he spends, therefore he is

There are still restaurant and travel posts from this past spring awaiting a final polish, as indeed another installment of The Merchant Prince ('s tut mir leid, Herr Lehar), but I needed a chuckle this morning, and my old friend Mr. Jolly Inbox Stuffer, stepped up.

Back in the days of a strong $ I found myself in London and in a moment of whimsy, I bought my dad a pair of embroidered velvet slippers. Yes, from a real live small English shoe store, not from S&W. I pictured Pop in a tweed jacket with suede elbow patches, in an armchair, leafing through a cherished volume of P.G.Wodehouse, OurDog snoozing at his velvet-covered feet. I made a guess at the size, and picked an embroidered motif which was not someone else's family crest. Pop loved the slippers, I was relieved that my wild guess at his shoe size had been accurate, and the rest of the mental picture - didn't matter. Here's the key point: they were slippers. They were to be worn inside the house. And that is how Pop wore them, and they lasted a very long time indeed. OurDog slobbered when he snoozed, so he was not allowed near the slippers, whether they were on Pop or off Pop. That, plus British craftsmanship, helped.
Not Pop
This morning's Inbox was just bursting with goodies, not the least of which was an email from J.Crew, announcing the advent of a pair of possibly S&W velvet shoes meant for, I guess, normal shoe wear. I will leave elaboration of this dubious concept to the Mitfords, but - people, these are supposed to be house slippers. And enjoyed as such. Even if the only way you enjoy them is by laughing uproariously in the privacy of your own library-with-wood-burning-fireplace at the make-believe decoration that embellishes the red ones or the make-believe monogram that just might, if carefully teased apart, yield the letters DL for Dear Leader. Negotiations open at $400. Fortunately you can download the library books for free, if you're patient. I do understand that sometimes these things are worn out of the house, generally at events that I do not attend, but the uses are limited: velvet stains and spots easily and is next to impossible to clean, and most parts of the world have weather that is unkind to velvet.
Of course if all you want of a slipper is that it be something to slip on your feet when you're not wearing shoes, Mr. Jolly Inbox Stuffer provided that alternative also, via an email from Urban Outfitters. These so-called Grandma slippers are $16. They, too, carry a hint of (someone's) heritage, because somewhere, somehow, someone's grandmother crocheted something. If not for you, then for someone.
I'm sure the expensive slippers are selling fast. I'm not shaking my head over this, people have to have something to do when a whole day of convention festivities is called off, and for this purpose conspicuous consumption is about as harmless an activity as frustrated conventioneers can get up to.

I leave you with the thought of the day:
It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
Also Not Pop, but note sensible slippers.
This is not my original thought, I forget who said it, but I thank whoever it was for making me stop and think.

20 comments:

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    1. i might reconsider if one of the motifs was a little embroidered chicken.

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    2. Bahahahaha! Not even then. :)

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    3. Or of the dear leader....

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  2. I'm so glad you're here to shake some sense into the world.

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  3. Thanks, Raina, I always think more clearly when my feet are warm.

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  4. Hilarious! And so true! Who are they imagining wearing those things (both JC and UO)??

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  5. Well, ya got me, emilybethzz. My Nana crocheted little collars which she thought I should wear on Shetland crewnecks, and I thought should be hidden, along with notes from teachers that never saw the light of day, in the diary drawer. Slippers were not part of her needlework vocabulary. But as to the overpriced velvet slippers with the faux heraldry - dunno. I would enjoy them if they showed a sense of humor - or a chicken.

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  6. So these are meant for home wear? Yikes! Sticking to my moosehide LLB's. When I get my butler, I'll snap up a pair of these...

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  7. let me know if he has a friend....

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  8. Your Inbox is Jolly, thanks for sharing these sweet treats with us. Oh my! It just gets more and more entertaining!

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    1. Hi, Dani, yes, there are days when a glimpse of something truly goofy is just what we need. This summer there's been a shortage of silly recipes, so we have to do the best we can.

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  9. Hi Fred-Yep, those velvet slippers wouldn't be safe in my house-dog slobber, toothpaste, brownie batter, you name it. Do you think that if one wore the chicken sweater on top, there possibly could be the danger of a "precipitate" from the fowl messing up the slippers?

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    1. Hi, David, yes, you'd have to house-train the chicken. Shocked that they don't arrive ready for indoor life. I am picturing the ensemble: shoes with embroidered mythical beast, lobster pants, hen sweater, scarf and socks, and a panda-bear hat.

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  10. I vaguely remember coveting a pair many years ago when menswear was the prevailing trend. I think Brooks Brothers, or Carroll Reed/ Pappagallo had a bee embroidered version. But, I am certain they were not $400.00. And, they were meant to be worn outside. Yikes, they probably matched a wood frame bag...I digress. I love your thought for the day.

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    1. Didn't someone make a kit to do the front of the slipper in needlepoint?

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    2. I am sure Rowan and dear departed Erica Wilson ( meant sincerely) both still carry kits to make bespoke needlepoint slippers. As I recall, for a princely sum. Fun, but impractical!

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  11. I pictured those slippers with a smoking jacket. In my life, $400 is a lot of money for this bit of chic and cheeky. I suppose there's a price to be paid for exclusivity, but I'm not falling for this one.

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    1. Hi, TiffanyRose, When I bought the slippers for my dad, I just pictured the great adolescent fantasy of upgraded parents, starting with Pop. And of course, upgraded Dog. Talk about the thought that counts!

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