I’ve never enjoyed much fashion sense. Ever. It’s just not a Bogart thing. Hal and I have our talents, (like taking old ladies shopping, enduring pain, etc.), but choosing clothing: Nischt.

We HAVE been blessed, however, with an ability to know what we don’t know. Accordingly, I prefer to have others pick my wardrobe. Since my girls reside abroad (NY, Illinois), fashionistas outside the family graciously tend to assist. Terry and Bob Luria met me at Beachwood Place signaling each outfit for Jamie’s Jamaica wedding. Years earlier Tammy was dictating my taste in shirts and footwear. (Interestingly, Tam and I never walked through a store together. She would merely have the clothes set aside at Nordstrom’s register on her daily travels to the mall. I’d stop in, have a coronary at her pricey choices, buy a few, then leave most).

Recently Meredith has been the point person. Flanked by Michael she’s picked dress shirts, casual shirts and just this week, swim trunks.

In New York last spring a light weight jacket was on the agenda. Well, actually it wasn’t on my agenda, just hers.

“Bruce, you need a new jacket, ” she said mildly, all the while smiling.
I looked down at my mushroom-colored fake-suede, semi-soiled old friend.
“Take it off.”
I was unconvinced. “Really?”
“Yes! We’re going to get you a new one today.”

Michael brandished a deck of coupons and we were off to Bloomingdale’s A bit later the deed was done, and within my budget. I was wearing a slick black garb and feeling like Brad Pitt cruising the strip in his first “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Donning my new acquisition I began to put the old jacket in the store bag.

“No!” my daughter-in-law shrieked in alarm.
“That goes in the garbage. It’s not leaving the store.”

I obeyed. (Who knew?)

Lately she’s accused me of wearing my “uniform.” Evidently it is improper to wear long-sleeved collared shirts with blue jeans 24/7 in the summer. As such, on her recent visit for Stacy’s shower we ran to Macy’s.

As I exited the dressing room in new swim trunks Meredith displayed four different like-sized golf shirts and noted the minimal sales prices.

“I’ll take them all,” I proclaimed in triumph, confident of my correct response. (Clearly this would indicate a “New Bruce”—a dramatic paradigm shift).

They laughed. Hard.
“Bruce,” she smiled, “That was a test.”
“You flunked, Dad, ” Michael chimed in, readily pointing out that I should never, ever, consider wearing hot pink.

Who knew?

Stacy’s wedding is in mid-September. Black suits, white shirts, black ties. Even I can’t screw it up. The bride’s taking no chances, however. A month ago she delivered the tie. Solid black. Bulletproof.

Meredith has already asked about the rehearsal dinner. Did I know what was I wearing? Truth is I haven’t given it a moment’s thought.

Perhaps I should.



  1. bob says:

    You really need to go to Stein Mart at Pavillion or in Solon. You’ll find excellent quality and resonable prices. Next time your daughter in law is in have her take you there. If she likes Bllomingdales or Macy’s she will get stuff for Michael as well.

  2. Jackie says:

    Kind of like a deja vu from when you were married – don’t you think?????

  3. Aunt Helen says:

    Re: your comment about “fashion sense” not being a “Bogart thing”.

    It might not be a MALE “Bogart thing”, because I think the FEMALES (certainly Ma and me) always had a keen sense of fashion.

    Come to think of it, though, both Pa and Albert dressed well.

    So, it might be just you and your brother.

    Please think carefully before you make such sweeping generalizations.

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