I’ve written more than once about how co-workers, friends, family, grocery store cashiers, homeless people and serial killers have made fun of my fashion sense — particularly their incorrect perception that I have none.
I’m merely a nonconformist — and a frugal nonconformist at that. While I may not follow all the latest celebrities who are considered stylish, I do have plenty of famous fashion icons that I look up to and am inspired by — like Jimmy Buffett, Jeff Spicoli, Tripper Harrison, Cousin Eddie, The Dude and Crazy Jimmy down at the Possum Holler Pool Hall asking folks, “Lemme hold two dollars” — which I know isn’t technically a question but does get the same answer (“NO!”) as “May I hold two dollars?”
I study and emulate these fashion icons just in case I ever get to stroll the red carpet with the superstars someday.
“Gaga, who are you wearing?”
“It’s Donatella Giorgio Dior Boyardee, darling!”
“And how about you, um …?”
“The name’s Chris Johnson, and I’m wearing Fred Sanford, darling.”
“Attention all units! We have a random hillbilly on the red carpet. It’s a Code Bubba. I repeat, Code Bubba!”
While I totally get clothing fashion, I must admit that accessorizing may not be thing, mainly because I don’t understand the economics of it, the same way I don’t understand why a 20-ounce Coke Zero is cheaper than a 2-liter. This was reinforced last week in Atlanta, which is where I go when I want to spend extra money to be miserable and smell marijuana everywhere. (I’m telling you, the whole city smells like they’ve elected the honorable Snoop Dogg as mayor and put Willie Nelson, Bill Maher and Woody Harrelson on the city council.)
Anyway, we were at something called an “ mall” because my wife wanted to look at “handbags.” For those of you my age who grew up in the South, handbags are kinda like the affordable, practical pocketbooks that your grandma carried around and put stuff in. A handbag, similarly, is an unaffordable, impractical pocketbook that you put stuff in.
I was admonished by my wife “Don’t look at the prices” before we entered any of the stores with the handbags — which is the same admonishment she gives me before we walk into a car dealership, furniture store, fancy (yuck) restaurant, pharmacy or medical facility. Unfortunately, I accidentally saw one of the price tags. It was $500.
“WHAT!? Thanks, Joe!!!”
“No, that’s average,” she said.
I then explained that one of our reusable grocery store bags can perform the exact same function as these handbags for about $495 less. They are durable, have convenient handles and you can — yes, just like a handbag — put stuff in them and carry it around. In fact, it’d be easier for me to find things like car keys. As it is now, when my wife tells me to get her keys out of a handbag, I have to (1) pick it up like it’s a discarded kidney on the street because, you know, I’m a guy and (2) shake it and listen for the jingle to narrow down which of the 27 secret zippered compartments it might be in.
Fortunately, my wife did not buy any of the handbags. We were only in Atlanta so I could have some fun at a medical facility, and she had to make a decision whether she wanted to get a new handbag or keep me, you know, alive and stuff. She decided to flip a coin. Whew! It was tails! “What do you mean two out of three?” Ha, still tails!
Of course, now we can’t afford handbags or food. Hmm, I wonder if Gaga still has that meat dress.