In which I dress for success

I alluded a couple of weeks ago to a job opportunity that I was looking at that would have represented a substantial raise as well as a responsibility level more in-tune with my current career goals. I am proud to announce that, in keeping with being in week 7 or so of the worst month of my life, I was not even called for an interview for that job despite being literally the only person currently employed by my district who has done it.

I did have a job interview today, though, for my own fucking job, as in the job I have right now and I have been doing for a year. They slightly altered our job descriptions and cut a few of us and so everyone has to re-interview. I spent some time last night thinking carefully about what to wear to the interview, which I had deliberately scheduled for the last half hour of the school day so that I didn’t have to return to my building afterward.

My typical work uniform is a collared shirt, short-sleeved, with jeans and black shoes that pass for dress shoes at a casual glance but are not. I occasionally wear a tie, especially earlier in the year, and during the winter I frequently wear a sweater over the shirt. I despise long sleeves– something about the feeling of cloth on my forearms has always made me skeevy– and even if I’m wearing a dress shirt or a sweater the sleeves will be rolled up, meaning that I don’t often wear a sport jacket (or a blazer, or a suit coat, and frankly I don’t know what the hell the differences are between those things) because I’m not about to unroll my sleeves and struggle with cuffs just to put a jacket on.

Anyway, I ended up going with a dress shirt and a tie and jeans and slightly more formal shoes, because fuck it, I’m interviewing for a job I already have and if my clothes matter then my clothes don’t matter at all, if that makes any sense and just stare at it until it does if not.

I think the interview went okay, but hell if I know. The general rule lately is that if anything can go wrong it will, so I’m sure I fucked this all up somehow. There is one more day of school tomorrow and then a teacher work day and then I will relax for three days and then I’m gonna start writing a goddamn book. I got plans, dammit.

Oh, and when I got home I jumped in the pool for the first time. Which was fucking freezing. I’m not complaining. I’m in the right mood for freezing cold water, and I wasn’t in there for more than 20 minutes or so anyway. But man, it was nice.

On my new face and my stupid brain

IMG_7057I realized a couple of weeks ago that I was out of date for a new prescription for my glasses, both in the strict calendrical sense and in the fact that I can tell my current glasses aren’t quite cutting it any longer.  I’ve been weird about eye doctors since moving back to my hometown; the guy who took over for my original (birth to age 26 or so) eye doctor after he passed away was a bit of a brusque ass; the dude after him was fine personally but his office sucked, and a new optometry practice just opened up a couple of miles away from my house.  So time for a new eye doctor for this visit, and time for a new face, too.  I wanted, in the abstract, a new look, something radically different from the style of my last several pairs of virtually-identical frames.


So here is a thing about me that I hadn’t realized:  despite the fact that I’ve had glasses on my face for damn near every single day since second grade (there were a couple of detours into contact lenses that didn’t stick) I apparently don’t actually want to see glasses when I look at my face.  My preferred style for years now has been to have no frames on the lower part of the lenses, and I found myself quickly gravitating toward “screw-mount,” or frameless, glasses.  The pair I ended up with is in that picture up there; on my face, they’re nearly invisible.

(Don’t ask why I didn’t get a selfie.  I’m not a millennial.  I didn’t think of it.)

And I discovered two other things about myself, one of which kind of alarms me and both of which deserve a bit more personal interrogation:  1) it turns out that I don’t actually have any idea how to distinguish “frames for women” from “frames for men,” beyond obvious considerations of the size of the damn things, and 2) my first thought, upon putting anything more substantial than the frameless or half-frame look on my face, was almost always “Man, these look really gay.”

To be clear, we’re talking about frames like this:

Okay, this whole post just fell apart, because in my attempt just now to find a “not gay” pair of men’s glasses, I initially grabbed a picture of Zachary fucking Quinto, who is actually gay.  


Anyway, point is, under on-someone-else’s-face circumstances, I don’t think these glasses look gay:

84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Nor these, and yes, I did deliberately look for a picture of Clark Kent:


..which, goddamn, are those the same glasses?  Has Zachary Quinto played Superman?  Maybe he should.  The point is it is exceedingly rare for me to look another man’s glasses and think that his glasses make him look gay.

But if you take those same glasses and put them on my face, all the sudden what I see is this:


(That’s Leo, from season six of Worst Cooks in America, and probably a bunch of other places but that’s where I first encountered him.  He’s hilarious.  And he can rock whatever look he wants.  I cannot.)

Anyway, point is, that’s weird, right?  I am, under normal circumstances, sufficiently secure in my sexuality, or at least I thought I was, and while my wife will probably be able to come up with a counterexample, I can’t really come up with any other times where I’ve rejected an entire genre of apparel because it “made me look gay.”  But, shit, that was the reaction to every single pair where the frames were actually visible, and it was immediate.  Like, what the hell, brain?  Where did that little bit of internalized homophobia come from, and how do we beat the shit out of it?

I probably ought to just buy the thickest pair of brightly colored glasses I can find and make myself wear them until I don’t give a shit anymore.

On nomenclature


So it hit me the other day that I don’t actually know what the hell a pantsuit is– or, at least, I don’t know why pantsuits are called pantsuits.  I mean, I know what a suit is, but suits always involve pants.  So why, when it’s being worn by a woman, do we refer to them as pantsuits, when the part that is actually different from a suit that a man might wear is not the suit but instead the jacket?

We should call them blousesuits or something, is what I’m saying.  Or maybe just suits.  Also, I want formal wear in all of those colors, goddammit.  Not being able to go out in public in an orange suit is absolutely the worst thing about being a white man.

(Which is to say: being a white man is awesome, because that’s literally our worst problem. Y’all should try it, if you aren’t one already.)

EDIT: Being taken to task over this via text message at the moment.  “Pantsuit,” because until not too long ago women’s suits had to involve skirts and pants were the exception, not the rule.  Got it.   I still say I should be able to go out in public in bright colors, goddammit.

Stand by, I’m trying to come up with a secondary topic that isn’t whiny.


In which I have to buy clothes again

middle-finger-poster-flag-6185-pOnce, just once, I want to buy clothes without it leading to mental trauma and a blog post.  I just wanna go buy some damn clothes and then wear them somewhere without any bullshit being involved.

Yes, I know it would be worse if I was a woman.  If I was a woman I would almost certainly have been reduced to simply wearing muumuus everywhere and never leaving the house, because men’s clothing is complicated enough.  And I hate, oh do I hate shopping for clothes, especially shoes and pants.

You may be taking note of the season and realizing that I probably went to buy shorts today.  And, worse, because all of the bullying has finally convinced me to buy shorts made of something other than denim, I had to buy something made of not-denim, which is ever so much worse.  I go into this fucking weird-ass mental state whenever I’m trying to buy khaki shorts where all the sudden I don’t understand how clothing works at all, or like, how to dress or how to match shirts with pants and shit like that, which is why I still prefer jean shorts, because jeans go with anyfuckingthing.  I recognize intellectually that at this point khakis work the exact same way– hell, I saw a grown man in turquoise shorts while I was shopping, and he looked fine— but I can’t make myself actually believe it.

Also– and, again, ladies, I know what you’re about to say– but while I was buying the shorts, I was wearing 38 inch waist jeans and 34″ boxer shorts that both fit just fine.  The shorts?  All 44s.  Because sure, that makes perfect sense.

And since I bought them at Kohl’s, the Kohl’s Curse will be activating any day now, and at least one of them will inexplicably not fit in a week despite them all being the same brand and the same size and cut.  This happens every single time I buy multiple garments from Kohl’s.  One of them just suddenly doesn’t fit, even if it was fine when I tried it on.

Whining over for the time being.  You may go about your business.


middle-finger-poster-flag-6185-pDon’t bother reading this.  tl;dr: I am fat and pants are stupid.  Okay?   Just stop here.

I have, as anyone who has been around here before is already aware, been effectively out of work since October and genuinely out of work since January 4th.  Before anyone bothers to tell me: I am aware that I should probably be getting some exercise, and the fact that I’m struggling with depression right now is not a fucking excuse.(*)  But one way or another I have spent the last several months as a full-time writer, or at least a full-time-sit-in-front-of-the-fucking-computer person.

Also a problem: I have been hungry constantly for most of that time.  Like, all day, every day.  That might be a side effect of my medication; I don’t know.  But it’s a fact:  I’m ravenous.  Constantly.  I could eat six meals a day and not even blink at it.

You may have an idea where this is going already.

For most of the last several years I have been wearing 38 x 29 jeans.  Specifically, I’ve been wearing Wal-Mart’s Faded Glory brand.  In fact, that’s virtually the only reason I’ll set foot in a Wal-Mart.  Why?  I can find 29-inch inseams at Wal-Mart.  They’re fucking rare, I tell you.  Inseams like to be in even numbers, and 38 x 28 jeans don’t fucking exist.

Also: I wear jeans when I’m not working.  Only and solely jeans, carpenter cut, because they have the side pocket for my phone and are roomier.  I loathe khakis and would no more wear them when I wasn’t at work than I would wear a tuxedo.  I also tend to wear jeans for a couple of days in a row unless I spill something on them.  Go ahead, call me a slob; I don’t give a fuck.  They’re more fuckin’ comfortable on day 3 and nobody needs to do that much damn laundry.

ANYWAY.  Somehow, a week or two ago, I took off a pair of 38 x 29 jeans at the end of the day before going to bed, because they were getting musty, and in the morning no other pair of jeans in the house— and I own several pairs of identical jeans— would button.  Cursing and gnashing my teeth, I put the musty jeans back on and went to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart didn’t have a fucking thing in a 29 inseam.  In fact, they only had one pair of pants that were 40 x 30.  So, after hitting a second Wal-Mart, I went into full “fuck it” mode and bought one pair at 40 x 30 and one pair at 42 x 30.  Note that other than the measurements they were the same fucking pants, same brand, same cut.

The 40s only barely fit, when I’d been wearing 38s when I bought the 40s.  That wasn’t the worst thing, though.

This, somehow, is what a 30 inch inseam looks like– on BOTH pants– when a 29 inch inseam fits me perfectly:


Those motherfuckers are cuffed by at least three inches.  Walking in these in the damn house without shoes on is fucking ridiculous.  And it’s both pairs, meaning that mislabeling seems highly fucking unlikely.  Again: same brand, same cut.  The 40s fit eventually but the 42s were a little more comfortable, and fuck it, I don’t mind my pants a little baggy.  I am too old to give a fuck about the fact that I’m also probably too old to wear my pants the way I do.

But I cannot deal with cuffing my pants like I’m nine and wearing my older brother’s hand-me-downs.  And I’ll be fucked if I’m taking Wal-Mart jeans to a goddamn tailor, either.

I did something that no one should ever have to do: after searching around on Amazon a bit I ordered some 42 x 29 carpenter jeans.  Now, these were Lees, not the Faded Glory pants, but again: a 38 inch waist fit me last fucking week.  42s should be a damn no-brainer.

They just showed up.  It took me ten minutes of truly asstastic contorting and fuckery to get the goddamned things buttoned– yet now that they are the pants don’t feel tight, which doesn’t make any fucking sense at all.  Also, I’m still using the same belt and the same underwear size I’ve been wearing for forever.  My boxers claim to be a 34 inch waist.  My belt is, I think, a 44-incher.  Yet my pants have expanded by six inches overnight.

Oh oh oh and also these do have the side pocket typical to carpenter jeans, but it’s too small for my fucking phone.  I have hope that it’ll stretch out but right now nothing doing.

Here’s the new inseam:


Fucking perfect, in other words, despite supposedly only being an inch shorter than the other two pairs of jeans.

There is, by the way, no way that I’m aware of to increase my waist size any longer without giving up and going Full Sweatpants, because 44 x 29 does not appear to be a thing that exists anywhere.  I am terrified of what’s going to happen once I have to put on a pair of dress pants for an interview.

Fuck pants, is what I’m saying here.

(*) And before anybody jumps my ass for that:  It isn’t an excuse for me.  And I’m talking about me, not you.