“Clothes make the man.
Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
DooDaddy is a dapper dude. My buddy Jamie calls him a “fine gent.” Let’s just say he was a metrosexual before it was a thing. But not in a foppish way. He’s not given to pinkie rings, decorative pocket squares or novelty socks. DooDaddy’s more of a cashmere V-neck, camel hair blazer kinda guy. And back in the day, he could flat out rock some plaid wool trousers at a holiday party. I seem to remember a powder blue ruffled tuxedo shirt back in the ‘70s, although I’ve tried to block it out.
You see, my father’s first career was in retail, During our early childhood, he was with JC Penney, and we were transferred all over the place – I lived in six different houses in five different cities before the age of seven. When DooDaddy joined Watson’s, we were able to settle back in Knoxville, my mother’s hometown. Watson’s on Market Square was a happening place in its heyday. And DooDaddy was the host of that particular party, greeting customers every day and dressing them in salvage stock designer clothes and luxurious mink coats (female pelts preferred). Once the touring company of the Moscow Ballet swooped in and scooped up 26 full-length minks to take back to the Soviet Union.
There were Vera Wang wedding dresses, Hickey Freeman suits and Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses, also antique oriental rugs and crystal chandeliers – all at fire sale prices. You never knew what treasures you’d find, particularly in the Bargain Basement. My brother, sister and I all worked stints at Watson’s over the years, on the floor as well as gift wrapping and doing inventory, and, in my case, modeling fur (pronounced “fuh”) coats with my friend Debbie, traipsing up and down Market Square. But I digress.
Gentle readers, you will recall from my previous Geezer Story, that DooDaddy and Gmamma left the old homestead in a bit of hurry, since it sold in a week. We thought there’d be months to pack and sort through the accumulated detritus of decades, from National Geographic magazines to debutante dresses. DooDaddy brought along armloads of Gmamma’s clothes but forgot everything in the hall closet when they refugeed to the Old Folks Home.
So we’ve been gradually replenishing his wardrobe. Last year it was a handsome topcoat. This year it was a leather jacket. Oh the trials and tribulations of shopping with geezers. Lord have mercy! Don’t get me started on trying to buy granny panties for Gmamma. I literally can’t even.
The quixotic quest for the perfect leather jacket (not too heavy, caramel or chocolate brown but not black, with no zippers, fringe or other embellishments) took me to three different stores, special ordering (and then returning) two different jackets, and finally buying six coats on approval and schlepping them over to Shannondale. Because finding a geezer chair in the middle of the men’s department during a sale is tricky. As is donning and doffing jackets while holding on to your walker.
Remember Old Age is a full-time job. You can’t just clock out for a shopping spree.
However, I think you’ll agree that the final selection (at 30 percent off) is the perfect choice for DooDaddy. Buttery soft, elegant lambskin in a warm chocolate brown, just right for a leisurely stroll. On a walker.