I give up.
I dress reasonably nice. I prefer clean clothes. I dress somewhat conservatively. I have very vanilla tastes in clothing, so I prefer solid single-color shirts, muted colors, most of the time. I got that part down.
Then… I eat. Invariably, I spill something on my shirt. Seldom fails to happen. Bet your mortgage on it. Doesn’t seem to matter if I’m eating a burger, or if I’m eating a meal that requires a knife and fork. Chicken wings? Forget it! A whole wing is being dropped at some point. If I’m sitting at a table, it doesn’t matter how close I lean over the table, or how small my bites are, or how conscientious I am, it still happens. And the fact that I wear plain solid-color shirts just makes it all the more obvious to the world.
It’s common for me to come home, strip my shirt off, and immediately apply stain-remover for the next load of laundry. Hell, what don’t they make laundry detergent out of stain remover? That would be awesome, but I digress.
Anyway, here’s the kicker, it’s almost always either the first bite or the last bite. Seldom in between. Makes me think I have invoked the wrath of the fashion gods, or something. Seriously, why do I even try?
So, since eating like a normal cultured person seems to be beyond my abilities, I’m thinking these are my most realistic options…
1. Wear loud shirts that will hide the stains.
I already annoy people with my irreverent sense of humor, I don’t need to look like a schlep, too. I mean, if you’re 50 years old, and you routinely wear loud animated NASCAR shirts in public, you’re still trying to be 12. The stains will be hidden, I suppose, but no.
2. Wear a bib 24/7.
Might seem like a realistic option, but how big does the bib need to be? Seems that when I put a napkin on my chest at home, the aforementioned fashions gods direct the offending food matter to an area juuuuuust outside the bib/napkin. Maybe a poncho? Kudos for trying, but no participation trophy.
3. Wear pre-stained shirts and stop worrying about it.
Just accept reality and move on. I often see people buy a new car then obsess over it and get so upset when it gets its first door ding. OMG, you’d think the rapture had just occurred and they weren’t included. C’mon, people, it was inevitable. And the second door ding is met with a shrug because they’re over it by then. This is why I believe that ALL vehicles should leave the assembly line with a “pre-ding” somewhere on the side. (Hell, I’d like to apply for that job, just give me a hammer!) You buy a car, it already has a ding, your life has just been eased of an unnecessary first-world stress. Problem solved.
In that same spirit, I think it’d be best that I purchase pre-stained shirts. I would no longer have to worry. It is what it is. Any new stain I contribute simply won’t matter in the same way the second door ding on a car doesn’t matter. Problem solved. I wonder if there’d be a market for that? Similar to pre-ripped jeans that sell for more than new unripped jeans. (I will never understand fashion.)
Given those three options, I know what you’re thinking, “But Ken, just be more careful.” <insert blank stare here> Oh, do shut up. As if that never occurred to me. Retraining the world to view stains as a positive thing would be more practical.
Note: Beginning a third special category, The Rant.