Today I wore my black fedora, a garment guaranteed to generate compliments. Every single time I put it on my head, someone says something nice about it. If I were to put my fedora on right now, late on a Tuesday night, someone would come to the door, knock, and tell me how nice it looks. (I am not going to test this, because I am clad in a manky old tshirt and a pair of undies. I am not fit for company. But someone, somehow, would find a way to say something nice about it. It’s inevitable.)
Coworkers like the hat. Folks in the library who see me wearing it as I walk to lunch like my hat. Total strangers on the street stop me to say how much they like my hat.
I have two hypotheses for this behavior. The first is that I am a stunning specimen of human grandeur, that is impossible to see me and not revel in some aspect of my beauty. I quite like this hypothesis.
My other theory is that people crave a return to 1940s fashion. It needs to make a comeback.
Men—and let’s be honest here—men generally get the short end of the fashion stick. Their clothes are utilitarian and boring. This has been true throughout history, with a few notable exceptions such as the kilt and the toga, but I do not wish to advocate for men in skirts. While this is a sexist opinion, and while I genuinely feel sorry that modern American men cannot enjoy the comfort of long flowing skirts, I cannot in good faith support the idea of men in skirts, because this would lead to—are you following me?—this would lead to men in short skirts.
Certain men, I am sure, have lovely legs. It is a shame that they cannot wear sexy fun miniskirts, at least not outside of a certain type of nightclub
But other men, and here I am primarily considering my male library patrons, certain men have legs that I do not, in any circumstance, wish to see. Shorts in the summertime are bad enough. I do not—I cannot say this with enough emphasis—I do not wish to see any more flesh on the good folk who frequent my library. And I really, really, really, really do not wish to ever, possibly, in any circumstance, risk a crotch shot ala Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.
So call me conservative. Call me prudish. I don’t care: I do not want to see men, at least certain men, in miniskirts. But I do not want my male brethren to continue suffering with the boring polo-and-khaki ensemble that passes for casual dress these days. It is dull for them to wear and dull for me to look at. Instead, I propose that we return to the glory days of pinstripes, suspenders, and fedoras. If the undue amount of praise generated by my fedora is any indication, there is a desperate cultural longing for the fashions of the 1940s.
Plus—pay attention, this part is important—women think pinstripes and fedoras are sexy.
Christmas is coming. Ask for a fedora.
Thanksgiving is coming, too. Mom and Dad were planning to travel out here, but that plan has fallen through. It’s a rather convoluted story, but Dad is caring for a former employee of his. She’s in rotten health and there’s no one else to help her out.
I could make the drive home, but it’s a 15-hour round-trip, and I’d have to turn around in a few weeks and do it again. I’ll miss having Mom and Dad here, but there’s a bright side: I’ll have four uninterrupted days to work on the book.
There’s a down side, too, of course, i.e., there will be no one to make Thanksgiving food for me. Which means that it is up to me. Which is scary.
With great trepidation, I ventured into Food Loin last night. Two dishes were easy (a box of stuffing: just add water! A box of instant mashed potatoes: Just add water!) One dish was very, very easy. (Candy bar! Just unwrap!)
One dish was scary. Greenbean casserole? Just add… oh hell, add cream of mushroom soup? Okay, okay… Just add crunchy onion things, okay, I can do that. Just add… fuck it, I’m not buying milk, I never buy milk. All I need is one lousy half cup. I hope cream works. I’ll use the leftovers in my coffee.
One dish was impossible. I just don’t think I have the wherewithal to pull off the mushroom barley casserole. I have already “suggested” to Mom that it be on the Christmas menu. (“Please! Please please please PLEASE!”)
The Queen of Claremont had invited me to her Turkey Day gathering, and La Friend had invited me to visit her and her husband, but I think I’ll take my chances in the kitchen. The candy bar is foolproof, if literally all else fails. And dang, I could really use the time to write.
Then today I panicked when I realized that I couldn’t realistically go home for Christmas. I’ve got four days off, but no one to catsit. Persepolis offered, but I’m not going to ask her to drive all the way out here just to keep the kitties company. Other people offered, but dang, they live kind of far away, too. It’s one thing to drive half an hour to come to work for a paycheck; it’s another to drive all that way to clean out a litter box.
And all the locals, as far as I know, will be out of town, or preoccupied with family.
After wracking my brains for a while, I decided to do what my family always seems to do anyway: we’ll celebrate Christmas when it’s convenient. December 17 is as good as December 25, right? Right?
So now I have to think of what to get them. I wonder if they need fedoras?