Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tie me down 

Just over a year since my last post. Nice going. I felt like blogging again, since blogs are the new facebook - or something - and decided to read what I last wrote before I started. Valentine's day last year was the last time I wore a tie - at that board meeting in Gaborone - until the same date this year. This time it was a bow tie.

We Poms are inclined not to take things too seriously, which is a fine and excellent way of doing things. The balance to this tendency seems to be that we take seriously some things that the rest of the world doesn't really get: cricket, making tea, evening dress. Sometimes this offers opportunity.

My current boss, who happens to be English, invited me to a black tie function on Saturday night to schmooze with some clients. He is always impeccably and fashionably dressed, although without that ragged edge of scruffiness that betrays the upper classes. I was in a cafe with him the other week when another bloke asked him where he got his jeans. That never happens to me. I had a sneaking suspicion, therefore that how I dressed would be very important.

About 15 minutes before he left home, I SMS'd him: "do you think I have to wear a tie with my suit?". His response was something like "it's black tie, but in South Africa that's open to interpretation". The missus and I donned our finery and toddled along, Bertie Wooster style. The boss saw me:
"You're in black tie!"
"Of course"
Apparently my SMS had had the intended effect, on both him and his wife, who thought I was very unprofessional. His response had been 'but he went to Durham, he should know better'.

Only later did I feel disgruntled that he thought I might not wear evening dress to a black tie function. Wanker.

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