Author Tom Wolfe

It shouldn’t surprise you that I spend so much time online.  I can make myself seem interesting just by using the written word, and before you know it, women are throwing me their virtual bras at me.

In the real world, very few people on line at McDonald’s want to hear me read my latest blog post to them.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  I even tried giving away free Happy Meals.  Not one woman takes off her bra.

I fit into this online world.  A clever line is worth a lot.   It is the online equivalent of driving a Ferrari into the valet stand at a Beverly Hills bistro.  And online, you don’t even have to tip.

As much as web designers tell you about the importance of “blog design,” none of us read a blog because of the looks.  We would read a good blog published on a plain white page.

I like this word-based system.  I have fun conversations with men and women of all races and ages, from twenty-something to seventy.  Even when I see your photo on flickr, I rarely think about you in physical terms.  Your words come first.  If you write sexy, you come off as sexy.  I mean, I’m not going to lie.  I do notice what people look like.  Some of you are so gorgeous!  I just don’t think about it that much or treat anyone better because of it.   I’m mean – great – you have amazing boobs — but I’m not going to be touching them, so what’s the point?  I’m going to spend more time hanging with the regular-looking gal who turns me on with her jokes.  I’m more likely to describe you as “that mommyblogger” or “that bitch from Wisconsin” rather than “skinny” or “fat” or “Latino”

Unfortunately, things change in the real world.   You are not going to be as impressed with me when you see me wearing two different socks and I forgot to zip my fly.  I’m not even going to bring up the half-shaven off chest hair.  The first thing we notice when meeting someone is how the person looks.  Before they even open their mouth, we’ve created a whole history for this person. 

After posting about the Nehru jacket, I spent a while reading “The Sartorialist.”  I found the comments fascinating.  Some entries had a hundred comments, each commenter “reading” the photo, infusing the subject with life and meaning.   Commenters seemed to “understand” the people in the photos from what they looked like, especially from what  the clothes “say.”   Readers discuss the personal lives of these online subjects — their inner confidence, their life history, and even their moral character.  All from one photo!  I was half-hoping that someone would write in that they had played a joke — and dressed up a homeless woman as a chic woman in Brooklyn.  Someone even wrote that they want to be “best friends” with a young female subject wearing a green blouse.  For the most part, the subjects are young, good-looking model types.  Don’t ugly people ever dress in interesting clothes?  Or are they too afraid of standing out?  I think I can understand that.  I’ve spent most of my life wearing clothes that would make me fit in.

I did find one older woman in one of the photos.  Everyone loved her.  They wanted her to be their grandmother.   Check out the comments.  I showed the photo to my mother.  Even my mother fell in love with her natural “style” and the fact that she kept her gray hair.  I have a feeling that this woman could probably have been both Clinton and Obama just by appearing in this photo!

(via The Sartorialist)

Call me Scrooge, but I was wondering if this was a nice woman.   How do we know she’s not an asshole?  Because of her clothes? 

Why bother getting a Master’s degree when you can better spend your money buying some interesting clothes?   Or does the Master’s degree enable you to AFFORD these clothes?  

Of course, I picked the wrong Master’s degree.

I don’t spend too much time thinking about my blog design because YOU don’t seem to judge me on it.  Would you like me to have a flashier, Dooce-like blog design?  Would that make my blog seem classier? 

In the real world, it is clear that you ARE judged by what you wear.  People make incredible assumptions about a person’s character and position in society.

It makes me think, that as a writer, I should spend more attention to what my characters wear.  I should also spend more attention to what I wear, especially here in New York.  I might actually have to think about matching my socks.

Question:  Make believe that you meet me for the first time.  You don’t know me at all.  You’ve never read my blog.  I am wearing a Nehru jacket.  Do you “read” anything into this?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Things Every Man Should Do Before He Dies — #6 Buy a Drink for a Woman in a Bar