I work at an advertising agency. Now, for those who don't know, advertising agencies, in general, are much more lax about dress codes than, say, a bank. Some agencies require pants while other are okay with shorts from time to time. As a standard rule agency representatives dress up when meeting with clients. We generally strive to wear the appropriate level of attire to match what the client wears. Ties are tough to get any agency folk to wear, especially creatives. There has to be some wiggle room right? Banks on the other hand are notoriously tight on what is acceptable dress code
Earlier this week I had a meeting with a client. I skipped the jeans and wore slacks and dress shirt to match their corporate casual dress code. All was good. I was at their attire level and clothing differences were negated.
One the way back to the agency I noticed that my socks did not match. I had on one dark blue sock and one black sock. They were of the same pattern and because they both were very dark I was likely the only one to notice my error. I hope.
My mother once made an error like that, except it was with her shoes. The difference between what I did and what she did was that it was quite obvious that she was wearing two different colored shoes. While one was dark blue and one was black, you could easily tell that they were different colors. The other difference between what she did with her shoes and what I did with my socks was that while mine was accidental, hers was not.
It's not that she did it on purpose. Actually, she didn't do it all all. I did.
One day while home from college for the summer I noticed a pair of my mother's dress shoes on the stairs going up to her bedroom. I also noticed that inside each shoe was a circular dayglo yellow sticker. When I asked her what that was all about she told me that because it's so dark in the morning when she gets dressed that she decided to put stickers in her shoes to tell them apart from another pair that looked very similar, but was a different color. She had two pairs of shoes that were the same style and pattern. One was dark blue and one was black. She put the stickers in the blue pair.
Now, this seemed to be to be a very logical thing to do. After all, when you are getting dressed in the dark it can be hard to tell the difference between dark blue and black. You wouldn't want to make that mistake. Not with shoes. That would be dreadfully embarrassing. So naturally my first thought was that it would be hysterically funny to take one of the stickers out of the marked blue shoes and put it in the corresponding black shoe. So I did. I then set them together in her closet.
The next day she got dressed and went into work. I don't remember if she called home that afternoon from the office or if it was when she got home after work, but I sure did get an earful. I think what she said to me went something like "oooh! urrrgh! You! I, I, I'm gonna get you for this! Oooh! watch out mister! Paybacks! Oooh!" or something like that. In between the sounds of fury coming out of my mom were giggles and laughter. She seemed to alternate between laughing and thinking about ringing my neck. Mission accomplished.
Now, mom, if you are reading this, just know that I meant it all in good fun. And if you do try to get paybacks like you said you would at the time, just remember that if you leave this world before me I can always have the funeral home dress you in one blue shoe and one black one! There, that ought to make you think twice about paybacks!