When I came home from the hospital with my newborn son 19 years ago, I was filled with joy. Yes, Daniel was everything you could ask for in a baby — spherical, compact, Homo Sapien, vaguely orange. But the really cool thing was that they let me keep the green pair of scrubs I had worn while staying in the hospital.
This loose-fitting outfit that instantly identifies you as being somehow associated with the medical establishment was exquisitely comfortable. This was a necessity while I spent three nights “sleeping” at the hospital as my new family recovered from the trauma of cesarean childbirth. The scrubs were also the properly sterile fashion statement for the stint I spent in the operating room during the delivery itself, and so much more appropriate to the setting than the pilot’s uniform or sumo thong that some dads wear.
Once back at home, I lounged around the house for several days in the scrubs, feeling every bit as special as a new father deserved to feel. I welcomed the well-wishers who brought us casseroles while wearing the scrubs. I made quick trips out to the store in the scrubs. I even attended at an emergency scene in the local market when a woman slipped on a grape in the produce section. I helpfully rocked her prone body back and forth while we waited for more accredited medical personnel to arrive, since I knew how critical it was to “shake it off” when dealing with possible spinal trauma.
Now, it’s almost two decades later, and I want to go to the medical supplies store and buy myself an entire wardrobe of scrubs. But, no — my wife and son think it’s a stupid idea. I just want to be comfortable as my middle-aged spread plays itself out around my mid-section and, simultaneously, be admired by any onlooker who thinks I might be a neurosurgeon. Scrubs are like sweatpants, except without the whole giving-up-on-life vibe. And if you dangle a surgical mask around your neck and spring for the little cloth booties, you’re ready for a shift in the trauma unit, except for the eight years of medical schooling.
Davis, I really think you should buy yourself some scrubs. Don’t pay attention to those who don’t want to see you cool and comfortable.
Another thing I might want to consider as I remake my closet for the summer is one of those wearable babies. You’ve doubtless seen these cute little guys and gals, strapped in a harness to their parent’s chest, staring wide-eyed at this strange new world before them. With their adorable little faces only a few inches below yours, they make a truly eye-catching accessory. There was a young mom in line in front of me at the drug store the other day picking up her prescription, and the pharmacy tech waiting on her couldn’t stop smiling. I think the mom was just picking up some Lipitor for her husband, but you got the distinct impression she could get anything she asked for. All the cash from the register? Sure, and take these checks too. An armload of diabetes test kits and cases of beer? You’ll probably need a cart. Controlled substances with a street value in the thousands of dollars? Certainly, and don’t let me forget to swipe your frequent customer card so you get credit for those.
Davis, you deserve a wearable baby.
And let me just mention a couple more things while we’re in this mood of celebrating my individual “me-ness” and catering to my every whim. I’ve been wanting a wide-brimmed hat for some time, one that will keep the summer sun off my ears and neck. I mentioned this to my son a few weeks back, so he actually got me one for Father’s Day. The problem I’ve traditionally had with all hats is that my head — so chocked full of brain matter that it’s swollen to an almost inhuman size — is too big. I’ve managed to special order a couple of properly fitting hats from a large-headed Slavic nation. One is a baseball cap I wear while mowing the grass and the other is a tall, black top hat that I’ve yet to find the right setting for. (My niece’s recent college graduation is the most formal event I’ve been to in years and even that didn’t seem right for a top hat).
So I’ve already got this new hat, a dandy of an outdoorsman’s bonnet of extra-large capacity ordered direct from the Amazon (or so says the box). The slight problem is that it barely fits. I can jam it onto my crown and tell that it’s not going anywhere until I’ve got the most terrific headache imaginable, but I’m not sure it looks good on me. You be the judge.
On second thought, I don’t want you judging me at all. Davis, you ought to feel proud that your son gave you a hat for Father’s Day and that you have enough sense to protect yourself from damaging UV rays, regardless of how dorky you look.
Finally, I want to note some issues I have with sunglasses. As you can see from the hat picture above, I wear eyeglasses to correct my near-sighted vision. I once sprung for a pair of prescription sunglasses, back in the days when employer-provided eye-care insurance seemed like a good idea for professional proofreaders, but now that’s a luxury. So I have two choices: I can wear just the stylish unprescribed Raybans that protect my eyes from glare while exposing the rest of my body to the potential of being blind-sided by a car, or I can wear a pair of those gigantic overglasses so popular among the geriatric set. Like these…
Davis, I call on you to wear whatever sunglasses you see fit to wear. This is not a time for caving to the passing fads of a fickle public so obsessed with not looking totally ridiculous. Be your own man. Wear what you want to. I urge you to adopt this position.