Project Run-Away

June 22, 2011
I hate busting on my husband so close to Father's Day -- but, oh, what the heck. He honestly is the ultimate Dad -- loving, supportive and supremely involved. And as a bonus he is quite the stylish guy. He effortlessly assembles bold colored ties and shirts. Which makes those occasional detours off the style track that much more of a train wreck. These crimes of fashion belong to him:
The Scream. I suppose you can't really count the carefully calculated fashion faux pas in the service of Moments of Intentional Shaming. But I will. For many years he's threatened the usual stunts to embarrass our son -- showing Teen Spirit's baby pictures to his friends or belting out 70's songs in the carpool line. But he was merely building up to his big moment. Last summer we picked up Teen Spirit at the Y after an afternoon at the pool. Dad ceremoniously emerged from the car to summon him. Naturally, Dad's yodeling call and energetic waving was hugely mortifying to the rising freshman. Then Teen Spirit realized the nightmare had just begun when he saw that his Dad was wearing a wet T-shirt and a towel wrapped around his waist sarong-style. One look at Dad's impromptu mumu and Teen Spirit sprinted towards us as if he had just knocked off a bank, flailing his arms around his head and screaming at me to put the pedal to the metal in the getaway car. Think Edvard Munch meets Bonnie and Clyde.

Giddyup. Dad loses his way when putting together little girl outfits. La Principessa's Christmas dress was a rich velvet with an organza belt -- that he tied into a sheepshank that hung midway down the skirt. Then there are all those ribbons, ties, polka dots, stripes and tie-dyes. Sometimes in the same outfit. The way he "matches" color and pattern could be considered whimsical. However, I would venture to say that she sometimes looks ready for duty as a rodeo clown.

A Hairy Situation. So he's got some problems doing her hair. Not sure what it is that he's doing to it. He wrestles handfuls of those teeny weeny rubber bands for pony tails, accidentally shooting them across the room or snapping them as he tries to wrap them around giant wads of her hair. When he's finally done battling, her unruly curls are flattened, frizzy and disheveled, with a jagged zig zag running off center down her scalp. Two mismatched plastic barrettes dangle from some loose strands on either side of the part. She looks a little like Sweeny Todd. He once got her a buzz cut at the Hair Cuttery because he thought it would just be easier to care for. Well, there's a plan. Until I reminded him that She. Is. A. Girl. When it grew back in, he pulled it all back from her forehead so that she looked something like a Dilbert character.

To be fair, he usually gets the shoes right -- except for that one time with the socks and flip flops.

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