Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"You hide your talents well."


I'm pretty sure it's a golden example of a Backhanded Compliment.  Y'know, thinly disguising an insult with sneering flattery. But is it?  Did I take it the wrong way???

Jethro and I recently attended a Christmas party including a musical performance by a singer he'd worked with.  She's fantastic; her album of Christmas music is one that even I, the Grinch, can appreciate.  I actually really enjoy her record. It's sincere.  She's a great singer.  And the record sounds awesome.  Of course.

Well, the event was held at this swanky establishment in the big city.  I'm not even sure "swanky" is the right word for it.  Come to think of it I'm not sure what "swanky" means and by now the word has started to sound really funny. The room has wood panelling and stained glass and really fancy light fixtures.  Beautiful.  Elegant.  Classy.


Clearly, Jethro and I weren't in our natural habitat.

But it was nice. The shortbread cookies were very tasty. Everybody was perfectly nice.  Really quite lovely.  Of course it just wouldn't be a proper party unless I knocked something over on the table after about ten sips of wine, which I did, so everything was fine. I think.  Maybe.

I never know if I'm behaving appropriately at such an occasion. Truthfully, I never know how to behave... well, ever, I guess.  I sort of go through life vaguely aware that I might be making an ass of myself yet not caring enough to put in the sort of epic effort required to first know how to behave and then to actually act accordingly.

I didn't even know what the heck to wear.  I don't have much in between the jeans, T shirts, sweatshirts, yoga pants collection (in which everything is or can be barn clothes) and the super fancy once a year dress.  My shoes are ridiculously extreme.  It's like this: sneakers or flip flops.  Flat.  Then, riding boots.  Small heel.  The rest... towering high heels.  If I'm going to dress up for a special occasion, I'm going to be wearing heels.  Go big or stay home.

I ended up pretty wrong-looking.  Other women were dressed for a Christmas party, wearing sparkly things that looked like they were bought in a store rather than dug out of a box in the sewing room.  I wore a long brown skirt that I'm so sick of it's going in the thrift store bag, and my fitted striped sweater which is nice but not really fancy enough for that day.  And my black leather knee high platform boots with the big chunky 4 inch heel.  Because I stand by my declaration that they go with everything.

At least I know I can't go too far wrong if I have nice boots.

Now Jethro totally solved the dressing up thing.  He just wore his regular plaid shirt and jeans combo but with a black suit jacket and black shoes.  Ridiculous.  He throws on a suit jacket and he's instantly dressed up.  The suit jacket, it really ties a look together.  Much like a nice rug really pulls the room together.  Anyways I thought he looked very handsome, with his long dark hair with the strands of silver, and specks of grey in his beard.  I'm biased though.  I think he's gorgeous.  Man, when he was a teenager he was so pretty.  He was a big dude though, so the prettiness balanced out nicely.  Now he's growing into this sort of biker-chic look.

But like I said, I just like the looks of the guy.

The singer took the time to introduce those who worked on the album.  She had my man stand up and take a little bow and all.  It was cute.  After 20 years of happy musicians thanking him publicly for making them sound so good, he doesn't even blush anymore.  Much.

It was dark by the time we left.  The two of us scooted back to our car through the rain.  We had a couple hours to get out of the city and back to the ol' Homestead.  In the course of recapping the afternoon, he mentioned that an older lady ventured up to him for a little chit chat.  I figured out which lady he was talking about; I'd noticed the very elegant small woman with the tailored suit-dress and actual jewellery as opposed to the stuff you buy at Zellers.  Hair carefully dyed to cover the grey, but not too dark, as black hair on a lady in her 80s is just vulgar, or gauche, or whatever.

"So you're the man behind this album," she stated, that kind of thing.

"Yep that's me, I'm the recording engineer."

And then, "You hide your talents well."

Jethro replied the only way he could.


He figures she had him pegged at first for some embarrassing relative or a party crasher.  My gosh, who could have known that this big long-haired man is actually a man of accomplishment and skill - and not even in something criminal! He could present himself as a career man with an appearance worthy of all the awards and gushing thanks, but instead he's craftily disguised himself so as to look like some hoodlum and therefore his accolades are a pleasant surprise.  Or something.

Or maybe she just meant he seems to be humble and decent.

I don't know... classy people bewilder me...


Auntie said...

Definitely go with humble and decent. You can add accomplished and unassuming. Btw, I loved your clothes dilemma since I have always felt like I never quite manage to pull it together well. Luckily, I will be retiring very soon so the pressure is off!

RuckusButt said...

Maybe she meant he’s so good you don’t even notice the engineering part. You know, like how pro riders make things like jumping 5ft and tempi changes look easy. Cause really, if he’s done his job, the listener should only think about the music, not the engineering that goes into it, right? Therefore he hides his talent well. I’d go with that ;-)

Paul Tee said...

Being a longtime practitioner of hiding things, I would call it camouflage, when correctly applied, it gives one the advantage of ambushing other people with a dazzle of talent. You know, speak softly but have a depth to say.