Jean-Paul Sartorialist and Simone DeBoringWear: A Love Story
The thing about Anna and Mr. Right-Click was, that for all they had in common, there were those ways in which they seemed to come from different planets. Their tastes in clothing, for example, could not have been more opposite. Anna’s style was sedate–WASPy, even, though in recent years, time and the complication of spit-up had led to some changes from the khakis and J.Crew dress shirts she had favored in her youth. Her style now was somewhere between what Blue Bee Clothing in Santa Barbara calls “California Lifestyle,” and what she called Straight-Up Suburban Mommywear, and though she might wear overpriced t-shirts and jeans, she was too fearful to delve into the more fashionista of choices she might have seen in the Savvy section of Nordstrom. If she could have fit into them in the first place.
And where Anna might choose jewelry that was more boring even than her clothing: the same pair of stud earrings every day, along with a wedding ring, watch, and the occasional–very occasional–necklace or bracelet, Mr. Right-Click would lament his somewhat limited choices in jewelry, as a man, and yearn for her to choose something more bling-y, some yellow gold, just once, just for him. And though he had his cufflinks and diamond wedding ring, he longed for the day that tie clips came back into fashion, and tried to soothe his inner need for flash with those clothing caprices that were still allowed to him. And mostly, as a successful professional, the leeway for Mr. Right-Click’s fashion experimentation could only be found in his choice of shoes.
Mr. Right-Click was a man who wore shoes that forced people to choose sides.
He wore shoes that people could not gloss over. Not every day, not for all situations–but on those occasions where he wanted an extra kick, he wore the shoes and would claim that people complimented every time. And perhaps they did, but couldn’t that be because these shoes assaulted you, forced you to take a stand? Surely there existed also a silent majority that despised the shoes–it was only the ones who loved them who stood up and were counted. Those who spoke had wrestled with their feelings on the shoes, decided they liked them, and–what’s more–liked him for wearing them. This was why they said things like, “I like those shoes,” with resignation, as if to dispel, in that moment, every last smidgen of doubt from their minds, having ultimately resolved that yes–against all reason–they endorsed the shoes.
And perhaps Mr. Right-Click was right to argue that people saw the shoes and figured that he must be successful, to be wearing such shoes! One man had even said, “Good for you, for wearing those shoes in this economy!” So maybe they were impressed, instead of fearful that, as had been suggested by Anna’s brother, if they did not admire the shoes, Mr. Right-Click would pull out a tommy-gun from his overcoat and reenact a scene from The Untouchables. Because it could not be denied that the one other time in Anna’s life that she had seen someone wearing these shoes, that person had been Jack Nicholson, and though she thought it odd at the time, she had easily resigned herself to it. “Well, he’s Jack Nicholson,” she had observed, as if that explained everything. Maybe the man made the shoes, rather than the shoes making the man.
And maybe, just the same, there were people who saw the shoes and thought, “Well, he’s Mr. Right-Click.” And, as was the case with Jack Nicholson, that was all the explanation that they needed.