NOTES from TORONTO
January 22, 2020
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Fashion Blog

February 2020

differently colored socks

I am certain, at some point in our lives, there is an opportunity where you re-meet all the socks you once knew. My sock drawer is like a diverse world: socks of every shape and color, each of them alone, failing to find a partner of same color. It never occurred to me until recently that it was okay to wear differently colored socks, that nobody would report me for it. This is no doubt in part influenced by my wife, who admitted that seeing the wearing of differently colored socks, sent her tumbling into a minor state of rage. Although I didn’t share it, this irrational dislike was one of those small flaws – such as her equally strong distaste for the wearing of differently colored clothes – that made me love her a little bit more. In the summer of 2018, when we were out for lunch with my European friends Jan, Boris and Jane and their children Jakub and Kacper, who were eight and ten at the time, we all talked about dislike of differently colored socks.  Seeing Boris and Jane and Jakub and Kacper is always something that lifts my mood, because listening to Jakub and Kacper talk has, right from when they were very small, been more entertaining than listening to most expensively priced comedy gigs by adults. But we didn’t catch up with Boris and Jane and Jakub and Kacper for about twelve months after that. When they arrived at our house the next time, we saw them, the first thing Jakub and Kacper did was lift their trouser legs to show my wife and me, they were both wearing differently colored socks. It didn’t go very well from there.

I’ve got some shirts I was so, so excited about, when I bought them. Sometimes, when I’m wondering what to wear, I put one of them on, then go “Nah.” That’s been happening for a whole decade with a couple of them, and I really need to let them go. Give it away to people who might like them. There’s nothing wrong with the shirts. It’s not like the shirts dislike me, or I dislike them. The shirts and I are just different people with different opinions. But we get along well. Disagreement is a good thing, co-existing with disagreement is a highly evolved ability. You don’t have to like everything to live and co-exist with other things and other people. As you like, so do others, for different reasons. That does not make your like better, just different. Another Way to be Human….

I went down an alley to the good secondhand clothes shop in Toronto, the Salvation Army Thrift store, then up a narrow staircase almost completely wallpapered. There were two rooms at the top: the household items room, and the clothing, shoes and winter wear items room. There were always hundreds of items and clothing on the shelves and aisles, where a friendly salesperson will try to pitch to you, the moral side of buying something as a charitable act in order to help marginalized people in our society. I love shopping here, because just after buying, I go to the shelters and distribute these clothes to the homeless and I keep a few with me to humble myself. It is always a nice day for me. I love the thought that good people donated these clothes willingly and a few other people like me, buy to support the store and give it away to people living in shelters. When everyone is well clothed, everyone is well taken care of. The least of us must get what the highest of us can afford. This way we all become a community. Another way to share and live.

I admire those with hairstyles. I don’t have a hairstyle. I have hair. Most days, it has zero tiny bugs in it. That’s as good as it gets. I can’t see myself spending a lot of time styling my hair, mind you, I have some good hair, just that styling is not my thing.

Never take advice from your mom on hair. Moms are mostly brilliant but when it comes to hair, however their sole mission is to sabotage your thought process for you to accommodate her. This is a hard lesson that you must relearn several times, especially when you have an especially great mom.

I am in theory not interested in celebrities but in the end it’s just a theory. Celebrities sometimes make great art, and are sometimes lovely to look at, sometimes both at the same time, and I’m only human. I think they are very overrated and these days they have become political, taking one side or the other. Are they celebrating or just acting? Art and Politics do not go well because while one is creative the other is destructive. America stood up, got a bit of an attitude on it and said, “From now on we are a proud country of our own, and everyone in that country will have respect for innovation and creativity at the same level as freedom and free will. It was downhill from that point. I wonder at times, how one human being can rise higher than another human being, when we all share and live in the same planet. More money, perhaps, but not unequal rights. Our human race has no chance to lift itself from its lowest thoughts until you lift yourself to your own highest idea.

Looking good for your age and looking young for your age are often – but not always – two very different things. Society mixes them up all the time and sometimes that’s why absurd things happen to humans. While one is a desire to stay young the other is a need to stay young. A desire is always a good thing; but a need? I am not so sure.

I don’t think anybody should be nasty about somebody’s appearance, ever. I’m against it, one hundred percent. Yet at the same time, thinking back to a couple of periods of my life, I can’t help sometimes wondering, “Could somebody not have taken me to one side and had a quiet word with me about how bad I was looking?”

I grew up in a time where it was – just about – still possible to shock people with the clothes you wore. But, because of the internet, and a greater fragmentation and more accelerated recycling of fashion, everyone has seen every look ever now, so has no need to be shocked by anything. Despite this, people still get weirdly upset by anything that strays outside the norm for any given period. In short: we still live in the world, and the world will always contain different people. They don’t realize that my reason for dressing like I do never has anything to do with what’s happening to clothes at that exact period of history; my reason for dressing like I do is because I am comfortable and feel easy. Dressing is a personal choice and is meant for you to feel good, not meant for everyone else. Why am I expected to please others at the cost of displeasing myself? I must experience the feeling of happiness in order to understand what the feeling is like. I need to self-fulfill in order to fulfill others. How can I give away, what I do not have? Now that’s A Higher Conversation….

. . .

My new book A Higher Conversation is coming out soon. You will be able to order it from all well-known booksellers worldwide for worldwide delivery, once it is published.

I am also writing another book. It’s a Metaphysical Sc-Fi set in year 3045. Read an excerpt on my website. Check it out at www.neildavidchan.com.

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