Friday, December 12, 2014

Single Father: Getting Ready to Date

"Ain't no man that can't avoid being born average, but there ain't no man that got to be common." - Satchel Paige

St. Louis Browns' Satchel Paige
If a healthy diet, exercise, and shaping up is a stand-up triple on the way to feeling good physically, then grooming and wardrobe is the sacrifice fly to get you home. (I use the word “sacrifice” with purpose; for a lot of guys, shopping for clothes is probably not terribly high on the fun-to-do list.)

A lot of guys may already have tackled this one. For others – and at the risk of being redundant, it’s probably been a while since the single father has dated. Due perhaps to shifts in societal values during the past couple of decades or to the priorities a forty-five year old woman compared to a twenty-five year old woman, the women’s expectations have changed. Clothes styles have, too. However, I’m not sure good grooming has ever gone out of style. You’ve already taken the time to remake yourself physically, why not take the next step?

Whoa! Not so fast! What do you, dad, know about style anyway? Unless you’re a clothes designer, buyer, a sales consultant, or even a professional hair stylist, your answer is probably, “Not much.” Again, this is not a problem because the Single Father’s Dating Rule #2 is, when buying clothes or getting your hair cut, enlist the help of a Platonic Female Friend (PFF) for advice . . . and then, take it!

I have to admit, the clothes on which I get the most compliments aren’t those I pick out myself. Why? Well, because I’m a guy. As such, I’m concerned at least as much about function as I am about form. When I buy jeans, I buy jeans to be comfortable. When I buy jackets, I buy jackets so I’m, yes, comfortable. Sure, I’d like to look good, too, but when I think something I buy will look good, I figure out that I’m right only about half the time. Probably less.

On the other hand, a woman’s eye is keen because, well, she’s looking. Just like you can see a woman wearing a dress that, ahem, accentuates her assets, a woman can look at a pair of jeans that makes your backside look good. She can tell you if your haircut looks like a million bucks or looks like it was done by a preschooler using blunt-tipped scissors. In case you’re unsure, you want the former.

By way of a disclaimer, you don’t want a PFF to shop for you. If you want a woman to shop for you, then you’ll likely appear that you’re needy or that you want to be “mothered,” which, I can tell you based on my conversations with PFF’s, are not attractive qualities. Rather, you want a PFF to shop with you. You, single father, will have taken responsibility for your personal improvement plan. Your PFF is simply your consultant and I know there are ladies out there who would love to help a friend spend money on clothes. I can almost guarantee, she’ll think of herself in the role of Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady and of you, a somewhat hairier Audrey Hepburn, who needs her help to reach his potential as a gentleman. (Don’t ask me how I knew to use that reference, but if you use it when you ask your PFF to help you shop, I can almost guarantee she’ll appreciate it.)