We are fortunate indeed to live in the current era of casual living. Californians of course, do 'casual' so much better than any other people. As a general rule, Brits do not do ‘casual’ well. Whilst we excel at stiff and stuffy, casual is usually more of a character challenge.
An example may clarify the great divide. Let's take the phenomenon of 'the throw.' For those less ‘with it’ than me, I can tell you that a 'throw' is a blanket, but more fashionable than a mere blanket. A blanket belongs on a bed, whereas a throw is draped casually over furniture in any room. It's presence adds an air of casual.
Twenty years ago in England, there was no such thing as a throw. If you were exceptionally lucky there might have been an old car rug, tartan with a fringe. It remained folded neatly. It remained neatly folded unless you were unlucky enough to be ill and then be wrapped up in it's itchy, scratchy fibres, swaddled to contain your contamination.
Hence today, we find that modern Californian homes usually house at least one throw. Our Californian home has several, four to be exact. They are neatly folded on the corner of the couch. These four replace the previous four, which were used so frequently as to become bald. Now I know that you may have a couple of criticisms to throw at me here, that the 'folded' disqualifies me from the casual. It may just be that you have never worn out a throw and have difficulty understanding how they could be threadbare in less than a year?
Well, although my throws are indeed throws, they also fall into a much more important category, namely 'objet de dÃ©guisement.' They help unqualified Californians blend in with their surroundings. How? I'm glad you asked that. Say someone comes to call and our home is in it's usual state of filth and chaos. All I have to do is whip off the throws and drape them decorously over the spills and stains that adorn every room. Obviously, actively soggy patches have priority.
Additionally, and more importantly, they serve as EMT's.
The trouble is that we all have so much to learn and teach. Whilst we appear to have mastered gloves and sunglasses for the tactile defensive amongst us, other skills evade us. For instance, we are still actively working on 'sitting.' When we're concentrating on such tasks other skills fall by the wayside. It’s not easy to juggle gloves, sunglasses and sitting all at the same time.
But what about the EMT's?
Emergency Modesty Throws my friend.
Some small people do 'casual' even better than Californians?
I suspect that New Jersey’s “blue fleece” has more a more temperate function, but every bit as cuddly.