Dressed to kill, and to run

Last weekend my wife and I went out for a night on the town. It’s not like it was our first night out since becoming parents, but I’m pretty sure it was our first night out out. Like, we went to a club. Or a discotheque. Or whatever it’s called when it’s not PF Changs.

Of course this meant that I needed to dress nicely, and not my version of nicely. This is a struggle for me because there is really not much in my wardrobe that falls in between the formality of a suit I would wear to a wedding and my business casual attire for work. I thought the collared shirt with suit pants screamed, “I’m here to have fun, but I might get called into work at any second to file an expense report.”

I thought I had it figured out. I was feeling very good, very confident about what I had chosen to wear. I walked downstairs, proudly looked at my wife for approval, but she looked me up and down, frowned, and nodded her head no. I said, “What?” She nodded again. I said, “Okay, just tell me what you don’t like.” She said, “The shirt, the pants, the shoes … and the belt.” I hung my head in shame and headed back upstairs.

The shoes are really the problem. No matter how nicely I’m dressed, I prefer to wear Converse. By some miracle—or because I looked like a buffoon in my formal shoes—I somehow won out and was able to wear my Cons. I did, however, have to bring a pair of nicer shoes to keep in the car just in case I wasn’t allowed in the club with sneakers. I looked forward to being denied at the door, and telling the bouncer, “Hold on, I’ll go to my car and get my other shoes,” while my wife waited on the side, arms folded and eyes rolling.

I actually thought that was exactly what was going to happen because when we approached the club I saw the velvet ropes. I tried to focus because even at the bank I tend to go the wrong way in the velvet ropes. Do I stand here or here? Which part is the entrance? Are you on line or are you watching the ropes? I also was relieved to see that the husband of the couple we were out with was wearing sandals. He is my new best friend.

They actually checked our IDs. With a flashlight. I could have gone home right then and I would have been happy. Then there was the cover charge. My new best friend had discreetly paid the cover for all of us, so my wife and I were waved inside like celebrities. I felt as glamorous as Ashton Kutcher, or whoever is famous these days.

It was quite a scene. There were a lot of ladies wearing not a lot of clothes and a lot of much older dudes staring at them. Music blared while a DJ asked rhetorical questions like, “How ya’ feeling tonight?” I tried to maintain some level of blue-collaredness by ordering a Miller Lite.

It ended up being a great time, if only for the people watching. It was fun to get out and do something different and be reminded of what it was like to be cool and also disoriented. Around midnight I looked at my wife and through ESP we said to each other, “I wonder how the babysitter is doing.” We went home and as a means of extending the romantic evening, I ate three slices of pizza.

Note: This column appears in the 9/6 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/7 issue of the Peoria Times.