When I married my first wife, I wore a suit, not a tuxedo. But at least it was a suit I’d bought just for the occasion. Who looks at the groom in a wedding, anyhow?
My first tux was for the wedding of a friend. Oh, did I hate having to wear it. But I felt honored to be in the wedding, so I suffered through it.
I didn’t wear a tux again for another thirty or thirty-five years. At my only daughter’s wedding. I grant you those pictures don’t look bad–the open coat in the picture above makes me look fat at a time when I wasn’t–but I would’ve preferred a suit. Preferably the one I bought to wear to job interviews ten or twelve years ago and haven’t worn again since.
I used to have to wear a tie to work. When that ceased being a requirement, I was thrilled. And even more thrilled when they instituted casual Friday.
Things haven’t changed since I’ve advanced in age. I had to buy a white shirt to wear in the Christmas musical at church a few years ago. A Christmassy tie, too. Now that I play bass guitar in the musical, I can get away with a white turtleneck.
And when my second (and final) wife and I got married in 2003, we wore jeans and open denim shirts over t-shirts. At our church’s Wednesday night Bible study, when other people didn’t dress up, either.
I compromise slightly at the banquet of the writers conference I attend yearly. I wear a washable L.L.Bean sport coat and a snazzy shirt–and a pair of Dockers-style pants. No tie, though.
My wife and I still agree on most things, and she’s not much dressier than I am. In fact, we decided to be buried in jeans and a casual shirt. No unnecessary formality for that event. That was our original plan.
But why put our kids through the hassle of even picking out a coffin when we’d be satisfied with plain pine boxes? We now plan to be cremated and have our ashes thrown to the wind, although we haven’t made any final decisions about the exact point of release.
Although Kathleen wants the choir to sing an anthem at her funeral, I just want a recording of Chi Coltrane singing “Go Like Elijah.” That ought to liven things up a bit.
In the meantime, I’ll keep wearing jeans 99% of the time. At sixty-seven, I’ve earned the right to be as informal as I want to be.
Are you formal, informal, or in between? How about sharing that in a comment?
I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
By the way, “On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I use “As I Come Singing”—check it out here–to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Check here to see the list.