SHOES, JACKETS, AND DOUG AND ME
What the hell am I doing with all these shoes and boots? And jackets? I've got enough jackets to keep a family of Inuits in the Arctic Circle warm enough to spend a night outside worshipping polar bears. I've got enough shoes to outfit every barefoot peasant in Nicaragua.
I can't help it. I like to shop. Sometimes I see a short sleeved shirt I like or some other article of clothing like jeans, which I've worn every day of my life since I was in elementary school. I don't buy "regular" slacks like khaki Dockers or other so-called “family man” pants. I don’t buy golf shirts or polo shirts and have very few shirts with collars. I have a suit for funerals and special occasions. I have sport coats that I never wear anymore because now they're too big for me. Every short sleeved shirt, or long sleeved pullover I have for cold weather, is black, with the exception of two t-shirts. One of them has blue and white stripes across it and the other one is a faded, short sleeved t-shirt with a Triumph motorcycle logo stitched on the front of it. I also buy sweaters when the colder seasons arrive.
But its shoes and jackets that fill out most of my cluttered clothing closet. Of course I have a swim suit and a couple of pull on Wal Mart shorts, both in black, but that's about it. I also have several pair of colorful crew socks which I buy whenever I can find them. The ones I have on now are orange striped with a blue background. I wear Reef and OluKai flip flops in hot weather.
The only other man I've ever met with the same shoe and jacket obsession I have is our 7-to-midnight guy and Production Director, Doug Palmieri. Doug and I have been friends for years. We've always noticed the shoes we have on, or the jackets we're wearing. One day I told Doug I was nuts about footwear and jackets. "Me too", said Doug. “I love to shop", so do I. On a rainy day or on weekends, I'll cruise through Nordstrom's to see what's up. Doug has several shops in his area and will do the same thing. Scarpetti, who runs the board during my afternoon show, looked at us as if we'd just been let out of an institution. He squinched his eyes in disbelief.
"What are you two talking about?” asked Scarpetti. "Shopping", said Doug. "We both like to go shopping". Scarpetti just shook his head, implying that both of us were weird and disturbed. “You guys like to go shopping?". Both Doug and I nodded. "We love it.”
A couple of days ago, Doug had on a pair of rare Penguin sneakers on. Yesterday he wore original red and black Air Jordan high tops. I just picked up some classic black, low rise Nike's with a thick padded tongue, red detailing and gray Nike logo on each side.
If you're a man who likes shoes and jackets, you're not alone. The next time someone asks, "what's with all the shoes and jackets?’ just admit you like them and you know a couple of other guys who do as well.