I don’t like buying clothes. I really don’t. They’re overpriced in my book but like anything else, life dictates necessity.
I work retail. My job involves many things, some of which means that very soon I’ll be shoveling snow, salting sidewalks, unloading trucks and in some instances…carrying a little old lady’s twenty pound bag of cat litter and thirty pack of Old Milwaukee Light to her Oldsmobile across the frozen tundra also known as our parking lot. I’m not complaining. I work for a good company, am happy to be there and love to take care of my customers and coworkers alike…but I need to be warm when working and trying to look “nice.” “Nice” for my line of work means dress pants, white shirt, tie and maybe a sweater.
I’ve tried wearing nice dress slacks to work. Do you know what an Iowa January feels like? Windy and bitterly cold (not as cold as say Minnesota or North Dakota, but they’re used to it, I being the 45 year old pansy that I am…somehow am NOT). Thin polyester slacks just don’t cut it. I’ve started wearing thicker pants, thicker socks, Keen brand shoes and own a nice selection of sweaters that add an additional layer of insulation besides my already quarter inch thick layer of ice cream/beef/bacon added blubber that surrounds my midsection. I am warm, but I still don’t care for shopping for it. Case in point.
I went to Kohls this morning because I find their “lowest prices of the season” advertisements amusing, and my lovely bride insists that I use their charge card AND discount coupons. She left me a nice note that read “if you can wait until the Saturday after Thanksgiving the sales will be better.” To hell with that…long lines, too many people and did I mention earlier that I don’t care for shopping?
So I select four different pairs of slacks in my size, but don’t try them on until arriving home (why try them on in a small, stuffy, funny smelling dressing room where thousands of others have stood sock-footed, and it’s a literal minefield of loose straight pins…all just waiting to poke me. I’m not afraid of germs persay…I just don’t care for my feet resembling a pincushion). Anyway, I’m required to wear a tie, which is good because I look great with a tie on, or at least more respectable, believable and/or credible, but ties are such a rip off. Twenty bucks or more for a tie?! It costs them like a buck or two to produce and they’re charging me an Andrew Jackson? And it doesn’t help that the ties I buy are food magnets. I’ve come to either throwing the tie over my shoulder when I eat OR hunkering over my food like the hunchback of Notre Dame would (OR maybe I should chew my food with my mouth closed). I figure that the pants that I buy and wear to work will last around six months, ties…maybe a year. Such a waste.
I needed underwear too so that decision was pretty easy, and in my opinion underwear is the second greatest value in the “world of apparel”, belts are first in the clothing pecking order; belts last decades. Now I’m not talking about some fancy French cut, over the hip, satiny thong backed type for yours truly (although I know a few of you are envisioning that very scenario right…..now) I’m just talking about your basic Hanes boxer briefs in dark colors with the Comfort Flex waistband (my waist must be comfortable). It says on the outside of the package “No ride up”….is that guaranteed? What would the checkout lady say if I queried her on that very point? “Say…just a quick question here Gladys, the package says “no ride up”…just what is that supposed to mean…ya know…in your book? I think that I know…but I’d like a professional like yourself to tell me. And if it does…you know…”ride up” can I return ‘em?”
I saw that they had a section of “Brazilian Trunks” for sale, in the Men’s department. Look them up if you don’t know what they are, but let’s just say that they’re way low cut on the waist band, way high cut on the thigh, barely big enough to cover a guys rear end, and are made of some sort of form-fitting material in exciting, brilliant colors with festive designs on them (like racing stripes or flames). I entertained the idea of buying some then surprising my wife with them, you know…just walking into the bedroom with just a towel wrapped around my waist then whipping the towel off and SHAZAM!! “Hey baby…get a load of this!” But then I imagined hearing her laugh and that dashed that five-second day dream (I have a big mouth and somewhat wild imagination, but frail self-esteem and egg shell thin ego….so yeah….no Brazilian Trunks for me). Realistically I would’ve had to work out for a couplea months, eat right, tan, get a full body wax and oil just to get reasonably close to what the guy on the Brazilian Trunks underwear package looked like….and that sure the hell ain’t happenin’ without a fight. Trust me on that one faithful RICHRIPLEY followers.
I bought socks too…the third best value in clothing. It’s a good thing that the Brazilians don’t do sexy socks. That I could do, my calves are…in a word….dangerous.
So just a quick recap for those of you scoring at home:
#1… Belts are to a man’s dresser what a dictator is to his small country. If he goes down…so does everything else.
#2…Underwear, I’ve covered this enough already and you’re still probably trying to clear that image of me in a thong, out of your head (sorry about that).
#3…Socks…white-over the calf. Soft, white and cushiony…just like my abs.
What apparel have I forgotten my faithful minions? Care to debate this pecking order?