To both my readers,
This has been the most unexpected getaway Jenni and I have ever had. Yesterday, we met up with Gatakitty from dailykitten.com and her two kids. We had lunch at Ninfa’s with them at Houston’s Galleria. The lunch menu is wonderful there, and if those were smaller portions, I don’t want to even think about the dinner menu! We made our introductions after Jenni clairvoyantly identified Gatakitty. Her son is twelve, and is over-the-top respectful. He maturely engages in conversation and avidly uses such formalities as “sir” and “maam.” After lunch, he ran off to play video games. Her daughter is sixteen, and belies her age with her maturity and thoughtfulness. In conversation, she was critical of other girls her age lack of conservative dress, and displayed an intelligence that is rarely seen with adults even. With the young master off playing video games, the remaining four of us walked the Galleria, admiring things we can’t afford, and ridiculing the idiocity of concepts such as paying nearly $2,000 for a DKNY dress that was made in a sweat shop by Chinese children. Talk about dancing on the backs of the bruised!
I discovered vests! In many of the window displays at the designer stores, they had men’s outfits with wool, lapelled vests over a t-shirt and jeans or a collared shirt and slacks, and they looked nice! In the winter, I will be wearing sport coats as I always do, which make wonderful cover garments for on-waistband-carry, but they are simply too warm to wear in 100+ degree heat. I’ve been wearing an unbuttoned camp/bowling/Hawaiian styled-shirt over a t-shirt as my cover garment this Summer, and I don’t particularly like the sloppy look. I have read time and time again that one must adjust one’s wardrobe when making the decision to carry a concealed weapon, and I had begrudgingly accepted that idea. The vest makes me reconsider the core principle of it, though. The adjustments to the wardrobe don’t necessarily need to be contrary to the spirit of the wardrobe. Clothing zen…
Gatakitty called Neiman Marcus “Needless Markup.” That was freaking hysterical! We rifled through the “sale” racks in Saks – which was stupid since we couldn’t afford to pay $1500 for a Prada dress on sale any more than we could afford to pay the origianal $5000. After some time, Gatakitty became concerned about my ability to hold up under the pressure of looking at dresses. I told her that I was fine. The truth of the matter is that I love looking at well-made women’s clothing. A beautiful woman’s garment is such a feat of artistry and engineering alike that it appeals to the masculane, mechanical side of my mind as well as the artistic, loves-beautiful-stuff side of my mind. I swear that one of these days, I’m going to try my hand at designing and making women’s clothing!
At a store called The Wild Pair, we found shoes that were made in China, and shoes that were made in places that are not reknown for sweat shop labor. When we visited this store on Tuesday, they had a pair of Portuguese-made, pointy-toed, mottled-gray, patent-leather, men’s wingtips. These were marked down from one hundred, some-odd dollars to twenty-nine. Unfortunately, I was not wearing socks. Yesterday when we went back in, the same pair of shoes had been marked down by an additional ten dollars. I tried them on this last time, and they got rave reviews from all the girls that were there. I decided that for less than twenty dollars, I could give them a whirl even if they are a little outside of my comfort style. Gatakitty’s sixteen-year-old daughter seemed particularly impressed with them, which egged me on as I don’t want to age into one of those men who is so rigid that they dress like an old man. I don’t want to be dressing like a kid when I’m old, but there’s nothing wrong with youthful style for anyone in the right doses.
I pulled two pairs of ladies shoes off the shelf and offered them to Jenni for her inspection. She said that she had eyed the one pair the previous day. It was a pair of yellow, snake-skin, 3.5-inch stillettos, made in Paris. They were $19. the other pair was a molded-plywood sole with a metallic pink, patent-leather buckle strap also with a 3.5-inch spike, made in Italy for $19. I was ready to leave the store, and she seemed to be wrenched between the two shoes. I told her that I thought she should get both. She looked at me and said, “I love you – so much.” Geez, that was easy. Who knew that the suggestion to spend an additional $20 on shoes could make me the hero? Sorry, but the husbands who have a hard time scoring with their wives aren’t getting the wives enough shoes, apparently. She gets more shoes than I do. 2:1 to 4:1, somewhere in that ratio. This is the natural order of things, and it’s my duty to make sure that she has more quality shoes than plastic, blister-inducing pieces of crap that many women are drawn to like a racoon to shiny objects. (See shoes below)
And, that would be one of the many things that I love about women. God showed us his divine sense of humor in creating the difference between the genders. It’s sick that one side should ever ridicule the other. We should laugh at, celebrate, and enjoy the differences. I for one try to enjoy my wife’s femininity as often as possible.
There was another store at the mall called Necessary Luxuries that looked at first glance like a glamor knife shop. You know the kind I’m talking about – rows and rows of fantasy/sci-fi looking knives that were all made in a dark warehouse somewhere in a mythical land called “Pakistan.” Deeper in the store though, we saw some very interesting blades and other fine objects and met the owner, Lee Prudhomme. There was a very well-stocked Victorinox case, there was a shelf of hand-turned, wooden yo-yos and pens, and there was a case of old-fashioned shaving supplies. In this final case, he had safety razors with stands, shaving brushes, blades, cream supplies, straight razors, sharpening stones and leather. I found this to be particularly interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my daily shave is an electric. When I use the new multi-blade razors, they irritate my face. Occasionally I have used an antique safety razor, but have never been terribly fond of it outside of the close shave. When Jenni packed our toiletries, she left my electric behind, and I was beginning to get fuzzy. So, I bought myself a razor. Mr. Prudomme showed me one that is functionally like a straight razor, but takes half of a safety razor blade in a catch, so it doesn’t have to be sharpened. He said that this is a great way to economically try out old-fashioned shaving, without putting down the money on the supplies neeeded to get started with the genuine stuff. I took the bait, and am pleased to say that I successfully shaved with my new straight razor this morning. I have a feeling that Jenni will be buying me a nice, carbon-steel straight blade with a stone and a strop, possibly a brush and cup as well. I love my Blackberry and my fuel-injected, DOHC engine, but some modern things are clumbsy substitutes at best for their predecessors. Mr. Prudhomme is gifted with great conversation, and I would recommend that anyone take the time to step into his shop to talk blades, antiques, or geneology.
I know that I’ve been long-winded with this post, but please do just stick with me here as I’m almost done.
Last night, Kay (whose house we are staying at this week) took us over to her son Curtis’ house. She said that we would get along great with Curtis and his wife, Andrea. We got to the house and parked our black Sentra SE-R Spec V in front of his older model black Sentra SE-R. We went inside to find that the house was in a state of remodel – much like ours. Walking into the living room, we spotted a multimedia projector mounted to the ceiling over a centrally-placed couch facing a wall, which reminded us of our own home-theater projector setup. Although our screen is a painted 91-inch, and Curtis’ is a 96-inch pull-down. Like me, Curtis does all the cooking and doesn’t let his wife cook for him. We talked scotch and cigars, smoked cigars, and had some of the better ale that I’ve had. Yeah. I like Curtis and Andrea. He grilled fajita steak, and we ate fajitas and watched the first 2/3 of Bad Boys II. In fact, it was kind of creepy as it was almost like being at home, as though I had just met some kind of doppleganger in a parallel universe – he’s even a red-head. Curtis gave me a J. Fuego Delirium maduro cigar that was simply wonderful! Unlike a typical Dominican that you have to warm up with the first inch or so of tobacco before you really get to the flavor, this thing was going full-throttle from light-up like a Cuban! I had no headache this morning, and the nasty morning-after-cigar mouth-taste was faint and disappeared with my coffee (I haven’t brushed my teeth yet – I’m on vacation and I’ll get to it).
Today, more adventures are certainly ahead of us, and I expect to be back at Curtis and Andrea’s this evening. I fully expect scotch and cigars, but I may have to treat the cigars this time. We’ll see, and I’ll keep you updated.