We’re flying home from Vancouver at this very moment, so I’m writing this post from 28,000 feet on the way to San Francisco. Last night we took ourselves out to a rather informal dinner at a Thai restaurant across the False Creek from Vancouver’s famed Granville Island. The food was both spicy and delicious, and the view of Granville Island, on a chilly Victoria Day, was pleasant and made the meal that much more pleasant.
A table in front of ours was also out celebrating Victoria Day. And in plain clear view one of the people at the table showed us that ironically she was revealing that she was not a wearer of Victoria’s Secret [I don’t actually know if the chain is even in Canada.] Butt, typo intended, and more to the point, there were no secrets with her, as her entire arse became the unintended subject of our visual experience during our appetizer course. “We’d like one order of chicken satay with peanut sauce and raw butt cheeks, please.”
Oh, it was definitely unpleasant until we turned to ourselves to laugh and began to think that it was lucky for her it was only us sitting behind [again – word carefully chosen] her and not someone else who would have totally harassed [did you catch the hidden word within a word?] her for letting the bottom half all hang out.
The thing is her problem could be anyone’s. People are walking around in ill-fitting clothes. And because there is so much emphasis in this trendy hi-low concept [buy and wear cheap clothes and dress it up with an expensive accessory], people focus on placing quality in the wrong places. This concept can be asinine [sounded like a good word to use here] because if a person’s visual image may be destroyed when her pants shimmy down below her butt crack, it really won’t matter that she’s carrying a designer handbag. She should have better quality clothes that give her a more respectable look. Last night’s young offender had a Chanel handbag, and I think Coco would have turned in her grave.
While enjoying our dinner and still laughing about the situation, we thought of how this would be handled in an upscale establishment. For one thing, we knew it would not be tolerated. A more adept restaurant staff would have discretely approached the person, made her aware of the issue and recommended a solution. Had she had a shawl or pashmina, a hostess might have walked over and recommended wrapping herself. Since men don’t wear these accessories, the discrete but direct approach would be most likely taken.
We also thought of what we could have done differently, besides just sit there and laugh. First, we had to realize that it was a very relaxed place to begin with. The other table had about eight people and it would have been uncomfortable as a guest approaching them. We could have alerted the server, although there was a significant language barrier. We could have asked to move to another table, although we would not have been able to enjoy the other view that we did want to enjoy, if possible.
What would you have done in the same situation?
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Joseph Rosenfeld helps professional men, women, and corporate workgroups create effective visual brands. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.