My 20 year reunion is coming up this summer. By the way, that is me at the top left. That's right, West Fargo High School class of 1991 Most Fashion-Wise. Suck it, haters. I needed to point at that I am on the left because Tammy's hair threatens to take over the frame. She was ahead of her time- her hair was the biggest in an era of big hair. Most of the girls in my class had hair that made them look like sunflowers desperately seeking the sun.
A high school friend of mine posted this pic on Facebook along with several others as a lead-in to our reunion. My wife has seen it before, but really, really enjoys it. She shared it with the world, and our friends here are taking great pleasure in making snarky comments about it. To them, I say AYHSMB (if anyone knows what this stands for, you win a prize). Here is what makes it so funny- the irony. I am a total slob now. I have many, many items of casual clothing that are at least 10 years old, and a few that are older. I guess I just don't care. I have very nice suits due to the fact that once you slip Burberry or Joseph Abboud on, you will never step in a Mens Wearhouse again. As far as every day clothes, it is pretty grim, I must admit. A lot of Patagonia and North Face mixed with Levi's.
Just like Tammy, I was pretty avante garde once as well; I nailed several fashion firsts in my early years, but I feel I should share a story that shows how I fought through adversity in an early fashion incident and still came out looking fabulous (I swear I have never used that word before).
I was a huge Miami Vice fan, as we all were then. I was determined to get myself a pair of Don Johnson baggy pants to roll into 7th grade with. I tore through the malls in Fargo, to no avail. On a trip to Minneapolis, after much searching, I finally hit pay dirt. Baggy white pants, tight at the ankle. Paired with a white tennis sweater with a blue stripe, I was un-fucking stoppable. I walked in the door on a Monday morning, and the first person I saw (Paul Matthys, sarcastic but a good guy) shouted, "Ahoy Sailor, when do you sail?" I realized I had miscalculated. I wanted to crawl in a hole the rest of the day. But I didn't give up. No, I used this minor setback to give myself fashion-strength, if not fashion-sense. I'd like to think that the Miami Vice inspired look was just another first among many, to go along with the following:
1. First guy to have baby blue parachute pants. I tried on hundreds of black, gray, or red ones in 5th grade, but didn't like the way they cradled my junk. Finally, nearly out of time, I spotted my pair on the mannequin at JC Penney. I would later tragically quit my first real job at JC due to my refusal to wear Zubaz at work. I walked at at the start of a Sunday shift. Bold? Hell yeah.
2. First guy to buy black sneakers. Take your meat dress and shove it, Lady GaGa.
3. First guy to wear a brown leather bomber jacket. I had a sweet hockey mullet then, and used to leave practice with wet hair every day. My wet mullet stained the collar of my jacket a darker shade of brown than the rest of the coat. Sexy.
2 and 3 started huge trends. And I was out front. Many of you that know me think I am a slob; be warned, I'm just biding my time until I drop a new trend on you.