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Look Who's Caulking
New Advice Goddess column up -- a letter from a guy who can't get his girlfriend to dress up in clothes not made of denim. He asked her to dress up for a date once. She wore a denim skirt. Here's an excerpt from my answer:

It all started in offices across America with “casual Friday.” Like horror movie ooze, Gap khaki spread across the work week, until casual Friday was preceded by casual Monday through Thursday. There was no place to go but down. Before long, casual Friday started looking more like sloppy Saturday, and your corporate lawyer was greeting you at the elevator in flip-flops and pajama bottoms.

Lately, it’s increasingly hard to tell $20 million leading ladies from those earning $20 a day redeeming cans, and ragged, unshaven Hollywood moguls from ragged, unshaven Hollywood Boulevard bums. Since both often appear to be shouting at nobody in particular, it helps to look for the Bluetooth headset -- a sign that the guy probably has a real live person on the other end of his ravings, and parks something tagged “Jaguar” or “Mercedes,” not “Please Return This Cart To Staples.”

The rest of the column is at this link. The link to the barefoot slob sitting across the aisle from me on the plane the other day is here. Note: If you are a man, I do not want to see your hairy toes unless we are taking a shower together. Or, your bare chest unless, as Nancy Rommelman pointed out, you are playing basketball (and I'll add) in 9,000 degree heat. Or, unless you are gay and the model for a men's cologne ad. Other bits of fashion fascism from me to be dispensed upon request.

Posted by aalkon at December 6, 2005 9:51 AM

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Well I'd hope that if he's expecting his GF to dress up for dates, that he'll be wearing something besides baggy jeans with his faded boxers hanging out the back. :-)

Posted by: deja pseu at December 6, 2005 9:45 AM

When I was in the dating market, I found it was pretty easy to evaluate who I would be compatible with by what they showed up wearing for dates.
Pretty much automatic strikeouts were any of the following:
1) white athletic shoes
2) shorts
3) Hawaiian shirts
4) cell phone clipped to belt
5) baseball caps
You'd be surprised how much of the eligible male population of Los Angeles manages to combine at least four, if not all five of these sartorial faux-pas at once, even while on a first date! But that's not the worst. My girlfriend had a daytime coffee date with a guy wearing flip flops with hairy toes and unclipped, unkempt toenails. Now that's a look that guarantees a second date!

Posted by: Pat Saperstein at December 6, 2005 11:05 AM

Eeeeeeuw squared!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at December 6, 2005 4:10 PM

No, no, no men's toes! I'm sorry, unless we are on the beach or in bed or you've badly broken your leg and I need to wrestle off your bloody boot, please do not make me look at your hairy toes poking out from, of all things, ugly iridescent webbing. Have some pride!

Posted by: nancy at December 6, 2005 4:59 PM

Where I used to live, the big thing was for guys to strip off their T-shirts when it got hot and then tie them, burnoose-style, around their heads. I'd always see them in line at my local ice-cream kiosk, where, unfortunately, shirts and shoes were not required.

Posted by: Nance at December 6, 2005 5:10 PM

I spoke with a previous girlfriend today, who is a well educated, attractive career woman. Her date this weekend took her to a free dinner buffet at the local Indian casino, without gambling, and proceeded to tell her his life story while shoveling food into his mouth and not excusing himself whilst he burped and farted. A first date!

I can't tell if I feel worse for the women who go out with this guy and dump him quick or the same guy who ends up with a psycho woman who has decided he ruined her entire existence over the past three dates.

Posted by: eric at December 6, 2005 8:25 PM

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