My Old Addiction

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I had an addiction to robes. Silk, velvet, cotton, fleece ~ with feathers, sequins, or embroidery ~ I welcomed all and any to my bedroom closet. It even progressed to smoking jackets and kimono, and at last count I had almost 50. (It sounds worse than it is – if you do the math that’s about three a year since I started “collecting” them.)

As in the rest of my life, my tastes have shifted over the years, and these days I’m more likely to walk by and admire than scrounge the bank account for a way to pay for yet another one. Every once in a while, though, a robe comes along at the right time and place, and it’s exactly what I was looking for without even knowing it. Such was the case when I walked into Pottery Barn the other day. (I don’t frequent Pottery Barn much because I don’t often go to Crossgates Mall. If I wanted to walk that much I’d go to the gym.)

But thanks to a day off and an unintentionally early rise, I decided to brave the behemoth and check out the post-holiday sales. There, in the bed and bath section of Pottery Barn was the robe that I had subconsciously desired since my time at the Mandarin Oriental spa in Washington, DC. For my first spa experience, they provided a waffle-weave robe lined with the softest terry cloth. It was the perfect accompaniment to a ritual of self-indulgence – and would have made the home-made-spa routine I developed just about complete. I hadn’t encountered a similar robe anywhere since then, and had given up on the idea, but here it was, in person and right in front of me – tellingly with its price conveniently scratched off. I dug into the small pile but there were no prices to be found. Another model, minus the waffle-weave, was next to it and listed as $89, so I knew it would be at least that much.

A sales associate ambled along helpfully, heading to the register to look it up, and returned with the expected amount: $99. Now, this is not unreasonable, but it’s at the upper end of what I’ve paid for robes in the past (such as the velvet and ostrich feather number from Victoria’s Secret that was originally $299.99, but that I watched like a hawk until it came down to $99.99). For a cotton waffle-weave and terry cloth piece $99 seems a bit much.

Still, after a few not-quite-exhaustive internet searches, it doesn’t look like I’ll find a better deal, so here’s what will probably happen: I’ll beg and borrow until I get this one, make the promise to myself and others that this is the very last one, but it’s a special one, and an investment in peace of mind and quality of life, then call it quits on the robe acquisition, at least for a while.

Oh, and this one can be monogrammed. I don’t have a robe with monogramming on it. Definitely a consideration, as every gentleman should have a monogrammed robe.

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