I lost my gloves at a crowded bar over the weekend. Frankly, I’m surprised my hat survived. I usually squash everything together in my jacket’s shell pouch, a crumpled ball of wool, fleece and wax, sprinkled with loose tobacco. These were not particularly warm gloves, though they were usually better than nothing.
I’ve always wanted “kid gloves,” even before I knew what they were. I must have seen an especially exquisite pair in some heavy catalogue. For whatever reason, they have always signified unimaginable luxury. I also spent a lot of energy coveting “driving slippers” and a “barn coat.” This probably had something to do with a few different schools I attended that had large packs of equestrian-minded girls and other well-appointed types. Everyone had very expensive hobbies and clothes for every occasion.
In my writing workshops I noticed that our professors fell all over themselves if you wrote stories about blue-collar work. They loved obscure types of screws and knots. They loved tools. I’m sure they enjoyed the juxtaposition between the language and the noble drudgery it described, and they may have felt a certain kinship with other forgotten craftsmen, and many of them had risen to prominence during the golden age of Carver’s hardscrabble realism, and I’m sure these stories were something of a relief from the more bellybutton-based submissions (epiphanies abroad, window-box-gardening failures, roadtrip-tested romances) received each week, but there was also a hint of that WASPy remove, the aggravating way rich people often find peace in the exclusionary pleasures of nautical terminology or expensive farming equipment. Read More