BossLady and I had a fantastic time in the Pacific Northwest. What's not to like? Clean air, beautiful scenery, and fantastic food. Unfortunately, the weather is about as stable as Lindsay Lohan on a 3-day bender. So while we did get plenty of sun, the temperature never cracked 70 and it rained practically every single day.
But really, Seattle and Orcas Island were fantastic. BossLady and I can't get over how nice everyone was. So many people went above and beyond the call of duty to help us out, it was amazing. Special props to my new friend Noel, the sommelier at Wild Ginger, who, after a brief conversation with me, not only went back to his office for an hour and typed out a personalized list of amazing wines he thought I would enjoy but also gave me instructions on which wine store I could find each one of them AND provided detailed driving directions from my hotel. That shit would NEVER happen in New York!
Anyway, in exchange for your incredible kindness and warm hospitality, I now offer all of you Pacific Northwesterners my unexpurgated professional fashion advice:
(1) There's a reason that nobody designs polar fleece tuxedos or evening dresses. As comforting as polar fleece may be, it really isn't appropriate attire for weddings or more formal gatherings. For that matter, neither are Crocs (in fact, there's really never an appropriate time to wear Crocs!)
(2) The only time a man should EVER wear a green blazer is when he has just won the Masters at Augusta.
(3) Unless you actually ARE a Hare Krishna, there's absolutely no need to dress like one. (Apologies to the gentleman in whose coffee cup I dropped a few quarters. My bad, dude! I thought I was just being generous.)
(4) Personally, I use deodorant and wear a little cologne. You want to be different and use patchouli as a fragrance? Cool. Be my guest. Just remember that the stuff should be used sparingly, like saffron in a fucking paella.
(5) If you're going to get a tattoo, go to a professional. What's up with all the bad tattoos, Seattle? Some of them were like stick-figure cartoons. I thought maybe some pre-schoolers had opened up their own ink studio.
(6) Corduroy should never be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
(7) Men in kilts? Wrong on so many levels. Especially if you're not Scottish and you live in a city that has rain 360 days out of the year. Clearly, any man who wears a kilt is beyond listening to my fashion advice. You go, girl!
Now, I'm not saying I'm the arbiter of good taste. However, I do work in fashion and although it's hard to believe, people actually do pay me good money for my opinions. So let's just consider this a freebie for all your kindhearted generosity.
Rock on, Washingtonians!
In other news...I have to say that one of the best parts of the trip was coming home to the Peanut. BossLady and I missed her terribly while we were gone. The hugs and kisses that we got from her upon our return almost made up for all of it. I've had a lot of great experiences in my life but there seriously might not be a better one than having your little daughter run up to you with a huge smile on her face, jump into your arms, plant a big fat kiss on your cheek, and scream, "I love you sooo much, daddy! I missed you!"
Speaking of fatherhood...BossLady and I attended a wedding Saturday on Orcas Island. It was an incredibly heartfelt wedding with one of the most diverse groups of people I've ever seen congregated in one location. I actually didn't know anyone at the wedding except for the bride. However, on more than one occasion, I found myself completely engrossed in a totally substantive and incredibly cool conversation with several men.
The topic? Fatherhood.
Now, I've always believed that this generation of fathers is vastly different from previous ones. Many of us today are more involved as parents. We don't see parenting as a "job" or a "woman's responsibility." We make sacrifices and juggle our lives in ways that I don't think older fathers ever did before. And most importantly, we're more open with our emotions and we're not averse to discussing the deeply profound impact that fatherhood has had on us.
At the wedding, I had some amazing conversations about fatherhood with men whom I had just met. One told me about the enormous sacrifices he made to ensure that his children lived near their grandparents. Another shared the devastating story of his wife having to terminate a pregnancy because of a rare disease that would have killed their child only days after his birth. One man told me how he loved experiencing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest alone with his wife but that they felt something was incomplete because their kids weren't there to share the experience with them. And the father of a four-month-old beamed about how having a child was the single greatest moment of his life.
This fraternal bond amongst today's fathers is an amazing thing. I've become good friends online with so many of you who, on the surface, couldn't be more different than me but who share my feelings about being a father. And more than anything else, that has proven to be the most important bond that you and I could ever share.
Personally, I love being a father. It's become a major part of who I am as a person. And though I may come across as a sap at times, the one thing I've come to realize about parenthood is that the only opinions in the universe that count belong to my wife and my daughter. It's the reason I put underwear on my head to make my daughter laugh. It's the reason I'll skip down West Broadway holding hands with her while singing cheesy show tunes. And it's the reason my heart breaks whenever I see my daughter suffer.
So to all my fellow dads out there, happy belated father's day! You truly are my brothers-in-arms and I couldn't be happier to know all of you.