As I unintentionally passed by the Ritz Hotel in London, I had a hankering to go in for a drink. I figured that this might be my only shot to go into a world-class institution such as this. Besides, one drink wouldn’t damage me financially.
I was dressed semi-casually, not in shorts and T-shirt or bluejeans.
I was turned away because it was expected of me to be in jacket and tie.
I wasn’t offended. I went and found another bar. It hadn’t been my goal to drink at the Ritz, anyway. The opportunity presented itself and I was nearby and so I took the chance.
Some people would say that the Ritz employees were simply being snobs. Others would argue that their reaction was normal: some places require us to be classy.
Recently, I took a trip to Chicago, New York City, and Boston. I knew there would be Ritz-Carltons in all three places, as there is in every major city. This time I came prepared: before leaving Canada, I packed a suit, some ties, and dress shoes.
When I visited the Ritz in Chicago, I had quite a different experience than the one I had in London. In fact, compared to the other people in the bar, I was overdressed. Many wore shorts, T-shirts, and shabby jeans.
I understand that they probably wanted to be comfortable in the warm summer weather but their attire made me reflect on the classiness of the world as a whole.
These days, many people go to fancy restaurants, theatres, and ceremonies in whatever clothes they prefer and they seem to have little conscience when matching their clothes to the venue. I am a teacher and I still wear suits occasionally. I am also reasonable: wearing a suit for six hours of teaching on a sweltering June day would be ridiculous. But I do dress up once in awhile in the colder weather. I am one of the very few teachers who still do.
Of course, there are others who respect the traditions of classiness but, more and more, people don’t seem to take into consideration classy behaviour in what they say and what they wear.
Very rarely do I see many indications of classy behaviour. Weddings and funerals are an exception but even they sometimes push boundaries.
Some people would think I am a snob. I just feel that there is still room for class in our world. Some people don’t seem to understand that.