I love biographies that read like fiction. Bringing Home the Birkin (by Michael Tonello) is full of crazy anecdotes from a man who uprooted his life, moved to Spain and then decided that he could make a living by selling everything Hermes on eBay. A real entrepreneur if you ask me.
At first, Michael hooks you with his naive ignorance of the most coveted Hermes handbag. As his story unfolds and he becomes well-versed in everything Birkin (with help from his eBay friends)his bold and courageous personality lands him at the Fauborg store in France with his first (of too many) Birkins.
How did he do it? How could someone from a small town in Massachusetts get himself thousands of Birkin bags when so many women and men have been on the Hermes waiting list for years?
You'll obviously have to read his book to find out his Birkin buying "formula", but let's just say he had to drop an insane amount of cash to get the sales associate to even look at him twice to then drop another insane amount of cash to get what he actually went into the store to buy.
Every page of this book is full of hysterical encounters and a running tab (thousands of dollars just thrown about with the motto of , "Spend money to make money") that made my stomach turn with nerves and a twinge of envy. Most importantly, I was given the opportunity to transport myself to some of the most beautiful cities all over Europe. This got me thinking about my completely valid and totally realistic dream of moving to my own little city in Europe and finally starting my wonderful life as a glamorous and artistic ex-pat.
Reasons For Why I Dream About Moving to Europe:
a. Hot Italian sex
b. Perfect my Italian
c. Eating all the gelato that boot can hold
d. Meet a sexy Italian man and live happily ever after
2. France :
a. Acquire a kick-ass job as an art conservationist at one of the museums in Paris
b. Become an artist
c. Perfect my French
d. Meet a sexy French man and live happily ever after
a. Become a food critic
b. Move into an amazing Dali-inspired apartment with a beautiful terrace overlooking a gorgeous view
c. Meet a sexy Spanish man and live happily ever after
a. Live in Santorini and become a volcano observer
b. Get fat on feta and tomatoes
c. Meet a sexy Greek man and live happily ever after?
I think you get my drift.
However, like every story that is filled with decadence and materialism, fiction or non-fiction, the person eventually has what Oprah likes to call an "A ha! Moment". He realizes that $8,000-$35,000 handbags could be the be all, end all of a person's life, but that it certainly wasn't going to be the case in his. When he first moved to Spain, after leaving his beloved P-town in Massachusetts, his need to make money was what propelled him to work with one of the most coveted handbags in the designer world. As his story progresses, this need consumes his life. But things like those are ephemeral, fleeting. You can lose sight of the important aspects that kept you going way before you had that perfect pair of shoes or that bag that everyone wants.
But even with the lesson learned, I think I'll book my next trip to Epcot Center in Disney soon and maybe catch the 6 train down to Chinatown for my own adventure in the world of designer handbags.