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The Man In The Tweed Cap

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    I've never cultivated a "look". Not on purpose anyway.

    I've never worn a particular brand of shirt, pants or shoes. I've never had a stylized haircut. I've never had any facial features -- facial hair, jewelry, etc. I've never given a shit, to be honest. I always thought, and still think mostly, that those who preoccupy themselves too much with what they're wearing are vain and those who preoccupy themselves with what others are wearing are soulless fucks.

    But not giving a shit has its drawbacks. I'm a little vain, after all. My default look could best be described as Disheveled Geek. Oh sure, I'd like to think I'm the consummate T-shirt and jeans guy, what with my supple ass and all, enough to put that dickhead from Dirty Jobs to shame in those jeans ads.

    Other than the ass, which you know all about, there's not much to work with here. I'm a 40, I'm a man, and I'm a man who's slightly overweight, has pigment that's somewhere north of the hue of the Antarctic surface and whose thick legs are completely disproportionate to my puny arms.

    My most noticeable feature is undoubtedly my hairline. I've had a receding hairline since my 20s, but it's receding slower than zombie Notorious B.I.G.* in a triathlon. Based on relatives, it'll never completely recede. It doesn't help that the shape of my head makes the circumference of the hairlines seem akin to that of the equator of Venus.

    * That's admittedly a forced reference, but I made it anyway to advertise our bizarre world. On Yahoo Answers, someone actually posted a query about fat people. Who Are Some Famous Fat People? Strange days, indeed. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100212060424AACBdGm

    When I wore hats, I used to wear baseball caps, but I can't do it regularly anymore because it affects the circulation to my head (long story) and I'm getting a bit too old anyway.

    So what to do? That's when I rediscovered my Irish tweed cap.

    It was given to me as a gift many years ago. It's a real Irish Donegal tan tweed cap.

    I've never worn it. I got it when I was young and saw no need to wear it. It sat in a box for years. I found it after unpacking once and got it out for a gag as much as anything else. Pretty sure the only time I've worn it was to work on St. Patrick's Day once.

    But its been calling me. I've always had an affinity for Irish caps. I've seen the pictures of Irishmen from the Troubles, etc., and they all wore them. Looked cool too, even if they weren't trying to be. Not only that, but the cap sort of negates the receding hairline look. The cap provides a border, a sort of framing device.

    I felt like I was being ridiculous, but on another level, I wondered to myself, could I pull it off?

    Ha! The minute I wore the cap on the job or in my personal life is the minute it's viewed as the self-conscious act it undoubtedly is and I'm not comfortable with that either. If I was going to do it, I needed to go on a trial run out of sight, out of mind. So I threw my cap in my suitcase and decided my statement would be made in ...

    Portland!

    The city of rain, hipsters and acceptance of outwardly conscious fashion statements. Portland lived up to it mostly in the best of ways. One of the great American cities. I loved everything about it. It emboldened me to try my experiment.

    It wasn't easy. For someone who allegedly didn't give a shit about a fashion statement, I was sure self-conscious about this one. I wore a black mock turtle neck, itself unusual for me, and khaki jeans.

    The douchebag factor was high, I repeat, confidence was high!

    I tried it on in front of the hotel mirror. Several times I put it down and laughed to myself thinking, "Don't be an asshole! You look ridiculous!"

    But I forged ahead anyway. I drove my rental car to the Max (light rail) station to do some exploring. I looked in the rear view mirror and had my last second-thoughts. I hesitated for a moment, but I put the cap on. Go time.

    As I strolled to the train, I felt like every eye was on me. I couldn't decide what people thought. Was I a Gaelic beatnik? Was I AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson's ne'er do well cousin? Was I the most homosexual Irish gangster this side of the Krays?

    But as I rode the train, and as more riders got on, few seemed to notice. I got a few glances, but nothing major. It seemed my cap was perfectly acceptable to them, if they noticed it at all.

    Somewhere on that train ride, I learned something about the waste of time that is self-consciousness. While I thought of myself as the douche very consciously wearing a tweed cap around Portland, the truth is that Portland never perceived me any other way. To everyone I walked by, I was just some dude in a tweed cap. They never perceived me any other way. It was no big deal.

    That's kind of empowering. So I wore it around this beautiful rainy city proud. I gallivanted down Burnside Street. I sashayed between the shelves at Powell's Books. I strutted through Pioneer Square.

    I fly home tomorrow. I may never get a chance to go back there, but in Portland, I'll always be The Man In The Tweed Cap. And I'm totally cool with that.
     
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    In Portland, you won't be noticed unless something thinks you're a fence or a black tar dealer.
     
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    "THAT WAS YOU???!!!"
     
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