Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hair Cut

2:08 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I always look forward to haircuts with something akin to dread. This feeling dates back to some overpriced and frightening experiences in my earlier days.

The one that sticks out is when I went to that salon that is over by the Aboite branch of the library. Aside from the fact that it cost 24 dollars--before tip--the trip also bears the dubious honor of leaving me with the worst haircut I have ever received; a most scarring event. I also happened to be cutting my hair at its longest point, so I was going from awesome but impractical soccer player hair, to "my hair, what have you done to my hair!" I payed quietly and went home to let my dear mother fix it, as I was not about to trust them with what was left of my hair.

So, if you ever wondered why it is that I always seem to go so long between haircuts, you now know that it is because I have some sort of irrational dread surrounding them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Place Tongue Firmly in Cheek.

1:19 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I always wonder if the fact that I am poking fun at myself comes through, or whether I seem like a little Napoleon. My favourite brand of sarcasm is that of which my target is blissfully unaware, and I hope that my self deprecations are not as stealthy as some of the sarcasm; that is to say, please tell me that people don't actually take my self-aggrandizing hyperbole seriously.

It was something that I began doing with my brothers and Winston some years ago. We would go about listing all of our virtues, getting more ridiculous with each utterance, and then we would finish by congratulating each other on how humble we are.

So, for future notice, when you ask whether I'm doing well in school, or am going to get an A, yada, yada, yada...I hope it is not taken seriously when I answer "Of course," or, "What would you expect?" I spend whole weekends with exam results nibbling at the back of my brain. These answers are actually me just poking fun at myself.

The same can be said of almost any of my other ego-maniacal sayings; I like poking fun at others, and I see no reason not to let myself in on the action. I often feel like I am working an inflated reputation and expectations, whether at work or school; this is just my own little method of laughing at them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bow Tie Guy.

8:40 PM Posted by Patrick 6 comments
Did I ever mention that I gave up my campaign to have our store carry Bow-Ties? While I have succeeded in talking a decent number of young men to wear bow-ties--my proof being their bow-tie clad figures coming to greet me while I worked--I find that I no longer wish to encourage too much in this direction.

I do not want the bow-tie to make a strong comeback; it is my own, personal, beloved, and distinctive swag. Not only is it my swag, but I am yet to come across anyone in my age range who really pulls it off as well as I do. Indeed, the only person I've seen who can do it better is the gentleman from whom I stole the look.

Now, let me make this very clear. I love my bow-ties, and it is perfectly understandable if you love my bow-ties too. You need, however, to realize that you cannot pull it off. Ok, I'm sure you looked cool enough in your plain clothes, but you do not have the bone structure to carry off that tie; it is eating your head; take it off. Your greasy hipster wannabe self just looks like a stereotypical creep in that tie. You are changing the default bow-tie wearer in people's head from me, to limp-wristed catamite. Knock it off!

Bow-ties, generally speaking, are a mistake. Carrying off a bow-tie is, on the one hand, about physique. You need to be a specimen that does not invite ridicule, neither a pip-squeak, nor an antediluvian neanderthal of local gym fame. You have to be the well carried average; a very tall or very short man in a bow-tie makes one reach for an umbrella to stop the inevitable jet of water that will issue from said tie. When you walk, did not shuffle, tromp, or sachet. You must walk like a man! Head up! Shoulders Straight! And, for the love of all that is good in this world, pick up your feet!

The other hand, physique is but one part of the Bow-Tie Ethos. Attitude and personality are the other half. A certain reserve is required or, once again, you may have people reaching for their umbrellas. If you are too reserved, you will have people looking over their shoulders for you as they unlock their doors at night; this is by no means a desirable effect. People want the guy in the bow-tie to be cheerful, but dignified. Deep down they really want to respect the bow-tie, but you must be moderately playful, lest you strike them dumb in grave awe.

To master the bow-tie is no little thing, grasshopper, but if you do, great rewards are yours for the taking. The man who wears his bow-tie well often enjoys, free coffee, excellent restaurant service, excellent service anywhere, a marked increase in thoroughly amusing flirtation, greater respect (often awe) from a large portion of mankind, assumed honesty, and a +5 bonus in all social interactions with ladies and black men between the ages of alive and dead.

On the marked downside, one does not receive the same kudos from large portions of the Onslow school of masculinity, but...sacrifices, sacrifices....

I can honestly say that life has been a lot more interesting since I donned my symbol of office (which office is "Bow-Tie Guy"). I am separate, memorable, and respected, which is quite a coveted set of attributes for a young man with a face that--unshaven--marks him younger than he actually is. I do not care for idea of a bow-tie trend because, at this moment, I am totally outside the lines of stereotypes. I am a physically fit, sociable, and moderately attractive young man, with my own distinct and bold, yet somehow classic, look. Not only that, but my manners and mannerisms match with the look, which, now that I've written all of this, might be the thing that actually separates me most, and frustrates me most about potential copy-cats. I feel a twist of anger and contempt when I hear the term--beg pardon, but I am not censoring tonight--motherfuckers, being used by the troglodytes who are wearing the bow-ties that I inspired them to buy.

Maybe in my head I was taking what I read in Paul Fussell too seriously. I believe in the power of uniform to civilize, and for me there is no article of menswear that bespeaks civility quite like the bow-tie, but I need to reflect; putting the physical incarnation of epicurean narcissism--the nineteen year-old American male--in a bow-tie will not turn him into a human being all at once. A bow-tie is not, after all, full military, dress style, uniform--complete with thirty six gleaming brass buttons

I am, however, selfish. I do not answer the above reflection with "give it time and more bow ties," but rather, "Oh noes, they are covering the symbol of office with their sub-simian first impressions. Hide the bow-ties!" I have a good thing going, and I don't think company is going to make it any better. So I now discourage many potential imitators, and have long since given over the fight to have bow-ties at work.

To try and summarize the above. Bow-ties, good. Young males, bad. Young mans get young mannishness on bow-tie; not good. Hide bow-ties. That's about it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More For Less.

11:40 PM Posted by Patrick 2 comments
I have learned recently--this coincides with the advent of my disposable income--that it is so easy to impulse-buy. It is the art of the deal--"bite now, because you may never get another chance this good when it comes to this item." Never mind that you had absolutely no desire for the product before you saw it, and that it will almost certainly be cheaper in the near future.

I never was an impulse buyer; I was the person who waited more than a year before buying a new product, in order to buy it at greatly reduced prices. I would read dozens of reviews and learn as much as I could before I even considered a purchase in the realms of technology, music, or shoes.

Working in a Men's clothing department has introduced a new challenge to my buying habits, and I admit that I did not handle it well at the outset. It is not easy to be constantly surrounded by various attractive clothing items, knowing that I have ways to procure them for a "bargain price." There something about constantly being surrounded by that "deal" language that is particularly toxic. It has taken me months to build the antibodies required for financial prudence, and the only real defense is contempt.

Unless you love an item you see in a department store, it is the height of imprudence to buy it at full cost, but carrying this thought too far leads to the thought that you would be a fool not to buy the item that is on an amazing sale. "I can dress myself for a pittance of what that gentleman spent last week, aren't I clever." I give myself a pat on the back for having made another brilliant purchase.

The amusing part of this is that there is no prudence in any such action. I often buy, not because I need or really want desperately, but because I am getting a deal. The other, more dangerous, side of the equation that drives--or, has recently driven--me to spend, is my vanity, which is not dampened by the constant praise heaped by my bosses and co-workers, to which praise I might just be moderately addicted.

It is the analysis of these two aspects that has me the strength to resist a couple of the more delicious temptations that grace the racks at work. My new awareness and discipline means that--aside from one corduroy sport-coat which was marked to almost nothing, just for me--I have made no clothing purchases since buying a shirt and tie to replace one on which my Starbucks had geysered...that was before Halloween.

The Geyser of coffee is another expense, but we have to take baby steps here; had I not been caffeinated this afternoon, readers of tomorrow's News Sentinel would have been reading about the Penney's supervisor who mysteriously drowned in the mall fountain...Coffee is the last thing I need to cut before finals.

Thankfully, clothing is the only place where I have made rash purchases, and I remain restrained as ever in most areas.

More midnight, brain no work no more.