Lessons at the End of a Long HallwaySunday, January 03, 2010
Lessons at the End of a Long Hallway
by John Lekich
Despite all the fuss over social networking, there is one feeling that being alone with a computer will never accomplish. You could have a thousand friends on Facebook and it will never duplicate the sensation of being surrounded by attractive, intelligent people in a bar that has come to feel like home. Alter this statement slightly – making it attractive, intelligent women - and I would happily go back to the days when the very idea of a mouse sitting on my desk would have sent me running for the nearest exterminator.
Many years ago, Alex and I hosted regular Thursday lunches at a place called the Railway Club. An establishment that – as far as I know – still has the longest bar in Vancouver. Getting from one end of the room to the other was like traveling through a tunnel lined with convivial beer drinkers. Since our regular table sat nestled at the farthest end of the room, the arrival of our dining companions could be seen from many feet away.
Thanks mostly to Alex’s legendary range of friends and associates – we regularly found ourselves in the company of many extraordinary women. I soon discovered that watching the approach of an attractive, smiling woman from the far end of a very long hallway was a bit like observing a mirage. For a second or two, you were never quite sure whether the vision coming your way was real or not. And then the smile would get closer - and closer still. Until that sublime moment when you realized two rather delightful things simultaneously. The smile was not only real but actually meant for you.
As a byproduct of this process, I learned a great deal about women and their wardrobes. In fact, my experience at the Railway Club reinforced an early sartorial theory of mine. Having grown up with four sisters, I quickly understood that women employed the contents of their closet in an entirely different way. While men tended to stick with the singular look they were most comfortable with, women used clothes to express the many different aspects of their personality.
The one exception to this rule seemed to be Katheryn – a Railway Club regular who combined a great long distance smile with the no-nonsense elegance of Katherine Hepburn. I recall her favouring crisply-pressed slacks and a refreshingly direct manner to match. I quickly pegged her as a sartorial pragmatist who had no time to waste on cultivating different looks.
This, of course, is the same Katheryn pictured so alluringly here. (In a manner, I might add, that has nothing to do with slacks or pragmatism of any kind.) The lesson? When it comes to women - and what they choose to wear at any given time - making assumptions can be dangerous.
John Lekich, January 2, 2010