by the scribe
An Amusing Look At Finding My Man
Do Clothes Maketh the Man
It was a Friday evening in September 1973, when fate stepped in and brought Kenny into my life. It had to be fate, as I had just broken up with my ex, and had no intention of looking for a new relationship. It was only due to my very bossy sister, pleading with me to go out with her, and my dad accusing me of being selfish, in ignoring her pleas. That took me to that particular night club that Friday evening.
Lets start with the ex, he was tall, dark and some would say handsome. His looks were not the problem. We had been together for 2 years. He was kind, considerate and always dressed immaculately. The problem was, he was quite predictable and dare I say, boring.
His name was Rob, and at 18, he was a year younger than me. Maybe that was the real problem. With his immaculate dress sense he looked older than his years, but he couldn't make a decision if his life depended on it. When we went to a bar for a drink, I was the one to find the seats. If I suggested a night club, the response would be "I don't mind, you choose."
This wasn't for me. I was looking for someone to look after me. I can hear you shouting "what about equality" well you have to remember, this was 1973.
We split up at the end of August. I had just returned from a girl's holiday abroad. I went with five of my friends. We had a ball, drinking a bit too much, dancing till the early hours and I am ashamed to say, there were a couple of boys who took up quite a lot of my time.
When I returned I felt it only fair to end it. After all, I wouldn't be enjoying the company of other boys, if he was the one for me. Would I?
He took it quite well, and even wished me all the best for the future. Maybe he wasn't quite as keen as I thought.
For the next few weeks I did all the usual things teenage girls do. I was happy to spend time with my friends. We were planning another holiday for the next year. We decided to go back to Spain, as we had enjoyed it so much.
Life was pretty good. My 20th Birthday was coming up. We were planning a big night out to celebrate, another reason for not going out, spending money.
That brings me back to that fateful Friday evening.
When we arrived at the club we met up with two of our friends. It was just like any other night out, a couple of drinks, and then we hit the dance floor. It was the usual thing, a few corny lines from the boys, lots of giggles from the girls. The night flew by and before we knew it the D.J was announcing the last dance.
That's when fate stepped in. Kenny came over and asked me to dance. We hit it off straight away. While we were chatting he told me he didn't usually go to night clubs, he was only there as he was starting a new job the following Monday and this was his leaving party.
So had fate brought us together?
Now, I know I said I wasn't looking for a relationship, but he was, quite cute, and he did make me laugh. When he took me home, he asked if he could take me out the following Wednesday. I surprised myself by agreeing. We had a little kiss, and off he went.
That was the start of our relationship. We spent a lot of time together either at parties or trips out in his new company car.
Oh! didn't I mention the company car?
Yes, with his new job came a new car. Which I have to admit added to the attraction. Now I know that makes me sound a little shallow, but I was only 19 at the time.
All in all, I was really happy. Kenny was everything I wanted in a boyfriend. He was confident, funny, caring and in my eyes, very good looking. There was only one little thing that let him down, and that was his dress sense, or should I say his lack of dress sense.
He would arrive at my house to pick me up, wearing old jeans and a tatty old parker. No matter how many hints I dropped, nothing changed.
As time went on I realized that Kenny was the one for me, scruffy clothes or not. I decided instead of nagging I would try something different. So, when I was getting ready to go out one Saturday evening, I made a real effort, lots of make-up, a long flowing maxi skirt and little halter neck top. The type of outfit I would usually reserve for nightclubs.
Kenny arrived to pick me up, he beeped the car horn. I had one last look in the mirror. Then I skipped down the stairs, feeling very pleased with myself. When I got in the car, Kenny didn't make any comment about my outfit. He just grinned and suggested we go to a nice little pub his friend Jack had told him about. It sounded really nice. Kenny was always finding nice places to go. It was one of the things I loved about him.
The pub was out in the country, it was very quaint. We found a couple of seats and Kenny went the bar to get the drinks. When I looked around most people were dressed quite casually, in fact I was probably the only one in a long dress.
We were enjoying our drinks and Kenny was telling me a joke, he was always telling jokes, yet another thing I liked about him. Suddenly he looked at me, as if he had just noticed what I was wearing, "I am sorry Kate. Did you want to go to a nightclub tonight"?
"No, this is fine. Why do you ask?"
"Well, you look really dressed up".
"It's just nice to make an effort. Don't you think?"
"Sure, girls like dressing up. Don't they"?
The conversation on clothes ended there. I realized I was fighting a losing battle. Kenny was Kenny, and clothes just didn't interest him. As long as he was clean and comfortable he was happy.
We stayed for a couple more drinks, then Kenny asked if I fancied going to the Red Lion, a pub not far from where I lived. We knew a couple of our friends would be there. I knew I would look a bit over dressed, but agreed anyway.
The Red Lion was really busy when we got there and we couldn't find any seats. I told Kenny I would have a look around to see if I could find Liz and Dave. "OK, I will get the drinks and meet you back here" he said.
I spotted them standing in a corner, when they saw me they waved and headed towards me. We were making our way back to Kenny, when Liz suddenly stopped.
"What's up" I asked. She looked as if she was doing her best not to laugh.
"Liz what's amusing you?
She pointed to where Kenny was leaning against a pillar. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. About three feet from Kenny, leaning against another pillar was Rob. They were totally unaware of one another as they had never met.
Rob, was as immaculate as always, in a smart jacket and trousers.
As I made my way towards them, I realised Kenny was right, clothes don't really count at all. I knew who I would sooner be with, and it wasn't the one in the smart clothes.
In Answer to the Question in the Title.
No clothes definitely do not make the man
As 42 years later we are still happily married.