Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pocket Watch

I am not what the fashion world refers to as a "clothes horse". I am, instead, what my wife refers to as a "jackass". As long as she continues to refer to me as "her" jackass, then I shall accept my fate with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

While I am not necessarily tight with a dollar when it comes to things such as my wardrobe, I am admittedly cozy with currency. I tend to not enjoy spending money on items such as clothing - other than for ties (I have a closet full of them) and running shoes (I do not yet have a closet full of them but I hope to soon). I leave for work before the discerning women folk with whom I live awaken. Thus when I let loose with the occasional ensemble that elicits a, "Hey that looks really good on you" or - thankfully far less frequently - when I leave the house wearing a complete train wreck of a get-up, neither of them sees me until I have returned at day's end.

From time to time, Margaret will drop a subtle hint regarding something I own and wear for which her reservoir of patience has been exhausted. If I fail to take the hint on its first utterance (and subtlety is not what one might call my strong suit) then she will repeat it one or two times more. We live by the "third time is the charm"/"three strikes and you are out" rule of hints in our house (feel free to choose whichever side of the coin suits you). Once I fail to pick up the hint after its third dropping, Margaret springs into action. The article of clothing she has deemed offensive disappears. Then, usually not less than three months after it has disappeared and not more than nine months after it has done so, I inevitably notice that it is not in my closet and/or dresser any longer. Margaret helps me in my efforts to locate it until we have spent time equal in that pursuit to the amount of time she spent telling me to get rid of it before she disposed of it. Once the scales of equity are in harmony, she fesses up to the fact that she threw it out.

I am decidedly not hip. I think much of that comes from having a body type that can fairly be described as block-like. Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine explained to Jerry and George the difference between the female form and its male counterpart? I am Utilitarian Man. I am more than that. I am my beloved car Skate's human embodiment. I am fine for getting around. Not likely to set your world afire.

So you can appreciate my quandary as Sunday evening I stood ironing off a suit to wear yesterday confronted as I was by a new dress shirt I had purchased the last time I went to Macy's. Clearly I had a coupon. For while I have a closet containing more dress shirts than anyone wishes he had to own, I have but one bearing this particular label. And I have exactly none of these items (also his). Never have.

As I was ironing Calvin's contribution to my wardrobe my eye was drawn not to what was there but what was not. There is no pocket in this dress shirt. A pocket less dress shirt? I would have thought that such a creation did not exist. It is the stuff of Christopher Nolan films; perhaps. Yet there it was in living color - actually a rather nice shade of gray - staring right up at me from the ironing board. For a moment I wished that I had held onto the packaging from the store. Not because I had an urge to return it but to check to see if the pocket had fallen off and was trapped in the plastic bag. Alas, the carrying case in which this item had arrived several weeks ago had long since become part of a land fill somewhere (the smart money is on Staten Island).

I walked around all day Monday wearing this pocket less dress shirt unable to discern if I was in the unfamiliar position at the tip of the spear in the world of men's fashion or just a jackass with an enormous head wearing a goofy-looking shirt. No one stopped and laughed at me as I walked by. Well, no more people than usually do anyway. I suppose that serves as some sort of confirmation of my coolness; right?

While I spent the whole day yesterday not knowing whether I was teaching the world a lesson in men's fashion or being taught a lesson in buying a dress shirt from the carousel of misfit clothes, I was reminded on countless occasions during the day about the importance of that particular pocket in that particular location. On not fewer than three occasions I attempted to place a pen in my shirt pocket only to listen to it clattering around on the floor a mere moment or two after I had released it from my grasp. Nothing gets between my and my Calvin.....

....except apparently gravity.


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