Don’t.Like.The.THOUGHT. OF TERMITES!!!!!!
My political identity has always been something I’ve always felt righteous about. Well, until the last years of University that is. I had been and still are disturbed by injustices done to the environment and humanity. Would buying an old fur coat make all my sympathies trivial?
A last glance had me calling an exterminator. The need to buy something ludicrous had set in so deep that I had fooled myself into justifying my purchase. I convinced myself that I would never wear it so I had to buy it. I do buy things that I never wear all the time…I just stare at them or…uh take pictures?
The Friday of the evil purchase I realized that I needed to change. If I forked over thirty bucks that I could’ve (and should have) used for groceries I wasn’t going to just let it stink up my closet. Oh no, it was going to add its particular flavor to my world. I went to work with it. Out to lunch with a close friend. For a drink at a local pub. But that wasn’t enough! It needed to go out on the town. It needed: the CASINO.
The fur needed to prance around with the big boys. It needed to be around boys that thought they had money fooled. “Like I had my fur under control”, haha. But I got stuck watching a horrible Caribbean stud game where a very wealthy couple hogged the whole space and wouldn’t let anyone else into the table. The woman kept one stiletto foot on the ground while the other one was wedged into her seat, her knee, ass and fake boobs were all over the table; while her plastic-surgery-gone-array honey kept feeding her chips. She was wearing a fur vest. The gin and tonic was gone.
So I went home and took off my fur coat and glanced down at my shirt’s print of a chimpanzee. The token black and white image of an animal always felt very laboratory to me. The potent irony of the outfit fell out of favor.
Every human being has a relationship with an animal. Whether it is as removed as: you go into grocery store and buy animal or if its as close as your cuddles with your cat, we are affected by animals. And I will be damned if I become a bitch that takes too much and doesn’t even care if her limbs get in the way.
“Fur Farming” is a big industry here in Canada, the fifth biggest farming industry in Canada, actually. Pelts are graded and sold at auction houses. Grading takes two to five days and only a person with a magical eye and snout can determine such luxury. I can’t be a part of that tradition. And the fur coat was a link to it. I glance back at my seventh grade social studies teacher and think: you got gypped. The fur coat ended up being moldy anyway (mother’s eyes know best).