Friday, May 21, 2004

Death of Culture



Of course my latest obsession is getting aboard the Queen Mary 2, and enjoying a week long trans-Atlantic voyage. I was pleased to note that all dinners require gentlemen to wear dinner jackets, or tuxedos.

It then occured to me that I've never been to a dinner party that required a white dinner jacket. In my wardrobe right now, there is a sear-sucker jacket in khaki, a tuxedo, 2 formal suits, and a tweed sports coat hanging. I regret to inform all of you that I have not had occasion to use the tuxedo since the New Year's Eve party I threw in 1999 into 2000. I figured if it was the end of the world, I was going down with a champagne flute in my hand.

MLC recently wrote of the demise of the neck tie in his library. No librarian wears a neck tie in my system, spare the director. The occasion for formal wear has been lost. The occasion for semi-formal wear seems to be gone as well. G-d bless my mother, who still sports wide brimmed hats and gloves on occasion. This is the very woman who managed to pull off a Jackie Kennedy look for my college graduation, upon my request. I remember we'd go to Carr's, a big deparment store back home and shop. We always dressed to shop. The elderly sales woman told us that we took her back to the '40s. I was flattered. But has 60 years stripped Americans of any desire to dress up? What does it take these days?

At my OCJ, we'd dress up in suits and ties to go to the Silver Bowl awards, some men even sported tuxes. It didn't stop the man accepting the award from showing up in a button down shirt and jeans. Even corporate America has lost it's panache. This is why I think my destiny awaits me on the Queen Mary 2. They actually have a dress code. One that just stands to make people look presentable.

Is comfort such an overriding factor in our day to day that we can not look slightly glam? There is something very rewarding in presenting yourself gracefully. Perhaps I should resign myself and just start organizing debutante balls in Greenwich.

Recently, it has been intimated that my dapper look may disquiet the patrons, and I can assure you that my stomach sank. I'd never heard of such a thing. Pride in appearance is unacceptable? Perhaps looking slovenly is the wave of the future. I for one will not embrace it. I stand by the adage "look good, feel good". It stands to reason then that if you look like crap, you feel like it too.

Moral of this blog: Let them eat cake And I don't mean the patrons.

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