NYC is a trippy place to be a daddy. It’s great because the proximity to thousands of crafty little brats can really bump your kid’s learning curve, and for the most part, as a dad, you can get away with dressing like a madman. NYers are gaga for fashion, but there’s a flip side too — which most of America is unaware: we don’t gussy up day-to-day. Power people show up to meetings looking like they slept on a park bench. They may be wearing patent leather Prada sneakers, but won’t have showered, shaved or embraced the trappings of middle class faux-cleanliness, like cologne or starched shirts. It’s a freak show of a working world.

Don’t misunderstand, NYers are always on a fashion mission to dazzle with the latest accessory or trendsetting mustache, but most winning outfits are a curious hi-lo combo. For example, the successful pairing of a snappy new outfit with beat up, old, dress shoes. Shoes with a patina that would never make it in the professional boardrooms of Atlanta or SF are here considered not a harbinger of poverty but an accent of style. In most corporate, or even working class environs, you could never get away with wearing the same pair of jeans to work week after week. Even if they cost $500. Fun Fact: a denim expert in a Manhattan jean boutique told me to never wash my jeans. Hahaha. How do you think that would fly in Dallas business class?

The point here is that being well-scrubbed and synthetically dry cleaned in not a necessity. People wear the same shit day after day. And no heed is paid to quirky attire, because often the people looking the most like vagabonds have diamonds, both literal or metaphorical, dripping from their pockets. Dressing for the office like you’re walking off a bender is a nice caveat in a city where living is hard and one is often walking off a bender.

Flash to this morning as Bratzo and I are readying to leave for his day care. He’s already dressed to the kiddie nines so I grab black jeans, cowboy boots and a weird Helmut Lang blazer to offset the t-shirt I’d slept in. It’s a one-block walk, but we always bump into some cultural maven, so you have be dressed like you don’t give a shit and simultaneously as if you can afford not to give a shit. This place is nuts.

I frequently hang for a few minutes at the school, ‘cuz the kids are fun and they think I look like Woody from Toy Story. Chit-chatting with parents, it should go without saying, is far less interesting. Today, I sprawled on the baby-sized couch and the gang went bonkers. The twelve of them jumped around and on me and not until one of the mothers began meandering my way inquisitively did the dread come home to roost. The kids were excited because of the Garfield t-shirt I’d been wearing for days. They kept touching it and laughing. The thing is, it isn’t a Garfield t-shirt.  It’s a TV Carnage model with Gary Coleman’s black face superimposed over Garfield’s body.

The liberalism of NYC is easy to live with ’till they turn on you. As the paranoia starts to well up inside me, I know Brooklyn Mom is thinking, Who’s this nefarious dude bringing his race and animal hatred to bear on my innocent, impressionable lamb? Gulp. I’m chicken when it comes to mothers thinking I’m a bad influence, so I morphed into the bumbling Buzz Lightyear and made for the exit. Brooklyn Mom, who seemed familiar beyond the world of Russian day care, moved with deft professionalism to cut me off. I nodded a fatherly hello waiting for her counter but to my relief there was no PC talk about the shirt, just a request to take a picture of me with the kids. I was happy to oblige. We all posed and she snapped a half dozen pics while chatting amicably. As I beat it to the sidewalk suppressing a chuckle at my near cultural slip-up, it dawned on me. Oh God, Brooklyn Mom works for Gawker.


8 Responses to “SUGARED DADDIES”

  1. OchoMom Says:

    Black people are dogs, not cats. As in, “What’s up, dog?” They were called cats in the 70s. Vintage racism is the worst. If y’all keep it up, we’ll just slide back into quaint sayings like, “Good Lord, look at the weather. It’s raining pitchforks and nigger babies out there!”

  2. coco Says:

    dude u gotta get ur bro up here and really dazzle ’em with the buzz lightyear / woody combo!

  3. Sd Says:

    If the Helmut Lang blazer, et al, received an impromptu group photo, just wait until the white Versace swimtrunks make their appearance. It just might spark a documentary.

  4. Steve M Says:

    Got to start working for myself so I can stop caring about my appearance and how I smell. Here in Austin you definitely can’t get away with the never washed jeans unless you work at Thundercloud.

  5. Gavin McInnes Says:

    Sorry guy but that’s nothing. I accidentally picked up Sophie from preschool wearing Sid’s Seditionaries shirt (the nude cowboys adjusting each other’s ties).
    Funny part is that didn’t garner half the horrible stares my US Marines t-shirt got at the same place. I guess it’s rational to prefer gay sex to war but the visuals were more “Nude homosexuals” Vs. “A division of the military.”

  6. Jill Says:

    Your outfit sounds a bit fey for Brooklyn but at least you haven’t been caught embracing the ridiculous fashion extremes of Milan Fashion Week. Don’t get caught Trace or you’re finished as a credible Daddy Homie.

  7. hector Says:

    How about the Fuckemos Rohypnol shirt next?

  8. Trace Says:

    You guys HAVE been following along at home!

    Like a dope on dope, I gave away the Versace swimsuit but the Fuckemos’ Rohypnol shirt is in the archive patiently biding its time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: