Chet piped up to defend me at Parco yesterday when sassy barista, Jeremy, questioned my being given an assignment to cover fashion, albeit men's fashion.
"You, fashion?" Jeremy laughed.
"Hey, just because you only ever see me in Spandex..." I said.
Chet, sitting next to me, sort of, came to my rescue, offering up, "Miuccia Prada often looks very bad..."
Hmmm, was he defending me? "Um, thanks? I think?" I said.
We talked about fashion a bit then, Chet and I, about how the people in the biz, the trend-setters, often set the trends slightly by accident, because they just don't care to follow the rules.
"I think it must be so funny for people to put some strange thing together on a whim, just by instinct, and then have all kinds of people copy it," I said.
Handlebar mustaches, for example, are all of a sudden slightly common.
"You could pull off some funky facial hair..." I suggested to my new friend.
Chet nodded. "But only if I had a big ring through my lip, and that wouldn't fly in my office, as a government wonk."
"I don't know," I said, "sometimes when we break the rules, people follow. They want someone to lead them, to take charge and change things. Like in Revolutionary Road, when he decides to screw what he thought he should do and just went for it, he got a big promotion. That happens all the time."
As it was, I noticed Chet himself looked very dapper.
"I needed to dress up today...I just had to do it," he said.
It was a freezing day in early February, Parco visitors were mostly running behind. Getting out of bed is hard this time of year.
"I'm with you," I said, "sometimes you just have do it, dress yourself up to make it happen."
"You gotta look the part..." Chet agreed.
He couldn't decide where to put his gold star, maybe on his red tie? In the end, he put it straight on his chest, just above the pocket of his natty suit. It suited Chet, the star.
With a wave and a flourish, a gracious thank you to Jeremy for his delicious mushroom quiche, Chet was out. We shall meet again, I'm sure.