The stories you are about to read are true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
My friend was planning the outfit she would wear to the ultra formal wedding of a sister to one of the New Kids On The Block. We live in the Greater Boston area and this was a black-tie event back in the early ’90s, as you may have already surmised. (Of course, any likeness to real individuals or groups, while 100% accurate and true, are hereby denied and insisted as purely coincindental in the name of social congeniality.)
Anyway, my friend, we’ll call her “Sheryl,” no, I’m sorry, we’ll call her “Sarah,” described to me in detail the magnificent ensemble she planned to wear to this celebrity event.
“The men are encouraged to wear tuxedos. The women, black dresses. And I’ll be wearing ‘Saturn Shoes,’” Sarah beamed.
Saturn Shoes, I wondered. In my mind flashed pictures of stunning plantetary rings that were really part of an annular disk with concentric local maxima and minima in density and brightness surrounding a fabulous ladies’ dress shoe bearing 6″ heels.
“What are Saturn Shoes, Sarah? ” I had to ask, however sheepishly, regretfully revealing my obvious lack of fashion sense and flushing head to toe a brilliant chagrin.
“Why, they’re the most formal shoes you can buy,”Sarah explained. “Women purchase them a pure white then dye them the exact color of their dresses for weddings and other formal occasions.” She gave these instructions with superb confidence. “They come in all styles, you know – I bought mine at Shirley Shoe,” she smiled.
“Oh!” I said a little loudly, pinching my lip. Then, forcing the dazzling planetary ring image out of my head, I realized Sarah was talking about satin shoes. Yes, satin shoes. I thought of my own shoes that I had months earlier dyed a vibrant blue to match a dress I’d worn as a bridesmaid. Then I realized the noble gesture Sarah was attempting.
After collecting the mail from my mailbox one afternoon, I noticed a small colored envelope among the mass of larger, rectangular others normally associated with bills. Clearly an invitation of some sort, I brushed the other mail aside and opened the square envelope with interest.
It was from Nancy, a best friend I’d had since high school. “NARCHO PARTY.” Her letters were large and handwritten across the top of a pretty premade notecard. “PLEASE COME.” Curious about this theme “narcho,” I picked up the phone and called my friend.
“Nancy, I’ve received my party invitation and am available to attend. But I’m curious as to the theme. I’ve never heard of ‘narcho’ before. Do tell,” I asked.
“You know, tortilla chips and salsa!” Nancy exclaimed. ”I didn’t know if there was an ’r’ in nacho or not, so I just threw one in.”
My husband and I were visiting friends shortly after the Christening of their newest baby. Joining the host as he came out to greet us was Uncle Don sporting a new T-Shirt that he had made himself using iron-on letters, especially for the occasion. “GODFARTHER,” the shirt read, in large black seriffed letters, blazened across his chest.
I blinked at his shirt for just a moment, but needed no explanation. We shook hands and joined the party that was already underway.
The Letter “R”
Growing up with a Boston accent isn’t always just as easy as accepting that the letter “r” is intended to be silent. (Think “Pahk the cah in Hahvid Yahd.”) While often the bunt of jokes, as one gets older a person can get confused that the characteristic silent “r” is merely colloquial and characteristic of the East Coast. The hard truth is a person born into the Boston accent can sometimes overcompensate by, as strange as it may sound, over pronouncing the letter ”r” and adding it where none exists.
Thus we have “Saturn” shoes, “narcho” chips, “Farther’s” Day, etc. Unique to the East Coast, I am sure.
But really, I think I’d like a pair of Saturn Shoes with planetary rings, maybe to wear to a Narcho Party next Farther’s Day.
Does your neck of the woods share an accent phenomenon? Please share your funny story.