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March 9, 2002
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Zoot Suit

John fulfilled a promise to me today. I hadn't really expected it, but after this last week, I really needed something.

John asked me, at the beginning of the day, "What do you want to do?"

I answered, "I just want to go out sometime today."

So John asked if I wanted to go to this Jewish Deli, one of the biggest in the Denver area. In the article about them, they even open a special store just for Passover, filled with thousands of things that are good for just Passover. That was pretty impressive, so we really wanted to go there and see what it was like and even, if possible, taste their authentic foods.

Then John said, casually, "Oh, on the way, do you want to stop by Suavecito?"

I stared at him, and then bounced over and *hugged* him. Suavecito is a store that specializes in Zoot Suits, the classical Zoot, in all the colors of the rainbow. They're owned by Hispanics in a Hispanic neighborhood. A bit more than a year ago, while I was pregnant, I'd gone there with John 'just to look', and John had walked out with a full setup: suit, chain, shoes, Italian silk tie, narrow belt, suspenders, and black straw hat.

I envied him terribly.

I was pregnant then, and far too big to fit. I had been watching what I eat, nursing Jet has been burning a lot of calories, and with the swimming I was hungry all the time. Over the holidays I lost five points and this morning I found out that I'd lost two more pounds while John and Jet were sick. So I am now lighter than I've been since my ACL broke. So it was pretty much the perfect time to try.

So we went.

It was really exciting recognizing the exit and the turns and the streets to get there. It's right off I-25, a bit south of the main part of town. And we got there and there was a whole family in there with a big, older gentleman, and he was talking through with them all the alterations he needed on one of the sale suits. There was a multi-grey suit that was also on sale, $300 for the whole setup, and I peered mildly at it, but I really wanted to try some really bright colors.

In the back of my head, too, was what Marith once said about the fact that she thought I'd look good in the silver suit. John had bought gold, with a black shirt and red detailing on the tie, handkerchief and the red feather in the hat. I'd been thinking that the silver might go with the gold pretty well, but I wanted to try the other suits just to see how they looked.

Jay, one of the two owners of the store, was there, just as he'd been when we bought John's suit last year. He recognized us, and said, "You've been here before, haven't you?" We explained that, yes, we had, and Jet had been inside the last time we'd been there. He admired Jet, talked about his kids, and then asked what he could do for us. We explained that I wanted a suit, too.

He measured me, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I'd lost an inch around the waist along with the weight. I tried on a 40 jacket, and it was a bit big, so we went to a 38, which is my chest measurement anyway, and it was perfect. Black and gold just for fit, then a deep blue that was nearly purple. Ray handed me suspenders, and so I put them on, and the blue suit looked really smart. It was beautiful, bright, and perfectly crisp.

I almost wanted to just go with it.

Instead, I decided to go ahead and try the silver one on, as I'd been thinking about it for so long. It felt different, silkier, smoother, draped gently, and moved with me much more nicely than the other one. Ray found a few more things for me to try on with the suit, including the watch chain, which Jet appropriated for himself. Surprisingly, he played with it instead of chewing on it, and had a great time with the chain.

I decided not to go too far, and went ahead and took it off to try on the red one, and it felt like the blue one. It was also beautifully bright and pretty keen; but both Ray and John noted that the bright suits would tie me to the single color. The silver one would let me wear any color at all with it. So I went back to the silver suit, and picked out and put on a pair of grey saddle shoes. They were narrow, shinier than any shoes I've ever had, and when I put them on they surprised the heck out of me by being, of all things, comfortable!

Women's dress shoes are *not* comfortable. The better they look the more painful they are. Men don't put up with that, and, boy, am I glad. The shoes have just a bit of a heel, but they're comfortable, snug enough to not slide at all, and long enough for even my long toes to not feel at all cramped. I was astonished at just how comfortable they were, and they looked really sharp with the suit and I also knew that they'd look good with my grey banker's suit. I was looking for a pair that would go well with both.

I know. It seems pretty weird knowing that, every day, I wear sweats and T-shirts, even to work. And here I am buying a full-fledged outfit for a few hundred bucks, with all the details and all the wonderful accessories. Plus, I have the banker's suit, which is a really nice piece of tailoring, in and of itself, and a blue velvet ball gown. It's like I won't buy the piddling business level clothing, only the really expensive stuff or I wear stuff that only costs less than a good hard cover book.

I found a silk, Italian tie that was patterned with black, silver, and an amethyst purple. I'm going to have to find myself a dress shirt that is that amethyst purple in color. I had been thinking of blue; but the purple tie really caught my eye, and I decided that *that* was the one. I may have to buy a men's shirt, because they have those gorgeous jewel tones with the proper collar for a tie. I had to get John to tie my tie for me, and he said that he'll have to teach me how to do it for myself, someday. I'd like that.

One thing that really surprised me was the fact that the high waist on the pants was very comfortable. Ray said that they might have to let the waist out a bit on me; but when I tried the pants on, the high waist made me look like I have a wasp's waist. The ballooning of the pants and the gathering of the shirt both really work well with my physique, and both helped make my waist look incredibly small. I also am tall enough that I don't look like the women in the Sauvecito pictures, i.e. all that's above the waist of the pants is *bust*. Whew.

Jet, in the meantime, did wonderfully. He got hungry about the time I was picking out a tie, but Ray gave John a packet of lemon cookies, and Jet chowed down on them. John ate two, Jet ate three, and I got the last one as a snack while Jet nursed off me after I'd decided on everything. It was a gorgeous day out, so we did that in the car where there were fewer distractions. John stayed inside to pay and see the alterations get started. They love repeat business and gave us an excellent discount on nearly everything. I was very glad of that.

When Jet was done, I went in and the alterations were done, and I tried the cuffed pants on again. They fit perfectly. I now have far more incentive to either lose a bit more weight or maintain than I ever have before. Yay!

From there, we headed off to where John thought the deli was, and on the way we realized that it was the Jewish Sabbath. Oops. We didn't find it at either of the two addresses John had written down and found on the map. So it's a Jewish Deli that is not only closed for the Sabbath, it doesn't exist, either. We'll have to call them when they're open and try them some Sunday. But as it was we'd crisscrossed over a significant portion of Denver.

It was actually a really pretty drive, and we got to see a lot of the city we normally wouldn't have seen. It was actually a really nice adventure, and Jet fell asleep while we were doing it. With all the extra driving, he got to sleep for more than an hour before we accidentally came across Gateaux, a bakery that was purported to be one of the best in the city.

John parked nearby, and I picked my way across a construction site to the shop. It was small, neat, with a small tea room setup across from the display counter. I went in and bought two of their individual tortes, one slice of sour cream pound cake and one slice of banana cake. I wanted to sample a small gamut of what they made. I'd heard so much about them it seemed to be a good thing to do. Plus, I was hungry.

We didn't find a great place to have lunch on the way home, so we stopped at a deli on 120th and I-25 that we knew about and had wanted to try for the last several months. It turned out to be pretty good. They bake their own bread into huge loaves that they slice slices off of by hand to make the sandwiches to order. The bread was pretty remarkable, huge slices with chewy crusts and soft centers.

The sandwiches didn't have all the meat piled in the center, instead, they were nicely spread to make the whole sandwich taste good. I really enjoyed my Rueben, and John had a simple corned beef sandwich. Jet loved the crusts off the bread, and he ate it greedily along with a few spoonfuls from a jar of corn and squash.

Lunch was late. Dinner was on time, but lighter. Chicken wings and jojo's and salad. Dessert was the tortes from Gateaux and they were good cake. The lemon curd one was light and fresh and Jet loved the lemon. The chocolate mousse torte was rich and dense. I think I still miss the daquoise variations from Seattle Desserts; but for cake, it was very, very good cake.

The afternoon was mostly spent getting more of our photos organized for the last of Jet's first year. I also did some catching up with my journal. There's a lot more to do, and tomorrow, hopefully, to do it in

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