Monday, April 20, 2009

Frühlingsfest - a Smaller Oktoberfest

Much smaller. But we're so psyched that our friends T & M are definitely coming to visit for Oktoberfest that we decided we better start our training now. First order of business - official attire. Now, laugh as you might, I think German lederhosen are akin to the Scottish kilt. It takes a man of a certain je ne sais quoi to don these puppies and get away with it. Here, in Bavaria, lederhosen are associated with virility and brawn – like the kilt minus the easy access. But you know those Germans, they over-engineer everything.

Thomas grew up in Dresden (East Germany) Lederhosen and dirndls (which we’ll get to later) have a Southern alpine heritage. For an East German guy to put on a pair of lederhosen is crossing a definite line. When Thomas broke out his leathers for Easter Sunday at his parents, he was none too sure what the reaction would be. Probably much the same as telling your parents that you’re in love with an American girl. Fortunately, both reveals turned out well.

Now, lest you think lederhosen and dirndls are reserved for Oktoberfest and the Hofbrauhaus, you’re wrong. They are a regular fixture in Munich. Sunday best, wedding, flea market, dinner with friends, beer garden, hiking - it’s definitely not unusual to see a pair of hairy legs poking out from a pair of hand-stitched hosen on the U-bahn. So, Thomas crossed cultural boundaries (while proliferating German stereotypes) and got himself the whole kit and caboodle.
On to the dirndl. Like lederhosen, the good ones are expensive. Some can be wedding dress expensive. And, unlike the utilitarian version pictured below, they can be fashionable. I know, I know. But really - there are boutique companies that specialize in high-fashion dirndls. Seriously. Think runway. Still don’t believe me? Click here.

So, I have not gotten my dirndl yet because:
  1. I need to lose 10 pounds before I make such a big investment and there's a half-full jar of Nutella that needs to be addressed before that happens.
  2. I'm trying to decide if I should match my dirndl to Thomas' outfit or if that is just waaayyy too Hansel and Gretel.
  3. The frugal side of me thinks I should sew my own. Out of curtains. Like Scarlett.

I’ll have to get back to you on the final decision. In the meantime, let's have a beer and celebrate Frühling. Prost!


No comments: