You can't please all of the people all of the time
Years ago, when I was dating a multimillionaire doctor, she blurted out that she couldn't stand my clothes, which she thought were hideous. I liked almost anything colored fluorescent orange but knew that it lacked cultural acceptability south of the 45th parallel, so I usually dressed more mainstream, but occasionally looked like a hippie crossed with a avant-garde yuppie.
But fluorescent orange? Not when Dr. MegaBucks was around. In Snobville, home to the rich girlfriend I'll call Susan, such a color choice would cause residents to break out in hives and have 'em dialing 911—something many of them did if a neighbor violated the local ordinance stipulating that trash cans must be removed from the curbside one hour or less after the trash collector visited twice weekly. I wondered if all of them had servants to comply with that overly anal law, but never asked Susan. When she wasn't criticizing my clothes, she was trying to impress me with all of the medical journals she read, or gushing over a pulmonologist she deemed an Einstein, or recounting a fellow classmate she had a crush on in medical school who later became an astronaut, or telling me of her travels around the world with her traveling companion, a gorgeous but single infectious disease specialist. Or telling me about her parents, childhood, and many things that are better left unsaid.
Flash-forward to Christmas, and Susan became a Santa on a mission to dress her boyfriend in clothes she liked. She visited the ritziest store in Snobville and bought things for me that made me contemplate breaking up with her just so I could use them as rags, but cognizant of my exiguous fashion sense, I wore them hoping she had her finger on the pulse of what was suitable.
A couple of years later, when I was dating another doctor with much less money but something men value far more, she wrinkled her nose and told me how much she hated my clothes. Although I was then north of the 45th parallel, I played it safe—I thought—by wearing doctor-approved clothes to impress—I hoped—this young doctor. She didn't like what Susan liked, which was then stored away until another friend saw them and remarked how repulsive they were.
Oddly enough, even though I'm still enamored with fluorescent orange as menswear, female friends say that I have a real knack for selecting clothing that makes them look fabulous. I can quickly walk around a store and only need to give a half-hearted effort to pick out clothes for women they love. Susan really needed my help in this regard, but I sensed she had a one-way valve for criticism, so I said nothing.
- Like orange? And beautiful women? You'll love the Dutch field hockey team!