Skinny Jeans Have No Mercy

I’m going on a date. I think her name is Susan, but let’s call her Jessica. And why not? I always liked that name. Tonight it’s not important.

What’s really concerning me is the guy looking back at me from the mirror, mocking my every movement with abject humiliation.

The culprit: one (almost) 40-year-old man in a pair of “skinny” jeans.

Oh skinny jeans, have you no mercy? Have you no shame? Have you have no conscience? Is your only purpose to make adult men look like water balloons stuffed into Otter Pop sleeves? Is it your goal to lower my self-esteem until I grow a beard and start hitting on girls at the Nach Bar, where I’ll be forcibly removed for being a creepy old man? No, the Laws of the Fashion Universe will not bend. You cannot traverse the generation gap unscathed. You must always pay a price.

Fashion, like all superficial elements of the ancient mating ritual, is of primary importance. Your choice of haircut, pants, watch and shirt will be heavily scrutinized by a woman, just like the female spiny-tailed Iguana chooses her mate based on the color and size of his head-crest. It’s deep inside the reptilian brain. There’s no getting around it.

And like that Iguana, you’ll have to show your prospective woman all the goods up front. If you just met her at the cash register in Forever 21 last week, her judgment of your character may be a little sparse. You’ll have to show her some style.

As an adult member of the free dating pool, you’re going to have to abide by a lot of rules in order to survive the first ocular pat-down. My advice? Never, ever wear skinny jeans. Ever.

There is nothing more depressing than a grown man trying to look hip by stuffing his fat butt into pair of tapered jeans and getting a faux-hawk to impress the college girls. There are far better ways to get through that mid-life crisis. Buy a sports car. It has better resale value, and you’ll still have some feeling left in your legs when you sit down.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a man. I’d love to show up for a date drunk and shirtless with a pizza and a 6-pack, but unless she’s been in a coma since the third century (B.C.) things are going to get awkward really fast.

Women know every brand-name in existence and possess a mental catalog of equivalent pricing, so if you show up in cheap, slovenly clothes you’ll look like a cheap slob. On the other hand, if you show up overdressed with an expensive Rolex and non-essential gold chains, you’ll risk looking materialistic and pretentious. It’s a balancing act.

I don’t have all the answers to what women want, but based on some outright traumatic experiences I know a lot of things women don’t want. Adult women don’t want you to be a slob, an idiot or a “gangsta” (and you don’t qualify as such even if your college roommate tattooed it on the back of your hand after chugging a fifth of Bacardi at the frat house).

It doesn’t hurt to hold yourself to a higher standard, if just for a night. Nobody ever got upset with you for exceeding their expectations. Convince your woman that she should be there for a reason. Looking good in public is a potent aphrodisiac.

So I put the offending jeans back in the closet (although my sister swore they looked good on me). I’ll leave youthful fashion for tweens and aging rock stars. I’m quickly approaching 40, and I’m not ashamed of it. I picked up my date, and as we walked into the restaurant I couldn’t help paying her a compliment.

“You look really great in those skinny jeans.”

And she did. She really did.

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