Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A night on the town with Bozo the clown

Just a quick observation. Recently went back through some old photos. Yeah. Photo albums. Not on a computer. In fact, before we really knew what a computer was. I noticed something. I dressed like a clown. I actually found a picture of myself wearing zigzag striped, yellow and blue Bermuda shorts with half a black mesh shirt. That was scary looking when I was 175 pounds. Can't imagine what I would look like in those at 225. 
Through all those pictures, I looked like a four year old boy picked out my clothes. Even when my clothes weren't ridiculous, my hair or beard still ruined it. Even my tuxedo at the wedding was goofy. I intentionally picked the same one John Lennon wore on the Abbey Road album cover. Fortunately, they talked me into wearing shoes. But. Have you ever seen someone wear size 13, white, leather shoes? If they had been red, they would have been clown shoes. 
Even farther back, I found high school pictures. Wow. We have tried to convince our children that there was a time when we were cool. If they find these pictures, that argument is dead. We were 80's kids then. Just like now, influenced by movies and music. Pick random music and movies produced between 1983 and 1989, then find pictures from a mall the same year. ( try here. <a href="http://www.lifelounge.com.au/photography/news/michael-galinksy-photographed-1980s-malls.aspx#gallerytop">80's mall photos</a> ) Looks like the cast of Fast times at ridgemont high. 
Yes, there's a point. Bozo. Not the classic sharp dressed man. I took my wife on dates dressed like an idiot. I married her looking like a dork. We visited relatives while I dresses like a toddler. I have been seen in public, on hundreds of occasions, looking like I robbed a clown and took his clothes. Dang. Even now. I realized I am wearing the same worn out shirt and basketball shorts I wear around the house constantly. I used to go out in public with this on. As recent as last week. What kind of logic pushes us, as men, to choose our appearance? Why do Hollywood celebrities hire people to dress them? Because they don't want to look like a clown. 
And what's up with the clothing choices as we age? Young guys emulate the actors and singers in their clothes. Middle age guys wear work clothes or pajamas all day. The old guys wear whatever is comfortable. Nobody seems very concerned about how they look to anyone but themselves. Honestly, I still have work to do in this area. A lot of work. But, I understand it now. I see what she has been living with. 
I live in Florida. The standard dress code for men here is this: partially unbuttoned printed shirt, random shorts, sandals, five o'clock shadow and the aroma of someone who ran out of deodorant several days ago. These guys are in public with their wives. The wives apparently surrender and quit caring about their appearance at some point, too. I guess they got tired of resisting and let themselves go. 
Not trying to make a big, life changing commentary on this one. Just an observation. Our wives have given themselves to us. We are their "prize." They have to be seen with us sooner or later. For most women, their whole identity is wrapped around their husband and kids. They deserve to have a better looking husband than what we have given them. We shouldn't be an embarrassment to them. Not in our words and actions, or appearance. Our wives shouldn't feel the need to apologize to everyone they meet in public. ( "You will have to excuse him. He's really a good man. He's just trapped at the emotional level of a three year old and dresses like people on 80's tv shows. He should grow out of it in 30-40 years. ) 
The only suggestion here is to ask her opinion. If you have been a butthead to her for years, she will hesitate to give it. After she sees you actually listen a few times, you might get her honest opinion. When you get a haircut, ask her what she thinks BEFORE you get the mullet again. When you pick out clothes, ask her opinion BEFORE you get the striped shirt and plaid shorts. When you pick out a car, house, neighborhood, etc., ask her opinion. Make it easy on yourself. Ask her BEFORE you have made up your mind. Let her be part of the process. Then listen. If it has to be your way, your choice, your logic, your decision or whatever, it's probably your funeral. Her opinion is worth as much as yours. Her life is as valuable. Every minute of her life is valuable. Don't make her waste it on time with a clown that won't listen to her opinion.

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