Clothes Make a Man!

There are pictures of me as a preschool-aged boy wearing blue jeans, t-shirts and athletic shoes. Now, I would be the first to admit that the jeans weren’t Levi’s, the t-shirts weren’t Calvin Klein’s and the athletic shoes were not Nike’s. Nope. I wore what my mom told me to. But, a few years later, I was working at a cosmetic factory and playing guitar in a rock band. I wore blue jeans, t-shirts and athletic shoes.Once again, the jeans were not Levi’s, although by that time I’d heard of them. The t-shirts were probably from Sears Roebuck and the athletic shoes were either Converse, or more likely, Keds. Those were the days. I could wear whatever clothes I wanted. It wasn’t like in Junior High when I’d have to wear a clean shirt everyday or the entire 8th grade class would be talking about me. I didn’t think that the shirt was that dirty, and besides if I wore a clean shirt everyday, I might run out of clean shirts before Saturday.I remember one thing rather clearly from 8th grade. I had to wear a different shirt every day. I also remember a favorite pair of corduroy pants. When I put them on they weren’t too loose, or too tight, or too short or too long. In other words, if I wore those pants, kind of orangy colored, no one would talk about my clothes. At least that I heard.But when I was in the band, working in the factory, I had sort of a reputation for being, ‘cool’. At least in the factory amongst the people ten plus years older than me.And they were the kind of people that you would want to impress. I mean, there they were, in their thirties, working in a factory, wishing they were someplace else. My clothes, hair and behavior would sometimes be the only fun distraction they had to deal with for an otherwise boring 8-hour shift.I did my best. I almost got fired, for my behavior while I wore my blue jeans (bellbottomed in those days) t-shirts (with naked ladies draped in the American flag on them) and athletic shoes. Actually the shoes were earth shoes. Those were those shoes people wore so that they were always walking uphill. That was to prepare us for later in life, I think. Now it seems whenever I’m walking, I’m walking uphill and there’s no bench to sit and rest on.I used to be a supervisor in my chosen profession. I had to wear a tie. I guess it was so the people I supervised would know who was in charge, only the tie didn’t seem to help much. It just gave me away when somebody wanted to chew somebody in authority out. I did my best with my ties. Remembering 8th grade, I usually tried not to wear the same tie everyday. Well, that one time I wore the same tie for the entire two weeks I was being given remedial supervisory training. It was a protest. I don’t think anyone noticed but it made me feel better. Now whenever I see that tie I feel like I got some kind of justice.Now days I’m just a middle-aged nobody. No one seems to really care what I wear, so I can get by with wearing blue jeans, t-shirts and athletic shoes. Only they’re not real blue jeans, they are ‘casual business wear cotton pants’. The t-shirts have a collar so it looks like I made an effort and the athletic shoes are polished, sort of, so I look like I’m at work.Now, the only time it matters what I wear is when I’m out in public with my teen-aged daughter. If I’m not dressed the way she wants me to, she refuses to be seen with me. Here’s what she wants me to wear; Blue jeans, t-shirts and athletic shoes.