Where I stand (Flip-Flops & Blue Jeans)

Sometimes, a seemingly insignificant event shows you exactly where you stand. This happened to me Sunday as I dressed for church.

As a male in my late forties, fashion eludes me. I could lie and say that I used to be on top of the latest trends, but photographic evidence would sell me out. Even though I see the genius of old-man high-waist pants and I yearn for the day when Sansabelt makes a comeback, I keep those opinions to myself and try to blend in. That’s my wheelhouse and my fashion goal – Not Standing Out. NSO makes me feel like I can make the women in my life happy.

NSO starts with the purchase decisions. The women weren’t there for buying of the kilt, two dozen Hawaiian shirts, or impact ties and the aforementioned items are strictly verboten. I still keep them in my closet, but if I want to wear them I have to low-crawl out of the house to escape notice. (Low-crawling in a properly worn kilt can cause distinctive carpet burns.) Most of my purchases get disgusted looks and upturned noses from the daughters. Every once in a while I get raised shoulders and an ambivalent “meh” – which I interpret to mean I have struck fashion gold. I live for a “meh”. Read More

She Kissed the Stage

It’s the end of an era for us. The past six years have seen high school productions too numerous to mention. I have built some of the oddest things in an effort to make these plays look professional on a shoestring budget: A revolving 24 foot by 36 foot structure that ripped the curtain and nearly fell into the front row, prison cells out of PVC, and a toilet stall that doubled as a judges bench when viewed from the other side. But now we are officially finished with high school theatre because our final actress has kissed the stage.

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Her name is Kendall but her little toddler friend called her Cookie and it stuck. Cookie amazes me. She is a fighter, she is introspective, beautiful, bright, creative, and fiercely loyal. Cookie is an extremely hard worker and I have no doubt she will be successful at whatever she chooses because she will either kick down the obstacles or figure out an ingenious way to ignite them. One of my fondest memories is when mom picked her up on first day of first grade. She bounded out of her classroom and suddenly realized something had gone terribly wrong. She grabbed the doorway to stop her momentum and cried, “Wait! They forgot to teach me how to read!” Read More