Aimlessly gazing around (which I confess is a common thing for me during Sunday family mass), I came to the realisation this weekend that church is a rich source of culturally fascinating trends. The interactions! The carefully observed hierarchy! The sidelong glances! The plumage! The place is a hotbed of social intrigue.
One thing of primary interest is the very different type of dads to be found shifting their backsides uncomfortably on the hard wood of the pews. Ranging from Wacky Dad to Euro Papa, they are relentless in their adherence to the code of their own particular tribe.
Wacky Dad is identifiable as such purely due to his garish jumper, a spot of shocking colour in an otherwise griege landscape. Possibly sourced by his wife after falling hook line and sinker for the siren song of the Boden catalogue, Wacky slings on his Neo-Rave cashmere v-neck and desperately hopes that this will indicate that his personality is brighter than his monochrome mortgaged-to-the-hilt life would otherwise suggest. For Wacky, his soft-and-stokeable woolens represent a mid-life crisis shrunk to manageable proportions.
Euro Papa is Wacky's polar opposite. As skinny as Wacky is pleasantly plump and with a carefully maintained expression of extreme boredom, Euro slinks into church resplendent in crocodile slip-ons and fine skinny knits. Lounging in his pew, he displays a flash of silk sock as he crosses his elegant knees, carefully folding his navy quilted jacket as he does so. Euro amuses himself during the service by shooting dark brooding glances at the more glamorous mothers and smirking at Wacky dad's business lunch belly. While Wacky's eyes glaze over in anticipation of the luncheon delights to follow (his favorite traditional roast, hopefully followed by apple crumble if The Missus is having a diet lapse), Euro counts the minutes until he can escape for a double espresso and a lengthy perusal of La Gazzetta dello Sport - to be enjoyed in strict silence while the bambinos are whisked off by the nanny for a pre-lunch amble around the park.
Life is sweet for the Kensington Dads. Life is sweet indeed.
Next week: Kensington mummies exposed!