No, this is not the long-anticipated yet never published sequel to Dr. Seuss’ Hop On Pop. Not that there even is one. This is a story about a decision to stand out. In great socks.
It would be in our best interest if I first told you “Sox” was a nickname I was given a long time ago. A very long time ago. I didn’t like it at first but thanks to some quite influential bullies, it stuck. Then over time it went away. Then very recently it returned. At first I thought, “Bloody Hell. I’m too old for this,” but I quickly realized that was not true at all. Being too old for anything is a myth concocted by those who fear the possibility of their own potential. At any age. That is, unless you are in your 50’s and wearing clothing emblazoned with Ed Hardy designs. Then again, you shouldn’t be wearing Ed Hardy anything. Ever. (Seriously, I said “Ever.” As in never ever.)
Anyway, I digress. So, back to my point: as soon as “Sox” became something I embraced, it actually helped me deal with the Awful Things People Said That They Didn’t Really Mean. Of course, “Sox” was originally intended as an insult. Before anyone could own it for themselves, I went ahead and made sure it remained my own. I was Johnny Sox. I even signed my drawings with it.
But as I said, that was long ago. One day in the recent past, someone I didn’t really know too well came up to me and started a conversation. It was fine at first, but after about thirty-nine-and-a-half seconds into this conversation, the words were just not producing themselves. There was nothing to talk about. Fine with me; carry on. Instead of doing just that, this person had to look me up and down once before trying to fill the silence by blurting out the one thing that gave him away as a kind of shitty conversationalist with less than good intentions. He said: “Nice socks.”
Truth be told, they were in fact nice socks. Just to put it in context: they were stripes of black and opposing bright colors, worn with well fitted denim and neat chocolate brown Chucks. But you know how I know they were nice socks? Because I was wearing them. Not because this guy told me so. What made me go on the defensive was how (or actually why) he said it. “Nice socks” in this instance meant: “Having no sense of Fashion makes me feel alienated and I don’t understand how you pull it off so I am going to say something I think you want to hear in the hopes that I don’t feel out of place around you but it still makes me look condescending and desperate.” Something like that. Trust me, all the signs he gave away betrayed him. And then some. No, there was no recourse on my part. I let the pretend sock-lover indulge himself with his statement.
Seriously, a Sense Of Fashion doesn’t have to be this insanely elusive thing one shall never reach nor dream of reaching. Not at all. For the rest of us not sitting in the Editor-In-Chief’s seat at a famous fashion magazine, it’s something that can be realized (and enjoyed) in everyday life – even if a little at a time. If you can’t do it, there’s no need to be an asshole about it. In other words, don’t ever be afraid of meeting someone that might say: “Nice socks.”
A Sense Of Fashion is your own. So call it A Sense Of Your Own Fashion. A Sense Of Yourself. And when someone says, “Nice socks,” you can proudly say “No shit. Thanks… Asshole.” Well, you don’t have to go that far. Just make sure you express yourself again this way tomorrow and that should be enough to show them.
Now go on – pull up your socks!