Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Of Mutton and Lamb


Mrs. E. and I had quite the social whirlwind of a weekend. Last night we attended an open house and then a performance of “Thoroughly Modern Mille” at The Empire Theatre here in Richmond. It was wonderful. Try as we might, we were unable to make the trip out to the far suburbs at 10:45 PM for the remainder of a surprise birthday party for a dear friend. But, the foot-tapping energy of the show had us unwilling to pack it in and call it a night. We stopped on the way home for a nightcap. Our local joint (right around the corner) was closed and so we wound up a couple of blocks further down at a bar called “The Camel.” It is located just under a local public radio station and seemed well-lit.

It was band night. We’re not sure who. Or what they played as they were in the midst of a sound check or a break or something.

The doorman was kind enough to waive the cover as we explained that we had a half hour before we had to rescue the sitter. He stamped our hands and in we went.

The bar is well lit and was full of twenty-somethings in skinny jeans, shorts, flip flops, sneakers, camp shirts, t-shirts, metallic sandals, mini skirts, etc. . Mrs. E. in her white silk, empire waist dress and I (there was a white sportcoat added to the outfit you see above) garnered more than our fair share of stares.

One very nice and well-dressed (sort of a Pucci dress) young woman at the bar asked what we were so dressed up for. “We’ve come from the theatre.” She mentioned how nice we looked and Mrs. E. chatted with her whilst I got our orders across to the barman.

“A glass of Pinot Grigio, a Maker’s Mark and a water back, please?” It has been my experience that when in doubt, no bartender can do wrong to a bourbon, neat. I didn’t think that he was up to a martini, but I could have been mistaken.

“Uh… sure….”

The guy in back of me was leaning over the bar to shout to another bartender his order for “two cold ones… ” which turned out to be Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

A few moments later we were asked by another person. Moments after that, a younger man turned around and seeing me in his path asked “What’s this? Miami Vice?”

“No, we’ve just come from City Hall.”

“Yes, we’ve decided to make honest children of the kids after all these years….”

A small Elvis Costello impersonator eyed me warily and scooted around my blind side.

“No, our son’s in the band…”

We drank up and laughed all the way out the door.

We are, officially, middle aged. Albeit, with bar stamps on the backs of our hands.

(CORRECTION to the Genius Bar rant. Mea culpa. My optical drive was partially burnt out. Brandon diagnosed the issue, got it into he shop, found me a FedEx Kinko’s Office to get some scans done and emailed before a deadline and never lost the smile on his face, even as he assured another customer whose case seemed hopeless that they’d get things taken care of. Verizon tech support, on the other hand took three calls before they told me that the “Time Capsule” isn’t supported by Verizon and so they could really do nothing for me in order for it to be set as the wireless router for the house…. All that and no iPhone — which they had been offered first — makes me question their business acumen.)

6 thoughts on “Of Mutton and Lamb

  1. While taking a picture of a building downtown I inadvertantly photographed a skateboarder in mid air. I was surprised by my magazine quality image and thought, “what kid wouldn’t love a picture of themselves pulling off this trick?” As approached him to offer to send him a copy, he took off at full speed with a look of terror in his eyes.
    Not till later did I realize I was an old guy, in a suit, and the place was well marked, “no skating”.
    I decided that was the day I became “old”.

  2. No, you’re not officially middle aged. Just some of the few people who are willing to act like grown-ups. Stick to your guns and maintain your standards and the elegant image. A lot of the questionable comments reveal a lack of understanding or jealousy and perhaps discomfort at seeing others who have taken time to look dressed up and perhaps festive. I sometimes think that being well turned out makes others aware that they are slovenly and careless, so they can’t resist a derogatory comment. Sorry you’re not in my town, you’d be most welcome at any party!

    Square with Flair

    P.S. Try wearing a boutonni√®re with a fresh flower (I was just at a Bastille Day party and wore a red geranium on my blue and white seersucker suit) from your garden, then you’ll get all kinds of bizarre comments, and just as many gushing compliments…but you will be noticed!

  3. Funny! Last week after going to see the Valentino documentary Mr. M and I ducked into the haunt across the street and it took all of 5 minutes for us to fell O…L…D. I think most of the customers were in middle or high school when we got married! We’d only been there on Thursdays, on jazz night… different crowd! LOL! Glad you enjoyed your night out!

  4. Just discovered your blog via M.Lane’s The Epic.
    I think that you look fabulous in that outfit. Very Summertime elegant!

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