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Festive Friday and milquetoast

Friday, December 15th, 2006

How many of you get “Casual Friday” at work? At my company, we don’t. However, the other company, which is in this same building and in fact is separated from us by only a half-wall, does. It’s also a bigger company than ours, so some two thirds of the people here get to dress in jeans or whatever they want, whereas we still have to dress nicely. The dress code here is not terribly formal — I usually wear slacks and a button-up shirt (no tie) or sometimes a polo shirt. But still, it would be nice to be able to wear jeans. We almost never have clients in the office, so I’m not sure why we can’t.

So, in lieu of “Casual Friday,” I have started a tradition I like to call “Festive Friday.” All this really means is that every Friday, I wear my “festive shirt.” The thing is, I really don’t do festive, and even if I did, the dress code wouldn’t permit it. So, my “festive shirt” is an off-white, silk, short-sleeved shirt, with an extraordinarily subtle pattern of palm trees on it.

We are talking uber subtle here. The palm trees are defined only by a slight variation in the texture of the fabric. It’s barely even noticeable now that the shirt has been washed numerous times. You have to look really close and even then you still might not see it. I may try to take a photo of it later, but I’m not sure it’ll even be clear enough to illustrate my point.

The funny thing about this is that even though my “festive shirt” isn’t really festive at all, I still walk around all day feeling subversively celebratory. I really feel I have successfully circumvented the lack of Casual Friday. I need to try coming up with other traditions like this to see if they are enough to slightly alter my mood.

In completely unrelated news, I keep seeing the (non-)word “milquetoast” on various Web sites. I swear I’ve seen it 10 times in the past week. I had no idea what that meant, and it’s not even really worth knowing, so I won’t link to a definition. It’s just one of those words that I hate. For a while, “blog” was one of those words for me. I eventually got used to it because it is a convenient, concise way of saying “weblog,” and everybody says it. I still have problems with “blogosphere.” But right now “milquetoast” is driving me insane. Google turns up an astouding 348,000 results for “milquetoast.” Well, 348,001 now, I guess. Damn it!

3 Responses to “Festive Friday and milquetoast”

  1. Bud Buckley Says:

    I was a teacher and although we didn’t have a strict dress code most of those years, I started wearing a tie anyway for about the last 12 years. I became famous for them, actually. Then in the last year of my retirement I started doing my own casual Friday with a t-shirt. Never jeans, though. I think your work situation is really strange. A half wall between two companies? Somebody forget to pay the rent? Your level of sneaky subversiveness with the festive shirt certainly defies any label of milquetoastness, as far as I’m concerned.

    Nowadays, I’m usually playing a coffeehouse gig and its jeans and T shirt. But when the tourist season comes into full swing New Years week, my steady restaurant gig means I’ll be in slacks and button up shirt two nights a week. Always on Friday. Two other nights I get to dress down, though. I do love the coffee house scene even if the pay sucks.

    I’ll be away for a while, now. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, even if you don’t do festive. I’m not a festive guy myself but just go with whatever everybody else is doing.

  2. Apertome Says:

    Thanks for that thoughtful response, Bud.

    The “half-wall” situation is a bit strange indeed. My company is one of several under the same ownership; actually 3 different companies use different parts of the same office. Among other things, my company fulfills the IT needs of the other companies in our group.

    Things get even weirder when you consider that almost all of the work I do is for the company on the other side of the wall. I talk to them more than to my own boss.

    Merry Christmas to you, too!

  3. i, squub Says:

    I hate that word, too. Milquetoast. It makes my whole self vibrate in the wrong direction. I’m fucking pissed off at seeing it. I’ve never looked it up.

    We don’t have casual fridays because here every day is casual friday. I used to wear slacks of some sort and a button down shirt, but I started feeling way overdressed as half of the guys here would always be in jeans and t-shirts. So now I usually wear that, though in winter I tend to wear long sleeve shirts of some description. And jeans. Almost always jeans.

    We DO have occasions where either some client is going to be here or someone from the newly in-place overlords is going to be here, and our boss asks us to dress business casual.

    Fucking milquetoast.

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