Wednesday, July 27, 2016
sock it to me
"What are sox?"
That was Spark's (a blogger colleague) comment responding to my obvious attempt to pander for additional page hits with yesterday's semi-essay (i despise "cute animal photographs harvested from social media). He clarified: "[J]ust haven't worn sox for years."
Sparks and I have had this conversation before. He marvels at the fact that I maintain a wardrobe of long pants, shoes, and socks in our little beach community. From his perspective, they are superfluous. I can only imagine what he would say about the dinner jacket and white tie outfit hanging in my closet.
Usually, I am like Sparks. I see no need for some clothes. I walk around our village in the same t-shirts, sandals, and shorts (that make all of us older men look as if we are wearing diapers) as do most northerners. The Beach Look that occasioned a Mexican waiter friend of mine to ask why Canadians (by that, he meant all people north of the Rio Bravo) "dress like poor people."
He had a point. With the exception of Mexican tourists, I have never seen a Mexican man of my age dressed as if he was mourning his long-departed youth. (I think it was Emily Post who said no man over 25 should ever wear shorts. I suspect for aesthetic reasons.) Mexican men wear long pants, shoes, and -- yes -- socks. Even in the heat and humidity of the summer.
As do I, when I go to the big cities or have business with government officials. Clothes do matter.
I was in Manzanillo this morning (in my Steve-goes-to-the-big-town clothes) for a follow-up dental appointment to cast impressions of my teeth. Because I arrived early, I walked over to the dry cleaner where I had left six shirts last week. They were cleaned, pressed, and hung to travel.
Most of my clothes need no special treatment by my laundress. Almost all of them are cotton.
But I have a series of silk shirts (some of them given to me by my friend Leo) that I really like. They drape well. And silk is always comfortable in the tropics. Even though my friend Roxane thinks most of them make me look like a tourist named Sidney from Des Moines.
Even though most of the shirts claim to be washable, they really aren't. Dry cleaning is the only service that restores them to their natural state. (Well, not entirely. Their natural state would be a silkworm cocoon.)
And the best thing? Even though dry cleaning is a rare luxury here, it only cost me $240 (Mx) for six shirts. That is just a bit over $13 (US). I cannot recall what I paid in Salem. But I think $13 would just about cover two, not six, shirts.
And the debate over socks? One of the joys about being a libertarian is that I really do not care if anyone chooses to wear socks or not. That is their business; not mine.
I suspect my Mexican neighbors would respond similarly.