As an author and humorist, Reid Champagne is known for his absurd & sophomoric observations of everyday life. While the story of how Reid met wife Carol (after being widowed late in life) is so sweet it belongs on Hallmark, his family would argue his inept & smart-ass tendencies belong on a 2020 reboot of Grumpier Old Men.
What’s wrong with this look? Beats me.
I would have thought that by now I’d learned how to dress myself. But Carol has shown me there’s still a lot of meat left on that bone. I’ll start with my feet.
In the interest of TMI, I’ll gloss over the apparent fact that I don’t clip my toenails nearly as often as I need to, and go right to footwear. Living here in southern California, I’ve been wearing sandals practically year round. I love them. They’re easy to slip in and out of, and they convey a kind of nativist freedom, as if you’re an innocent, barefoot boy frolicking in the forest primeval. Add a loose fitting pair of shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, and a trip to the grocery store can feel like a Jimmy Buffett concert. Evidently, not with socks, though.
My favorite tee, back in the day before the
“It makes you look like an old man,” Carol observed, the first time she saw me trying to slip my Katavi knockoffs over a pair of dark gray Bombas. My thinking was that the “pairing” could buy me an extra couple of weeks in the toenail clipping area, but I could tell that had as much chance of flying as a 737 MAX.
This lid was apparently deemed appropriate for the track
I also have (had) the most comfortable pair of blue jeans I have ever owned in my life, courtesy of a Goodwill shopping spree a few years back. Soft and baggy in all the right places, wearing them (especially along with this blue, soft cotton tee shirt and the sandals) was like being an innocent, barefoot, naked boy frolicking in the forest primeval.
But the jeans have been relegated to household wear only, along with the tee shirt as a result of an inadvertent encounter with bleach. (“It was an accident, Reid. If I’d intended it, I would have done it to those old man jeans.”)
It’s gotten to the point where Carol will find me standing in front of my closet with this deer-in-the-headlights look on my face. Lately, she’s just cut to the chase and has started laying out my social wear for me, like I’m an innocent, nattily dressed young boy off to boarding school.
The infamous old man jeans, with preferred chapeau
I had no idea I was so sartorially inept. But I should have guessed. Once during my brief sojourn as a single man, I took a train to Vancouver, B.C., having dressed myself. A disheveled man in the homeless section of town, approached me and asked, “Do you know if the old age pension checks have come in?” I suppose there must be something to this “old man” look Carol sees in my wardrobe.
Headwear seems to be one area where I’ve carved out a bit of independence. (Although it was Carolyn who banned bucket hats, again because it made me look old. Does anyone understand that I’m almost 71 years old, and it’s okay to look that way?) Yet, there are still some refinements I’m needing to learn, even in this area of haberdashery. While the Irish flat cap style is acceptable, they are evidently tied to the seasons of the year, rather than any sense of personal habit or routine. There is also an appropriate color and weave for day and night wear. Go figure.
It’s a really complicated world out there. I think I’ll just stay inside and clip my toenails.