Are those Huskie jeans you’re wearing?

 
DJ came home from shopping with her Nana last week.  She’d mentioned to me several times that she could use a new pair of rain boots.  I’d found several pair at Target and had offered to make that purchase.  She was unappreciative of my effort. Apparently her feet had more expensive taste than my tight fist was willing to plunk out.  She “needed” Hunter boots – a mere $120, plus tax.
 
“Are you planning to move to a Rainforest?” I questioned.  “We don’t exactly have monsoon season here in Raleigh.”
 
“Dad – our campus is huge!  When it rains I get soaked!”
 
Had she transferred to The University of Portland and not informed me?  “The campus is 20 acres and you walk on two of them.  Besides, I offered to buy you boots.”
 
“Those Target boots would fall apart after I wore them five times!”
 
It’s interesting how concerned my eldest daugther has become with the quality of merchandise over the past couple of years. 
 
“So, assuming it rains 15 times this year, I could buy you three pair of Target boots and still save $75.  I’m willing to take my chances on the Bullseye brand.”
 
Luckily for DJ, her Nana has a taste for the finer things in life and a looser grip on her checkbook.  Although to hear Jesse tell it, that was not always the case.
 
Apparently my sister-in-law, Sallie, once wanted a Lilly Pulitzer jumper, very stylish in the 80’s.  Nana didn’t buy one; instead she made it!  I’m sure you could hardly tell the difference.
 
I went on-line to see if I could figure out how to make shoes for the kids.  I got to step 27 and decided it was just too complicated:
 

Step #27: Preparing to sew your upper to your sole.

When I was growing up, my dad was no better than I am now.  Perhaps that’s where I learned it.  The only alligator seen in my house was when Peter Pan was on the Wonderful World of Disney.  None were on my clothing. 

 When all of my friends were sporting Polo shirts in high school, my gift boxes were packed with a cart pulling mule on the front pocket.  My dad couldn’t tell the difference, although every girl I might ever consider taking on a date could. 
 
I remember working and finally saving up enough money to buy one of those fancy shirts with the pocket pony.  My mother and I walked into Nowell‘s at Cross Creek Mall.  There was a stack of Polo’s higher than the Princess and the Pea’s mattresses.  I was nervous, my palms sweaty.  I had to make the right decision.  This might be the only one I ever owned.
 
The sales clerk pulled down a huge bundle folded ever so neatly.  He looked down his nose through his bifocaled glasses as if he were Ralph Lauren himself.  As I unfolded the one I thought I might want, navy with thin forrest green stripes and a red horse, a piece of tissue paper gently floated to the floor.   
 
This is class, I thought to myself.  This is how the other half live, and I like it.
 
I do understand how she feels.  My parents sent me to school in JC Penney Huskie blue jeans as a kid.  I guess Nowell’s didn’t sell plus sizes. If you want your child to get beat up, toss him on a school  bus to Walker Spivey Elementary wearing chubby clothes from Penney’s.  It’ll work every time. 
 
If I recall, there was a hippopotomus embroidered on the back pocket. 
 
Lisa would have bought her the boots.  When she died, she wrote five rules for the girls to follow.  One was:  “Gang up on dad when needed.” When I asked her what she meant by that, she said, “There are times when the girls are going to want to do something, and you’re going to be too cheap or too protective to let them.  When that happens, I want them all to gang up on you and make you do what I would have done.  If there is a great pair of $300 shoes that will make DJ’s prom dress the coolest at the dance, buy them for her!” Easy to say when you’re not looking private school tuition and twelve years of college in the face. 
 
I probably made the wrong decision on the boots.  Thank goodness for Nana. 

The Dress

Posted by Danny

What is $7,227.74? 

The amount of money I’m likely to spend on high school dances over a 12 year period of time for three daughters.  I accounted for two big dances a year and included 5% a year for inflation.  This does not include middle school dances, college formals or debutante balls.

I can see myself in thirty years – living in Michelle’s cardboard box in downtown Raleigh – a large picture book of my daughters, wearing my retirement, my sole possession.

It took two grandmothers, one aunt, three of Lisa’s friends, an army of saleswomen and me to find THE dress for DJ’s first formal.  The shopping started just two weeks out with family members dropping by every dress shop from Benson to Oxford. 

At one point I think we had four dresses on hold.

Finally, as the calendar grew tight, I stepped in – sort of the Godfather of shopping.  A decision had to be made.  I was strong and equipped, I’d just paid off my monthly VISA bill.

We started at North Hills – a store called Ubiquitous (or something like that).  They had nothing (under $300) that we liked.  We ran by Hayley’s – they were holding one.  The woman assured us this was the only one of its kind in the free world.  Grandma liked it better than DJ.

We hit another store on Oberlin Road – it cost me one $50 Sunday dress, but nothing for the event.

I was getting worried.

Two days later, it happened.  She found something else in North Hills and put it on hold.  We walked in together.  There was a comfortable black and white couch with a huge framed mirror propped right in front of me.  I looked good – graying at my temples, the black circles under my eyes hidden under the soft lights.

She came out in the dress – it was a darker shade of purple.  It was short. 

“You look beautiful but you’ll need to wear a bathing suit under that one.”

“It’s fingertip length.”

“Maybe your pinkie fingertip, if you’re slouching.  What are you going to do when you raise your arms?”

“Why would I raise my arms? It’s a formal, not a math class.”

“Don’t you raise your arms when you dance?”

“No.”

I demonstrate some of my basic moves – hands in the air.

“We don’t dance like that.”

“Oh.”

There were slits in the sleeves from shoulder to elbow.  “What are those for?”

“I don’t think they have a specific purpose.”

“They’re like air vents – they’ll keep you cool on the dance floor. Or, you could put your cell phone in there.”

The nineteen year old salesclerk assured me the dress was an appropriate length for a high school dance.  “Would your father let you wear it?”

“Absolutely.”

Liar.

The shoes were next.  We headed to Southpoint mall.  She knew what she wanted:  Nude (color, not a state of dress), patton (means shiny), pumps (unrelated to the gas station).  Easy to find – but expensive to me.

Ends up that all of the girls checked their shoes at the coat closet when they arrived at the dance.  That means that those shoes cost about $1 per minute of wear.

I think the best part of the evening came when at about 10 pm, Jesse texted DJ with these two pictures and the following message:

Who looks better in your dress? Michelle, you or me?

Yes – Jesse and Michelle had taken pictures of themselves in DJ’s formal dress earlier in the week with the sole purpose of harassing her in the middle of her date.

I cannot tell you how much joy that one act has brought to my life.

Tea and Boots

No!

 

No!

Yes!

Posted by Danny

I get a lot of emails.  I enjoy the ones from friends – making plans or sharing news.  And most of the ones at work are important enough to read.  But bulk emails from school, dance, church, sports teams, etc., etc. get me down. 

The volume of information coming at me is sometimes overwhelming.  There are so many things to read and each is so very…very long. 

I am amazed at how many sentences it takes to remind me to send money to school.  Don’t wish me a good day or tell me the kids’ activities for the week.  Just tell me what I need to do:  Bruce, Send $10 on Wednesday.  I will obey.

I don’t care what it’s for – the teacher can use it to buy a farm animal for her great-aunt.  No explanation needed.  Just get to the chase!  

DJ is in a a mother/daughter service club.  It’s a great organization that does incredible work throughout the community.  This group has a weekly email that gives the details for the upcoming activities – it is fairly short and to the point.  But recently the 9th grade class was responsible for putting on a tea.  And the reminder came out two days before the important event.

Email 1:  Details, details, details…and remember, you can’t wear boots to the tea.

Email 2 (from a mother responding to all):  You can wear boots to the tea.

Email 3 (from another mother responding to all):  No, you can’t wear boots.

Email 4 (you get the picture):  Yes – you can wear boots to the tea but they have to be dress boots.  You can’t wear Uggs or riding boots.

Email 5:  No – no boots. 

Email 6:  Anyone can wear boots but the 9th graders – they are hosting the tea and cannot wear boots.  And they aren’t allowed to eat.

Who hosts a party and doesn’t eat?

Email 7:  We talked about this for 15 minutes at the last meeting.  You can wear dress boots.

Email 8:  Attachment: The bylaws of the organization (I did not read them but there must be something in there about boots and teas).

I deleted Emails 9, 10 and 11 before reading them because I had to go pick up the kids. 

Fortunately, the boot situation was not an issue for us.  DJ has at least one pair of shoes that are not boots.  That must not be the case for some of the other girls.

My sister-in-law was taking DJ to the tea.  It took me 30 minutes to explain to her what shoes she could wear.  I made her come by our house before the event to ensure that she didn’t try to sneak in with a pair of rain boots (they weren’t specifically singled out).  I could see Aunt Sallie trying to push the envelope.  She wore heels.  I was relieved.

I actually understand the No Ugg policy.  My girls would wear them to a Nascar race or to the Royal wedding.  They have no Ugg filter.  These women are just trying to teach some manners – and lord knows I need help with that. 

But I was convinced with the first email…

Email 1:  No boots…

My response:  OK…

Apparently the party was grand, and they did get to eat – but just in the kitchen.  Probably a good idea.  I could see my girls sipping punch out of the ladle.

The Count Danny Tanner

Posted by Danny

I recently shared that I really, really like my cape and top hat from the play.  I sort of feel like I should be chanting da-da-da-da da-da-da-da  da-da-da-da da-da-da-da Bat Man as I wander around back stage.  I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to bring these incredible clothing items back into vogue. 

The more time I spend in my 19th century clothing, the more desire I have to be a Count.

Someone at work told me you could buy a title – I looked on line and apparently for $49.99 I could be a Scottish Laird or Lord.  But I’d prefer Count – or maybe a Baron.

I’m not really into biting anyone’s neck, and I get quiezy at the sight of blood, but Dracula was pretty cool.  As I walked through the halls of work today panomiming to my friends how I foreboding I could be in a cape, a lady I work with suggested I was less Count Dracula and more Count Chocula. 

I don’t think it would go over very well for me to walk into my Rotary Club meeting wearing a cape and top hat this winter.  And it probably wouldn’t help me move up the corporate ladder to don a cloak to a board meeting.  But when I hit the New York Times best seller list and blow this cookie stand, no holes barred.  You’ll see me at Barnes and Nobles at the book  signing table in full regalia.   

I bet 90% of men out there would enjoy wearing a cape.  Let’s ban together and bring them back!  Not surprising, Jesse already has one (seriously).  All we need is about 50 prominate guys in the Triangle Area to take the plunge and we’re there!  Hit me back if you’re in –

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Shoe

IMG_2224

Posted by Danny

I received a text from Jesse at 4 pm on Friday, December 23:  What size shoes do the girls wear?

Seriously?  Jesse was buying shoes for the girls’ Christmas presents?  I wondered which thrift shop had a kids’ shoe sale going on 36 hours before his yuletide deadline.

When we arrived home from the late Christmas Eve service at a neighborhood church, I broached the subject.  “Did you really buy shoes for the girls for Christmas?”  I didn’t want him to think I was questioning his tween fashion sense – but based on other uncle/niece purchases, I feared he was way off base.  He refused to answer my question – said it was a surprise.

For the past five years, Jesse has purchased each girl a used CD – and one with what he would consider a classic.  I think he blames me for their lack of enthusiasm for the Beatles, Paul Simon and Billy Joel (DJ claims the box set he gave her had every song Billy Joel ever sang, starting at his church Christmas pageant as a child).  Jesse thinks I should force them to listen to my music.  Dear Lord, please let me live long enough to see him with three daughters – that is my one request.

This year the girls pooled their funds and purchased him the Justin Bieber Christmas CD.  DJ said it was time Jesse became exposed to some of their classics.  Touche!

So, on Sunday, after opening the Santa gifts and the things I had purchased for the kids, Jesse grabbed a Target bag and began handing out footwear.  You’d have thought he had purchased gold, frankincense and myrrh – he was so excited.  As each girl opened her shoebox, they looked perplexed.  Not only was there a plain pair of black flats in each box, but there were also bottles of glitter and decoupage.  DJ caught my eye – her look?  What in the heck is happening here?   Steph began thanking him profusely – she’d already been prepped to appreciate any gift she was given, regardless of its usefulness or her level of excitement for it.

As they sat there, his explanation began.  “I talked to a friend of mine, one who has really good fashion sense, and apparently girls are wearing shoes with sparkles this year.  My friend said that you could even make them yourself.  I downloaded a blog with directions and have all of the supplies.”  He then proceeded to explain the process of covering the shoes with glue, applying the glitter, repeating the process and finishing it off with a coat of decoupage. 

I’ll have to admit, I was impressed.  All this coming from a guy who hasn’t changed his bath towel since Labor Day.

Jesse is a man of many talents – some more masculine, like playing a mean game of basketball; some more on his softer side, like dancing.  However, I don’t see arts and crafts as one of his strengths.  You can’t even read the man’s handwriting.

I told the girls that if he hadn’t followed through with the shoes by the end of January, we’d give the bag of supplies to their babysitter.  She can make pottery out of a carrot and a piece of construction paper.

Stay tuned.  There is sure to be a follow-up blog post on this particular project! 

 

A Cape and A Top Hat; top that!

Posted by Danny

I guess that everyone has certain dreams – things they hope to have happen before they depart from this earth.  I have a laundry list.  Some are huge:  winning $100,000,000 (or more) in the lottery, sincere happiness, seeing my girls grow up into successful women.

Some are not so big, like learning to hit the golf ball with a 3-wood (well, that one would be huge).

This weekend, three items on my ‘not so big’ bucket list are coming true – and all in one day!  I’m about to explode with excitement – and I am not the excitable type.

I was afraid that since my A Christmas Carol family was poor, the Candlestick Makers, I’d end up with a tiny beanie of a hat with my costume.  When I went in for my fitting, that’s exactly the direction things were heading.  In fact, the drawer with the little ones was open and the costume lady was reaching in when all of a sudden she glanced up at the counter. 

“We do have these top hats that are a little beat up.  Would you rather have one of those?”

I tried to contain my excitment! 

“I’m flexible…”, but visions of Abraham Lincoln were dancing through my head.  How cool is it to wear a top hat?  That’s not something a man gets to do on a regular basis.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever worn one in public.  Think of Fred Astaire, the Cat in the Hat, frigging Uncle Sam!  And me:  Danny Tanner!

And to top it off, another bucket list item has also come true thanks to my favorite costume designer.  I get to wear a cape!  The only part of my costume I hadn’t seen when I entered the dressing room on Saturday was my outer wear.  When I found a navy cape hanging by my plaid pants and form-fitting vest, I nearly collapsed to my knees in gratefulness. 

I draped it over my shoulders and ran through the lobby as if I were Dracula.  What if guys wore capes these days?  How dandy would it be to walk from the downtown parking deck to the church sanctuary on Sunday morning – top hat and cape to keep you warm (and to keep you cool if you know what I mean).

Jesse actually has a black cape.  Some friend of his made it for him years ago.  I’ve never asked why –

He doesn’t know this, but sometime I put it on when no one else is home and sneak through the house pretending to be a 17th century Russian spy.

And to top it all off, on Saturday, I get to wear my entire costume in the Raleigh Christmas Parade!  I’ll actually walk by my church – so it will kind of be like I’m wearing these duds in my regular life.

A top hat, a cape and a parade – all in one day!  A little Danny Tanner heaven right here on earth.

If you’re there, keep an eye out for me.  I shouldn’t be hard to find.

Food Lion Fashion

Posted by Danny

On Thursdays we eat dinner with Lisa’s sister, Aunt Sallie, and her husband, Uncle Matt.  Last week it was their turn to cook.

I picked the girls up from school and we dropped by the house to drop off book bags and to change clothes.  As I was about to get undressed, DJ popped in my room. 

“I think we need to have a theme for dinner!  Let’s all dress alike.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes!”

“OK – how about pajamas?”  With Matt cooking, I knew I’d be more comfortable with an elastic waist.

We all got our PJ’s on and each selected a stuffed animal to take with us.  I chose “B” Bear – he was the animal that has stuck with me all of these years.

Dinner as great, but the fun part came on the ride home.

“Dad, I forgot I need to take two dozen muffins to school tomorrow,” DJ reminded me.

“OK, we’ll run by the gro on the way home.”

“I ain’t going in the grocery store in my pajamas,” Stephanie screamed out emphatically.

“We’ll go to the Food Lion.  That’s not our regular store.  We won’t know anyone there.”

“I’m not going in!”  All three in unison.

“I can assure you if I’m going in the grocery store in my pajamas and bedroom shoes, I will not be alone!  GET OUT OF THE CAR.  NOW!”  Perhaps this is unusual punishment.  Regardless, I didn’t feel great about them sitting in the car alone at 9:30 pm.

As we walked in the door, Stephanie dodged behind the display of fresh-baked breads while the rest of us headed to the muffin aisle.  Two teenaged girls walked by snickering.  As we walked through the store, DJ would cautiously glance down the upcoming aisle hopeful not to see anyone she knew. 

At one point I was in the lead.  As I rounded a corner I yelled out one of her guy friend’s names “Wallace Jones!  What’s up?”  I thought she was going to dive into the chicken freezer.

“Just kidding!”

“Take our picture Michelle.”

“OK, stand by the cheese.”

You should never ask an 8-year-old to take your picture if you’re in a compromising position.  Not only were we standing in the Food Lion in PJ’s but we were also posing for a picture while other customers reached around us for Port Wine and parmesan.

The cashier didn’t miss a beat.  He acted as if he’d seen this every day.

As we walked back to our car, grouped together tightly, I wondered how many of my friends had this “opportunity.”  I bet that ten minutes last Thursday will be a memory we take with us to the grave.  I wonder how I can make more of those?

Dad Knows Fashion

Posted by Danny

I never took cotillion.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps my parents couldn’t afford it or maybe my mom thought I was already mannerly enough.  Or more likely, she felt like it was a hopeless cause.

My wife did come from a cotillion family.  She and her siblings all suffered through but I think it paid off.

DJ has completed cotillion, however, if you eat at the dinner table with us, you might find that difficult to believe.  Stephanie is enrolled this year.

I did learn something from the cotillion handbook.  If you are out with a woman and you come to a revolving door, the man should go through first if it is stopped in order to push it and getting it moving.  I assume most women don’t have the physical strength to push something as cumbersome as a door.  If the door is already in motion, the man should wait and allow the woman to go through before he enters.  I was intrigued by this knowledge and can’t wait to approach a revolving door with one of my  daughters to put this learning to use.

Last Friday was the cotillion ball at North Ridge Country Club.  You know what that means … the outfit.

When will Stephanie learn to listen to me?  I am a man with style.  I made the switch to bow ties 15 years ago before it was the trendy thing to do.  You may have seen my Allen Edmonds.  I keep my dress shirts in order according to their color.  Nothing excited Lisa or my daughters more than taking a pink shirt and putting it in the middle of the blues.  So – I’m a little type A (I’m not nutty about my shirts being in order, I just sort of like them color coordinated when possible).

I was determined not to purchase a new dress for the ball.  Thankfully, several mothers took pity on me and offered their daughters’ old dresses for Stephanie to choose from.  We narrowed it down to three.  Two were white.  One was not that bright white but a similar color – just more yellowish.  I guess that’s off white or cream. 

I pushed her toward the white dress because – 1) she had really white shoes and 2) she had really white gloves.  Made sense to me that she should wear the really white dress to match.  I’m not sure she believed me, but she did like that dress and decided to follow my lead.

Next we had to discuss shoes.  Early in the cotillion year, a boy stepped on Stephanie’s toe when she was wearing sandals.  It bled and she actually lost half of the toenail.  Ever since the Fox Trot injury, she has been petrified of dancing with these boys without steel toed boots protecting her petite digits.  I almost thought I was going to have to take her to a therapist to begin getting her ready for sorority formals in the future.

We already owned a pair of dress sandals.  They were fancy and complimented her really white dress quite nicely.  Stephanie went to Target on Thursday afternoon and conned her grandmother into buying her a pair of flat white shoes for proetection.   She’d asked me to buy these same shoes the week before but I told her I thought she needed something dressier.  Nothing wrong with the shoes but we already had a pair that were perfect for a classy event at the country club.

“Stephanie.  I don’t think those are fancy enough for your dress.”

“I don’t care.  I DON’T want another toe injury.  That hurt.”

Jesse jumped in to defend her, “I think they look fine.”

This coming from a guy who is considering giving all of hisshort sleeved shirts away and replacing them with 10 white v-neck tees to simplify his apparently complex life.

“Input not needed Jesse.”  I moved on.  “That’s fine.  Try them on.  Then go show DJ.”

The eyes rolled – not only does she look like Lisa, her mannerisms are falling nicely into place.

From the other room I heard, “DJ, what do you think of these shoes with this dress?”

“I think the sandals would look better with that dress.”

Yes!  Victory.

And what does she do?  She puts on the sandals and gives me no credit.

She's just beautiful!

 

To top off the outfit, she picked one of Lisa’s big pink scarves as a wrap.  I love it when the girls can wear a piece of Lisa’s jewelry or clothing.  It’s like they’re wearing a little piece of her. 

I’m sure lisa was smiling down on our adventure.  And I’m pretty sure she would have agreed with me on the shoe choice.

Meet The House Fashion Consultant

Posted by Uncle Jesse

That’s right. It’s me, baby.

I generally steer clear of discussions involving dress and style in the Tanner household. I’ve determined that I don’t care enough about what the girls wear to put in the work it would take for them to actually listen to me about it, so I don’t waste anyone’s time–theirs or mine–getting in the middle.

Sometimes I do have to stand up for Danny when he’s being hassled about a certain item looking “too old” or “not cool”. I remind the girls that they know next to nothing about what’s cool for a 45-year old man, despite what they may think. A perfect example would be Danny’s new shoes, which were panned by DJ but praised in the comment section.

Prediction: when viewed in retrospect, Uggs will be like the big hair and poofy shoulders I see in Lisa's high school yearbook

I also like telling the girls that no matter how “cool” they think they dress, it’s pretty much guaranteed that in five years they’ll look back on what they’re wearing now and say, “I can’t believe I EVER thought that looked good.” (and, yes, I’m looking at you, Uggs. I can’t wait to be right about those things)

My only other fashion tip: if you like it/thinks it looks good on you, wear it. Don’t worry what other people think. Right before school started, DJ wanted to get a pair of Toms because all of the counselors at Camp Seafarer wore them. But she really wanted the silver sparkly pair, the ones that definitely stand out from a crowd slightly more than the plain blue ones. She got the sparkly ones. But after they were purchased, the first two reviews (I won’t say from whom they came) were less than enthusiastic, so DJ immediately started questioning her decision. She returned them and got the plain blues. She wasn’t happy, but that “what if people think they’re stupid?” thought had crept in her head and, admittedly, it’s a tough one to get out.

I told DJ I had no opinion on which shoe looked better  (and I didn’t say this, but I think Toms, like Uggs, will probably fall into the “I can’t believe I ever wore those!” category, but I could be wrong–and I definitely don’t deny they are the “in” thing right now), but that I did think that as a general rule she should go with her intuition when buying/wearing clothes. Every now and then you may get some funny looks, but as long as you have a pretty good reputation for wearing good-looking clothes, most of the time you take a risk it will be met with approval. And often times you’ll be looked at as a trend-setter and see others follow suit.

I don’t claim that my advice had a thing to do with it (I think maybe she spied some older girls rocking some of the

I say wear it loud and proud.

“louder” Toms) but eventually she did get a pair of silver sparkly Toms (and kept the blue ones for a more subdued option when the occasion calls for it).

But yesterday was something different. I was not consulted for my fashion philosophy, I was consulted for my fashion advice.

The 8th grade had a field trip or social event or something else that meant DJ did not have to wear her usual St. Timothy’s uniform. She informed me that the entire 8th grade (though I’m guessing it was just the girls) had been up since 6:30 am texting each other about what to wear. Growing up in public schooling I always mocked kids who had to wear a uniform. Now I see there is some sound logic in the idea.

"What's everyone wearing today? We must individualize but not stand out!"

She basically had her outfit put together–it looked stylish and cool, but nothing I would have thought would have taken an extra half hour to assemble. It was basically jeans and a white top with light blue stripes (light blue like…halfway between Carolina blue and Duke blue…sorry, I can only describe these thing in my terms). And some shoes.I probably should have noticed which ones.

And it was probably because she was standing in the living room with no mirror. Or because I was the first person to emerge after she came down in her selected outfit. Or maybe even because, sadly, I probably am–by process of elimination–the person in the house aside from her who would best know what teenagers think is cool. But the reason doesn’t matter. She asked me. She asked ME. Here’s what she asked me:

“Should I go with the darker jeans?”

My first thought was, “I have no clue. And what would make you think I would have a clue? I am clueless on this type of thing.” But I could tell by the question she really wanted someone else’s opinion, and I wanted to make the most of the situation. Heck, if I got it “right”, I might even get asked again some time!

But I was still clueless as to which looked better. It’s a good thing she didn’t ask, “Do you think I should wear lighter or darker jeans with this?” because I would have had to admit I could not tell if she was currently wearing the lights or the darks. I tried to evaluate what a darker pair of jeans would look like with the top she was wearing. How dark would the other pair be? How can you tell what the effect of changing the shade of the pants will be on the stripes? WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR???

I had nothing. So, again, I put things in my terms.

I don’t bet on sports (much) but I follow sports a fair amount. I even do a little work in sports media. Because of this, my friends often mistake me for someone who will have good advice for which team to bet on and will text me before a big game to ask my opinion. Most of the times, I don’t have a clue. And in fact, I believe anyone who thinks they do know something is kidding themselves. There’s a reason they say “the house always wins”. It does.

So I’ve come to find that the best advice I can give to my friends who are trying to pick winners is to tell them the team they already want to pick. If they say “I like Team A” and I say “go with Team B”, it only serves to make them more tense and nervous about their pick. And I know, no matter what they might believe about my “insider knowledge” that my pick is no more of a coin toss than theirs. If they say, “I like Team A” and I say “me too” and we win, I look smart for confirming the pick. If we lose, they feel like we  made the “right” pick and just got a bad break. If they switch their pick based on my word and I end up being right, I’m just going to say I got lucky anyway. And, worst of all, if I tell them to go against their gut and I’m wrong….well then all of a sudden I feel like I need to send a friend money I don’t have to cover their losses when I’m not the dummy who was throwing it around on a football game anyway! When at all possible, I try to feel out what their intuition is telling them, and that’s my pick.

I used this lesson and applied it to DJ’s fashion dilemma. I stopped worrying about trying to figure out what looked best to me and tried to decide what she was looking for. She didn’t seem confident that the light jeans were the best choice. And maybe, just maybe, I was thinking that you don’t want the stripes in the shirt too close in color to the jeans….right?

"we" went with the darker jeans (but she wouldn't pose for a picture)

“I think maybe I’d switch to the dark ones,” I said.

“Yeah, me too,” she replied and rushed up to change.

Score. I did so well she even asked me about her necklace choice when she came back down.

“This one, this one or both?”

“I’d go with just the dangly links one.”

“Cool.”

I was on a roll. Maybe if I just speak with confidence I can keep this up. Or maybe she’ll realize taking a picture of her outfit and texting it to friends for approval is probably the best option. I can’t wait to pick out prom dresses. And I’ll let her know to always bet the SEC in national championship games.

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