Dinner in Peoria
So here I am, enjoying a fine meal in a fine establishment. It’s a restaurant where lit candles on the table is the norm, where you don’t get your next course or drink until you’re almost done with what you have, and where it is clear the staff has been there for a long, long time.
I love eating in these kinds of places. The food tends to be great, the service exemplary, and the deserts oddly compelling.
It’s Saturday. I survey the room. Not counting staff I am one of five men with a suit jacket or blazer. I’m sporting a brown corduroy blazer. While not my normal dinner choice, it is a great travel blazer. I am one of three actually wearing his jacket at the table. I am one of two wearing a tie. Mine is a Madras plaid bow tie I’m breaking in.
So many of the women are well dressed. There were a mother and a daughter in here, both striking in their choices. The daughter’s boyfriend showed up late in a hooded sweatshirt.
Others are in various states of uncaring about their appearance. They’re regulars, as the wait staff knows not only their names but their preferences. But they look like slobs.
I wandered the deserted streets back to the hotel where my daughter’s anime conference, AnimeZap, is taking place.
Here’s the thing; while these kids and adults at AnimeZap dress up in their favorite characters costumes … they dress up. They take pride, a pride born of the taunts and ridicules of their outside-of-the-mainstream lives, and manifest it in their meticulous attention to detail and authenticity.
The men in the restaurant with unkept appearance should learn something from the fantasy convention down the street. You don’t have to wear a tie every day, but you need to make an effort when the one you’re with is dressed to the nines.