Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tiaras - Who Knew??

My wife loves to give tiaras as funny birthday gifts. Just recently, in fact, she's given tiaras - one with flashing lights - to two close friends who were celebrating birthdays. I'm guessing she's thinking of the concept of "Queen for a Day," through which one ideally reigns supreme for a day, in this case on one's birthday. Walk in most novelty shops and one can find a tiara - cheap, plastic, shiny, some with flashing lights or silly labels like "She Who Must Be Obeyed.". (For lovers of trivia: The TV program Queen for a Day, which ran from 1947 to 1964, would take four women with hard luck stories and, based on an applause meter, make one contestant a "queen for a day" with a crown and lavish prizes. Now considered a forerunner of today's "reality" shows, it was something of an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for postwar women, taking down-and-out contestants and giving them a "makeover" of sorts with vacations, mink coats, and expensive nights out on the town.)

Walking home the other day I passed through a block of wholesale shops and discovered a store that appears to sell NOTHING BUT TIARAS. The windows were filled with shelf after shelf of gaudy plastic crowns and coronets, from delicate examples of plastic and faux diamonds to elaborate crowns that would make British royalty weepily covetous. A glance through the door revealed more shelves stuffed with tiaras, all wrapped in cellophane, and a few odd pieces of costume jewelry. So now I know how all of those Asian-made tiaras end up in Manhattan novelty shops, by way of this wholesale distributor. I felt like a child discovering that meat and veggies come from farms and not Food Lion, Wal-Mart, or Costco. Who knew?

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1 comment:

jblack designs said...

What a hoot. I love it!

BTW, I have a student named Tiara this semester. I'll bet her mom would love this shop.