RICHARD ORD: Fashion’s not pulling the wool over my eyes

Bah humbug! Ebeneezer Scrooge.
Bah humbug! Ebeneezer Scrooge.
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International Men’s Day was missed in the Ord household … again.

I blame my wife. She didn’t put it in the diary.

To be fair, International Men’s Day was missed by just about everyone. Presumably that’s because it’s left to the blokes to organise.

Unless you call a last minute trip to the pub, and a hastily ordered bowl of cheese and pickled onions, a celebration, it was sadly overlooked in my street.

My eldest child, Bradley, aged 15, wanted to know why there was no International Teenage Boys’ Day.

“That’s because, son,” I explained, while pinning him up against the wall, “every day is International Teenage Boys’ Day. You just don’t appreciate the fact.”

He disagreed. And, as is the way of teenage boys, he expressed his viewpoint with a barely audible grunt and a shrug of shoulders before turning up the volume on his headphones to drown out my lecture.

As such, he barely heard a word of my explanation of just why every day is International Teenage Boys’ Day … as I drove HIM to HIS football training in MY time!

Of course, we don’t become parents to be appreciated, though an occasional ‘thank you’ wouldn’t go amiss. Or maybe some eye contact.

Thank yous from the boys usually only surface when they receive gifts.

I spent International Men’s Day hunting down the presents on our two boys’ Christmas lists. As the boys get older, so their tastes mature. Like fine cheese. And, like fine cheeses, they invariably stink.

When I say their tastes mature, what I mean is, they begin to think a product (whether it’s clothing or sports goods) means nothing without a designer label.

Take the woolly hat on our Bradley’s Christmas list.

I’ve no problem with getting him a woolly hat. Hey, at a push, his grandma could knit him one.

No, this has to be a specific woolly hat. A woolly hat with goggles sewn into it!

I checked them out in the shop. And, yes, they do produce woolly hats with goggle lenses sewn into them. They are shaded lenses, to protect against the sun’s rays.

Of course, it begs the question, why would you be wearing a woolly hat if it’s a sunny day? Being a man in his fifties, I just don’t get it.

The assistant in the shop told me “It’s a fashion statement.” At £95 a hat, it was a statement all right. It said: “Here’s a boy who’s dad takes out a second mortgage to buy his sons’ Christmas presents.”

I made a statement myself and left the shop. It was a short, two-word statement, the kind you won’t see repeated in a family newspaper.

Fashion! You can’t pull the wool over my eyes. Am I a Scrooge? Perhaps there’s room for an International Miserable Old Gits’ Day. Scrooge could be our guest speaker. I believe there’s a place for contrary old buffers in our society. We should celebrate them.

As it is, I write this on World Hello Day. And there’s only one thing to say on a day like this … Goodbye.