Before a party, I stopped by the tailor to find a matching button for a pair of pants, and was reminded I "don't look good in bow ties". He also indicated that my shoes "must have been polished by the family dog." After, I was happy to finally get out in the strange velvet jacket I had fussed over earlier this year.
As it turned out, about 10 other men also had been hoping to have their velvet jackets make their seasonal appearance. Within a record four minutes, I had slopped cocktail sauce on my sleeve and called my hostess the wrong name. By New Year, I hope to be down to three minutes. My wife later explained that the charming older woman with whom I had been chatting was not flirting with me, and that the "winking" was involuntary on her part. "She wasn't winking at me?" I asked. "No. Sorry, Darling." I was moderately deflated.
One of the many velvet jackets that evening.
A fine man and photographer friend (and fashionisto) gave me a pair of cherry New and Lingwood green velvet slippers, and like a gushing Cinderella, I accepted them. They treated the brown velvet jacket well in an overkill sort of way, and it was remarked (with obvious disdain) by one woman that I "sure seem[ed] comfortable". As a matter of fact, I was.
A day or two later...
A six hour direct flight to the desert southwest made the feet sore, but I had the foresight to bring along a pair of slippers for the plane... not for prancing around like a peacock, but to ease the ache of leather shoes and squirming. Cold and rainy weather for the first few days required a heavy coat, then it went into the closet once the week warmed up. A pair of brand new velvet Stubbs and Wootton slippers from Giuseppe made the flight slightly easier during the altitude-induced micro tissue expansions that afflict the feet.
Crocodiles... but not the Lacoste fellow. The design on the toe is beautifully embroidered. These usually stay under the office desk, but I grabbed them at the last moment as the taxi arrived, and it was the best decision I made during the trip. As I drove through the desert later that day, and early the next morning, uncharacteristically rainy days provided impressive rainbows over the rocks and cactus.
In all of it, a pair of slippers seemed to be one of the few comforts, and a long flight home this Friday will have the same. Maybe the guy in the seat next to me will take the hint that headphones and my nose in a book indicate that I don't feel chatty after the one hour mark.
Slippers are fantastic little inventions, but they are delicate both structurally and socially, with wildly varying opinions and (if you read other blogs) odd fetishy-passion. Yes, I was the guy in the suit wearing slippers on his flight across the country, but I was not the guy in the track suit and neck-pillow yelling at the gate agent.