Friday, November 12, 2004
Kalahari Comments: open spaces, casual places
Dispatch from Nina:
It is my tremendous good fortune [sic] to be writing this from the Kalahari Resort at the Wisconsin Dells. [I am attending a State Bar Board of Directors meeting here.] I find it an educational moment in my continued learning about the American Way. I can’t quite disclose the nature of our executive discussions (what, you think I’m blogging while the meeting is in progress? How crass!) but I can reflect on several things that seem JFW-appropriate.
First a question: why is everything so vast in this country? You could house a four-generation Polish family in the hall I had to traverse to get from the front door to the conference room. And the entrance itself: wow! Is this the gateway to the Great Pyramids or is it the driveway to a little bitty water park resort?
Secondly: what is the Wisconsin dress code anyway? I am confused. True, lawyers tend to dress up. Men law profs wear ties, soc profs, I am guessing, tend to dispense with neckwear (yes, I know, I need look no further than my own back yard to run into an exception to this). But for meetings of this type, at a Water Park Resort, was I wrong to take it a step down? I am in casual slacks (okay, call them what they are – corduroy pants, though with the nicest cut!) with my best black sweater and très French scarf. I left my swim suit at home, water park notwithstanding. Judging by the attire around me, I think I made the right decision.
But help me here: where are we at with clothes these days? In Poland, there is little diversity: city people dress in city ways and country people try to dress in city ways. Here, I’m stumped. I was told recently that you can tell someone is from Wisconsin if they are wearing cut offs and a parka. Surely that’s not the expectation though, is it?