Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sock It To Me.

"Those are old man socks."

My Sister-in-Law was critiquing my footwear. I was wearing khaki shorts, a T-shirt with a cartoon moose on it with the caption 'Grab life by the antlers,' black sneakers, and white crew socks.

I was not dressed stylishly, I'll give you that, but I never would have thought that the biggest fashion faux pas was the cotton around my ankles. As far as I was concerned, as long as they weren't knee-high black rayon, I was fine.

Apparently, I was wrong.

"I tell your brother the same thing all the time," she went on. I looked over at my brother. He was wearing a T-Shirt that proclaimed the University of North Carolina Tar Heels as Champions of the 2004 NCAA tournament, a hat that celebrated the Pittsburgh Steelers as the winners of Super Bowl Extra Large, blue shorts that had yet to declare any sort of sporting affiliation, and sandals without socks--perhaps his way of avoiding the argument.

He was also wearing an expression that seemed to say: "She tells me lots of things."

I like my Sister-in-Law well enough, but quite honestly, a 40-something prison nurse should not be the final arbiter of things sartorial.

So I appealed to a higher court, which was quite easy to find: my brother has three teenaged daughters.

Sarah, 17, was chatting with friends on the computer. I decided to frame the question in a way that would be most likely to get a favorable response. "Your mother thinks these are old man socks," I told her. "What do you think?"

Not a moment's hesistation. "Oh, yeah!" She said, looking with horror upon the abomination that is the white crew sock. "You need to be wearing ankle socks."

Unbelievable. Not that I had fallen out of fashion--but that there was such a thing as sock fashion.

And I hate ankle socks. I've worn them, and could never escape the feeling that I needed to pull them up.

"Too bad," I told her. Yeah, I know she could care less about what I wore, but I felt I needed to state my case. "I've seen trends come and go. I've seen clothes go from hideous to trendy and back, and then be dragged out again as retro. Do you know why I wear old man socks? Because I'm an old man. And that's what you really want."

She looked doubtful, so I went in for the kill. "There are men my age who wear ankle socks. Do you know what they're called?"

She shrugged that she didn't. I leaned forward, eyes blazing.


Sarah's eyes widened in horror. "I'll bet you any sort of money you want that David Hasselhoff wears ankle socks! Do you want me to be David Hasselhoff? Do you want to have to explain to your friends when they come over why David Hasselhoff has his ankle-socked feet up on your coffee table? Do you want your Dad to be David Hasselhoff?"

I held up my foot again. "What do you think about my socks now?"

"Fine! They're fine!" was her panicked reaction.

"And if your Dad wears them?

"Great! I'll love them!"

I nodded, satisfied. "Damn straight."

I suppose some may think that I might have gone a little bit overboard on the poor girl. And I suppose their might be some lingering psychological damage, but it was a chance I was willing to take. When kids (and some adults) begin to question the fashion choices of mid-forties guys, it behooves them to consider the alternatives.

Hell, I'm not that old, anyhow.

Now, please excuse me. My brother's recorded a bunch of episodes of Simon and Simon, and I don't want to keep him waiting.



Blogger WeeOne said...

You're too well written to be a world wide singing and acting dynamo.

Your niece likes that guy?!

8:17 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

Err....yeah they are old man socks but if you're OK with that then go for it....Black sneakers?

*shaking head*

Do they have velcro closures?

8:25 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

weeone: no, she doesn't like that guy. Hence, the horror.

X: Yup. Black sneakers. I would have accepted grief for wearing them. Not only are they black sneakers, but they're $6.99 black sneakers from Steve & Barry's. They've got white racing stripes on them, and laces.* My other shoe choice would brown leather hiking boots. That's all I got.

If you don't like it, come on over and buy me something else.

*I don't wear veclro. I'm not cool enough for velcro.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

I am not laughing...eheheheheheh...not at all!

I'll be right up to go shopping with you just don't wear the black sneakers!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Dark Lady said...

Clothes do not make the man!
I am sure beneath the white crew socks beats the heart of an ever young man.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

White socks are known as Jeffs, they are very unfashionable and should be avoided, unless you're actually playing sport, in which case, GO FOR IT!

Pulling your socks up is also a bad thing.

Get with the program dude...

9:50 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Id say you have a theme thing going on........hang with it.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

old man sox are hot
david hasselhoff is not

12:13 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Hey, nurses know footwear.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

white racing stripes = instant coolness

2:35 PM  
Blogger terry said...

i think watching old episodes of "simon and simon" is far worse than any sock transgression...

and socks with sandals is the TRUE sartorial crime you should be concerned about.

2:41 PM  
Blogger mal said...

mmmmmm, if you have not figured it out, most women view their men as overgrown Ken Dolls.....of course I am above that....BTW, about your brothers hat and shirt.......*L*

5:57 PM  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

Bad sneakers and a Pina Colada
My friend
Stompin' on the avenue
By Radio City with a
Transistor and a large
Sum of money to spend

Personally I would wear black knee socks every time I went out in public with my sister in law if I were you.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:48 PM  

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