Part of the curse of being a fashion icon is that every farm
show or field event you go to people rush up and want to know “who are you
“And show us your shoes, too….oh, those are fabulous.”
And of course my stock, tried-and-true answer “Oh, this? It
is by Mr. Mark’s.”
For anyone who uses a different designer, my Mr. Marks is
Mark’s Work Wear World — the fashion arm of the Canadian Tire empire. If Mr.
Mark’s doesn’t have it, I don’t wear it. Or perhaps more disturbing, can’t wear
I was talking with my nephew on the weekend — a pretty trim
25 year old — and he mentioned he has bought some clothes at Banana Republic.
Well I have never been to that store and likely never will. I don’t think they
have anything for me.
What’s got me on the kick of revealing my fashion secrets
today is watching part of the Grammy Awards — the big Red Carpet event — where we have all these
glamorous celebrity types parading around, stopping to pose for photos, and of
course the entertainment reporters who think this is serious stuff need to know
“who are you wearing.” (Photo caption, below: Don’t kid yourself. You don’t just fall out of bed looking this good.)
Boy, I would just love for my music career to take off so I
could get on that Red Carpet and set everyone on their butts. I’d probably
stick with my stage name “Steak Sandwich”.
“So Steak Sandwich, an incredible year. You sold four
billion albums — spoken word The Best of Grainews — and who are you
“Well, I am wearing Mr. Mark’s cotton T-shirt — that’s a
grease stain my wife couldn’t get out — and his Denver Hayes collection of blue
jeans (under $50) with 10 per cent lycra in the waistband for extra comfort.
The lycra also helps you believe you are size smaller than you really are.”
“Oh, it is just fabulous.”
“Thank you, I know.”
The other thing that got me thinking about this stuff, was a
recent Facebook comment by Alberta farmer Darcy Goodrich, who was appalled by a
reality TV series called The Real Housewives of Vancouver. I have never watched
it and I don’t know what he saw in particular that riled him, but I can image.
Likely on this TV series you have some wealthy, spoiled,
bored women who have nothing to do except complain about how disadvantaged they
are. Nothing but money, but why is life so cruel? They might have been bitching
about a grocery bill, I don’t know.
Darcy, who has been developing a pasture-to-plate meat
business with naturally raised beef, hogs and poultry, was complaining about
the decadence of this show and how out in the real world are people like him
producing high quality, nutritious food and it is a scramble to get consumers
to recognize the value of these high quality products.
The frustrating contradiction is on one hand having part of
society spending (or wasting) thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars on
dresses (or suits) shoes and jewelry, as though it mattered, and bitching about
their hardships, while on the other hand farmers struggle to get properly
compensated for one of the essentials of life.
I often see on TV an actress by the name of Andy McDowell
who has become a spokesperson for a cosmetic company and each commercial
reveals first the stress and then the miracle solution of dealing with
wrinkles. And every time I see those commercials I think “I wonder what the
women of Darfur or Ethiopia are doing tonight for their facial regime before
bed? Do they have this anti-aging cream? Oh, wait I bet they are more concerned
about whether they will find any food tomorrow for their crying babies. Or
perhaps thinking about which one of those starving babies will die tomorrow.”
By the grace of God we are so lucky to be born where we are
and have all that we have. But to me these Red Carpet events, while offering
some measure of entertainment, just remind me how far out of whack our society
and its priorities can be. Did Russia really need to spend $51 billion on
staging the 2014 winter Olympics? Is being the best skater really that important? Great ego boost for Vladimir Putin, but think how much pain in the world that money could have eased.
I know I can’t stress over it. I’ll get wrinkles. Nothing I
can do will change it. I probably could stage some sort of protest but then I
might miss a 10 per cent off sale at Mr. Mark’s and I want to be ready in case I see a Red Carpet.
Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at [email protected]
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