Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The English Muffin Man

"You look like a man who needs a plate."

Yesterday at my daughter's school someone came with their two kids dressed in the same outfits. As in they had two girls of slightly different age dressed in the same clothes, with the same hair and displayed them to people in a, "look at my accessories!!!" kind of way. But to top it off she also dressed in similar clothes with the same platted hair. The older girl (maybe six years old) made it really well known that she did not want to be wearing the tights on such a humid day. Her mother reminded her that she looked nice. And in a perfect moment the girl also loudly expressed that she didn't understand why her mother wanted her to dress the same as her sister did anyway.

Sometimes I dress up my daughter. I get that. And sometimes I dress up for her when I'm picking her up. If there's a theme for the day I'll join in. And Thursdays my daughter will often remember that it's News Man Day and I'll put on a shirt and tie. Which I like doing anyway. So I get all that too. But having designer kids that match me seems weird. I looked it up though and according to this New York Post article earlier in the year it's a super-fashionable NY City thing to do. But that's for vapid, New York City types who have more money than decency and have that blinkered attitude that they are setting behavior for the rest of the world.

Regardless - I became aware of what I and my kids were wearing at that point. At the time my son was dressed in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a vest - which he thinks you have to wear if you go outside. If I refuse to put it on him he behaves like we're in outer space and I'm trying to shove him out the airlock without a spacesuit. Quite often he'll demand to wear a woolen hat too - but he's let me take that off him recently. My daughter was dressed reasonably I guess. Most days she wants to wear too many clothes for how nastily hot her classroom gets. Or she tries to match things that would cause her to give the other kids seizures. She'll say, "these all have flowers on them so they match!" - when they absolutely do not match at all. Sometimes I'll just let her get on with it though. Who cares. She does have a style she likes to adhere to that I'll get to. But yesterday she was in a short-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans. A lot of the girls in her class are clearly bedazzled as special princesses by their mothers. Lots of complicated hairstyles and jewelry. You can tell which of them like being all princessy and which of them clearly just endure having their hair brushed extensively and then dressed in the school princess outfit. There's a boy at the school who wears a Mohawk and t-shirts that are clearly an older siblings as his style. He always asks me if I like it though - so whatever makes him happy right?

Anyway - it reminded me that I tend not to dress like other people. Especially around here. This seems to be an enclave for sweat pants, tracksuit bottoms and Abercrombie and Fitch parents. Some of the women - whatever the age - seem to quite enjoy that gaudy look of wearing something with a leopard skin print on it because that is allegedly a way to look sophisticated and not like a whorish couch. Actually the older male parents - late thirties and up (which is pretty much me after my next birthday) are usually dressed in the central NY work outfit which looks bad to me. It involves wearing pants that aren't jeans, but aren't necessarily dress pants either but in the same family. And also you can tell their work requires a collared shirt but for some odd reason nobody wears a simple dress shirt. They wear those polo-shirts that looks like a cross between a golf shirt and a strange animal-print but in chrome colors. It looks awful to me but then I look like a turnip to these people, so I'm the odd one out. And most of them are wearing sneakers of some kind that aren't shoes but they can argue aren't running shoes if HR pulls them up on it. I don't wear sneakers. I don't like not having a collar. Wearing a t-shirt makes me feel under dressed and like I look like an 8 year old. I have only worn shorts for about 8 or 9 years when it's just so bloody humid and hot and again I'll feel like I've dressed my self as an 8 year old. I still have those older male neighbors who never EVER wear shorts - it's just not done. I am closer to that train of thought than the modern American man. Whatever - I've been told by coworkers that I dress a certain way (too nice), and by friends that I don't dress like an American (and ironically by people back in Bristol that I did).

So I thought I'd best check what kids on TV shows are dressing like. Below is how kids dress on the show Arthur - which is like no group of kids I've ever seen. Coincidentally that is how the dude who draws the show dresses - he shows up at the end of each show in a yellow v-neck sweater, white collared shirt and jeans. It's also almost how I like to dress (when it's not too hot) which makes me think I've been middle aged for much longer than I'd thought. I don't wear sneakers though. And obviously I look way more awesome.


And this is how the kids dress in Sid The Science Kid.

Which my kids don't really dress like. My daughter likes the whole jeans-under-a-skirt/dress thing that the stereotypical feisty Latino girl wears - but not always. A real favorite thing to wear are pants that have a pattern on them that no adult would ever wear, Just insanely busy like this sort of thing. She's been saying a lot recently that she doesn't own enough purple and pink clothes - or pretty princess things. But that's usually accompanied a few minutes later by saying that a girl at school told her she isn't dressed girly enough. But if she isn't going to school or to something she'll put on pants and any old shirt without any real care for being pretty and dressed up. She likes getting dirty and rolling around outside. According to Gap Kids she's apparently supposed to be wearing bright light colored kimonos like this. Or pink and white stuff. Definitely light colors, dresses and very girl stuff.

My son wears whatever pants are clean (mostly jeans because that what he has most of) and likes to wear long sleeved shirts. If I put shorts or t-shirts on him he tends to rub his bare arms/legs and complain that they are exposed to the air/dirt/whatever it is that is touching them that he doesn't like.On that Gap Kids webpage there are a lot of t-shirts with wacky prints and big massive shorts. He doesn't dress like that. But his grandfather does often say that he's dressed like an American boy ( ie - not like me) so he must be I guess. All his clothes are from here so it's no surprise.

But when I asked my daughter this morning what I look like she said, "you look like a man who needs a plate." She couldn't offer much more than that though. She did though say, "I like it when you wear that brown shirt that looks like an English muffin." Which doesn't mean this hotness but actually means this (try and ignore the idiot-lips and the medallion) -:


Guess I'm wearing that today then.

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