|Pictured: My dream closet|
- The discovery of Lawry's seasoned salt
- The moment I first walked into Kilroy's on Kirkwood
- When I read The Alchemist
- The first time a girl licked my ear
- The Parisian going out of business sale
So we have everything covered there right? Food, Alcohol, Inspiration, Women...and wait what?
Oh yes. In 2008 there was no Nordstrom at the Indianapolis Fashion Mall. You would have to trek downtown for Nordy's, on Indy's north side was the now defunct Birmingham, Alabama based Parisian. (Many of these locations have been spun of to Bon Ton stores such as Carson Pirie Scott) Anyway, when Parisian was shut down to clear the way for a brand new Nordstrom flagship store, there was a legendary going out of business sale. Polo, Lacoste, even some Burberry shit was 90% off.
The unemployed housewives of Indianapolis nearly murdered each other, fighting over the last few large shirts and 34x32 designer jeans. By the time I returned from abroad that summer the store was pretty picked over. The only items left were 4XL or waist size 26. Twas a pretty dire scene. I grabbed a nice Polo golf hat listed at $3.99, a pair of pink shorts and made my way toward the check-out when I saw a hint of yellow grab my eye.
I sprinted to a corner where I saw a full yellow and white seersucker suit untouched. I was fairly new to the seersucker game, I think I was unaware of its existence until I saw some Fiji walking down 3rd street with his white polo shirt tucked into some 5 inch inseam white/blue seersucker shorts. It remains the one time in my life I have been impressed with something a Phi Gam has done. I didn't even check the price tag of this hidden gem, I immediately proceeded to run to the check out and buy it. I believe I paid something like $15 marked down from $300. It was the happiest moment of my life.
I only wore that seersucker suit twice. The first time was to my cousin's outdoor wedding. I don't remember much about that night, other than the minister that oversaw the wedding kept asking me if I had accepted Jesus Christ and inquired as to whether I was a virgin. I thought it was weird so I blacked out and danced inappropriately with one of the bridesmaids.
The second time was at the sales conference of my internship for the summer, which had been selling cigarettes for Philip Morris. If you ever asked me about that job in the past I probably took some bullshit moral high ground and told you I felt guilty about selling something that harms other people. The truth is, if I wouldn't have done what I am about to tell you, I would be making 100 grand a year, driving around a mini-van and slanging cigs all over the place...
We were out in Naperville celebrating the end of the program, we were holed up at whatever hotel one stays at in Naperville and the hotel bar was a pretty depressing scene. I decided that we should hit the town, we landed at some divey karaoke bar where I attempted to recreate one of my classic Thursday nights at Bear's in Bloomington: Consume 45 shots of vodka, sing a Britney Spears song, have my pick of any girl in the bar.
As you can imagine, this did not work...at all. I woke up the next day on the floor of my hotel room with 37 missed calls, 3 hours late for my performance evaluation and somehow my seersucker suit had ended up in the fountain at reception. The staff had deemed it ruined and thrown it away. My management team was unimpressed and thus I was not extended a full time offer. And because of that I now live in Venice, CA blogging and working as a peasant on TV shows. I feel comfortable calling it an even trade because, well...beach.
Why this long set-up about the seersucker suit? Although I have clearly not had the best luck in said attire, I do think there is a certain stigma to wearing it. It kicks things up a notch, it's the same logic behind someone that does the stuntman shot at a bar (snorts the salt, takes the shot, lime in the eye) it says, let's fucking go and brings a new aggressive energy to the situation.
I am going to a wedding on Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona. Of the 400 people going, I have never met a single one save for my father. A month ago my dad called and said "Your mom is going to Florence for two weeks in May and I never get to see you, will you come to this wedding with me."
My immediate response was, "Can I go with mom?"
Unfortunately not. But my dad offered me a plane ticket, a sick hotel and it's an open bar. It would be nice to see him and hey what's one more trip to plan to take my focus off of the fact that I should probably get a job.
So I'm going to a wedding where I know no one. Furthermore, I am one of 10 people going from the groom's side. Yes you read that right, of the 400 people going to this wedding Saturday 390 are with the bride. The groom is bringing his dad, my dad, some random uncles probably and me.
I have no clue how I'm going to interact with anyone at this soiree.
"So who are you with?"
"Um, the groom I guess."
"And how do you know him?"
"Uh, I don't. My dad manages his dad's money, and most of the groom's friends and family were too poor to fly to Phoenix...I got the invite because LA is close and they figured I would come for the open bar."
"Oh." (slowly backs away/thinks I'm a sociopath)
There are pros and cons to this situation of course.
The pros revolve largely around the fact that absolutely no one there will know me, nor will I ever see any of them again so I could say basically anything.
The cons revolve around the fact that likely no one will talk to be and I'll spend the whole ceremony drinking by myself at the table while my dad urges me to go talk to some girls on the dance floor.
What my father fails to comprehend is I rely almost exclusively on the energy of those around me. Any girl I am ever linked to is because we started out as friends or I met her in a group. I have zero ability to walk up to someone and start a conversation. In college this was easy of course because almost everyone (for terrible reasons albeit) knew who I was, in Venice people may know someone that I know, Saturday in Scottsdale I am anonymous.
This is why I need the power of the suit.
Remember the end of Space Jam? It turned out "Michael's special stuff" was just water all along, but it helped the Tune Squad overcome an almost insurmountable Monstars lead? The moral of that story was that they had the power inside themselves the whole time, they just needed to believe.
Well, I assure you, that is not the case with me. I went to a wedding in September with basically everyone I had ever known and I was still nervous because I hadn't talked to most of them in a year. So I did something to break the ice a little, I brought a bottle of Fireball to dinner. It was a huge hit.
If I wear a seersucker suit MAYBE someone will be inspired to come talk to the misfit. Oh joy it's going to be like those awkward family vacations all over again. You remember the kind? You're like 16 and want to party, but your little brother is just a little too young to be your wing man and it's not that cool to hang with your parents, so you go to the hot tub and hope like hell that there is a beautiful girl in there in the exact same situation...and then you two become best friends and make out on the last night?
Ya that was the dream that never came to fruition for me either. Or maybe it did once. My childhood is racked with false memories that I created later in life to convince myself it was more awesome than it probably was. Now I cannot distinguish between the truth and a lie, I could probably pass a lie detector test that said I really did hook up with all of those anonymous spring break girls I invented in my mind.
Anyway, off topic. Making friends at this wedding is going to be difficult, not impossible. Somehow, I have an invite to the rehearsal dinner (actually I'm sure all 10 of the groom's side got the call) so it's ALMOST like I'm on the inner circle. I can plant seeds Friday night, with the smaller intimate group. Maybe get a little day drinking going at the pool with whoever I meet Friday night. That way, by the time I finally get to the wedding reception everyone will be old friends with the random dude from Venice, CA.
I see it playing out like this...
INT. JW MARRIOTT RECEPTION HALL - EVENING
A couple of the COOL KIDS from the rehearsal dinner approach DAVE, 27 blonde, looking ridiculous in a seersucker suit. He downs a whiskey rocks as his FATHER silently judges him.
COOL DUDE 1
Holy shit Dave, you actually did wear that seersucker suit. Where did you find that thing?
One of the benefits of being on hiatus this week was that I had plenty of time to scour Venice thrift shops for this beauty.
Dave signals to a server for a refill on his whiskey. Anyway, what did you guys get into today.
COOL GIRL 1
We were so hungover, I didn't get out of bed until 2pm.
Dave looks to his father who is engaged in small talk with some DRUNK NERD who seems to be blabbering about his tech start-up.
Ya, pops was feeling pretty loops after his second margarita, and I knew I wanted to bag a few rays today, so I turned in a bit early. Tonight is going to be a different story.
COOL DUDE 2
Fuck ya man, we're heading up to our room to bang some lines, wanna come?
Off Dave, a devilish grin spreading across his face.
Oh drugs, the great equalizer.
I should mention that my 2 prior experiences in Scottsdale are that of Spring Training baseball and a themed river float entitled pirate day. But from what I remember about my most recent trip, there was a lot of tattoos and a lot of full flavored beer. I don't actually have any idea what affluent people from Phoenix are all about, it's like one of those cities that lacks a cultural identity. If I say rich kid from LA or New York you picture something entirely different. Rich kid from Chicago is a bit more down to Earth. Rich kid from San Francisco is like a socially conscious rich kid from Chicago. WHO ARE YOU WEALTHY WHITES OF PHOENIX? Are you like a U of A frat guy or a Flagstaff outdoorsman that vacations at Jackson Hole?
We shall see.
But then again, this is all a pipe dream, and a silly one at that. I should go, spend some quality time with my dad. Find a nice lazy river, maybe get a quick 18 in and relax. The only inevitabilities about this trip are that I will undoubtedly return with a full set of third degree burns due to my refusal to wear sunscreen. But honestly, I'll probably be surrounded by super nice people that treat me like I belong. And if it really sucks, I'm sure I can find a TV and watch some hockey. My dad will probably even come along with me even though my Hawks pwned his Blues.
But If I do find a seersucker suit in the next 24 hours, and I wear that bitch to a black tie wedding at the JW Scottsdale...I'm telling you, I will walk in and jaws will drop. Metaphorical shots will be fired. And everything, EVERYTHING, about this wedding might be different.
I mean, I suppose I should probably just wear a nice black suit, keep a low profile and NOT embarrass my family....but what's the fun in that?