I do not wake up every day wondering how to make people happy and I am very successful at that.
What I sometimes do is send socks to my friends in far-flung places because my friends are often bicyclists and a good sock is hard to find.
This afternoon I came home from a somewhat strenuous bicycle ride. I never got more than about five or six miles from home but 6+ hours later I had ridden 62 miles and clumbed a few yards shy of nine thousand feet.
Lunch tasted good and involved lots of butter. Later I reclined on my spacious floor and checked my email. This piece of pricelessness was waiting for me.
Hope all is better than well and I want to thank you again for the socks. Growing up in Bellaire [pronounced “Blair” in Texas, ed.] there were two choices as to where Episcopalians would congregate to pray, St. Mathews or St. Marks. St. Marks was not in Bellaire but actually in West University but that’s irrelevant or irreverent.
Episcopalians had and likely have two levels of churches, high church or low church. High churches, of which St. Marks was one, were strict on dress code and adhered to a robust performance with much pomp and pageantry. Low churches, of which St. Mathews was most definitely one, were just happy to have you spend your Sunday morning in “God’s House.”
Religion was never much of a topic in the DeBarbieris house but, leaving dad at home, my mom with her four snot-nose heathens would make the pilgrimage to church on a random basis, usually after the heathens had done something so awful that hell seemed a likely outcome for all involved.
We attended St. Mathews for a short period of time until it became clear that even God was not going to have much sway with the police department. Why we left will forever be a mystery but it did not have anything to do with guns I don’t think. St. Mathews was good with me because it required no preparation. “Git in the car kids. We’re goin’ to church,” is what mom would say, and off to church we’d git.
However, there was an upside to attending spiffy St. Marks. Showing up to “God’s House” wearing a wrinkled shirt, Levi’s jeans with knee patches peeling away at the corners, mismatched socks and scuffed shoes was unacceptable. God forbid that a Christian would try to sweet-talk or smartass his way into heaven with scuffed shoes.
So in order to get past the folks at St. Marks who preferred that heaven’s select look presentable, mom declared that all of the DeBarbieris heathens would receive a new set of Sunday [pronounced “Sundy” in Texas, ed.] clothes. I remember dad being a bit skeptical about this and reminding mom that the family name “DeBarbieris” meant “Of the barbarians” in Italian, but nonetheless we all got suited up with Sunday clothes that included “shiny shoes” when we began attending St Marks. Those “shiny shoes” made us little kids feel extra Christian and heaven bound for sure.
I am a bit older now, pushing 70 which is the new 50 while still looking like I’m 30, and I don’t (publicly) refer to my dress shoes anymore as my “shiny shoes.” But … a couple of months ago I purchased a really cool pair of very Euro black shoes with a white sole and some bolts on the bottom, when I murmured, in the presence of my wife, “These are definitely shiny shoes!”
Then a few days later I received the socks from you and realized I was now the complete package! I now have “shiny shoes” with matching socks suitable to attend church at St. Marks. I am sure they would still recognize me after my sixty year absence. This shoe/sock combo is also suitable to conduct church in my capacity as high priest for the smelly, unwashed heathens on their bicycles. God knows I love my socks and now you know why.
Thanks again Seth
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