Late Wednesday afternoon, the FED Ex man showed up with my semi annual Brook Brothers shirt delivery. Each year BB has their shirts on sale for 1/2 off the day after Christmas. With my additional 15% off its quite a deal. Mrs. T asked what was in the box, and somehow it carried me back to my wasted youth. I told her this story. She knew the principal characters from a different context, and is available to confirm some of the particulars.
Growing up, a good friend's father was a federal judge. To ease his life, he made a great effort to minimize the choices he had to make on a day to day basis. To get him out of the house faster in the morning, he always and only wore BB navy blue suits, white shirts and one from his selection of two or three ties. Black socks, black shoes. Six days a week, every week.
His four sons each took up the law, and eventually they formed a law practice together, with the understanding that there would always be an office for dad when he retired. Dad came sooner than expected and all went well until one day the oldest son showed up at the office in a pink BB button down collared shirt. The man was 35 years old.
Oldest boy got a dressing down that day that would make a Marine drill Sergeant proud. "Gentlemen of the law do not wear pink shirts", the old man is quoted as saying.
When son got home he tossed his shirt in the trash in front of his bride and children, explaining to all his day at the office. Rising to the occasion his adored bride called her father in law. In the Judge's eye, the sun and moon rose in her orbit, the woman could do no wrong.
"Papa" she said, "that was NO pink shirt. It was light red. I know because I bought it."
Within a week, the Judge had one too. Even wore it to the office once. On a Saturday.
13 hours ago