by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/09/26 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/09/26/10216500.aspx
My interest in understanding how to understand getting into appropriate formal garb can traced back to a Heinlein story by the name of Double Star, a story whose principal flaw was that it so good that it really should been much longer:
I had no time to explore the apartments; they dressed me for the audience. Bonforte had no audience even dirtside, but Rog insisted on "helping" me (he was a hindrance) while going over the last-minute details.The dress was ancient formal court dress, shapeless tubular trousers, a silly jacket with a claw-hammer tail, both in black, and a chemise consisting of a stiff white breastplate, a "winged" collar, and a white bow tie. Bonforte's chemise was in one piece, because (I suppose) he did not use a dresser; correctly it should be assembled piece by piece and the bow tie should be tied poorly enough to show that it been tied by hand -- but it is much to expect a man to understand both politics and period costuming.
Even at that young age and prior to any "Bacon number" scandals that would have disallowed an entry into politics, I knew that I would not be holding some elected office in my future. So I decided understanding about dress clothes would work in my favor.
I bought my first tux just after my 21st birthday, and most recent tux just shy of me 41st. And I found myself needing a tux often enough that both times they paid themselves off within months.
Of course thing had changed over that last couple of decades.
These days whatever limited means I have in charm, I lack in basic finger dexterity. So in the new tux at the Rene Ropas prom recently, it took me a good 30 minutes to button the shirt, and I was unable to handle the shirt studs or cuff links (I had to fall back to the the built-in plastic buttons. I couldn't even button the top button at all, and you see peeking out of the jacket is the clip-on tie, because having learned to tie a bow tie more than three half-decades ago, now I can't even fasten the clip-on.
And I seriously needed a shave, obviously.
People thought I looked classy, but the basis of comparison was somewhat suspect -- this is a fairly under-dressed town, if you know what I mean.
I really don't like this incomplete job. I want a shirt studs.
And cuff links.
And bow ties tied by hand, just poorly enough enough so that you can tell they're tied by hand.
For all the events to coming up....
I am going to a Prom 2.0 next weekend (her dress will match my cummerbund which will match the corsage I get for her which will match the boutonnière she will get for me).
And I have symphony tickets this season.
Not to mention a charity do or three.
And some weddings.
I want to be dressed right for all of these things.
So I've decided I need a dresser -- a female valet to help me with all of these things that come up from time to time.
Part time because it would be an occasional thing.
Female because I have always felt a little uncomfortable getting ready in situations where I couldn't do things -- but in the past a girlfriend or friend just felt more comfortable.
Most of my friends and especially my close my friends (and all of my girlfriends) have always been female....
But I want a "staff" person because I'm not trying to indenture a girlfriend or friend of this job.
So a valet of a of sort.
But this is not some clever euphemism to work around sex for hire jobs on Craigslist, which is probably what it would be taken for on the site. Which is not the goal, in this case....
And I would just as soon like to avoid that kind of misunderstanding.
Man, is this a "First World Problem" or what? :-)
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