Dress Up Days · 16 October 2010

My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, thinks that society has gotten too casual. It seems that every day at work and at church is casual Friday. Not that she thinks everybody should wear a tie every day, but going out in public wearing pajamas is ridiculous. She would have been appalled at the attire worn at our school this past week. Everybody dressed outrageously. It was homecoming week.

Okay, so The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi would not have been appalled at the attire worn at school during homecoming week. After all, she was a teacher there too. (We met there our first year teaching and so call ourselves high school sweethearts, but that is another story – see Electric Hands.) She loved all the dress up days during homecoming week. And I must admit, I usually like them too. But I also must admit that sometimes I subscribe to the thought of a former colleague when she said that every day is pajama day, which meant wear sweats or pajamas to school all week.

Some people think that football coaches are too macho to participate in the dress up days, but I think the other way. If everybody is dressing up to support the football team and its homecoming game, the players and coaches ought to be the most dressed up during the week. They ought to be the ones wearing their pajamas, dressing up as nerds, wearing fancy pants, sporting Disney attire, and wearing their school colors on game day. At our school, many of the players are the most spirited. (One of my freshman players had his sorcerer’s apprentice hat on for Disney day.) It would be nice though if every year everybody got into the spirit and dressed up during homecoming week.

This past week, I was impressed with the pajamas people wore to school. On Pajama Day, there were robes and pajama pants, but we see those on almost any given week. (Okay, I admit that seeing robes all the time is a bit of hyperbole.) I was truly impressed with the pajamas with footies like babies wear. Fancy Pants Day was confusing for many students, but I did see a multi-colored pair of pants (which looked like a rainbow puked on them) and a pair of pants made completely out of duct tape. (The wearer of the duct tape pants assured me he made them by putting the sticky sides together, but I still had images of pealing duct tape off of skin.) Disney Day also seemed like a success with princesses and Mickeys running all over the school. (Although I hope to never again see our math teacher/cross country coach/track and field coach dressed as Snow White.) Personally, I tried to teach with my son’s Mickey Mouse gloves, but I kept getting the urge to bop people (totally un-Mickey-like), talk in a squeaky high-pitched voice to greet my students with, “Hi kids,” and I kept looking around for my usual sidekicks, Donald and Goofy. (Goofy did finally show up sixth period.) Spirit Day was its usual success with seemingly everybody in school colors and the seniors in togas. Nerd Day was the most amazing dress up day of all because everybody was dressed like me.

Many years ago, one of my students proclaimed me The King of Geeks. The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi agrees that I am a geek, but takes exception when I say that I am proud to be a nerd. She takes the internet definition of a nerd being socially inept as the key to why I am not a nerd. But she does not hear me telling jokes that fall flat or see me dress in a socially unacceptable way. (Well, she does hear me try to tell jokes, but she makes me change if she sees that I am going out of house with unacceptable attire.) Contrary to The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi’s opinion though, I must be a nerd. After all, everybody in our school must see me that way. Or at least they all see me dress like a nerd all the time.

I wanted to dress up for Nerd Day, but I also wanted to show spirit for our Freshman Football Team since I am their head coach. So I decided that I would dress up for Nerd Day a day early instead of on our game day. I put tape around the bridge of my glasses. I wore high water jeans pulled up too high on my waist. I even buttoned my shirt cockeyed by being one button off. Apparently, nobody noticed. When the daily announcements were finished and the announcer said, “Have a Fancy Pants Tuesday,” I shouted, “Fancy Pants! I thought it was Nerd Day!” Only one person grunted or made any indication that I was in the slightest bit funny. (Par for the course.) But when I showed them how I was dressed, nobody even realized I was dressed differently than normal. To add insult to injury, our head secretary did not notice my nerdy attire until I pointed out my dressing miscues. Worse still, my friend and teacher next door said she thought I was dressed for Nerd Day, but did not want to hurt my feelings in case I was not. I guess that I am more of a nerd than The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi or I ever thought! When all the students came into my classes on the actual Nerd Day, I said that I felt normal since all my engineering and programming students were dressed like me. Not one of them comforted me and said that I was not a nerd.

It is always fun dressing up for spirit week. If I ever retire from teaching, I suppose that I will wear a toga like the seniors do to show that it is my last homecoming too. But for now, I am content to have a little fun with those odd ways to dress for one week of the year. Maybe The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi is right about society being too casual now. After all, if we can go crazy and dress up for outlandish spirit days, if we can get all spiffed up for homecoming dances and proms and other special occasions, maybe we can be more formal than wearing jeans and a tee-shirt to work or church. Or maybe casual is just the way things are and we should be satisfied with those occasional dress up days. Or maybe everybody should go crazy and have their own spirit week or two where they work. Or maybe, every day should just be Nerd Day. Like it is apparently for me.

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

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