You can tell a lot about a man from his watch and his shoesPublished 10:57am Thursday, March 13, 2014
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Anything from Switzerland is the stuff.
My son is making this point standing right there by a new couch he doesn’t even notice. That’s because he’s showing us his latest eBay purchase, an Omega Seamaster DeVille, and we’re locked in on every word because he’s the firstborn and he’s home for a visit and occasions like this make parents want to go kill the fatted calf.
And by the way, an Omega is a watch for those of you who do not have a family member who collects and sells vintage timepieces for fun.
So I’m listening and admiring the face (on the watch), but with the way my mind works, I’m still wondering why Switzerland is the stuff. Isn’t it supposed to be neutral? My son is catching me up on the culture, though, so I have to stay focused.
That’s when he pops out another point, and I’ve known him long enough to tell right away it’s not an original thought. He’s quoting an authority, some guy he heard say it on a television show called “Shark Tank”, which is evidently about rich investors who give out business loans.
So this shark from the show says, “You can tell a lot about a man from the shoes he’s wearing and the watch he has on.”
Discussion ensues from our peanut gallery, but I’m losing focus, thinking of some of the men in my life. They wear boots with soles worn out from work and watches that must be waterproof because they work up a sweat while they’re wearing out their soles.
Yes, I find myself agreeing. You can indeed tell a lot about a man from his shoes and his watch.
By then the firstborn has plopped down on the couch (isn’t that why we needed a new one?) and is talking with his dad about the snow they had in Memphis earlier in the week.
I’m having trouble focusing again because he has shown me the back of the Omega Seamaster Deville. Which has an inscription. Which leads me to wonder: Just who was Jasper M. Griffin, and why is my son in possession of his 57-year-old watch?
There’s not much to go on, and what little there is requires my highest-strength reading glasses to make out. Jasper M. Griffin May 30, 1957, office staff.
I find myself fascinated by the fact that some man whose loyal service earned him a 14K-gold, automatic Swiss-made reward let it go at some point. Did it slip off while he walked his dog through Central Park? Were there hospital bills to pay after his wife’s surgery? Had it been stolen from a hotel room in Albuquerque while he traveled on “office staff” business?
But perhaps it wasn’t even Jasper who let it go. Maybe he had held onto it until the end. Maybe an inheriting nephew simply preferred a Timex.
My son notices I’m absorbed, and when he finds out why, he admits he was, too. “Looked him up already,” he says, and with a simple horizontal shake of his head I knew I’d never know Jasper’s real story.
There’s a new band on the watch, and my son tells us this Omega is a keeper. “One to pass on to my grandchildren,” I think is what he said, and I’ve got to believe Jasper M. Griffin would like that.
After all, anything from Switzerland is the stuff.
Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.