Thursday, September 30, 2004

Dressed Down

I’ve been invited to attend a Kerry fundraiser/Black-Eyed Peas concert in Hollywood this weekend so I spent part of the afternoon looking for something to wear. I haven’t purchased an item of clothing other than underwear in roughly a year and I’m quite certain that my faded Eddie Bauer jeans and a plaid, button-down shirt circa 2001 are not appropriate for the calamitously powerful Hollywood politico set. Is there anything uglier than a style-deficient white dude at a political blowfest cum hip hop concert? “Word! Let’s get it started, America!”

So I drag my whiteness over to where the cool people chill. South Coast Plaza is the kind of a place where we, the powerless and unhip, might end up whimpering in the corner. Everyone there is beautiful, rich and surgically perfected. But in my effort to maintain even a modicum of youth, I drag myself through the racks of Banana Republic, Structure, American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch, scouring the hangers for something I could wear this weekend without embarrassing myself.

Mission NOT accomplished.

What in the hell has happened since my last trip to the mall? It’s a time warp back to the days when I had a Fonzie poster on my bedroom wall and a raging crush on Suzanne Somers. Every moderately wearable item in every clothing store in the mall has been replaced with one of the following:

1) Printed t-shirts – saw one that read “Missouri Loves Company” – that wouldn’t fit a hamster but are reputed to be perfect for grown men. I’m not going to pay $30 for a faded green t-shirt that is cut to fit snuggly enough that my eight-inches-around, farmer-tanned biceps are on display for the Democratic leadership of our country. And let’s not even talk about how it would accentuate my non-existent pecs and my underdeveloped nipples.

2) Loud, plaid, pointed-collar, button-up shirts the likes of which haven’t been seen since Arnold wore one when he was talking to Abraham the goldfish on Diff’rent Strokes. “Whatchutalkinbout?”

3) Cargo pants with pockets absolutely everywhere. Two in the front, two in the back, one on the outside of each knee, one in the cuff and one in the crotch. I have one wallet and one keyring. What will I do with the other pockets?

4) Big old trucker caps like people used to wear to see Burt Reynolds movies. Mesh in the back, big canvas front that makes little heads like mine look even smaller.

In Banana Republic, I saw a reasonably tame long-sleeved t-shirt. It was black, looked a little like a sweater, but it was definitely a t-shirt. Had these grayish racing stripes down each side. “Hmm,” I think. “I could wear that without looking like a total poseur.” I pluck the hanger from the rack, lay it flat across my chest to see if it fits, which it does. And then I look at the price tag.

Seventy eight dollars. For a t-shirt. I wonder if the whole store heard my scream.

Banana Republic, if you’re reading this, fuck off.

I call Hot Wife to break the news that I have tragically crossed the line between youthfully bending to the whims of fashion for the sake of looking good and poo-pooing everything on the shelves and wondering what’s gotten into people. Can taking my teeth out before bed be far behind?

Hot Wife makes the following suggestion: “Just go to Marshall’s.” Right. If you can’t fit in with the hip crowd, fit in with the crowd who will wear anything as long as it’s not missing the crotch. Sorry, honey, but I think wearing a vinyl Seattle Seahawks jacket and powder blue corduroys to the event would warrant my eviction from the show and a merciless, back alley beating by the Secret Service.

There’s nothing I can do. I am hopelessly, immovably unhip. But if by chance I can get a minute alone with Senator Kerry, you can rest assured he’s going to hear from me about that $78 t-shirt.

24 Comments:

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