Last Saturday, after a small delegation of women told me that I had to do this, I went to buy a new suit. Normally, I can do all of my clothes shopping through the online and 1-800 services of Messrs. Eddie Bauer and L.L. Bean, but to sell you a suit, the clothing dealers can invoke the law of habeas corpus: they have to have your body right there to poke and prod at, as if you were a prize Turkey and it's two days until Thanksgiving, and of course so that later they can goof on your socks. Mashed potatoes! Gravy! and cranberry sauce!
Tutti frutti? All rootie!
So the deal was struck, and I will be decked out in a fine blue pinstriped suit (the suit is blue, the pinstripes are white) (could you get a blue suit with blue stripes?) for baby Finley's christening in September. I am not a suit kind of guy; I think it's readily apparent to anyone who has been in my company for upwards of 13 seconds that I am strictly polo shirts, khakis, Rockports (Rockports: The Leader in Mall-Walker Foot Technology since 1988!) and red socks, unless great duress is brought to bear. But as adorable as Finley is, she deserves a great-uncle who does not look like he just rode in on a turnip truck.
I was just glad to get away from the clothing store. I do not like to be in a clothing store. People there are way too involved with clothing. To me, clothing is something you buy in bulk every couple of years or so - a few pairs of pants and jeans, some shirts, underwear, red socks, done. This aversion to haberdasheries is in no small measure part of the reason why I am habitually left off the list of Best-Dressed Men.
Peggy has had a huge urge to go to the Louis Vuitton store that opened in Towson Plaza...Towsontown Center...Towson Towne Centre...whatever they call it this week, they opened a luxury wing that is sure to separate the big rollers from their big rolls. This Frenchman, Vuitton, died many years ago, but it would seem that he had the ability to see into the future. He foresaw a day when people would gladly part with $1250 American for a purse in which to carry around the rest of their money.
Twelve hundred and fifty semolians, children.
While Peggy roamed around the store, I sauntered over by the rack of ties, where ties can be purchased for just $195. It all started to remind me of that scene from "Trains, Planes and Automobiles" in which Steve Martin is trying to get a cab to the airport, and winds up outbidding a Prickly New Yorker type only after the PNY says "Anyone who would 50 dollars for a cab would gladly pay 75."
This tie - even though 'tis spun of the finest imported Italian silk and is lined with 100% virgin wool (I usually settle for 66% virgin wool; who am I to judge?) couldn't cost more than 30 bucks to weave and spin. The rest of the money, at least a good chunk of it, goes to pay two dudes to wear black suits and ties and shoes and white shirts, looking like I don't know what, either Will Smith and Tommy L. Jones in that one movie, or Geek Squad On a Date. These guys size you up when you walk in and then keep an eye on your every move while you're in the store, lest someone be tempted to remove their wallet, cell, eye makeup, fourteen lip glosses, Nora Roberts novel and keys from their purse and stuff same into one of those $1250 Louies. You can go to jail for that.
But, as the song says, Brother, you can't go to jail for what you're thinking, and what I'm thinking is, if you are spending twelve and a half yards on a pockybook (Baltimore lexicon) and almost 200 clams on a tie, unless you are Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton or something, dude, you're getting hosed! Think of what you could be doing with those bucks! Why not get a nice sturdy purse someplace else and give the rest to someone down on their luck and/or love?