I used to wear socks of mismatched length, long on the right and short on the left. But that was back when I wore socks at all. At this point you are no doubt wondering as to whether I was previously homeless or currently homeless. Truth of the matter is I didn’t then and don’t now know any better. A popular theory is that one of my many youthful concussive skull traumas deprived me of my sense of fashion. There have been moments where I would trade any of my remaining senses, even the specific manly dad ones (direction, flammability, spidey) for even a fun-sized version of fashion sense.
Matching colors and patterns, combining cuts and styles; this is not the main fault in my dressing. It is a fault, to be sure, but not the fault. My glaring flaw could be described as an inability to “dress for the occasion.” For example, I am often filthy. Work filthy, not un-showered filthy. Well, that too, but mainly the first one. I throw myself entirely into my work, quite literally at times. This is not a bad look, per se. Many people find a man covered in the debris of productive labor to be a thing of beauty. Crawlspace Couture. I fit in quite nicely at hardware stores. While the slack-jawed clerks are rudely directing clean people in chinos to go various places (service desk, aisle 2, hell) they will humbly approach me to ask my opinion on matters in which I have no skill, training or knowledge. I look the part. This is not a good look for, say, bringing your kid to the library where employees will not hesitate to direct you to books on how not to eat your child.
Lately I’ve been dressing rather smartly. No, that won’t work. The Spouse reads this blog so let’s be honest. Lately, The Spouse has been dressing me rather smartly. I wear clean clothes that fit me and I look good from time to time. Together we can work toward a snappier dressed DadisthenewMom. I’m helping her by doing my part. Just today, with the intention of expanding my wardrobe, The Child and I walked through the clothes section of a local store where the shirts had buttons and the pants lacked any tool holding contrivance. The change was rather jarring to The Child. “Hey, what’s all this nonsense?” she demanded to the delight of everyone within earshot.
Bit by bit, The Spouse is helping me properly match my attire to the occasion. Already I know that around the house I can dress in Hoboesque, but every morning for school I should get classy. I don’t believe the school has a dress code for teachers, but it’s all about looking the part. This particular part being “man not interested in being talked back to by children.” In the grand scheme of things, I don’t outrank an 8th grader by very much, so I take every advantage I can to keep them from going all Lord of The Flies on me.
You can take some of the filth off the dad, but you can’t take the dad out of his filth. I look more like an adult now, but that doesn’t stop me from throwing my whole self into my work. A man with fluid leaking from his car stopped me this morning to see if I could divine the nature of the problem. I was wearing full on BizCas (short for Business Casual) and crawling on hands and knees inspect the puddle… well, it simply isn’t done. Instead, I wiped my hand in it to collect a sample*. (Note to The Spouse: I did not, did NOT, then smear my hand on my pants.)
As I type this, The Child is napping on my chest. She’s got a bad cough and can’t get into a sleeping mode without a lot of hair stroking and story whispering. I’m watching as her nose leaks snot all over my chest. Right where the little guy on a horse should be. I’ll have to think about a name for that one.