Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Someday, when you have a silvery mane, an engorged 401(k), and a 25-year-old mistress on call, you’ll be free to wear French cuffs."


My Details subscription’s been going strong for nigh on two years – give or take a couple months – and I’ve gotta admit, that magazine presently tops the list of my favorite monthlies. It’s up there with perennial worthies The New Yorker and The Wire but way above Rolling Stone, SPIN, and Blender -- old favorites that I’m beginning to feel increasingly too out-of-touch for with each passing issue (RS’s ever-diligent political coverage aside) – even if I’m not so sure that I’m anything like a member (or destined to be, ever) of its future-boardroom-raider, hyper-groomed demographic. Or to be more current, I may not be metrosexual enough to be a legitimate reader (which reminds me of something my friend Bill said when I told him I was into Details: “Isn’t that magazine for gay dudes?”).

Every issue there’s a column in while one staff writer or another puts the smackdown on a fashion trend he or she finds pervasive and obnoxious – hoodies under blazers, ski caps worn in warm weather or indoors, wearing snarky/ironic/obscene/”funny” t-shirts after age 22, the half-tuck, and most recently, cuff links on newbie MBAs. They’re enjoyable for me in the same voyeuristic way that reading National Geographic is: each issue is so far removed from the reality of my own life that it’s pure entertainment. Same goes for the longer mini-features about exhausted ladder-climbers and corporate ass-kissers and how one goes about procuring fine designer smokables.

Just the same, lately I’ve been wondering if, perhaps, I should be worrying about these things at this point – the shirts I wear, the way I talk, the way I greet my superiors, and so on. I mean, I’m fairly happy as is, but sometimes it occurs to me that I don’t take adult life quite as seriously as a lot of other people, and that if I did – if I concerned myself with appearance, and networking, and socializing, and being considerably better at work (both the day-job and the freelancing) that perhaps I would be a fuller, more well-rounded person than I am presently. Parenthood – and moving to central PA – may force a new me to emerge; maybe a better me.

1 comment:

minorpoet said...


You would LOOK like a fuller, more-rounded person to the people that judge by these measures, but you wouldn't be deep down inside. But, not never — if you believe in the 'fake it 'til you make it' theory of things, you could start out being the Details guy on the outside, but eventually you would become a Details guy on the inside too.

We're all just fumbling out there, each and every one of us, from the powerful and rich to the poor and meek. And we all know how to pretend. It boils down to a cost-benefit analysis: if what you want is worth going through certain measures to get it, then there is no need to second guess yourself - and only conern yourself with what it means to you, your family, and the important people in your life.

The fact that you are examining this consciously is a good sign.