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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Dressing Up Against My Will

Proof+of+my+extensive+T-shirt+collection
Proof of my extensive T-shirt collection

For my New Year’s resolution, I vowed to be more like an adult. For too long now, I’ve embraced my grad-studentness by sleeping in late, eating way too many cheeseburgers, going to the gym way too little, eating way too many half-chicken, half-chili verde super burritos with rice, beans, salsa, lettuce, guacamole and hot sauce from Anna’s Taqueria, and perhaps, most heinously (according to my fiancée, Emily), dressing like I’m still in middle school.

My traditional wardrobe consists primarily of Old Navy jeans (the super cheap ones that start falling apart in the bag the moment you leave the store), some pleated khaki pants left over from high school when I had to adhere to a dress code, collegiate hoodies, and 76 t-shirts. I know there are 76 t-shirts, because when I was trying to be more adult by having a clean apartment, I made a pile of laundry in front of the washer for Emily to do while I watched college football, and she washed and counted them for me (in my defense, I regularly change the roll of toilet paper when it runs out, so it’s not like she does all the housework).

Comfort over style has been my motto since at least 1997, which explains my bizarre obsession with cargo pants in high school. Unfortunately, that attitude won’t fly in the real world. The fact is, I’m going to have to dress up a little bit most days, and shave more than once a week if I ever want to get a real job (which I suppose I do, because I’ll need money to buy more burritos). To help fix this problem, I took all my Christmas gift cards and dragged myself to the mall on Dec. 26 to take advantage of all the day-after sales.

The less said about the mall on the day after Christmas, the better. The look of the other men there, arms full of bags from Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret, dutifully trailing their women while their vacant eyes clearly indicated that, mentally, they were on vacation in the Bahamas, or at the very least, playing Xbox on their couch, captured the spirit of the endeavor almost perfectly. Except that I wasn’t in their club; I was shopping for me. I couldn’t even enjoy being grumpy and pissed off about being at the mall, because it was all on my account and for my benefit. Regardless, I consider them my brothers-in-arms.

Ultimately, my trip was successful, and the sale prices did mesh quite nicely with my budget. I bought some shirts with buttons on them, pants without pleats or denim, and cardigans to replace the hoodies/make me look more like Mr. Rodgers (I should note that I wasn’t able to achieve one of my longtime wardrobe goals: replace all my socks with three weeks’ worth of socks of one particular style/brand, so that when I reach into my sock bin and pull out two socks, they’ll always be matching socks. Unfortunately, all the stores were out of bulk socks. Maybe next year).

Having bought all those clothes, I felt compelled to wear them. And, surprisingly enough, it turns out that a lot of them are pretty comfortable (who knew?). Even by my own low standards, I do look objectively less like a scrub. But beyond that, there was something a bit more subtler happening: I was dressing like an adult, and found that perhaps I was inadvertently acting a bit more like one too. The clothes appeared to be making the man. College kids with their hoodies leave work until the day before it’s due; I’m now leaving work until the day before the day before it’s due. Baby steps.

It’s been a month now with my new look, and so far I’m doing ok. I’m pretty sure I need a haircut, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am wearing an Iowa Football hoodie as I write this (although I am at home). But when I’m in class, or out in public, I’m trying to embrace what I am destined to become, despite my protests and wishes: a real, live, grown-up. Now if you’ll excuse me while I change into a plaid button down, toss on a pea coat, and slip on some loafers; it’s time to go get a burrito.