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Hagia Sofia Ceiling Rifling through my ‘bits and bobs’ box the other day, I came across a necklace that my son had bought for me years ago. A time when he was young and cute and not demanding ‘loans’ all the time. The necklace consists of a black rope on which hang silver letters that spell ‘Love Mum’ and, in the middle of the words is a little silver cross. I chose this as the days fashion statement and tied it around my neck.

We were just about to leave the house when Murat (my husband) spies my necklace and hovers by the front door, hand on knob but not turning. He is staring at my neck, like a thirsty vampire.

‘What’s wrong’ I ask him.

“Canim, kizma yok tamam’ he says, at which I shake my head, agreeing not to get angry.

He then tells me that he does not want me wearing the necklace.

“But why’ I protest, thinking he may think it’s childish and not befitting a 40 something woman.

It turns out that it has nothing to do with age but everything to do with the cross itself and It dawns on me then that he is looking at a religious symbol, not a fashion accessory.

This gets me thinking.

I also have a lovely necklace that is a silver circle with a Muslim symbol in the centre. It was chosen for its design and appearance not is symbolic message but, when I wear it, I often feel Muslim eyes on my neck as they stare, eyebrows drawn together in silent question. I suppose if I wore a Star of David some people would think me a “Jew”. Wrap a Rosary ‘Madonna’ style around my neck and I would be considered a “Catholic”. Dangle a little bald man with a fat belly between my cleavage and I’d become ‘a Buddhist’ (or a porn star I guess).

And so it goes on, although tokens like these are worn as fashion accessories all over the world, just like we wear designer labels and worship at the temple of Armani & Gautier and I do wonder as we parade along the catwalk of life displaying these symbols as fashion, are we favoured by our chosen Icon of the day? Will we really reap our rewards in their kingdom purely because we were a walking advert for them?

In the afterlife will our fashion accessories earn us points like that of a religious club card, swiped on the day we die to access our points and decide in whose kingdom we will spend eternity?

I can imagine standing in line at the Pearly Gates waiting to have my club card swiped. A booming voice will announce:

“Kym Ciftci, born on (none of your business) died on (whenever that may be), you have 6,750 Christian points, 4,420 Muslim points, 2,500 Catholic points, 3,000 Taoist points, 250 Atheist points and the remainder of your days were non-committal. Do you have any questions?”

Ill mull it over and ask about the Taoist and Atheist points and I’ll be reminded of my Ying Yang bracelet and the days I wore a question mark on my t-shirt (jeez I think, I wore that t-shirt 250 times!?).  I would have to ask if I could trade points with other people in the queue, otherwise I will be spending eternity in the Christian Kingdom when I want to be admitted to the Muslim one so that I can nag my husband in the afterlife.

I wonder what the penalties will be for us, guilty of a lifelong Crime of Fashion?

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