Thursday, 14 April 2011
don to dusk
Some pleasures are for rich folks only. It's like the sign at the amusement park: YOU MUST BE THIS TALL TO GO ON THIS RIDE. Poor folks don't fly first class. Nor do we drive Lambos, sit courtside, wear cashmere, eat truffles, or own anything haut.
But there are just dozens of genuine pleasures that rich and poor can share. And I don't mean the big obvious ones -- love and kids and ice cream, sleeping in late, and the smell of rain on hot pavement. I am talking socks. Is there -- I put this to you in all seriousness -- is there a better below-the-ankle feeling than putting on a new pair of socks?
Quick side-bar here. I wrote putting on just now because that's what I do to socks. I put them on. Most people do -- until they get inside a book. Bruce Jay Friedman, the American humorist, enforces what he calls the "2 dons" rule of literature. And it has nothing to do with the Mafia. When I come across a scene where someone dons a coat, says Mr Friedman, I sigh and keep going. But if it happens again, I close the book. 2 dons and you're out.
Back now. Really, what is not to like about new socks? Apart from the crisp, clean, freshness and overall good vibe, there is no pressure with socks. If you spend a lot of money on new shoes, you feel compelled to like them (unless of course you are rich; which is the point here). If the shoes start to pinch, or if on second thought they don't look as cute at home as they did in the store, you're stuck. You have to wear them or feel guilty. But if you change your mind about your socks, so what? For 8.00 you can get another dozen pairs.
The reason why new socks are on my mind is that they are also on my feet. I am wearing a pair of virgin grays right now, ankle length, cotton poly lycra blend (I am totally making this up) a gift from Imogen. Happy Birthday, Daddy, she said, holding out a plastic bag and smiling shyly. I got you some socks.
I thanked her and donned a pair immediately.