The Bungle Years: Wardrobe malfunctions

I’m really glad that I got married, because I really needed a stylist. I was picking out an outfit for a job interview a couple of weeks ago, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out which shirts matched which pants.

I kept wondering, “Does my blue shirt clash with my blue jeans or does it complement them? Is it possible to clash with blue jeans? Is it possible to complement them? Brett Favre looks good in blue jeans. Maybe I should tell them at the interview that I played in the NFL?”

I’ve always felt that how I dressed didn’t really matter, until now. I remember my junior year in high school my mom gave me $50 to go back-to-school shopping. She told me I should use the money to go pick out an “exciting” new outfit for school.

“Mom,” I said, “I’m a boy in high school. I don’t wear outfits; I wear T-shirts.” I ended up just pocketing the money and never going shopping.

But now that I think of it, the boys in high school who did wear outfits got significantly more attention from the ladies. I think there was a Taylor Swift song about that. How did it go?

“He wears outfits; I wear T-shirts. He’s always matching, and I look like a homeless street preacher. Dreamin’ bout the day when you wake up and find that the outfit guy was gay the whole time . . .”

Something like that.

Both in high school and now in college, I’ve served on student councils that put on activities. Both then and now, whenever we planned a dance, we first picked the date, hired a DJ and reserved the room. After that was done, all of the guys were always of the attitude that, well, meeting adjourned.

But the girls always panicked and screamed, “Wait! We haven’t decided the most important part!”

“What in the world could be more important than hiring the DJ and reserving the ballroom?” we wondered.

“Hello!” they’d say, as they look at us as if we all have a brain the size of a pea. “We need to pick a theme so we know how to decorate and know what to wear!”

Girls pick out their outfits based on the theme? I don’t care whether it’s a ’50s sock hop or an ’80s neon dance or hillbilly hootin’ n’ hollerin’ hayride, I always wear the exact same thing to every dance: blue jeans with that one shirt that I have that’s nice enough to look like I dressed up, but cheap enough that if it gets kind of sweaty while I am jumping around, it’s not a big deal.

Whenever I was asked what I was looking for in a girl, I would simply say that my only criteria was that she has to be able to match and accessorize men’s clothing. I know other people will look for things like compatibility, shared beliefs and attractiveness. Not me. In fact, I took this so seriously that when I would go to pick up a date, I would bring an assortment of men’s clothing with me so I could judge her skills.

“Before we hop in the car, I was just wondering if I could get your opinion about how this tie matches this suit jacket.”

“Why is your trunk full of old clothes? And why is there a homeless street preacher sitting in the back seat?”

“Don’t worry about it. Just answer the question.”