Back to Basics

I’m sitting in the library, pondering the things I should write about. I can hear the hum of the furnace, the hot air panging and switching, smoothing through high vents in the ceiling. I hear their voices, silent, yet reproaching one another to keep the myth of ‘no talking’ in the library preserved. Clicking, upon clicking, upon clicking; the incessant nags of delinquent fingers perusing the web. Everyone in this building is on Facebook , or at least thinking about it. I need a fresh idea, something that can blow someone out of their seats, something that can stop all this nonsense, crushing Facebook and all others beneath the towering brightness of enlightenment!

(I drink my coffee and smoke a cig).

And still nothing.

Thread Magazine, right? Write about fashion, they say. Hooookay.

What can I say about fashion? I am the dirtiest person, wearing two week old laundry because I’m too lazy to walk my small behind down the block and a half to Dirty Deeds. Let alone my obvious nature to dress as ridiculous as possible, as much as possible; cruising down Court Street in flannel and boots, or a graphic tee of a chimpanzee in a suit, or just a shirt that says “Hi, I’m wonderful and green, but very, very plain. But oh yeah, I have a trendy chest pocket.” Who wants to say that? When is there going to be a store where I can walk in, smell my surroundings, and feel at home? When is there going to be a store that caters to the Athenian male?

That’s it! Write a column about where and what men should buy. Didn’t that Ginny girl tell you that the Other Place is going to have a male section? And that maybe I should be less awkward next time we talk? And that maybe texting her about your new flame is something you shouldn’t do?

Okay, topic: Thrifting for Men. What do men do? We get fit, right? What about, Getting Thrift? God, that sounds bro. Like, real bro. So much bro that my head may implode. So much so that the shark will eat the toad? Are you just rhyming now because you’re bored, and alone?

I got to get out of this library before it swallows me up. Coffee and cig break.

*cue Jeopardy music*

Back to Basics, by J.D. Adkins

Okay, topic idea done, now let’s move on to the thesis.

The streets of Athens are littered with handbags, boots, glittering dresses in shop windows displaying the evolution of the modern day woman, but it all comes with an expense. Nestled behind the corridors and rows of knick-knacks, the headbands, necklaces, and jewelry, the walls coated with loose tops, tight tops, tops that make you skinny, tops that make you fat, and hidden beneath the ever glamorous Other Place, Import House, or Figleaf, and even tattered by Collections or Mount Laurel, there awaits only a single, chaotic fool of a man, searching for a place to make his own. (#run on sentence win)

Getting Back to Basics is supposed to be something simple. The idea of being basic is reverting back to the first thing you may have learned, which may also be the most important. I don’t understand that logic, and I am telling no one to go back to basics. Obviously, this monologue of an essay is me being basic, so, welcome to my world. But with man fashion, it’s different……man. It’s all about what to look for and where to buy from, and how much it is.

You’re strapped for cash, looking for a new shirt or outfit to impress your Valentine’s date. You almost vom at the fact that Valentine’s Day is actually celebrated, but you push through and ask that girl (or boy) that has caught your eye. Dinner is planned, drinks are in place, now all you need is that new outfit to blow her (or him) out of the water.

Where to go? Wally-World? Athens Underground? Where can I buy something she’s never seen before? Where can I get something that hits home to me, and to the modern day evolving man? Flannel’s getting boring, your graphic tees are becoming stale, your date has seen you in all of your dynamics; what the heck are you going to do?

The point is this: absolutely nothing (but actually there is, so keep reading, you filthy animal).

Take Court Street for example. The only place I know where I could possibly buy clothes is Athens Underground, Ski’s Shirt stop (that one graphic tee store across from BP, been here since the 70’s, and is hardly ever open), Import House, or Artifacts. Not including School Kids (the costume shop), or any of the bookstores that sell OU affiliated clothes, or shirt stores like Universitees. So out of, say, the thirty to forty stores on Court Street, the Athenian male has a choice of three, maybe four? And what if you’ve seen someone in town already wearing the clothes you may have liked? You’re not just going to give up your individualistic you and buy some shirt someone is already wearing? Ew. Who does that?

So you’re thinking, alright, alright, what do I do? Where are all these kids getting their clothes? Why is it that I’m the only one buying from Wally-World? Why is it that I’m the only one without any cool, colored jeans?

The answer is simple: get back to basics. You must know what the means, right? Remember when you were a child, and you had those purple sweatpants, and had holes in the knees? Remember Nancy (your mother) driving to the store, down the old dirt road of Georgian solitude, to a tiny, rambunxious shop, its paint frail and chipping, only to buy grey squares that she sewed over the knees with purple string? Remember the excitement, the happiness, to finally be able to wear your fave pair of sweatpants again? And remember the dread of realizing you actually thought that was cool, and that maybe it could be cool again?

See those swimtrunks? Chosen by yours truly.

Get back to the basics: go thrifting. Lots of my friends have hilarious shirts I could never have possibly dreamed of. So good, that I forgot them. Sometimes you don’t need to have an overdramatic shirt to impress anybody, and sometimes you do. Thrifting is good for lots of reasons, and especially for the Athenian male: it can help you change your style like that. The last time I went thrifting was three weeks ago. I bought a necklace, a flannel shirt, a graphic tee, and old pair of Calvin Klein’s that were basically new. I spent maybe twelve dollars.

This is the point of the essay that I must tell you that this idea is stale. Thrifting for men has been talked about in this town since as long as I’ve been here, and the only real time I’ve actually gone shopping is whenever I’m home, just to make sure I have something that nobody else really has. Prideful? Maybe. But being a man, and having certain obligations of clothing choices, I feel a sense of pride in my dress as well as how girls feel in their clothes (although lately I’ve been scared: heels and short skirts when it’s only 10 degrees? Get real, that’s just silly). Also, I’m tired of fake shopping online because I can’t find any cool threads here. What Athens needs is a store just for men. I mean it.

Exponential essay without stopping… go.

Maybe there will be boats on the walls and crossbows and Chewbacca’s masks. Maybe there will be cool electric light things that make your hair stand up. Maybe there will be beers that just pour out in taps from the wall, and Jameson is making his whiskey in the back and everyone knows your name and you always have a place to stay. Then maybe you walk to the side door and there’s a tailor, a stout gentleman, with a white beard and honed eyes, who measures you. Realizing that you’re different from the other men in Athens, he brings you something special. Your eyes light up as a bow tie is lifted, and placed accordingly. Another man, a smaller gentleman, squirrels by you and slides on a vest, the dusty tan clashing gloriously with the dark black of the bow tie. Squirrel master then slides black framed rimmed glasses on your ridge. The stout, bearded gentleman somehow magically, without touching, changes your pants. You’re impressed. Jameson hands you a glass filled with his finest. Sooner than later you’re floating, and somehow, you’re mysteriously in front of her (or his) house, waiting for that fateful Valentine’s Day awkward kiss.

But that hasn’t happened yet. I’m getting scared that it won’t, seeing as how no one else will do it. But here’s a note for you: check out the Other Place here in a month or two, they’re starting a male line on the left wall. Ask Ginny, the attractive, dark-haired lady that works there about it. She’s the purchaser /buyer, she’ll hook you up! And if not, check out threadless.com, pretty legit shirt site for men and women.

P.S.

I love you Athens, even if there is no place for me to shop. Girls, it’s ten degree outside: skirts are not in season. Sheesh!

Your friend,

J.D.

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