I recently underwent a major life-changing event of such magnitude that I find myself questioning such things as the very nature of my existence and the assertion that a balanced Major League Baseball schedule is impossible without daily interleague play now that Houston is in the American League.
Actually, it’s nothing very earth-shattering at all; simply that I am now employed with a different state governmental agency than I was previously. In fact, the only substantial change (other than the job itself) is that the dress code is that of Business Professional, rather than Business Casual, meaning that I had to learn how to tie a tie (my appearances during the first week, wearing, on consecutive days, an ascot, a cravat, and a bolo were met with disapproval. I would have gotten away with the clip-on were it not for the fact that it was a remnant from my pre-teen parochial school days and only reaches to mid-chest now). Even complying with the explicit direction that the tie be one conforming in length, width, and pattern to the prevailing societal norms, my experimentation with various types of knots has resulted in the policy manual being updated to require a Half-Windsor.
I walked across the street yesterday after work to say hi to a friend*, and we had this exchange:
Friend To Whom I Was Saying Hi (walking down the stairs and before even so much as a “howdy!”): “Wow, you look like a cartoon character.”One disheartening aspect of having to get all dolled up is the realization that people really do treat others differently based on subtle variances in appearance. It would be nice if we were able to avoid making assumptions about our fellow (wo)man based on our initial encounters, but such is the nature of our species (based on the evolutionarily advantageous categorization of novel stimuli into “types” based on neural “hard-wiring” and one’s personal experiences; while this attribute can have negative consequences, such as various types of prejudice, it still helps, survival-wise, that we don’t have to individually assess every charging tiger as to its intent).
Dead Acorn: “Umm … nice to see you too. Why do you say that?”
FTWIWSH: “Well, you have your nice jacket and tie, and your nice long dress coat, and then your goofy looking ski hat and gloves, and you’re riding a wooden bicycle through the snow.”
DA: “That’s stupid. No one would watch a cartoon like that.”
FTWIWSH: “I didn’t say you looked like a popular, critically acclaimed, and much-watched cartoon character.”
On the plus side, I’m getting a lot more winks and ass-grabs from Marlene down at the Gas’N’Go (she’s surprisingly fiesty for a nonagenarian) … maybe Ossie Davis’s character in the movie “Joe Versus The Volcano” was right, and clothes DO make the man.
Or maybe she just likes cartoons.
* No, I don't think it's weird or creepy at all that this friend, with whom I spend quite a bit of time, as we seem to enjoy each other's company to some extent, was the one who alerted me to the open position, which happens to be located right across the street from where she works.