Anthony and Stuart have now met Paul, by accident rather than design, as they found themselves in the same bar one evening. Well, that’s their story. And they’re sticking to it.
But we had already arranged a practice Orlando trip so they could get to know each other. We’re all going to Blackpool, home of the Tower (featuring the ballroom), the Pleasure Beach (featuring Europe’s tallest or fastest or longest or something rollercoaster), and Funny Girls (featuring a drag show).
That takes place this weekend.
Yesterday Paul took me clothes shopping. Funny Girls has a dress code and I had nothing suitable. I’m very lazy about buying clothes and have very little interest in personal fashion. Almost everything I wear comes from one shop — and I go there because it’s dog-friendly.
It was really fun shopping with Paul. He’s “strict” about what I’m allowed to wear: he doesn’t want me looking old or fuddy-duddy. We went to half a dozen shops before we found something that was appropriate, comfortable and looked good. Oddly it was the last shop we tried because it’s a shop — Marks and Spencer — that’s not usually associated with younger fashions. Anyway, I was very pleased with what I bought, not least because it’s stuff I know I’ll wear again: actually in Orlando.
So the plan for the pre-trip is: Paul’s picking me up in his car on Saturday morning and we’re driving to Sarah’s to drop off Calvin (and the usual bottle of whisky). We then pick up Anty and Stuey and head to Blackpool.
You know, I discovered that if you attempt to wear clothes that are too young for your actual age, it actually makes you look older. I found myself in that boat not terribly long ago, where I was trying to buy some “fashionable” clothes that all the 20-somethings are wearing. So, trying the clothes on for myself…I just looked like an old guy trying desperately to look young!
Instead, I have found that I actually do a better job looking younger when I find stylish clothes that suit my age. (And, well…that my wife approves of!)
That’s the sweet spot I like to think I hit. M&S is often thought of as the kind of place your grandfather shops. But I found an outfit which is age-appropriate but does not comprise knitted cardigans and trousers pulled up to my nipples.