October 24, 2005

You've got to have goals ....

Boy in Black, my seventeen-year-old son, has a very simple wardrobe. He owns three pairs of pants, a handful of t-shirts, one pair of black sneakers, and one hoodie. I know monks who own more clothes.

So he wears the same outfit to school every day: a pair of black zip-off pants and a black t-shirt, with a black hoodie added as his winter layer. Sometimes for variety, he wears a dark green t-shirt instead of a black one. For the last four weeks, though, he's had an accessory: a green wristband, the kind of paper wristband you get as proof of admission to a concert. The wristband is from the White Stripes/Shins concert he went to with his sister. Today I noticed that he was still wearing it.

Me: How is it that you are still wearing that wristband?
Boy in Black: I've been very careful with it.
Me: But that concert was ages ago!
Boy in Black: Yep, it's been four weeks.
Me: (suspiciously) Have you taken a shower?
Boy in Black: (rolling his eyes) Yes, of course, I have.
Me: How long are you gonna keep it on?
Boy in Black: My goal is to keep it on until graduation.

Well, at least the boy has goals ....

16 comments:

Phantom Scribbler said...

He is so bleeping cool I can't even stand it. And how cute is it that he went with his sister?

Do you think a high school girl could get away with a similarly limited wardrobe?

Yankee T said...

I love Boy In Black.

Teri said...

Implicit in that goal: the goal to graduate. See, you just need to read between the lines!

jo(e) said...

Phantom: Sure. At least, I did when I was in high school. I had a couple of pairs of jeans and a handful of shirts. For that matter, I still mostly wear jeans and a few different shirts. My wardrobe hasn't changed much since high school. Who do you think Boy in Black takes after?

I wear mostly brown and red instead of black though ... and jeans instead of zip-off pants.

I do think teenage girls are probably under much more pressure than teenage boys to be good little consumers and buy lots of clothes and shoes. I think many of the families in this area resist the pressure simply because they are working class families who cannot afford to dress their kids in the latest fashions.

Girls don't have the growth spurts that boys do either. Daughter stayed the same size all during high school so she was able to accumulate clothes. Boy in Black has grown more than a foot during his four years in high school.

kathy a said...

i bet he has a system, like wrapping it in a baggie when he showers, but it's best not to ask.

there are definitely worse goals. this one assumes graduation, is defiant [or dogged] in a way that hurts no one, and chances are that the thing will either dissolve or start smelling bad, allowing him to re-assess in light of developments.

listmaker said...

What a cool kid. College Daughter informs me that all boys have a clothes rotation: any given week they'll wear the same outfits as the week before, and RebelliousTeenager is proof it's true. His primary uniform is jeans, a t-shirt from the thrift store, a blue rubber wristband that says "Liberal", a pair of beat up Birkenstocks and a Guatemalan cotton pullover from the local hippie store. Winter outfit: add wool socks and a knit hat. I love that he's not a slave to fashion.

liz said...

I like that goal, but I'm still thinking "ewwwwww" on what another EIGHT! MONTHS! will do to a paper wristband.

mc said...

This one sends me right back... though back in the day when I was attending concerts in high school and college, there were no fancy paper wristbands. More often it was marker on the back of the hand for club shows in particular. I hated letting those marks wash off, because then no one could say, "hey, you have marker on your hand," so that I could reply oh-so-casually, "Oh, that -- I went to see [insert band name] the other day."

Boy in Black, needless to say, has great taste in music!

ccw said...

I love your kids!

That's quite a goal for a paper wristband, graduation is a long way off.

lostinthemiddle said...

How *is* he perserving the wrist band? Perhaps he could make it series thing. He just needs to keep this one until the NEXT concert. And, that until the next . . . until graduation.

So, part of his goal could be more concerts! Run it by him; see what he thinks. :)

kathy a said...

argh, not more concerts! who needs that, with limbo in the living room and fireside campouts?

he's got his whole adult life to decide whether to spend his time and money on concerts or eating out or movies or collecting cars or whatever -- or whether those will be rare treats, with the main events at home.

i really like that boy in black considers this concert a rare treat, not an entitlement. [and he must, or he wouldn't put this effort into preserving this momento.]

I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

With one of my man boys wearing a similar wardrobe I had to chuckle.

Hh

P.S. I CANNOT believe your blog is "worth" nothing. Bah Humbug. :)

Teri said...

In youth ministry I used to buy those wristbands in bulk and use them to get youth and adults together as prayer partners during church seasons. During Advent last year each youth had an adult prayer partner and each of them wore one of these wristbands with the other's name on it for the whole four weeks, the idea being to remember to pray for the other person. They all thought it was the coolest thing. Now I know why. Thanks!

Musey_Me said...

Well, the Shins are pretty cool. (I can't comment on the White Stripes....)

Running2Ks said...

That is really cool. But hey, I'm on year 2 of my Livestrong band, so I admire that he can do that without the strength of silicone to hold it together.

Julie said...

My 9yo son's wardrobe is similarly limited. He hasn't voluntarily worn clothes with buttons, snaps, collars or zippers since he was in preschool.