Manolete for the Big Girl

I’ll be honest. I’ve been slow to warm to Christmas.

When I was a kid, my brother and I made the yuletide bright mostly by waiting in an agreed-upon supermarket parking lot halfway between our parents respective evil lairs and being caught in the traditional children-of-bitter-divorce crossfire. Then later there would be cookies.

No one asked what we wanted for Christmas and as an adult, Christmas presents were firmly tucked into the For The Children nook of holiday cheer.

This year is different, and I discovered this year is different because Hot Latin Boy –who is a total curve-ruining overachiever– casually mentioned about all the millions of manhours he’s putting into my present, which I’m 99% positive is a “secret garden” full of my favorite plants and flowers from Texas and Virginia so I don’t feel homesick at Villa Plumcake.

That’s great and all, but it doesn’t exactly cast a golden luster on my gift to him, a white ceramic pineapple (a nod to an inside joke) that I’m not even going to giftwrap, lest it alert the border patrol.

It DID get me thinking what grand gift I really would like though, and for the first time in years, I’ve actually got one in mind.

Of course there’s the old standby:

(That, my friends, is the making of one FILTHY Venn Diagram)

but in the off chance Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchior DON’T manage to bring me Zizou, Xabi and Mou (I’m still going to wax, just in case) what I want more than anything in the whole wide world is a plaza-worn Traje de Luces.

Say what you will about bullfighting –despite Villa Plumcake being tantalizingly close to the Plaza Monumental, I’ve never brought myself to see a corrida the highly-embellished “suit of lights” is the pinnacle of beauty in a male couture garment.


(*snerk*)

And of course the bodies in them aren’t terrible either.


It occurs to me my burning desire for a traje marks a departure from buying clothes and accessories to collecting them. A traje is a standalone work of art and I would display it as such.

Of course I have a lot of my shoes, scarves and jewelry on display, but I also wear them. I’d never wear a traje.

Understandably, trajes are thousands of dollars new, and used ones fetch even higher prices if worn in the ring by a famous torero like Manolete, the James Dean of bullfighting.

I still don’t know if I’ll ever see a correo (I’ve heard they have no-kill ones, and I’d jump at the chance for that) or whether I’ll just stick with my Hemingway and Almodovar, but I’ve been pretty damn good this year and I sure would like to find a traje under my tree…you know, if Zizou and the boys don’t fit.

6 Responses to “Manolete for the Big Girl”

  1. Kimks December 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    I passed up the opportunity to buy a Traje when I lived in Andalucia- it was a beautiful silver color with stunning turquoise and black embroidery. I could not justify the cost because I was young, stupid and really wanted to spend the money on the hot guy of the moment. Alas- the hombre del dia is long gone and there is no way I can afford one now… I can still picture it….

    I recommend going to a Correo- the poetry of the match is stunning- The no kill ones are much easier to watch…

    And Xavi is MINE— just don’t tell my husband.

  2. aa December 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    Psst: http://www.trajesdeluces.com

    (Apparently, most shops send second-hand trajes de luces).

    Also, correo = post, mail. The word you want is corrida.

    And extremely good taste, as usual.

  3. ChaChaHeels December 15, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    So gorgeous. You can keep the boys, but those trajes are stunning. Thank you for showcasing such beautiful examples.

  4. ChaChaHeels December 15, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Oops–posted too soon: I do hope your Christmas wish is granted!

  5. Tovah December 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    I cannot even begin to imagine the hours and craftsmanship that go into those trajes.

    Thank you for the gorgeous pictures!

  6. Friv December 16, 2011 at 1:36 am #

    I went to a bullfight in France – in Nimes, in the old Roman amphitheater. It was RSM: It was a lovely golden afternoon in late May, the band played (predictably) selections from “Carmen” (because really, what else are they going to play at a bullfight in France?), and I carried (and used) a fan. Sadly, I had no mantilla. Yes, the bulls were killed but I told myself that it was at least better than the gladiatorial combat for which the arena had been built. I will never go again but I have never regretted going that time, not for an instant.