No need to dress up today,” Lisa said when I got in her car. She honked her horn to pick me up for lunch. I always knock on her door when I pick her up. She always honks her horn. Sometimes, she calls my cell phone and says, “I’m outside.” Then hangs up. This wastes my minutes but saves her time. I always knock.
Today, she also knocked. But it was my outfit she was knocking. The pants I had on, the shoes I was wearing and the shirt I’d hurriedly put on when I heard her honk! was the same outfit I’d worn on a date the night before. It wasn’t really a date. It was more of a “hang out.” I bought dinner. She said, “Thanks.” It may have seemed like a date, but it wasn’t. I’m not good on dates. Conversations are too probing like, “In high school, were you a jock, nerd, stoner or loner?” High School? Why not ask about my prenatal ultrasound? It would be equally as informative as to how I am now. But, for the record, I was a nerd, loner. Not the cool Juno-type loner. I was a nerd; therefore, I was a loner.
With Lisa knocking my outfit, this meant I’d probably chosen the wrong attire to “hang out” in the night before. You see Lisa is like a surrogate girlfriend who I’ve known for nine years. She’s a girl I hang out with often, but, since she’s a girl, she has to have the moniker of “Just Friends” Lisa. For instance, when we were at The Old Dutch Store (2696 Highland Drive) buying Kinder Eggs and salted licorice, the old man cutting our cheese said something to Lisa like, “Your boyfriend is covered in cat hair.” And in unison we replied, “Boyfriend? We’re ‘just friends.’” I suppose the alternative “friends without benefits” is just too cumbersome.
Just Friends Lisa is honest. She has nothing to lose. If she implies—or outright says—“You’re a slob,” it’s not like I can threaten, “Oh, yeah? Well, tonight I’m sleeping on the couch and denying you of me.” To recap: Lisa has been in denial of me for nine years. And, since I might hang out again with the girl whom I don’t date, I figured I better take Just Friends Lisa’s advice and find some new clothes besides those on my floor.
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about clothing. If clothes make a man, then I’m like my bed: unmade. It seems like it’s been decades since the last time I went clothes shopping, so I figured this would be a good place to start: Decades (627 S. State).
Walking into Decades in the same outfit Lisa had just dressed me down in, I was immediately put at ease. Even though I had six out of nine lives of homegrown cat hair on my clothing, Oscar, the Decades house cat sleeping on the counter, jumped up and greeted me. Not only, I reasoned, does Decades sell second-hand clothing, it also comes pre-haired. And cat hair, for me, is like a fashion accessory.
Looking around the store, I felt like I had found the oyster bed of pearl-snap cowboy shirts. Decades has done the part I find dreadful: the actual shopping part. They have mined thrift shops and estate sales and essentially had my wardrobe ready. I just had to find my size.
It was almost disappointing to see how clean and un-cat-haired the outfits looked hanging on the rack. All that stood between rows of shirts and vintage hats, cowboy boots, belt buckles and jewelry was my wallet. The only problem I had with Decades was it made me wish I were a woman. With at least three times as many clothes for the other gender, if I were a woman, then Just Friends Lisa and I could shop together, swap clothing and be just friends.