Saturday, October 6, 2012

Looking Cool for Your Family

Yeah... I'm a geek. My fashion sense, was at one time at least, black boots, black jeans, a black t-shirt that was either anime or computer related, and topped off with a black trench coat.

Then I got married.

Beloved does not appreciate geek fashion to say the very least and I've found it is easier to agree to slight modifications over the years instead of arguing about it. The black trench got left behind in Nevada (Although I have gained a brown Driza-Bone). The black jeans have been traded in for blue ones, the black boots are now brown and closer looking to moccasins instead of combat. While I've kept the black t-shirts, they've changed into slightly less geeky designs, Suntory Whisky for example.

I have kept the black sunglasses though.

Again, it was easier than enduring a number of complaints from Beloved, not to mention that clothes shopping usually comes every few years in my case and usually when everyone else is getting things. It's much better to go along with one's wife than having to watch her sulk in the store and refuse to get into the car with you if you don't put that pair of black jeans back where you found them.

Compromise is the name of the game for a good marriage, no?

That's what I thought at least until Beloved unveiled her big plan to change me into Johnny Depp, and it all started with my beard.

For most of my life I didn't wear one. Oh, sure, I started shaving, but just never really wore a beard. Part of it was that I couldn't get past the "It feels like all of my face is itching!" phase, and part of it was Beloved. She claimed she didn't like beards. When I'd get lazy and let the whiskers grow she'd start kvetching about sandpaper in uncomfortable places. But with my last visit back stateside, I decided what the hell, I would grow a beard. I mean, I could always shave it off if I didn't like it.

Besides, it was summer and I didn't want to have to shave. After about a week and a half of not, I was getting pretty hairy about the face and Beloved was starting up her usual complaints. That's when I suggested that, yes, I could keep it, but I would style it, you know, shape the thing so I was less caveman style.

THAT is a beard!
What I wanted was Benjamin Sisko style (See? Geek!). I've always thought that Avery Brooks in the last years of Deep Space Nine just looked awesome and the beard was definitely a part of it. I wasn't willing to shave my head, but I could go for the beard. Beloved however wasn't happy with the results. Her compromise was beard OK, but George Michael please.

Yeah, no
Which left me slightly confused as good 'ol George, when he played for the closing ceremony for the London Olympics, had a full beard like the one I just shaved off. But, no, said Beloved, what she meant was George Michael from around 1998, when he had this Fu Manchu thing going with strip of a soul patch/goatee. She even got me a beard trimmer for our anniversary to pull this off. The result was, well, my mother-in-law burst out laughing when she saw it.

Obviously I was not George Michael.

Back to Google went Beloved to discover the perfect model. Which turned out to be Johnny Depp. Which of course my first reaction was, "You want me to look like Captain Jack Sparrow?!" Alas, no, she's not into the dangleies, but the actor. I admit that, yes, the beard does look good on me for the most part and I've enjoyed having it, but there was more to come.
Not this

First was the suggestion that I get myself a hat, a fedora to be precise, that was a no, no thank you.

Then came the glasses. My reading glasses were well over 5 years old and as of late I had been having some issues with seeing blurry patches after long bouts of computer use or reading. A bit concerned, I took myself to the optometrist for an eye exam. Sadly she returned a diagnosis that was horrible in the extreme; namely, I'm just getting old.

She did say however that, yes, my glasses probably needed an upgrade. Besides, the frames on the old pair were bent in the extreme after Hikaru got a hold of them one night.

Thus was the next part of Beloved's plan unleashed. Beloved was coming along with me to make sure that I, in her words, 'picked out something cool'. Because, yes, her plan is indeed to change me into Johnny Depp. Something, in fact, that she is rather proud of having a number of other mothers come up to her during Makoto's Sports Day to talk about how her husband now looks like Johnny Depp and how unfair it is because they married a Japanese guy who will never look like Johnny Depp no matter how hard they try.

Well, there was one mother who's rather a fan of The Matrix who wants me to show up in black boots, black jeans, black shirt, black trench, and my black sunglasses to pick up Makoto one day. At least someone wants me to geekout!

This of course raised some howls of protest from me. I mean, I mean... I mean... I. AM. A. GEEK! I am not Johnny Depp and the only real Johnny Depp thing I could possibly see me ever pull off would be Jack Sparrow. "But," said Beloved, "don't you want to look cool? I want you to look cool for me and you said you'd do anything to make me happy, right?"

I admit that I did, but...

"And," she continued, "You want your sons to have a cool father, right?"

Now wait a minute here....

"And they want a cool Daddy, right?"

To which Makoto and Hikaru, who are now being written out of my will, responded with "Yes!"

Out numbered, I said I would consider it.

In the end, we compromised. Yes, Beloved (And a very enthusiastic Makoto) picked out the frames for my glasses, but I did have veto power and I insisted that the damn things be black.

And, yes, I have to admit, I don't look half bad in them. But I will remember this, and I will remember Beloved saying how changing a partner is a great way to have fun.

I think I'm gonna get myself the Victoria's Secret catalog and have some 'fun' myself.

Either that, or Beloved's next Christmas present will be a t-shirt, in black, proclaiming that she loves her geek. Hey, I can compromise.


  1. Great post about cool dad fashion, don't ya hate it when you know your cool but no one will listen? What's wrong with people?

    Um, I have the same wardrobe, but I wear dog tags, my only accessories. Brought two pair of black boots to Korea, too. To make things worse, I have a patch that states: "I Love Guns and Coffee", green and black with the Starbucks logo and the mermaid is holding twin Gats.

    I'm not into Goth, more like Johnny Cash.

    My wife's family is a Canadian, logging family, so facial hair is loved; but if I wore a beard in Korea people would just think I'm insane. So beards during holidays only.

    Two questions for you:

    1. I'd love to connect/Skype with Japanese students, I have two, small, advanced classes that would do well chatting with Japanese students in English. I have mixed middle school students and one group of female high school students. Cultural exchange is immensely important to my style of teaching.

    2. Me and my boy (three yrs) love Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Tomica and Siku. If you and your boys are open to trading. Our Tomica come in "Korea" boxes. Would love to get the Tomica police LAV, that is a perfect car!

    Anyway, just a few thoughts.
    Love the blog,
    Mark L.

    1. And two answers!

      1. I'd like that, though I have a feeling Skype would be out given that we're not wired up for that kind of networking over here. Shocking, I know, but... Let me shop the idea around though and see what kind of support I can get.

      2. Possibly, the boys are more interested in trains right now, but in all honesty it's more about anything with wheels.