Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Monday, June 7, 2010

Come Out And Play

Me, 57 pounds ago.
I absolutely refuse to grow old gracefully. Frankly, I do not know why anyone would even entertain the idea. Life is too short to be the same as everyone else. With this past week giving me more reminders of my own mortality, the stronger I want to cling steadfastly to my mantra of 'do NOT act your age'.

All my life I've been this way. My family, bless 'em, are resigned to it now, as is my wife. I'm stubborn, I guess, and I don't like being told by people that I have to do things a certain way (especially if I know damn well that there is more than one right answer, or solution). Basically if you want to get me to do something, then tell me that I can't. Unless, of course, it happens to be something that I can't stand or feel is pointless and stupid, because then I won't do it no matter what anyone says.

My first wife found out that telling me I was dressing way too young for my age only spurred me on. I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to join the pipe-and-slippers set just yet. I probably never will be. I've been criticized for my dress sense through the years, but it's MY dress sense. Not yours or anyone else's. I'll dress in what I like and I'm old enough to make my own decisions. So if I want to wear shorts in the depths of winter, I will.

The infamous blond hair with the blue shirt.
Note the Casio wristwatch. Well '80s!
When I worked for Thresher's I used to dress in floral shirts with waistcoats and pocket watches and earrings, with my hair dyed blond or purple. I'd wear chinos and a denim jacket dyed magenta. Shorts and fingerless leather gloves. I wanted to make a statement. I wanted to put my stamp on the world. "Here I am, world! Take a good look!" When I lived in a flat with my first wife there was in the living room a wooden trellis affair on the wall (we were renting the flat from a woman who was a textile artist - there was a great big loom in the corner, and some Bauhaus-style armchairs, too). I used the trellis to display my multi-hued collection of over 60 neckties. Functional and decorative.

How not to 'vogue'.
When I got chubby I started to wear whatever was comfy. Shorts, T-shirts, big baggy Hula shirts, T-shirts with humorous/musical messages, whatever covered my burgeoning girth. Still as loud as you please, but I hated having to wear anything that needed to be tucked in.

Now that I am losing weight (have lost 57 lbs since this time last year!), I am considering a return to my former sartorial self. I was in Classic Chaps recently, a shop in Rye that sells vintage weskits and chinos and other delights. I could see shades of my old self returning. I felt that urge to don a flowery shirt and a cravat and put in one of my star-shaped dangly earrings (I still have the hole in the ear, and it still works just fine), run a comb through my curly locks and go make a spectacle of myself.

My wife, bless her cotton socks, when she was still only my girlfriend, tried to encourage me to act my age and dress appropriately by buying me some preppy Tommy Hilfiger/J.Crew/Banana Republic type threads, which I appreciated, but found that although comfy, they weren't saying anything to the world about me. I did not want to fit in with the group. I like being this way and I have to express it visually as well as with my razor sharp wit, superior intellect, musical ability and dashing good looks. Oh, and my humility too.

The classic "inner child" photo.
So there we are. I'm out there. A little freaky-deaky. Weird. But - I'm not alone.


  1. dad, the stuff you used to wear is now cool so you don't have to be hesitant. I wear a corduroy jacket with jeans and a Sex Pistols t-shirt to school and i'm the hippest kid in town, so what does that tell you. red and blue polo tie, white shirt black pants, Mr. Bean jacket, converse. Welcome to the 21st century.

  2. OK, I wouldn't be me if I didn't hop up and down with a joyful boing and congratulate you on downsizing. That's lovely! Though, thick or thin, I think you're fantabulous. I love your irreverence and appreciate it. Though, not having been one of your wives I have the freedom to implore you not to change. I have, however, been your boss and figured out that making you do something because I wanted it done was not going to get you to do it.

  3. Charlie, I always knew I was ahead of my time.
    Marissa, not sure if that last comment was a slam or a compliment?! Either way, ya know I luvs ya.

  4. years ago I was in hospital coming round from anaesthetic. Jeff camme to visit and had taken the opportunity to dye his hair while I was away.
    As I was more than a little dopey at that stage I unwittingly said I liked his hair. I am sure he took that as a go ahead to do or wear anything crazy he liked. Unfortunately he has done it eversince.
    Love you Jeff

  5. Well, let's face it, I've always had a bit of a strange wardrobe. Who can forget the jeans I had at age 8, blue denim except for the areas between the knee and the shoes, which were bright yellow?
    Then I added the sew-on Pink Panther patch. Or the lilac-and-cream Western shirt?

  6. Lets not forget the ever expanding jumper from Aunty Vi.

    Chucky,you have inherited your fathers dress sense,but lets hope it doesn't ruin your life,you're young,there is still time!

    Marissa,you may be the only boss he ever had who actually realised what he is like.And yet you still talk to him.Well done!

    Mum,who bought him the above mentioned clothes?What did we think would happen with Grandparents like ours?

    Jeff,you do what you do,love Sis


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