Presentation is Everything

In the art world, the way something looks is often paramount. It is a very fashionable set that frequents galleries and openings. You are very aware of the care that art aficionados display in their attire and accessories. While I am not one to preen, I do like to look polished at all times, especially in this competitive crowd. I have to get the look right, which means attending to all the details of my appearance. This includes my choice of watch. I have a few, but if I am wearing casual clothing or a suit, a different model matters in a coordinated look. I have a modest Swiss watch that I bought for under $500 that seems to work for all occasions and mode of dress. It completes my image.

At a recent gallery opening, a patron grabbed my wrist to be able to get a closer look at my watch. He said that he loved the design and knew that it had to be Swiss. This was such odd behavior. Openings can be rather formal affairs and they are all about selling paintings as a rule, so a remark about my appearance came as a surprise. People aren’t usually that personal. They prefer to boast about how much they know about art and how much they spend each year collecting new treasures. I made a move to thank the man for his kind remark, but he had quickly slipped away into the next viewing room. I stood quietly for a moment to get my bearings. Then I keep on making the rounds of the gallery rooms as before.

Before long, a young woman approached me and stood staring at my watch. “How nice,” she said. “It is nice to see someone who cares about perfection.” I asked her if she were an artist and she commented that she was a student at the local art institute. “I notice things. I have an enquiring eye.” I told her to look away and I even raised my wrist so she could inspect the watch at close hand. Amazing. Two people during the same evening liked my humble watch. I’m glad I didn’t spend a lot more since this one was getting such a positive reaction. The watch was an entrée to an interesting conversation. We talked about the art currently on exhibit and also some of our favorite painters, historically and at present. The watch led me to acquire a new friend. It is nice when you have a lot in common.

Suddenly, the first man who noticed my watch appeared almost out of nowhere. He joined us and it was clear that he knew the young woman. I was disappointed as I had eyes on her myself. Was the watch experience now over? I am pleased to say that it was not. The man said that she was his sister, so the siblings had the same good taste in watches. What a coincidence. But now I was free to pursue this woman in earnest.