Over the years I’ve come across a number of people that wear the same outfit every day. Well, to be more exact, I’ve come across a number of men that wear the same outfit every day.
First there was Joe. We went to the same school and he wore a red sweatshirt and black jeans every day… for four years. Somebody reported asking him about it and he said he had lots of the same sweatshirts and pants, which was reassuring. I really wish I’d noticed if he dressed-up on graduation day… sadly I wasn’t paying attention.
Then there was Emilio. He was my grammar teacher in Spain. He wore an olive green polo shirt and khaki pants every day. One day he brushed up against the chalk board and got chalk on his back. We eagerly awaited his arrival at school the next day. Does he have lots of the same olive green polo shirts and khaki pants?… negativo. That chalk didn’t wear off for weeks.
Lately I’ve noticed I ride the train with a guy that also makes the trek from San Jo to South City. I believe we may share the same employer. I’ll call him Train Guy. He wears the same green t-shirt and jeans every day.
And then as I’m walking to my car every evening, I see a man out jogging in black pants, a black long-sleeved shirt and an olive green short-sleeved t-shirt on top. I think of him as Sweaty Guy. He also has a long, flowing ponytail. A) This is not an outfit for jogging, but even more importantly, B) This is the same sweaty outfit I see him in every day. And what’s with the three men and their green shirts? Somebody should do a study on this.
Of course this is a preamble leading up to my youngest’s obsession with the man of steel. First he wanted to wear Jake’s primary-colored Superman shirt, so we got him his own. Then he wanted to wear a Superman shirt every day, so we got him a whole buffet to choose from. But once he had: the long-sleeved primary colored Superman shirt, the bright comic book Superman shirt, the maroon Superheroes shirt, the gray Superheroes shirt, the orange Superman shirt, and the navy Superman shirt, he quickly decided that he can now only wear “the black and blue one.” That’s code for navy. Once in a blue moon he’ll go for the orange Superman shirt because it’s his favorite color.
So he began switching off between his brother’s black and blue one and his own black and blue one. Then he decided he only likes Jacob’s black and blue one, which is 5T. He can tell in a heartbeat if you try to trick him into wearing the 3T black and blue one. And he has to wear it to bed and to school. His Superman pj shirt has been disowned. When you remove this favorite shirt from his body he acts as though you are stripping him of his identity, sobbing as though you’ve just ripped out his soul. He has a newfound interest in laundry. You can generally find him in the laundry room, shirtless, watching the washing machine.
The other day James said Nate repeated all the way to school, “I want the other black and blue one.” Eight hours later, when James picked him up, the first thing out of his mouth was “I want the other black and blue one.”
In late November, I got a text from my friend Jill. Her son is in Nate’s class, but they don’t seem to be best buds… yet. Her text said: So the subliminal messaging that are Nate’s Superman shirts finally broke Nico. Thank goodness Kristen had handed one down to me because he inisted on wearing one today. Then when he and Nate saw each other this morning… Nate actually smiled at him instead of running into his cave. THEN at pick-up, Gloria informs me he wants Santa to bring him a Superman sweatshirt. DUDE.
Welcome to my world.
The only upside of this insane Superman shirt OCD situation is that he has mastered silverware. Honestly, he’s better than his brother. Because how’re you going to win the argument on whether your black and blue Superman shirt is too dirty to wear if you’ve slopped yogurt down the front? Clearly, you’re not.
The last couple of weeks, Jill has been telling me that she found a long-sleeved Superman shirt at Target for Nate as a Christmas present. SO thoughtful, but I squirmed in my chair. She says the long-sleeves part as though we’re inadvertently sending him to school in short sleeves during this cold snap. He has numerous sweatshirts, including two featuring Superman. He won’t wear them. He goes from Superhero to “I’m a penguin” when you mention covering up his favorite garment. How can I explain that my son has irrationally narrowed his obsession back down to one navy blue short-sleeved tee? The long-sleeves are a great selling feature to me… but Nate is not one to be convinced by logic and reason.
Last night we went to Jill’s holiday open house. Miraculously, Nate wore a striped shirt I bought for Christmas card pictures. We probably bribed him with cookies. We’re at Jill’s house and at one point, Nathaniel comes running to me holding a new long-sleeved Superman shirt by the tags. He needs them removed immediately so he can get back into his Superhero uniform. It’s navy blue, with gray sleeves. He shimmies out of his shirt and right on into his new black and blue one. He puffs his chest out to make the “S” tight across it and then he’s off.
On the way home tonight Natesy tells me, “I got a new black and blue Superman shirt. I luff it. I luff black and blue one.” He went to sleep in it.
Which would be such a heartwarming end to this story.
Except that this morning I was woken-up by a completely buck naked Nake, climbing up into my bed. His demand? “I want the other black and blue one.”
Welcome to my world.