Shopping for Men's Clothing – My Near-Death Experience

I hate the Internet.


Recently, there was an article on some website somewhere about the newest trends in men's fashion. Normally, I would never have read such an article, nor even known of its existence. It would have blessedly passed me by without affecting me like some pestilence in the Congo.


In this case, however, the article was brought to my attention by my devoted wife, who sent me a link to it after a friend of hers posted it on Facebook.


Did I mention that I also hate Facebook?


Anyway, this article reported that today men are more "composed" in their appearance than before. They are "layering," wearing open shirts over t-shirts, and dressing up their look with turned-up collars, neckerchiefs, necklaces, wristbands, and stylish watches.


I wish I could tell you more about this informative article, but that was as far as I got in reading it before I suddenly woke up at my desk, face-down in a puddle of my own drool.


You see, when it comes to fashion, my own personal approach is just to throw on any of the shirts and pants I've had in my closet for the last ten years, all of which I consider to be "classics" even if my wife keeps telling me that they're "old and worn out."


The last time she told me that, I laughed and said, "Look who's talking, ha, ha."


This was a terrible, terrible mistake.


Thus, just a few hours later, at my wife's instructions, I found myself in the menswear section of a clothing store in one of the city's shopping centers. I looked around and was immediately confused. I phoned my wife at home.


"What is it?" she said. "Did you have an accident? Are you okay?"


"Why are so many of the clothes orange?" I asked her.


"Because it's popular now," she explained.


"People are wearing orange clothes?" I said.


"No, of course not," she said. "They're just buying them and then throwing them away. Are you dim?"


"But only black people look good in orange clothes," I said. "Look at the American prison population. The black inmates all look cool, but the white guys look like rabid pumpkins."


"Stop talking and start shopping," my wife said.  "I'm sure they have other colors besides orange. You're a big boy. Just pick something."


And, so, I was on my own.


I took a deep breath, then started walking towards the shirts section, carefully, stealthily, keeping low with my knees bent, trying my best not to attract the attention of the young female shop assistant standing over by the pants section. Soon, I had reached the shirts.


"Can I help you, sir?" a young woman's voice said from behind me.


"You're incredibly fast," I said.


"Are you looking for a shirt?" she asked.


I was going to tease her about also being incredibly perceptive, given the fact that I was standing in the shirts section, but she seemed like a nice kid. Besides, when I was young, I worked in a clothing store for a while, so I know what it's like to have to deal with a lot of dickheaded customers.


"Why, yes, in fact, I am," I said instead. "Can you tell me if the price on this tag is for both the shirt and the t-shirt that are together on this hanger?"


She smiled. "Um, actually, that's not two separate pieces," she said. "It’s just a shirt with a fake t-shirt sewn into it."


"Really?" I said. "You mean, it's for people who are too lazy to actually wear two separate pieces of clothing?"


She laughed and said, "I guess you could say that."


"That's perfect for me, then," I said. "In fact, I'm even lazier than that. For example, I've heard that turned-up shirt collars are also in fashion. Do you sell any of these shirts with their collars already turned up?"


She laughed again. "I could do that for you, if you'd like," she said.


My phone rang. It was my wife calling.


"Have you found anything yet, or are you just flirting with the shop assistant?" she said.


I looked around nervously. "Where are you?" I asked her.


"You didn't hang up after our last call," she said. "I've been listening the whole time. Stop bothering that poor girl."


"I'm not bothering her," I protested. "She thinks I'm funny."


"Really?" my wife said. "What is she? Eighteen? You're fifty-six.  She's probably laughing the way teenagers do when they watch a horror movie."


"Did you know that they sell shirts with fake t-shirts sewn inside them?" I asked her.


"Did you not hear me when I said I've been listening to you for the past five minutes?" she said.


"Right," I said. "Sorry. But, don't you think those sweatshop workers in China and India must find it absolutely hilarious when they're making them? 'Hey, Amal, look! I'm making shirts for western people who don't know how to wear two shirts.'


"Stop thinking of jokes for your silly magazine column and buy something," she said. "Besides,  you already made that same joke about the fake televisions at IKEA."


"Are you saying that joke is 'old and worn out'?" I asked her.


"Are you saying you want to die?" my wife replied.


So, okay, I hate the Internet. But at least it did give  me a chance to make someone laugh… whenever my wife looks at me in my new orange shirt with the fake t-shirt inside it.