When I was pregnant and my mom and I first went shopping for baby boy clothes, we kept drifting over to the girls section…”Ooh, look at this!” “Oh my gosh, look how cute this is!” Before I found out that my baby was a boy, I had always, for as long as I can remember, imagined myself with a girl. I’m not sure if this was because of my love for all things girly, but my poor son is paying the price. The way I see it, in a few years all my sweet little baby is going to want to wear are ugly Spiderman t-shirts (or whatever superhero he is obsessed with) so I have got to put him in the not so masculine clothes that I like now.
Men and boys are weird about clothes. Most of the guys I grew-up with were decidedly anti-fashion. We are talking t-shirts, polo shirts and oxford shirts, jeans, khakis or shorts. That’s it. Oh, except for when my brother insisted on getting a pair of parachute pants from Chess King. That was the beginning and the end of his love affair with fashion.
I remember one year my mom got my other brother a black Detroit Pistons t-shirt for Christmas. I think he definitely would have been fine with it, had it not been black. He held it up in front of his face and sheepishly said, “Thanks Mom.” It was more than obvious that he didn’t like it. I think they returned or exchanged it and that was the last time anyone in our family tried to buy my brothers clothes.
My husband, being Cuban, feels very differently about fashion than the American boys I grew-up with. Cubans love fashion…European fashion. He always says something that loosely translates to, “We are poor, we don’t have anything, but when we go out we always look good!” And it’s true, if you were to go out to a nightclub in Havana you would notice that everyone looks really fashionable. Every time I am about to leave for a visit to the U.S. he tells me to bring him back something with “mecanica”. I don’t even know what the English translation would be for this very Cuban slang word. Maybe…flair? HAHA Anyway, he doesn’t realize that you really don’t see much European fashion in the U.S., so it’s always difficult for me to find him something. I loved it when I found him the perfect pair of jeans in a shop on North Halsted in Chicago (on my way into Sidetracks with the “girls”). I told him I had to buy them at the “gay” store because most straight guys in the U.S. just aren’t very fashionable.
About a year ago reaaaaally skinny pants came back in for men. Papi was playing in a Salsa group in Playa del Carmen. He would get so angry when I would suggest he wear the nice guayabera that I bought him in the US. “That is not in style! Nobody wears that!” So I suggested that his band mates take him shopping. His skiiiiiiny 23-year-old band mate did take him shopping. My husband tried one pair of those skinny pants on and as he looked at his tummy hanging over the waistline, he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to be completely in fashion anymore. He came home, told me that he was getting old and settled for a shirt with “mecanica” and a pair of straight pants (almost skinny) that I found him at the mall.
Anyway, back to baby. When I was looking for baby clothes in the resale shops in AZ I found two sailor suits in his size. I bought them. I don’t have much time left!