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The King’s New Clothes

I work for a software development house. I’ve been at this location for the past six years, and the last time I bought new clothes specifically for work was when I started the job. Six years later I can barely fit into some of those clothes. Then tragically while getting in my Jeep to pick up my wife for lunch one day, the very pants that I interviewed for my current job ripped at the seem. Ripped. At. The. Seem.

Those were my lucky pants. I got the job of my life (to date) in those pants. I KNEW I wasn’t going to get my current job the day I interviewed but those pants won me the day. Well those pants and my winning smile. And awesome personality. And someone was drunk that day, and it wasn’t me (I’m sure – mostly). In reality, my self esteem tells me that my smile isn’t that winning, and while I am The King, my personality isn’t THAT awesome. Well not awesome enough to risk hiring someone without a college degree for a professional gig as a programmer. Oh and nobody had been drinking, so it MUST have been my lucky pants. MUST have been. And I ripped them.

Buying new pants is nothing new. As my waist expanded so did my pleats. Most of my pants I out grew and replaced but my lucky pants remained. Until I killed them. With my ass.

So there I was lucky-pants-less when I found out that the big wigs on my current project were coming for a visit. Now each person in that handful of people could individually crush my career with a hastily formed email, and they were going to visit. For a week. I’m not a vain man, but when I considered that I would be unable to wow anyone with my split lucky pants, I knew I needed some new clothes.

I don’t buy clothes. I’m generally just not that into the whole process, but the wife and I went to the mall. I asked if someone could measure my neck and sleeve length for some new shirts, and the lady in the men’s clothing section of the store I was in called over a twenty something young man that smelled of flowers. I think his name was Loras Tyrell. Seems I’m an 18 1/2 neck and a 37/38″ sleeve. Yes I’m fat AND tall. It is an odd combination. I found some decent shirts in some colors that said “American Male!” but stayed away from “American Metrosexual Male!”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Next I asked for my inseam to be measured. Twice for some reason. The Loras was very helpful and polite. I knew what my inseam was then, but I wondered why my left was different from my right and so he remeasured my right and I completely forgot the number. I really wasn’t paying attention. I promptly thanked the young knight and paid for my shirts.

I tried to find some shoes at the various shoe stores in the mall, but all they had were shoes that made me look like I was in my nineties or the shoes that said “I’m a rebel, and I don’t care what you pay me.” I couldn’t have my shoes undercutting my potential pay. My low self esteem does that already.

After giving up on shoes I thought I might look for some pants and instantly regretted not paying attention to anything Loras said while taking my inseam for the fourth time. Then while passing a store that is so hip that I generally avoid even looking at the people that shop there, I noticed some District 3 shoes that were both professional enough to look good in the office and young enough to allow the the illusion that I have not yet turned into my father. Live the dreams that you can when you can folks. So I bought my District 3 shoes with the stitches that one might imagine to be barbed wire tastefully worked into the design and all but ran out of the store of too-much-hipness.

When I got home I unpacked my new shirts and bad ass shoes with my inseam fully measured six times. I was (and still am) really tickled about my shoes. Giggly. You’d think I’d had my inseam measured eight times and not seven. I’m not sure why I’m so fracking happy about my shoes but I am.

The visit with the big wigs went well, really well. I spend five days with those folks and got my ego stroked. Most importantly no one utilized their powers of Firing Joe, which I count as a MAJOR win. The only thing that was common each day of the visit? That’s right, my shoes. Good bye Lucky Pants. Hello Lucky Shoes! Lucky Shoes with the bad ass barbed wire design tastefully worked in to shoes that are simply too hip for me.


© 2012, Joe Little. All rights reserved.