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Thursday, July 26

When Commercials Come To Life

When you are a bit bummed, there is nothing better than a friend who calls you up and gets you out of the house for a day. It is a particularly good friend that will take you to try on jewelry costing more than your own worth and then follow it up with a trip to one of the few clothing stores in Japan that suits the average American sized woman. This is just what one of my dear Japanese friends did for me.

She had received tickets to a special invitation only jewelry event for Camellia Diamonds and was sweet enough to think of me sitting and home and missing my family and how a day of seeing pretty things followed by a free lunch at a fancy Japanese restaurant might be just what the doctor ordered. A boy did I listen to those orders!

The event was held at the Bay Sheraton Hotel in Yokohama where one room was filled with Camellia Diamonds unique collection along with a large display from Vera Wang’s collection. The best part… we were encouraged to try on anything our eager, diamond-dazzled hearts desired. I was to discover this only as I stood ogling over the Vera Wang case that held part of her Flower Collection. I stood in shock as a jeweler placed a $50,000 rose pendant around my neck and attached the matching $50,000 rose cuff bracelet to my wrist. My friend donned a Vera Wang brooch from the Feather Collection. In the next case over, I was treated to a 3.5 carat ring worth $200,000. I swear at that size, they almost look fake, but I can assure you that these pieces were not. Row after row, case after case, I tried on pieces from various collections with my favorite ending up in a $100,000 diamond necklace that honestly put the weight back on my shoulders, but not quite the kind I had worn coming in to the event.

Every good event in Japan always provides some short of show. If you are actually in Japan and watch any amount of television, even if it is only ten minutes a day, you have likely seen the commercial for Camellia Diamonds. I have seen this commercial over and over again and can even sing along to the sappy music playing in the background… I promise if we try, it will never die ahem. Seriously, this commercial has become quite the joke in our household because of the number of times you may see it in the twice hourly commercial breaks. Kimono Hubby honestly despised the darn thing and won’t let me sing along anymore. I digress. For the show portion of our program, in walks the woman who makes are the touching faces in the commercial when this massive Camellia Diamonds necklace is placed on her by some mystery man in the background. This necklace is so big that, again I hate to say this, but it looks fake. Obviously, we can’t read or understand much of the little Japanese that is shown in the commercial to prove otherwise. Apparently, it is not a fake. It is a $15 million dollar necklace carrying over 52 carats of sparkle. And the woman modeling it both on the commercial and in person? This year’s Miss Japan 2007. Of course, you probably heard about Miss Japan 2006 winning the Miss Universe pageant. Well this woman is planning to go for it next year. She’s absolutely gorgeous and slight that the diamond necklace, earrings and ring combination almost overwhelm her beautifully petite frame. Unfortunately, she is the only one they allow to actually wear this piece. I can hardly complain when I tallied up my wear for the day and discovered that I totaled about $500,000 in my accessorizing.

This was actually a buying event (as well as for my personal entertainment), but there was nothing under a cool $1000. I just couldn’t see KH allowing such extravagance no matter how hard I had recently cried. (Although they did take pictures at the event of me wearing some of the larger pieces of which I will be sure to pass along to KH in case he would like to surprise me with a lovely and extravagant birthday gift that rivals the average yearly salary. Likelihood of this happening? Anyone want to place a wager?) Despite the fact that the jewelers were not able to talk us into purchasing, they still supplied us the gift certificates for an amazing bento lunch at a restaurant in the hotel. The food was more visually pleasing them helpful in staving off any real hunger but this was a day now solely for experiencing the high life. Or so I thought.

We were in the area where I had shopped recently with my friend’s daughter. On a mission to make someone happy, my friend decided we would find that place I had liked so much and spoil ourselves with clothes that we don’t really need. As I recalled, the store was a bit pricey but so is living in Japan… and especially so is shopping for my size in Japan. There is no bargain shopping because, as I have mentioned in the past, the average American size is gone on the first day the pieces hit the floor and usually only one of that size had ever arrived in the first place. Lo and behold on this gorgeous day, we hit a sale where the mother load was hanging in wait just for me… and all in my very own size. What I didn’t spend in jewelry, I made up for in trendy Japanese jackets.

It was already dark before we headed to the train station and home… a testament to the hours of frivolous waste we had just enjoyed. Remember that handful of friends I mentioned in my last post? The ones for which I am truly blessed? I had just spent a glorious day with one of them. And most importantly, with her help, the rain clouds were totally gone by the time I returned home.

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