Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Airing It Out

Time to get rid of some doodads nattering in the niches of my mind...

I find myself peevishly fixated on the ties of all the men on television. Today as Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News was bidding us all a good night, I sternly advised him, "I just can't get on board with that choice of tie tonight, Brian Williams, however bold it may be." I feel compelled to comment upon the cravats of NBA coaches, news anchors both local and national, talk show hosts and guests, and anyone else who dares show up wearing neckwear. I have always admired the tie choices of The Tsar of the Telestrator/former NBA coach Mike Fratello and have never, to my knowledge, found fault with any of Tom Brokaw's ties. And, very rarely did the late Peter Jennings make a neckwear misstep. Sigh. He was a snappy dresser and a great newsman. He is missed in both the fashion and news arena.

As I must have made mention of before, we at the Dept. are obsessed with condiments. In our refrigerator at any given moment the observer will find five different types of mustard, which we deem necessary. We must also have both Miracle Whip and Hellman's Mayonnaise, which we use not interchangeably, but for wholly different instances. I understand that those two condiments, MW and mayonnaise, cause massive discussions and divisions of families and friends into two distinct Usage Camps. Some people would never use MW on a turkey sandwich, only mayonnaise. Others will only give up MW when it is pried from their cold, dead hands. The same can be said about ketchup (aka catsup, catchup). I prefer Heinz or nothing. Others will only use Hunts. Others will simply say "Whatever is red and comes out of a bottle--store brand is fine!" I can certainly tell the difference, so do not even try to slip some cutrate dollar store garbage into some leftover Heinz bottle (MOTHER) at a picnic or something and act like it's nothing. Whatever. Oh, and then there's the Coke V. Pepsi thing. I can't drink carbonated stuff anymore--it interacts really oddly with my migraine med--but when I could, I was a Coca-Cola girl. Pepsi tastes like a minty, fakey bubblegum to me. They don't call Coke "The Real Thing" for nuthin', you know. But, the men here at the Dept. have turned it into a Pepsi Camp. And they are addicted. It's just a little sad. Pepsi sounds kinda femmey, you know? Coke--sounds more butch.

Today, during my sophomore honors class, the topic veered suddenly and sharply from The Objective Complement to My Wardrobe. I'm not entirely sure how this occurred, but my clothing and taste have become topics before. Today, the question was posed, "Mrs. D., do you even own a pair of regular shoes?" Let me interject here by stating for the record that I was wearing my red Liz Claiborne heels. Naturally, I asked the student to clarify the term "regular shoes," which was revealed to be "tennis shoes." I paused. The room was silent; each student was staring at me, eyes watchful and anxious. You could have heard a fish fart. In Guatemala. I pretended to think very, very hard. "No," I answered finally, "I don't." Every single eyeball in the room, save my own, popped out onto the floor. There was a mad scramble while each newly-blind student sought his or her own. All of that is true, except the eyeball part.


  1. -i think a tie is a way to judge a man's personality.
    -crazy/swirly/brownish-gray ties say "i bought this 8 years ago and wore it 3 times".
    -a solid color (pink) tie on a man who doesn't look gay says "my girlfriend bought this and is forcing me to wear it to be more 'queer eye'". -which i've done
    -simple solid patterns say "i wear ties everyday" ok, didn't have anything good for that one. but this is the type i prefer.
    -i prefer MW to mayo. but i don't eat it often. in fact, i don't remember the last time a jar of Hellman's graced our refrigerator shelves.
    -and with ketchup, i agree with you as far as the brand name goes, but since i don't do the grocery shopping, i get what i get. but do you put yours in the fridge? we do not. my dad hates cold ketchup so ours resides in the pantry.
    -if i have a choice of pop, diet pepsi wild cherry is the best. but as long as it's diet i can survive.
    -did anyone in your class NOT have tennis shoes on?

  2. No sneakers?! Really, truly?! None? Zip, zilch, nada??? Oh, Nance, you are depriving yourself of one truly great pleasure!... e.g., grocery shopping, a task I abhor, is improved only by wearing my most comfortable jeans and my most comfortable pair of New Balance sneakers... from which I have about 6 or 7 pair to choose, because they are ALL wonderfully comfortable.
    Now, wear did my eyeballs roll to???....
    p.s. I cannot call them tennis shoes because I don't play tennis. Swing by your local Finish Line, and you will be amazed at the variety... walking, running, court, basketball, cross-trainers... ummm, I don't think they have a category there called "tennis shoes."

  3. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Bush has ruined more than the country, he's also a boring judge of ties. Red. Blue. Red. Blue. Yawn.


    Ketchup only on hamburgers

    Gulden's Mustard (though French's is OK)

    Coke not Pepsi for The Real Thing. For the Diet Thing I prefer Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke BUT I prefer Coca-Light (European Diet Coke) over U.S. made Diet Coke because it has less carbonation.

    Nikes (for exercise)
    Sketchers (for fashion)
    Eastland (for European-style walking shoes)

  4. Bush wears red, blue, red, blue because he wants us to think he REALLY cares about us "uh-murricans". Oh how patriotic. It makes me gag. And throw things at the TV.

    By the way, did anyone watch Colbert Report last night with Bill O'Reilly last night? Wow, did O'Reilly think he's the cock of the walk or what? It was all over his face...

  5. Anonymous6:22 PM

    Heinz and Hellman's. Only.

    My students use that distraction technique, too. What the hell do they care if we need to use the subjunctive in this adverbial clause that's right under our noses, eh? I, however, could have truthfully said that I do own a pair of tennis shoes, in spite of not being terribly sporty. Nance, you have just given me an idea for a post. :-)))

  6. Ladies--
    I feel like I need to work on a sidebar doohickey just for Brian Williams' tie, which I heartily approved of yesterday.

    I also feel the need to come clean on the ketchup thing in this regard: I eat it on mac & cheese, fries, and scrambled eggs. Does that make me...tacky? Not on hotdogs, though. Or steak. Am I saved?

    Isn't keeping ketchup UNrefrigerated dangerous? I have to go read mine now.

    I grocery shop in whatever shoe looks fabulous with whatever outfit I am wearing at the time. I told you how vain I have to be since I live and shop in the community in which I teach. Half my students/former students and their parents work at the places I frequent. Yes, I have shopped in heels. Nothing can make grocery shopping any more hideous than it already is. NOTHING. Likewise, nothing can ameliorate it. Not even double coupons or looking marvelous in Franco Sartos.

    Oh, and Hellman's only for tuna salad made ONLY with white albacore. MW for everything else.

  7. I don't wear ties unless I have to, and I haven't had to for quite a long time. I used to have a nice discrete Viagra tie that I loved, but I don't know where it went.

    I normally have ketchup on hamburgers, hot dogs and lots of fried foods, but I never have it on steak (and couldn't imagine such a travesty). I could care less about the brand, but I can't recall specifically having anything other than Heinz, so I could unintentionally be eating nothing other than Heinz, in which case my comment is invalid).

    I actually enjoy going to the grocery store. It's probably because I don't usually get much, and so I wander around through the aisles just looking around. I guess I'm just weird.

    I only own two pairs of shoes - a pair of blue tennis shoes and a dressier pair of black shoes (now, this is dressy for me, which means casual for a normal person). My problem is that I have both flat feet (nearly no arch) and wide feet, and so it's practically impossible to find something that looks good and is comfortable. Luckily, I've had professors show up to class in t-shirts, and so I think I'll be able to dress as well as I need to without being terribly uncomfortable).

  8. ih--long time, no see. glad to have you back in the comments. now you just need to get back to your blog...!

  9. I've always wondered if these anchors even dress themselves or if their ties are chosen by the wardrobe department to show off authority.

  10. The tie thing is really funny! One of my mom's doctor had a really nice purple tie and his stethescope was purple too! I complimented him and asked if it matched on purpose. He said, "Of course! What's the use in helping people if you don't match too!" He was hilarious!

  11. neil--
    holy cow! neil, i thought you'd lost your mapquest printout to The Dept.! nice to see you back. and i prefer to blame--er, think that newspersons are responsible for their own wardrobe choices, even on the national level. especially the hairstyles.

    anali--speaking of purple ties, brian williams committed a serious faux pas, in my view. he wore a solid popsicle-purple tie the night before the state of the union address, and then wore a similarly-hued but jacquard fabric purple tie the night of the speech. from a long camera shot, it looked like he wore the same tie two nights in a row. i was horrified. COME ON, BRIAN WILLIAMS! WATCH THE NECKWEAR!!


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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