Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The Eye of the Beholder
We live in a world of fashion, of style, of look and presence, where the visual is really what ensnares (or as the menu at the Jackson, WY Burke’s Chop house spoke of the mustard and the pork loin), it enrobes that which we see, and usually gives us a very quick read on what we are looking at. Never is that more aware to me than when I see how I dress and look, and compare that to most of the rest of the world I see around me. Yesterday, taking a walk along the stony beach at Bainbridge Island, WA with my sister in law Els Groman, we met a friend of her daughters, a neighbor who was out for a walk with her dad. Firstly I give the girl, Julia by name, hi points for going on a walk with her dad. I don’t know either of them, but I can tell you both of them will appreciate the few minutes spent on this walk far more than they ever imagine. In the years to come, perhaps because of what followed, they will refer to this walk, and always have it in their private repertoire of shared moments. Father of a fashionable college sophomore, I am well aware of what kids do with their clothes to make statements, though I’m only rarely sure of why they do it. That is to say: I see the empirical evidence therein, but the cause of that effect often is lost on me. But, since I am always shunned by Iris and Jordan in movie theaters and Broadway shows for being too analytical (hmmm I didn’t think there were THOSE kind of power tools in Buffalo in 1983 – “Full Monty”.. for example) I m used to having my interpretations given a shorter shrift than I might like. All the more amusing when I see someone with true style, a wonderful appreciation of the color palate available to us all, but used to perfection by so few. Julia, the girl walking on the beach, was wearing a brilliant red sweatshirt, polka dot blue pants, and leopard rubber boots. How could I NOT take a picture. You never really see Julia, you just see the evidence of her presence on those rocks.
And what a wild and colorful presence it was. Me, the Pentagenarian prototype, I tried on my waders tonight. Tomorrow I try and float down a river in Western Washington (the state, not DC, though this beautiful river is far enough “out there”, a mere dozen miles from the Pacific ocean, that setting most of our DC denizens of power on a free floating trip ocean-ward might just be a good idea as well), and for that momentous trip, I tried on the brand new waders tonight. Somehow, nothing I do makes me look like those sleek Italian actors, the kind who wear a t shirt and an Armani jacket to the Oscars and look over dressed. Well, do I Need the Extreme Make over? Or is beige just meant to be me? Hey, the straps are adjustable, and the tootsies treat your feet right. In the end, I ‘ll be keeping my insides dry and free from all the rushing water. Fashion, well I suppose my fashion is to get through this one, and be able to show up at the next Fashion quest, and fail that one too. It’s not Easy being Beige… We’re just sayin.