It occurred to me recently, as I thought about attending my daughter’s holiday chorus performance, that I do not own a tie. It’s not like it was a formal event but it just struck me. When I announced that I intended to rectify this deficit in apparel, my dear wife was gracious enough to point out that I did not in fact own any clothing that wearing a tie could possibly enhance. I was dismayed by this and skulked on back to my room to consider this.
She, as is usually the case, was right. I don’t own anything resembling actual dress clothing. The last time I needed a suit was our wedding day. Since then my activities included working all the damned time, lying about the house, abandoning my hopes and dreams, and until about four years ago1 being out drinking in dives till they threw me out2. As a result of this my wardrobe has evolved in a more utilitarian direction. When the odd situation comes up where looking like a bum isn’t generally desired getting myself dressed has become a bit of a stretch.
To start with I have to carefully sort through my pants. They are basically all the same make and model of slacks. Black, or at least most of once were when purchased. What I’ll be looking for is the pair with the fewest, and smallest spots where bleach or degreaser has splashed on them. It would also be preferable if all of the belt loops were intact. Speaking of which I don’t seem to own a belt either, the last one seems to have disintegrated with age some months ago.
There is then the matter of a shirt. Now I own what seems to be an endless supply3 of worn and wrinkled t-shirts. They are stored in drawers, baskets and various laundry piles throughout our apartment. The very best of them have little in the way of stains from sweat, olive oil, or other remnants of grease, grime, and general food service detritus. What marks they do bear can be reasonably hidden by tucking them into pants or the donning of a jacket or overshirt.
Since the goal of this is exercise it to avoid looking like a homeless man, or the Unabomber, the hoodie is out of the running. This leaves one of the two flannel shirts hanging in my closet that survived the latest purging of undesirable, worn out, rags in my possession. Both of them are brown, so the choice there is of little to no consequence.There lies a third and arguably more desirable option. I do in the recess of my collection of attire a black, pinstriped shirt that has through some small miracle never been worn anywhere near my place of employment. This is reserved for truly special events, and I rather think a school concert in the park warrants that designation.
Socks are a blessedly easy affair to manage for me. Due to reasons, I buy them in bulk from the discount stores a few times a year. Even in the unlikely event that all available pairs have a small hole in the heel, then well at least my shoes will cover that up.
Ah yes, the shoes. Once I maintained a pair of exceedingly nice, leather dress shoes. They were black and shiny, and always put me in mind of something a secret agent might wear. I hardly ever needed to wear them. Which was a bit of a relief because their soles had shit for traction and it was hard to feel like a super spy if you felt like you were going to fall on you ass if you ever broke out into anything riskier than a brisk walk. Whatever did become of my shiny black shoes? Lost, no doubt, or left behind in one of my frantic, yet all too necessary, moves from one home or another, or to some intermediate safe locations when I drank all the rent money. So, that now leaves the choice of which pair of old sneakers to don. Will it be the grey and green ones with the soles worn thin and, what I assume to be dried on tomato sauce? Or, perhaps the camouflage print ones with the silver trim, paint stains and whatever the hell that brownish substance is?
I think the tomato sauce clashes less with the paint chipping off the frames of cheap set of reading glasses I’m planning on wearing.
Honestly I had no idea that things had gotten to such a state with my clothing. I am left wondering how it got this way4. Frankly I find it appalling. Clearly one of my priorities for the coming year should be to a complete overhaul of the wardrobe don’t you think?
That and a bit of rabid political involvement on a local scale. But that’s an unrelated matter.
At any rate,
TELL SOMEONE YOU WERE HERE