Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The historian as sartorialist.

The historian reviews clothing in a catalog (I suggested he might find something of interest there):

Historian: I don't think I've quite come across what it is you had in mind for me here.

Me: Well, maybe not. I just thought you might see something.

Historian: Everything seems kind of expensive.

Me: You have no idea how much clothes cost anymore.

Historian (pauses to consider justice of this trenchant observation): Well, I don't think socks used to cost twelve dollars a pair.

Me: You know, I've bought you socks that cost that much.

Historian: Actually, my all-time favorite pair of socks cost fifteen dollars, and that was years ago.

Me: You have an all-time favorite pair of socks? What were they like?

Historian: They were wool, I guess . . . they were dress socks, and they came up this high (gestures at mid-calf). When you're wearing dress socks, you don't want . . .

Me (finishing his sentence (very bad habit)): Gapping? (at this point, trying to imagine:) So they were just . . . black socks?

Historian: I can't quite remember--textured, maybe. (Pauses, remembering:) They were the first pair of socks that showed me what socks could be.


  1. So charming and so funny. and so true. I'm not sure I've found those socks yet, but if I have, I'm pretty sure they were at least $15 a pair and they were Smartwool. And they were buddhist socks, of course.

  2. You know what I love about those conversations is that I can totally hear you two speaking. I love the way he methodically speaks.

    The most we spend on socks right now is $8 a pair for Drew. To wear to work. To be covered in oil/gas/who knows what. But they're comfortable (so he says) and they don't get holes in them.. simply amazing.

  3. I had to re-look up the word sartorialist. So not only do you make me laugh but you improve my mind, too.

  4. Those are some socks I could certainly use.

  5. Feel better now. Ian has theories about how rough things can get 'when good socks go bad.' He thinks a lot about his socks.

  6. I was just this morning thinking about MY all-time favorite pair of socks, which cost me 15 pence, in Ireland, in 1993, and which had a maroon and a dark blue stripe just at the top. They were kids' tube socks. Ugly as hell. My mother blanched when I wore them. I was sorry to have them wear out.

  7. what socks could be...that is funny.



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