Yes, I get it. We are getting older. And yes, I realize that I am not half as stylish that I once was. But really, was this a good look for me?
Getting older isn’t all puppies and butterflies; in fact, it sucks. This should come to the surprise of NOBODY EVER, except those who are under the age of twenty-four and still live under the delusion that they will forever be limber and perky with boobs that will never sag or knees that will never ache from sitting in the same spot on the floor for too long. I get it. I felt that way, too, my young dears. But all of a sudden, at about twenty-eight, you look at a picture of yourself in high school and realize that you don’t have the same skin you used to and that was an effing decade ago. Like, for real.
Blows goats, I tell you. Goats.
But still, at twenty-eight, I felt like I had a decent handle on what was en vogue, and though I realized I was too old to wear the most up and coming fashion, I could appreciate it for what it was. Now – I look at these kids and think “Holy Christ, child! Do you honestly think the side ponytail is making a comeback? Those high-waisted, acid-washed jeans are look just as hideous as they did when I rocked them in 1989 with a New Kids on the Block t-shirt and a pair of LA Gears (two sets of laces, ladies and gents; was the shit).”
I don’t WANT to be yesterday’s news. Please, oh please tell me that my time has not come – that moment in a person’s life where they forever stick to exactly the same style until the end of their days is here… My dad (I love him dearly, really, I do) would buy the same pair of plain, white Reeboks time and time again… For, like, twenty years. Finally, they stopped making them, or his girlfriend was instrumental in getting that man into the new millenium; either, or, or both – THANK GOD. It was time for a change.
It is much easier for guys, though. Styles seem to change less for them. Besides the teeny-boppers (like Justin Bieber – who seriously thinks THIS is fashionable), not much changes over the course of a decade. Nathan is lucky. He still has a few shirts he rocked in high school; they look even better with age (like George Clooney), and though the fit of jeans has changed a few times over the past ten years, if the rest of his clothes didn’t wear out, it’s quite possible he could make it to 2023 without stepping foot in a Banana Republic.
With one exception.
The DAD SHIRT.
A few years ago, he bought this shirt at REI, thinking it was awesome – and I marginally agreed. I certainly didn’t disagree; in fact I bought him another one for Father’s Day last year. I suppose I have my little, own self to blame. The Dad Shirt was fine for a while, but it started to eat at me.
When we hiked The Manitou Incline, he wore The Dad Shirt. A couple of his work buddies razed him about it; “Dude, who wears a button-down to hike The Incline??” Nathan protested that it was super breathable, it’s meant for backpacking, yada, yada, but when he glanced back at me, he caught me mouthing the words: I know, right??
Oh, god. He brought it to Disney World. I begged him; “Please, oh please, babe… Not The Dad Shirt… Please?”
He thought I was being ridiculous. I am most of the time, so it is only natural for him to think so about The Shirt.
A few days ago, he wore it again. CURSE YOU, DAD SHIRT!! We headed to Mickey-D’s for lunch in a sketchy part of town. The girl taking our order – bless her heart, it must have been her first day – was hopelessly dorky. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a humongous dork myself – a HUGE dweeb as evidenced by that first photo. But this girl, she was the type that you might catch talking and giggling to herself over her unicorn/bubbly heart Trapper Keeper with her head-gear on. You know what? Look back at that first photo of me. She was that, only college-age. She was super sweet, don’t get me wrong, but even in her McDonald’s uniform, you could tell she would never be able to find her way around the clearance rack at The Gap.
The process of her taking our order was an agonizing five minutes. The lady behind us asked another employee (very rudely) if someone else could help the poor girl. Oh, my heart just ached for her, but we did our best to be patient with our would-you-please-take-the-picture-already,-Mom? smiles plastered to our faces. Finally we were done. I took the kids to find a booth and as soon as Nae walked over with our food, wouldn’tyaknow, we were missing french fries and he headed back to the counter.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, about that, sir!” I could hear her apologize. “Let me bring fresh ones to the table as soon as they are up. I’m so sorry. I apologize… I’m sorry.”
“Really, that’s fine. It’s okay. Not a big deal. It’s just french fries,” Nathan said in his ‘dad voice.’
“Oh, thanks,” she sighed. “And sir?”
“That’s a really nice shirt.”
I about choked on a McNugget. I thought to myself; I know, right??
Nae walked back to the table where I was unsuccessfully trying to hide my smug little smile.
“You heard that, didn’t you?” he asked.
He hasn’t worn it since.