Back in early December, my friend Jenn (and by the way, I have something like 15 or 20 friends named some variation of Jennifer, Jen, Jenn, Jenny, etc. and keeping us all straight requires a flowchart) texted me a photo of her Christmas gift from her company. EVERYONE in her office got the item in question.
I’m not going to say quite yet what it was, but I will say that my response was “That is FREAKING awesome.” If I was willing to use so many capital letters in a text, then you know it’s good.
She responded: “Better watch out, one day you’ll open your mailbox and this little gem will be waiting!”
Me: “I will wear it and totally blog about it.”
The next day — and I do mean the very. next. day. — the Fed Ex guy showed up on my front porch with a package from Jenny from the Left Coast (that’s one of my nicknames for her). She had gifted me her fanfreakingtastic employee holiday gift. The generosity, it brings a tear to my eye.
The item in question is wearable, but I needed to do a little shopping and some assembly before I could wear it. With Christmas upon us, the project got back-burnered until after the holidays were packed away.
Finally, however, the stars aligned and I found what I needed and then after some trial and error, I was able to do the handiwork involved. This is the result:
No, no, no. I didn’t dare pair a Liberty of London shirt with my new cowgirl belt buckle. Oh no, my friends, I went preppier: It’s Lands’ End.
Yippee ki yay, motherfucker.
My first task was to figure out how to wear this thing, which, incidentally, weighs around 14 pounds. Okay, not really, but you’d better believe I’ll shed that thing like a snakeskin if I happen to be getting weighed for any reason.
I was going to go to our local cowboy boot store — which is named, so help me, Boot’vil — to see if they had belts, but I ended up stumbling across the blue faux snakeskin one at a local thrift shop and plunked down a whopping $3 for it. It’s actually a darker blue than what is shown in the photo — more of a cobalt blue — which is perfect since that happens to be my exact favorite color. It’s not exactly the right belt to go with such an amazing buckle, so I might still mosey on up to Boot’vil to see what they have in stock. Might also try on some cowgirl boots too. (Dana, if I go, are you my wingman?)
The next trick was attaching the stretch of ersatz leather to that brass beauty. Many methods were pondered and many were rejected. Ultimately, I went with the highly complicated but totally recommended route of slamming three staples into the thing and then coloring over them with blue Sharpie. Class, I gots it.
So there you have it. My new belt buckle. Do I not have the best friends ever?
Now, let’s shift gears and think about this gift that was given to Jenn and her colleagues by the muckety-mucks at her company. What kind of corporate culture exists wherein the giving of big brass belt buckles is considered normal? And it was a custom order, which means that there are dozens or maybe even hundreds of these things gracing waistbands all over California. (Because I am assuming that everyone else is wearing theirs with pride and that my dear friend Jenn gave hers up out of the goodness of her heart.)
Okay, well ranch hands in Oklahoma. No question about that.
And oil workers in Texas, for sure.
But where else?
But a construction company based in California? Mmmmm…. No, that doesn’t really seem like a big honkin’ brass belt buckle kind of situation, does it? Or maybe it does. My experience with California is admittedly limited, so perhaps I’m not savvy about their ways out there.
No matter, that baby is all mine now.
I’m curious: What’s the best or worst gift you’ve ever gotten from an employer?