Neck Folds & Elegance At The BarMonday, August 24, 2009
If any of my photography students were to show me a photograph like this one I would crucify them. I teach my students to avoid neck folds and I specifically ask them to crop pictures when they take them and never later. In the case of the photograph here my crop is justified for two reasons. For one it is only a very small section of a negative that is a most beautiful full nude. No nudes in this blog as you might know. A few slip in, now and then. The second reason is that I would like to keep this mystery woman a mystery.
This mystery woman invited me to attend a performance of Ballet BC some years back. It was a sort of business date as both of us were working on something having to do with ballet. Before the dance function we met for drinks at the bar of the Hotel Vancouver. I expected her to dress elegantly so I wore a suit and tie. She was about 30 years younger than I was. There was absolutely no hanky panky even remotely considered. If anything, at the time the woman (who was the same age as my older daughter) was having precisely the same problems with her boyfriend as my daughter was having. I have a feeling she saw me as a much older man than the younger man she made me feel like I thought I was.
Looking back at that evening of drinks and dance and being accompanied by a beautiful and graceful ex-ballerina I consider myself most lucky. In that very same bar I have had drinks with many authors including Isabel Allende and Vancouver notables like Harvey Southam. It was a regular watering hole for Celia Duthie. We often shared a clubhouse sandwich there.
But it was the mystery woman for drinks (I had a Tio Pepe, she a martini) that has provided me with such a lasting, exciting and fond remembrance of the classy kind of stuff that seems to be fading from my very own existence. When I think of taking my wife to a good restaurant I am not sure that her, “Alex, I prefer your cooking. Let's stay home,” is all that romantic. I will have to borrow from that past and suggest that we go to the ballet and have a drink at the Hotel Vancouver. When this happens I will feel like a million dollars all over again. Or as it was defined to me once, a lady is a woman who makes a man feel like a gentleman.