As with abounding memorable contest in my childhood, this one took abode on a academy playground.
It was the aforementioned amphitheater area I played softball in the summer (playing with a hardball on adhesive is alike to a afterlife wish) and basketball in the winter (made accessible by my mother’s kitchen besom which I acclimated to besom abroad snow from beneath the basket).
But this time it was girls and not sports which drew me to the playground. And not aloof any girls. Doris Santangelo and Liana Hochberger were albino goddesses, the hottest seventh brand girls at Henry Hudson Junior Aerial Academy 125 in the Bronx.
I was gobsmacked by the alert amore they were assuming me. Was it accessible that they saw article in my breakable body, dense ears, and acne-pocked face that the added girls in the chic had missed? Of advance not. No way, Jose. I was actuality punked, the victim of a action arrangement predicated on how continued it would booty for any babe at academy to abduct me into absolution her abrasion my admired red corduroy jacket.
For Doris and Liana, actual little accomplishment was required. In the spirit of Renee Zellweger in “Jerry Maguire,” they had me at hello. I caved instantly. Before they could alike ask, I was affairs my accoutrements out of the sleeves and giving them my adored anorak with the acquiescent acquiescence of a coffer teller handing over the money to Bonnie and Clyde.
In aerial academy and academy I would boutique in Greenwich Village at a abundance alleged Paul Sargent’s on West 4th Artery which agitated hip bifold breasted action coats and mandarin collared Nehru jackets. I dressed to be noticed. I bare absorption avaricious accouterment to atone for the actuality that I bedevilled no outstanding bookish talent, able-bodied abilities or artistic capacities.
In so doing, I was thumbing my adenoids at the dictum, “clothes do not accomplish the man.” Mark Twain concurred with me back he wrote, “clothes accomplish the man. Naked bodies exercise little or no access on society.”
At age 76 I feel altogether adequate antic apparel that are alone beat at Halloween parties. I’m continued able the “when I’m old I will abrasion purple” date of my life. I’ve confused on to chartreuse. I accept no admiration to be or act adolescent because I no best attending or feel young.
I abhorrence the way old association are condescendingly referred to as “young at heart.” Hell, my affection is actuality serviced by cholesterol chock-full arteries. If my affection is young, any hearts earlier than abundance accept chock-full ticking.
Being old has accepted me the abandon to dress as absurdly as I desire. I bankrupt a business this year, one that I opened in the aboriginal year of the Reagan presidency. I don’t dress for success. I’m retired. I can dress for failure. I dress to charm myself, to accompany a smile to my face, to accomplish me happy.
I anticipate of this as the Mardi Gras aeon of my life. If I’ve able annihilation abroad in life, at atomic I achievement that I’ve aggressive little boys and girls to apperceive that back they abound up they don’t accept to accompany the bazaar to dress like a clown.
My closet is abounding of clothes that attending like they came from the set of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” There are funky-looking shoes advised by John Fluevog, the Andy Warhol of footwear, in active colors — babyish blue, emerald blooming (Dorothy would accept admired them), rose red, asset purple, and bare yellow.
I adulation arcade at Zara’s, a accouterment alternation out of Barcelona, Spain. Their coats, sweaters and shirts are stylish, abbreviate adapted and fabricated from faux fabrics that simulate added big-ticket garments. I afresh bought a bare chicken winter covering there that goes able-bodied with the Fluevog shoes in accession to a gold glassy summer anorak that resembled the one Michael Jackson wore back he attempt the “Thriller“ video in 1983.
The prices were so obscenely bargain that the alone way I could accept gotten a bigger accord is if I shoplifted them.
I’m abnormally appreciative of my accumulating of aerosol corrective action jackets I purchased from a artery bell-ringer in an alleyway on Frenchmen Street, the allegorical mecca for applesauce in New Orleans.
My wife Alyn is the alone one who can alter my tasteless aftertaste in fashion. If I accept on a apparel that makes her groan, she cautiously lets me apperceive by saying, “I achievement that’s a convenance outfit. Please put on article from your bold day apparel back we go out.”
Jay Wissot is a citizen of Denver and Vail. Email him at [email protected]
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