Bavarians in Paradise
We go Munich often because that is where my husband is from. Most tourists to this town land right in the middle of Marienplatz and, after watching the figurines come out of the Glockenspiel (clock tower) to perform two stories from the 16th century, every hour on the hour, they head on over to the Hofbräuhaus. They go to Hofbräuhaus ostensibly to get a stein -- or five steins -- of beer. There the tourists may also eat not-particularly-good food, and then they can go home and say that Munich is full of big-breasted women serving beer and fatty sausages. And they all feel like they know Bavaria.
Just to let you in on a secret, lederhosen and dirndls are not costumes that people put on only when they perform in Bavarian cabarets (like our friend Barny, who I described in ‘Clichés are the Funniest Things.’). Bavarians, even in their 20s, get married in these clothes. Our male friends put on lederhosen (sometimes with a cool tee shirt) to go to a restaurant or even a hike in the country, and of course you wear your dirndl to Oktoberfest. I don’t have a dirndl but I wore women’s lederhosen to Oktoberfest. And I’m glad I did.
My husband has the entire lederhosen getup. His lederhosen, pictured here, are knee-length black leather with nice stitching and matching Hosenträger (suspenders). There is a blousy white shirt, which I think is in style everywhere, and black leather shoes with ties on the side that he wears with natural wool socks. I am still married to him. He actually looks very nice.
Of course our sons are sometimes wary of the outfit. They did wear lederhosen at Oktoberfest the last time they went. So they now have a good sense for the lederhosen. Still, they do worry that their father might put his on in another country (like the U.S. or France) at exactly the moment when a girlfriend innocently arrives at the house. I am fanning the flames of this fear by telling Markus how cute and sexy he is in the lederhosen.
But they cannot see it, and privately they want me to stop.