In life, we often find ourselves making choices that we later regret and that come back to haunt us in the strangest ways. In some respects, forgiving ourselves is difficult… And that may be because we’re prideful, rather than humble. Perhaps we self-deprecate because our pride wants to drill into our heads the mistakes we’ve made in order to protect us from doing it again.
That said, every once in a while, I’m going to tell a story on myself. These stories are meant to be humorous and self-deprecating, but in a way that will allow me to finally let them go. Either that, or help me get my stand-up routine organized. Regardless, hopefully everyone has a good time.
This tale begins back in the days of Freshman year of college. Turns out, we’re nearing the ten year anniversary of that achievement. (And yes, I know, some of you are saying, “Whoop-de-doo, young man.”) Anyway, near the halfway mark, I was invited as a guest to a film-festival and screening for the projects made that year.
To be fair, please remember that I was a freshman. Anyway, I was unsure of what all this entailed. In my mind the whole affair seemed like a lighthearted event to showcase a few individuals’ talents in film making. So, with that in mind, the idea crept into my head that this event needed the weirdly-dressed guy. You know, like Johnny Depp, who rarely wears a tuxedo at premiers or awards shows. But I also wanted to show school spirit, because freshman life, am I right?
So I gathered up an outfit that involved khaki pants, brown shoes, a white button up, a khaki jacket that was a little big on me, and an orange trilby hat. (Orange and black are my Alma Mater’s colors, and yes, it looked like Halloween year-round.) I owned everything but the hat. I had to borrow that from someone else. Let that last sentence sink in for just a moment. I felt exceptionally bizarre and ready for anything.
At least I was ready for anything until I saw the person who had invited me (and encouraged my goofy idea.) My future wife and her friend, who had both worked on one of the short films as make-up artists, were dressed in full-length dresses and both looked lovely. Suddenly, the situation began to dawn on my half-developed freshman brain that I may have accepted an invitation and suggestion without knowing all of the rules. I suddenly felt like I was playing a game where the rules had been explained before I arrived and I was left to play and figure things out as I went. As I didn’t have time to change, I arrived at the dinner looking remarkably under-dressed.
Dinner was fine, and I received my fair share of strange looks during dinner, even though I composed myself with all of the grace a scared rabbit would have in the face of a den of foxes. The conversation was fun and the food was good, if I recall correctly.
After dinner we all went to one of the larger auditoriums on campus and viewed the short films. Honestly, they were well made. And on a positive note, I realized at that moment that film makers are a very rare, special breed with their own particular taste in what constitutes an enjoyable film… It was not my cup of tea. Why is that a positive note you ask? It certainly exterminated whatever tiny shred of curiosity I had about exploring film making. Throughout the films I sat awkwardly in my seat confused and wondering what each project meant or referenced. Many in attendance laughed or nodded agreement… The only experience I have had like this since then was watching Hail Caesar with two film buffs. I laughed, but in all the wrong parts.
So, we come to the moral of the story being… uhm… it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed? Maybe, don’t wear the orange hat to a formal event? Oh, perhaps, check with the person who invited you about what’s ok to wear? Or even, if yo don’t understand the art form, second-guess accepting that invitation – no, that’s not it…
Well, take your own moral or lesson from this. I personally learned to overdress for everything. So, if you ever see me in a full suit at a kickball tournament, you’ll know the reason why.