I hate shopping. Especially clothes shopping. It’s why I constantly wear T-shirts and tattered jeans. I don’t have enough fashion sense to match colors with black. I never look in the mirror anyway, so I don’t know what I look like in most ‘ensembles.’
When my new girlfriend, Dora, offered to take me shopping, I was pumped. She was really into me and wanted to treat me right. Finally a decent wardrobe.
We went to some fancy place called Jitters that specialized in the modern man. She showed me about eleven different kinds of jeans.
“What about these, Jim?” she asked. She held a pair draped on her arms. “These are Windsor cut.”
“Okay,” I said. I knew about the tie knot, but the jeans were new to me.
“Do you like them?”
“I really have no idea. Whatever you think is right.”
Dora threw them in the cart.
It’s funny how blind I really am. We spent most of the afternoon in the changing rooms, and I really had no idea what to make of anything I tried on. There were flashy buckles on shoes, and lots of strange prints on the shirts. My mind grew numb with incomprehension. The only thing that kept me going was her telling me what to do. She picked out a white velour shirt and a few silky button downs. She added some Birkenstocks and Versace shoes, then headed for the cashier.
She laid down her credit card with authority and insisted I look away so I wouldn’t know how much it cost.
We put the clothes in the back of my beat up Sentra.
“We’ll try out your new look tonight,” she said. “You and I are going to a party at The Omnivescent.”
What could I say. She just dropped a heavy load of cabbage on me—I was going to go. I washed a few loads and picked out the stuff I thought she liked the most. A purple button down, the Windsors, and the black Versaces with the fancy buckles.
We entered the club arm-in-arm, and I swear Dora was parading me like a work of art. I have to admit, I was getting looks from a lot of ladies.
We made the rounds, and the other guys seemed downright intimidated by me. I hadn’t seen that side of them before.
Eventually nature asserted herself, and I had to hit the boys room. The bathrooms in The Omnivescent were paradises for the ego. They had every accoutrement, including brushes, colognes, glitter, and lots of mirror.
Like I said, I’m not one who looks in the mirror much. I only have to shave once a month, and I’m really only focused on the stubble then. But in The Omnivescent I had full view of myself from several angles no matter where I glanced, and that’s when I realized I looked like some kind of disco, British Invasion, clown from hell with a beanie. When did I even put on a hat? Did Dora buy that, too?
My face turned deep red. I was blind, but now I see, baby. I sauntered out to look for her, and caught sight just in time to see her leave with some dude in a faded Iron Maiden T-shirt and jeans with knee holes.
Huh. I should have seen it coming when she bought me those v-neck sweaters. I sat at the bar next to some girl and ordered the most masculine drink I could think of—a Tom Collins. “My name’s Jim,” I said to her. “Can I buy you a drink?”
She gave me a pitying look. “I suppose.” She ordered a strawberry daiquiri. “I’m Channing.”
We shot the shit about the club and some of the other scenes around town. I could tell she was checking out my blingy, purpley look, and I was getting embarrassed, but she was cute so I stuck with it.
“You know, you’d look great in a cowboy style,” she said.
“No way,” I said. “You don’t like my look, you can piss off.”