Sunday, November 21, 2010
Ace Hardware, or Happy Thanksgiving To All
After 17 years of living there, my parents will be the last of my family to move out of the house in which I grew up. I have positive feelings about it; my parents will be happy in their retirement and I'll be happy for them, and it's a normal part of the life cycle. It's not like I've lived there anytime recently, so no big deal, right?
Well, it is kind of a big deal. Not only is a significant chapter of my life coming to a very tangible end, it's happening around a major holiday, amplifying the strangeness of the fact that I'll likely never set foot in that house again. It naturally calls for some reminiscing, almost as if to honor the memory of where I came from and also to think about where I'm going. I'm truly thankful for the childhood I had in that house, but being a clotheshorse, I attach these memories to some pretty exceptional hardware I received from my grandfathers, which is pictured above.
Zadie had a thing for cufflinks back in the 60's. Any photo I have of him as a young man indicates that he was a very well-dressed young professional. I don't share his taste at all; big red and gold stones set inside gold links is loud in a way I don't particularly care for. You can, however, tell that he was a man with a strong, singular sense of style. In fact, nearly every piece of man-jewelry I inherited from him is just as exaggerated, with the exception of the silver pair you see above. They go with anything and are a very cool shape. I've worn them with great success. They still make the occasional cameo, and they're a hit when they do.
Papa, on the other hand, seems to have had a thing for rings. My dad, the man who taught me how to dress like a man (God dammit) has a few rings he likes, one of which he gave to me years ago. It's the one on the far right, though he had the stone replaced with an aquamarine, my birthstone. The ring to its left was Papa's, a simple gold and silver combination. While I appreciate the former's opulence and the latter's simplicity, I simply didn't get the ring memo and never wear them. I DID, however, inherit an incredible tie clip from him that I used to wear constantly, though it's not pictured here because I lost it a year ago like a damned fool. It was masculine elegance in action; brushed silver with a line of X's on it (looking like: xxxxxxxxx) on a black background, and a perfect two-and-a-half inches wide. I got compliments on it all the time, and I loved telling anyone who asked me "Where did you get that?" that I paid nothing for some designer tie clip, but rather inherited it from my grandfather.
For me, no better patrimony could possibly exist.