In case you slept through the revolution, 2014 was the year Blake Lively joined the Lifestyle Company fray with Preserve — an Abercrombie-and-Anthropologie scented, desaturated ode to tawny hair and being windblown and spending $300 on things that have been whittled. If it were scratch and sniff, we’d smell whiffs of a candle freshly extinguished, still smoking.

We appreciate — and here parody — Blake’s polysyllabic passion for prose, purple though it may be, in a world where a cartoon cipher renders basic communiques into childlike glyphs — ancient Egyptian etchings for a digital age. But we also hear in it a cousin to the lusty anecdotes in the J. Peterman catalog made famous on Seinfeld but wholly real (and now co-owned by the man who played him on TV).

[photoembed id="1058183" size="two_thirds" alignment="center" text=""] “Damn it, Elaine. That wasn’t Zach. That was the yam-yam. Now, he is going cold turkey… And you will be at his side… Beeetter bring a poncho.”

And so, as a celebration of Blake’s volcanic vocab and veritable hipster HTML bacchanal, we invite you to test yourself: Which quotes are Preserve, and which are Peterman?

If you’re on a computer, you can reveal the answer by dragging your cursor over the empty space when prompted. For mobile readers, I’ll put a key at the end of the piece.

BEGIN.

1. My mother suggested I play the harp because she believed it would make me into a picture of grace and poise. “I just think it’s so… impressive,” she said to me when I was in the sixth grade, assuring me that the instrument would set me up for more than my share of male adoration. “Besides,” she pointed out, “you can’t wear lipstick if you play the trumpet.”

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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2. It happens in an instant. “My heart has fallen asleep,” he mumbles to himself (in Dutch) as he crosses the cobblestone avenue toward the restaurant, L‘Orangerie du Chateau. “I just love my new silk outfit,” she mumbles to herself (in French) as she elegantly disembarks from the taxi in front of L‘Orangerie du Chateau. Bam. They fall instantly in love.

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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3. His name isn’t as important as his resolve. He was a schoolmaster and we were his disciples. Several of us lined the hallowed mirrors of an ancient southern building. We anxiously struggled forth, lurking over each other’s shoulders…performing corrections while all manner of expletives filled the air like smoke.

Highlight for answerPreserve
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4. He’s someone that finds electricity in elements we forget to notice. He takes trips on his motorcycle from Nashville to NOLA simply “’cuz there’re so many smells.” He chuckles saying this, sharing an inside joke with himself, or a mad memory. “It’s a weird smelly town.” …We have no idea what this actually means, but we want to go there. With him.

Highlight for answerPreserve
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5. “I want to provide the perfect experience.” His face twinkles, telling us what he whispers is true. “People are unaware of what they want,” he muses, with that same enchanting look. “They start out safe and then on the next round, they let you lead them to something else. You learn who they are by what they order.” Hearing this makes us feel a bit… exposed. Shaken, even. But also stirred. To think that, just by bellying up, we could all be led on an unforeseen journey of spontaneity and surprise.

Highlight for answerPreserve
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6. She moves like she controls the world and weather through her bare feet and thin fingers. “It’s my fabric,” she smiles, continuing to mosey through the square, stopping occasionally to select little pieces of silver from her favorite vendors. “This design is about strength, bravery without harshness, movement without hesitation. An emotion I recommend visiting.”

Highlight for answerPeterman
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7. You may feel it first when you bounce down the stairs. Again when performing a jazzed up fox trot at neighbor’s Christmas gala (he remembers some of the steps from class but mostly just watches you). Will you be different? Something more gilded?

Highlight for answerPeterman
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8. Here I am in an artfully tattered tee. Look past the holes. Always this permeating desire to be nonchalant. To not need a disguise. Minimal barriers between you and me. All this talk of sartorial slumming misses the point. I, who have always been so in my head, I want my clothes to invite you in.

Highlight for answerPreserve
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9. You make your way to him, seated on an old stump by the fire. Driftwood fires are the best. Marshmallows, chocolates and graham crackers await by his iPod spilling out your favorite Mumford & Sons songs into the cold air. You pull down the earflaps of your hat and nestle in next to him.

Highlight for answerPeterman
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10. Who says the slow reveal of a man’s middest section doesn’t challenge the imagination as provokingly as Michelangelo’s David? Why shouldn’t the glory of a soft, beloved tee being peeled off be looked at with the same reverence and attention to detail as beholding the Sistine Chapel? 

Highlight for answerPreserve
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11. Well? Are you going to keep working like time is the enemy, keep saying what you don’t mean, keep politely attending your nephew’s bagpipe “concerts” in his basement? Or are you going to do something else? My friend Margot made that decision on her 35th birthday.

Highlight for answerPeterman
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12. Throughout the centuries, adopting the splendor of riding attire in daily life has been a reflection not only of a desire to emulate the grandeur of the sport, but the majestic quality of its galloping hero. This has translated from nobility, to celebrity,to the every man. From Alexander the Great, to John Wayne, to Karl Lagerfeld, to the farmers on purple mountain majesties– the influence of colt is, well, cult-like.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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12. I think of ice cream as a rite of rebellion…a society of sweetness where denizens dance happily among sugary structures. Escaping into a rainbow of lusciousness… I dot the sky of my syrupy sovereign state with a starscape of sprinkles.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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13. We no longer embark. We now “pop-over,” or even worse, “cruise-by.” Earhart embarked across the Atlantic. She did not “pop-over.” Sir Edmund Hillary embarked upon Mt. Everest. He did not “cruise-by.” It’s time to rediscover embarking. There was a time when it was impossible to embark without feeling an immediate sensation of mystery, excitement, adventure and yes, hopefully a little fear.

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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14. You enter stage left with direct eye contact. Your bare shoulders excite your costar, who follows your improv like a great jazz musician. Cabin fever is best when shared, and we all scramble to find diversions and partners in crime to partake in the merriment.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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15. I’m not saying you have to choose between champagne and bathtub gin. But it’s something to think about.

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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16. Weekend getaway to Montreal on the hydroplane. All-night jazz dancing. Oceans of booze. No, she didn’t come to love him just because of the few conversations left in the book. 

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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17. If it comes with buttons, I’m of the belief you’re meant to use all of them..

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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18. An indiscretion here, some questionable assets there… I can see you now, the soul of innocence, sitting in a café on the Avenida Amazonas, sipping a Trago spiced with cinnamon and reading about your mysterious disappearance in the International Herald Tribune.

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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19. Fresh water pearls emerge from a grain of sand on the ocean’s floor while quartz crystals derive from the earth’s inner crust to form clusters of semi-precious gemstones. Each raw stone and metal is then hand-casted, etched or artistically set to mimic its unrefined beginnings.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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20. My mother believes cats are evil, always plotting, always waiting, always sneaking around, interested only in themselves.

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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21. Late morning on Spring Street. Shadows still long against buildings. Energizing sun (cold enough for blazer and scarf but warm enough for meandering). This is an all day, contact-sport event. Eggs meurette at Balthazar (maître d’s an old friend). Afternoon cocktails at the Gansevoort. Gentleman offers to buy you a second Sloe Gin Fizz. “That’s very kind, but I have plans.”

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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22. We often remember the smells, sights, tastes, touches and sounds of a hot summer moment. We remember what we were wearing, and why. We remember what another wore which made our heart beat faster. We remember when we laughed, and why we cried. Now as the summer days fade, an elusive magic creeps up. It lives in that transitional period between hot and cold, light and dark, burning and brisk. It is possibility we feel when the temperature drops along with our inhibitions. There exists an inexplicable glow which can often heat to a spark between two people… unless you’re dating more (gasp). So, as your summer flings dull with your tan, we ask, who is the ember left burning?

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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23. Enjoy everything Mother Nature has to offer before she descends into her own euphoric slumber in advance of spring’s rebirth.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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24. You can sense expectancy when he talks. Feel his eyes touching your skin. Reach for this paisley caftan he delivered to your room; he says it symbolizes life and eternity. Slide it on. It’s still time to gently madden. This six-course dinner with the Italian embassy begins soon and will last awhile.

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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25. Once upon a time in a faraway (suburban) land, two intrepid explorers set off on an exhibition that would take them (yet again) into uncharted lands. A journey as dangerous as the last, but this time… they would be better prepared.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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26. As the earth orbits the sun and spins on its tilted axis, waning in and out of its luminous exposure, we too adapt to the ebb and flow. This recurrent shift affects our day-to-day—the food we crave, the desires we entertain, the clothes we don—and more often our sense and susceptibility.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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27. She sat me down and draped her pearls around my neck. I smiled, appreciating our adult game of dress up. Then, at the end of the night, I went to return them to her… but she wouldn’t take them back. I was shocked, and a bit scared, unsure of what this meant. I asked her what was going on, masking my tears in the best way possible (which was far from flawless). She smiled and hugged me, and whispered gently into my ear, “Tu eres mi tesoro.”…and she is mine.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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28. Barefoot walks, night swims, and sudden warm rain that drenches our clothes and our pretense.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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29. You’re at your country house preparing dinner for three. The pheasant is trussed and you’re quartering fresh figs, humming I’ll Be Seeing You, when Javier knocks and tells you he and his Appaloosa, Pete, are going on a little “jaunt by the quarry.” Would you like to join him? (Never mind that you haven’t seen him in six months and his last letter was postmarked Auckland.)

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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30. The sun has set on the day’s gluttony. These aren’t Knights, Squires, Lords or Ladies anymore. Formality has given way to a kind of shiftless, finger-licking, semi-(food)stoned euphoria — interrupted by the melody of burps, giggles and sighs. There’s room enough in these gullets for something sweet though. Damnit, we will carry on. We. Will. Carry. On.

Highlight for answer: Preserve
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31. Who knew an MIT graduate, after a decade in mergers and acquisitions in New York, would buy a llama ranch in Peru? Where will you end up after you figure it all out? Will you know?

Highlight for answer: Peterman
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ANSWERS: Preserve is 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30.

Tags: year-end
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