Today's entry is mostly about pants. That may seem strange, or even boring, but I think it worked out pretty nicely. I mean, even I chuckled reading back over it. So, as I reach around to pat myself on the back... you can make your own judgments. Enjoy.
Wayne asked me today when I have time to write all the crap I write. I dunno... I write all the time. I write one or two sentences at a time; one paragraph one hour, another the next. When I can't get to a keyboard, I use the voice-memo feature of my cellphone to record short thoughts for later. Like now, I'm writing right now, in the Taipei office. I didn't really have to come in today, I planned this day as a free day... figuring I could catch up on some work on the flight tomorrow. But... I've got enough to keep me busy while here, and the meeting I missed at 1am last night got rescheduled for 1pm today. So, coming in for a few hours seemed like the right thing to do. Oh, I'll be outta here after the meeting. Gonna buy some Cubans (the cigars, not the actual people) and make the final run to the tailor to pick up my pants. Which reminds me...
When I was getting measured for the pants, the tailor asked me a litany of questions about what exactly I wanted. That little fold-over flap button or just a plain zipper; straight pockets or angled; one or two pockets in the back; buttons on both of those or just one; cuffs at the bottom; and finally, pleats. I think I got most of them right, but walking out of the store I was unsure about my decision on the "pleats" bit. When he asked me if I wanted them, I vaguely remembered Sharaun either hating pants with pleats, or hating pants without pleats. I asked the Chinese tailor, and he said pleats can look "more formal," and be "a little more comfort." The part about "a little more comfort" spoke right to my heart - so I ordered pleats. Now, when I got back to the bar after the final fitting (got back to the bar, like it's home-base or something), I mentioned to another coworker where I'd been - and that I'd ordered some custom slacks... he asked "flat front?" Uh-oh. This was my 1st indication that I may have committed a major fashion faux paus.
Later on, I spoke to Sharaun. With caution, I broached the subject of my custom slacks... and causally mentioned that the tailor had asked me if I wanted pleats. Her reaction cinched it: pleats = bad. "You didn't get pleats, did you?!" she asked. "Ummm... yeah, the guy told me they look more formal and are more comfortable" I replied. "You're in China, David, their fashion is from, like, 1982. Pleats are terrible, everyone will laugh at you." My heart sank, all the pride and happiness I'd been feeling in finally getting some pants that fit, all the good I'd thought I'd done in taking action and picking nice material... all my hopes and dreams for pants with "a little more comfort" were dashed against the rocks. "Everyone knows pleats are stupid, don't you know that?" Man, I'm really getting laid into here... "How much did you pay for the pants?" she asked - a baited question, since paying more than $5 for these detestable pieces of pleated filth would be sheer idiocy. "I dunno," I lie, "I don't know the price until I pick them up." Whew, dodged that one, she may have divorced me if I'd admitted they were $70 a pair. "You're stupid because you got pants with pleats; you wasted your money; you know you don't like pleats, did you forget?"
Anyway... women can be evil... just when you think you've done so well. I will wear my pleated pants, with pride mind you. I will rock the pleats, perhaps even hang small bells from them that jingle and announce to the world that I am not ashamed of my pleats. Hell, I may even usher in a new age of pleats; I will re-cool pleats... I'll be the cutting edge of custom dress-slacks with "a little more comfort." And as for my wife, she'll come around and realize that the Chinese people aren't behind the fashion curve at all - they're actually ahead of the next retro revival. Anyway, I make her sound meaner than she really is... but it's all for comedy's sake. Too bad they shoot homos here, I could've really used the Queer Eye guys. (Note to all my homo readers, I ain't hatin', the word "homo" is just too funny to pass up. Keep up the butt-love, you're alright with Dave). So now I've got three pair of $70 custom slacks which all always feel pleat-conscious in... great. Clothes: I can't win. Pleats discussion over.
The plan tonight is for one all-out karaoke blitz. No sleep. Karaoke until 4am, then hit the all-night dumpling house for some bleary-eyed shark-fin-stuffed dough-balls. Then, a quick return to the hotel room - where the bags will be packed and waiting. A quick shower to wash off the stench of beer, smoke, and Taiwanese women. The limo's due out front at 7:30am. Airport; plane; airborne and asleep. Another fine trip to Taiwan has come to a close. Thanks to you, dear readers, for participating. That time you were with me when I chewed the betel nut; and the time when I was lamenting about customers; listening patiently as a shared my post-presentation nerves; sitting with me in the dark of Henry's bar; laughing along at my bloody mary laptop collision. Even the times you weren't with me: when my butt got sore and raw because of the poor quality toilet paper here; when I succumbed to my social smoking vice and had a few cigarettes in shame; when I got embarrassed because the tailor could see my lint-filled belly-button as he pinned my pants closed for fitting; tequila shots at the Thai place... wish you'd've been there.
Now, where was I... ahh... that's right... bye.