Grooming....

... last week, my Mother asked me if I could polish a pair of black leather boots for her... she had neither polish nor buffing brush, and knew that I did.... so I said "sure"... as you do...

... and this morning I spent three hours polishing and buffing all of the black shoes in the house... my combat boots... my Danner Ft. Lewis boots.. my wingtips... Mom's boots... and a banged up pair of ankle-high slip-ons that the Wife sometimes wears....

... it was quite relaxing, really... I took a cup of coffee and some handkerchiefs out to the deck... and just sat there coughing, drinking java, and polishing shoes... zoning out on the Sudafed and keeping my rhythm.... the weather was nice, too... warm and sunny with a slight breeze.... the air was full of birds heckling each other over mating grounds, nesting sites, and feeding grounds... and other than the noise they were making, it was quite peaceful...

... but after two hours, I started thinking... polishing boots must be swiftly becoming a thing of the past... hell, even the Marines are going to those drab canvas and suede boots now.... and dress shoes?... how many businessmen actually put some elbow grease into their shoes before the big meeting?... sure, they make those little oily-wipe type things that give your leather a quick dust-off... but it's nothing close to a real shine-job...

... and for that matter, handkerchiefs... who carries a real linen handkerchief nowadays?... who knows how to tie a bowtie or orders their dress shirts with tab collars instead of button-downs just because tabs highlight your half-Windsor better?... and what about tie clasps?...

... sure, I know that I live in a subtle form of vacuum here... cradled to the bosom of jeans and pajama bottoms... and my days of suit-wearing are probably over... but it still begs the question...

... are we losing these archaic grooming traits?... tab collars, tie clasps, cufflinks, and freshly polished wingtips?... I don't have the answer... but I really hope that we are not losing them...

.. .but still, the fact remains... I'm the only one in the family who owns a tin of Kiwi and a buffing brush...

by Eric on March 19, 2006 | Bullshit (12) | TrackBack (3) | SWG Stories
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Bullshit So Far

but do you have those little cotton balls to put that last bit of spit shine on the boots?

Bullshitted by GUYK on March 19, 2006 08:48 PM

We don't have any kiwi products in the house other than that waterproofing junk, but that's simply because we have a cobbler two blocks away. The dude will strip off old polish, buff, and polish shoes for five bucks a pair. Not to mention that he replaces the heels on the husband's dress shoes for ten bucks. It's great. The husband is also a conoisseur of the shoe shine. Whenever he's downtown or at el aeroporto, he sits down for shine and a chat. I don't understand men who pitch perfectly good dress shoes because of a worn down heel. I don't think they know they can get them replaced or they can't be bothered to locate a cobbler.

The husband also carries handkerchiefs, wears french cuff shirts and accordingly has many sets of cufflinks, and even has his own set of nickel-plated collar stays. I think the grooming business has a lot to do with the guy, and how fastidious he might be, but it also has a lot to do with if you were brought up to appreciate those things. If people don't have to dress up for work, well, a lot of those grooming traits will become archaic.

Bullshitted by Kathy on March 19, 2006 09:33 PM

There is nothing - nothing - like an old fashioned spit shine.

Bullshitted by Elisson on March 19, 2006 09:41 PM

.. GuyK, I use an old cotton tee-shirt for the spitshine..

.. and Kathy, your husband is a man among men..

.. and Elisson, you certainly got that right....

... I guess what I'm trying to say is this... if you care enough to wear a suit, then you should definitely pay attention to the details... an expensive suit on a dirtbag is just that... a waste...

.. more people need to take pride in how they appear... some personal pride....

Bullshitted by Eric on March 19, 2006 09:49 PM

A man with well polished shoes always makes a good impression. Period.

Damn - I hope we're not losin' those traits. THAT would be a very sad thing.

Bullshitted by Tammi on March 19, 2006 11:17 PM

Ok spooky - I just posted something similar.

Bullshitted by Mia on March 20, 2006 01:34 AM

I don't even wear a suit but still polish my wing-tips. Hell, I wonder how many folks can still tie a windsor now, or half-windsor? My dad, the Marine, drilled that into my head by the time I was seven. Have to have the crease in the middle just right.

Bullshitted by Richard on March 20, 2006 06:37 AM

We have the kiwi, brushes, clothes, and all here...even keeps his shoes in shoe trees, which I buy to go with his shoes. If you're going to spend that kind of cash he spends on his shoes, they need good shoe trees.

Bullshitted by Bou on March 20, 2006 08:57 AM

I have the Kiwi and brushs. I shine my shoes with each change of season. I like shiney shoes, they remind of new shoes and I like new shoes.

Bullshitted by Machelle on March 20, 2006 11:52 AM

for that matter...who here can properly carve a roast or a turkey...i can't....but i keep my boots polished.

Bullshitted by stratguy on March 20, 2006 12:48 PM

My mother always noticed my dates shoes for their shine or lack of attention. One of the many things she loved about TGOO was his shiny polished shoes. Yes, still today its almost a ceremonial endeavor when shoes are polished. Must not forget about polishing the soles either. Of course, hand tied bow ties are his preferance. Matter of fact, Bou has a picture where he looks like a true southern gentleman...seer sucker suit, bow tie and cane in hand. :-D

Bullshitted by h~ on March 20, 2006 04:19 PM

I guess times change.

Whats Java , that stuff u were drinking cos I thought that was the name for a mobile phone game ????

Bullshitted by chris on March 21, 2006 11:30 AM