My mom and “the era I grew up in” sure didn’t help any, either.
It was a loud and enthusiastic sales pitch.
“Caps! Caps for Sale! Fifty cents a cap!”
It was one of the first ways I learned about the importance of fashion.
The caps were important to the traveling peddler.
The caps were important to the mischievous monkeys in a tree.
And at age 3, the caps and a happy ending were important to me.
But my mom just couldn’t leave well enough alone.
On top of reading this book to me countless times, she was a stickler for how my brothers and I were expected to dress.
We had play clothes, work clothes, school clothes, and church clothes.
We had summer clothes, winter clothes, and hand-me-downs.
We even had little matching pajamas… and robes!
Given all of the possible permutations, it’s no wonder I often struggled with figuring out what to wear.
And I still do!
Clothes were an expression of your respect for others.
She was very much “situationally aware” and we all had to dress accordingly.
No doubt my mom’s notions have prevented me from fully enjoying today’s selfies craze.
I now totally avoid them because I’m never quite sure if I’m wearing the appropriate attire.
By the time I figure out what to do, my “in the moment” impulse has become a dumb “past the moment” regret.
Oh well, at least my mom instilled in me a belief in the value of first impressions.
But we school communicators would contend she was only half right.
Last impressions are a real big deal, too.
Recently, I’ve tried to persuade Cindy and the girls that I should just wear black all of the time 24/7.
That’s the ticket!
I told them this is what Steve Jobs did.
He refused to let fussing about what to wear clutter his mind.
There were higher priorities for him to ponder.
Surprisingly, his productivity tactic made sense to Cindy and the girls.
They asked me what specific priorities Jobs thought about in lieu of worrying about his clothes.
I told them he would focus on innovation, cool designs, creative marketing, and making lots of money.
They asked me if I’d focus on the same things if I wore black all of the time, too.
Wish I had a good answer.
So maybe I’m better off sticking with my blue slacks and brown socks after all.
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