had a doctor’s appointment the other day, so I broke out some
new underwear. At the risk of getting a bit too personal with
you, yes, I always manage to have some new underwear ready to
go when a doctor’s appointment is on the calendar. And I mention
the underwear not because of anything specifically associated
with that or the doctor’s visit… but instead because of what happened
the next morning.
that day, I put on dress shoes for work, and one of them had a
small hole in the bottom.
was raining, and to get to the entrance of the building where
I work I have to leave a parking garage, cross the street, and
then climb up a few stairs. So… that morning… I left the garage,
crossed the street, arrived at the first step and… couldn’t avoid
water quickly found the hole in my shoe, soaked a portion of my
sock, and swooshed between my toes. Oh yes… it was a joy-filled
I was trying to pass along the events of my morning to my lovely
wife, but she couldn’t get past the hole in my shoe. She wanted
to know why I was wearing them and why I hadn’t thrown them out
and… well… I think we can all agree she was asking all sorts of
had water in my shoe!
were long past the point in the story where someone might ask
why I was wearing them. I was wearing them. And my sock was wet.
was just looking for sympathy because one of my socks was wet.
And instead… as women tend to do… my lovely bride completely missed
the point. She even thought that at the very least I should clean
and organize my closet so I could find my good shoes.
mean seriously. Women. Clean my closet? That’s what she got out
of my wet sock? If her socks were wet, I would sympathize. I wouldn’t
ask about her other shoes. Wouldn’t try to make her feel foolish
for wearing a shoe with a hole. Heck, I don’t make fun of the
nylons with holes. Do I? No. And, of course, a wet sock wouldn’t
happen to her since I’m willing to drop her off at the door.)
I right guys?)
ok… moving on…)
thing is, I’m not often too concerned about my wardrobe. Going
to visit a doctor and expecting to put on one of those drafty
and barely modest thin pieces of fabric? Well… forgive me for
wanting to have new underwear and not something where the elastic
isn’t quite stretchy any more or… well… I’m probably just trying
your patience if I tell you that I might have a pair or two with
the reality is that when it comes to everyday stuff, I’m not concerned
about frayed edges on my jeans. I don’t care too much about the
bleach stains on my most comfortable turtlenecks. (Heck, I can’t
even explain how the turtleneck got the bleach stains. But the
damn thing is warm and comfy and it’s been really cold lately.)
clothes? I hate wearing a tie, but I do. I’m not interviewing
for a new position though. And I do darn good work. You can expect
me to take pride in my appearance and be showered and well-groomed
and cleaned and pressed, but back off a bit if I’m not the most
modern in my apparel. And if there’s a really small hole in the
bottom of my most comfortable dress shoes… well… tough.
who is watching me walk away? (Which is the only way you’d see
the bottom of my shoes.)
suppose you could make the argument I need to throw more things
out… not just shoes. I would understand those that might say replacing
some of the clothes with new stuff would be a good thing. You’d
probably have a good case.
see… well… I have dogs.
wake me up in the middle of the night… and they want to go out…
and… honestly… I just don’t feel like leaving good shoes in the
mud room. So out near the garage I have some old sneakers, a pair
of loafers and the boots I use when it snows.
when it’s time to toss a pair of sneakers, I don’t. I move them
into the mowing the lawn rotation. I move them into the garage.
may not be good enough to wear on vacation or out to dinner… I
can guarantee you they’re just fine for getting grass stains on
them and walking around in a backyard that has been the recreational
park for two St. Bernards.
not sure where I’m taking this article. It was supposed to be
about comfortable clothes and my secret stash of clean underwear.
remember a few years ago I heard someone speaking about how easy
it is to judge a book by its cover. And be completely wrong. The
reality being, plenty of millionaires wear torn jeans… plenty
of business leaders wear old dress shirts to meetings… and you
and I aren’t the only ones that spilled hot chocolate all over
our clothes on the way to work this morning. So don’t get too
wrapped up in assuming that the guy across the table from you
isn’t smart or successful or worthy of your respect simply because
his shirt is missing a button.
yet of course you have that dress for success idea… the spend
your last dollar on polishing your shoes idea… the pride in yourself,
pride in your efforts idea. That’s the idea with your clothes
ironed and your hair brushed.
trick is… and I am not against personal grooming folks… I think
some times the formal nature of business attire is just a bit
too stuffy. I think it is possible to be a good person and a hard
worker while wearing an old pair of sneakers. I’m not saying it’s
appropriate for making all first impressions… or that it shows
the proper respect for many first impressions.
take a final tangent in one last direction…
grandfather was one of those that always had a good hat. You could
be sure that if a tie was involved in the clothes he was wearing,
Pepe would have a fedora-like hat on his head. When he passed
away, I went over to his house with my parents to help with moving
some of the stuff. In a spare closet, on the top shelf, was a
hat box. And inside, looking every bit of never worn, was a hat…
a hat exactly like the one in the other room, with his long winter
dress jacket. He had an extra one… a brand new extra one… just
going to go home tonight and see if I can get the rest of the
hot chocolate off of my dress shirt. And tomorrow morning I’m
going to iron my clothes for work. I might even throw away a pair
I won’t be opening every package of new underwear I have. And
I won’t be tossing that comfortable turtleneck.