The other day, my nephew asked. "Could you come to the Mall with me and help me pick out some clothes for College?"
That really brought back memories. As I drove along the Interstate to the Mall, I said to my nephew. "Let me tell you about my own fashion experience and just what it really now means to me for someone to value my opinion on clothes."
It all started many years ago, when I got my first job after graduating high school. Every once in a while I would cross my legs while I was sitting at my desk. There always seemed to be a lot of laughter in the backround whenever I crossed my legs. One day, I got curious and asked. "What was so funny?"
This girl sitting at the desk behind me explained that. "I was wearing one black sock and one blue sock again."
Furthermore she stated. "I was wearing a stripe tie with a stripe shirt."
When I said. "Whats wrong with that?" The entire office started to erupt with laughter. Thats when I realised that I was a fashion idiot.
When you go to a private school for eight years and wear the same uniform everyday, I guess you can get a little out of touch with what you're wearing. Compounding that factor, when I went to high school, most of the Kids there had also gone to private grade school and fashion never seemed to be a topic.
There was a near by Sears Department Store, and I guess we thought thats how everyone in America was dressing. Even Babs, a former student there was picked as one of Hollywoods worst dressers. But at the time I was in the School, we were number one scholasticly in the entire nation. So maybe bad fashion can spell academic achievment. But then again, I have to wonder with all the spelling mistakes I make.
Anyway, the girl that was laughing the hardest asked me. "Can I go shopping with you and pick out some clothes that match?"
Clothes that matched was really a new concept for me, but I was game. My charge card got quite a workout, but it was worth it and I learned what a body shirt was and my pants seemed a lot snugger than before. She really knew her stuff. It was quite a transformation. Thats when I figured out that the right clothes really do make a difference.
Now that I was dressed for the world, I started to think about all the places I would love to travel to. Up till that point my furthest trip from New York had been a visit of Washington D.C.
I thought to myself. "My God, I'm getting old. I'm now a High School graduate and I haven't even left the Country yet."
Anyway, I started doing the math. I figured on the salary I was making I could afford to go to places like the French Rivera in about twenty years. Too long to wait. I was geting older by the hour. I had to do something drastic. Then I had a brainstorm.
I thought. "If I joined the Navy, I would get to see the World and they would even pay me a few dollars for coming along on the trip. I would save on Air fare and use the Navy ship as sort of a floating Hotel. I could wine and dine at the best places till my money ran out, and then I could fall back again on slumming it at the ships Mess when I had to."
I figured. "How bad could it be traveling around in a Navy ship?"
After all, if I could deal with taking the subway to work everyday, a Navy ship would most likely be a step up for my travel mode.
So I did it, I signed up, but that pesky fashion problem came up again. Seems like the Navy wasn't very happy when I was wearing a pink shirt at a dress uniform inspection. What even made it worst was the fact that I got the same Lady XO that I checked in with when I first arrived.
That night, it was very dark, and I triped over a tree bark and got my dress uniform all covered with mud.
So when she noticed me in the pink shirt, she said. "You're that guy from New York again. I got to hear this. Tell us please why you're wearing a pink shirt."
I said. "XO, it was white yesterday, but I had red ant problems."
She said. "What kind of red ant problems Sailor?"
I said. "The kind of problem when you put your Sea Bag down to say hello to someone and then a half hour later, you realize that the red ants climbed into the Sea Bag and totaly infested it while you were talking."
Then she said. "Okay red ants. But how did the shirt get pink Sailor?"
I said. "I decided to take my Sea Bag full of clothes over to the self service Navy laundry and just wash all the red ants out of my clothes. It all started out okay. At first I put half the bag in, sorting everything very, carefuly. But then I noticed that there was a jute box and a beer machine close by. So after a few songs and a couple of beers, I guess I got a little careless. I somehow put in a brand new pair of marone pants in with my dress white shirts and I guess the marone color ran somehow, because when I pulled the white dress shirts out of the machine, they had all turned pink."
The Lady XO broke into hysterical laughter and just said. "The truth can sometimes be very funny."
Then she smiled and said to me. "Meet me at the Navy laundromat at 1300, I will show you the marvels of what bleach can do."
Anway, we got to talking over some bleach magic and I have to say. "She was really okay."
That was what they call Navy A school. Yes, I learned a few things there. But the next comedy would be my Navy Dream Sheet. After you learn Navy talk at the A School, then you get to see where you are going.
Of course, I thought "I was going to Europe. Oh yes, the bikini clad girls on the French Rivera, the beautiful Neopolitan Girls in Naples. Yes, real Civilization."
Virtually everything I put in for on my dream sheet was for Europe. So when I got my orders, I couldn't wait to see what part of Europe I was going to. You can imagine my surprise when I looked at my orders and found that I was slated for Pacific duty.
I went to Admin and said. "There must be a mistake on my orders."
Admin said. "No mistake."
But I said. "My dream sheet, I only requested Europe."
Then I was told. "Its a dream, only a dream Sailor. The Navy sends you where they need you, and right now they need you in the Pacific."
So, I was on my way to sunny California. I thought. "Its not Europe, but hey, they have a lot of beaches there. So what, if their void of any culture there, at least they have Mickey Mouse and Disney Land, and I always wanted to see Universal Studios someday anyway."