Q: Dear Susie,
I’m a local shrimper guy who’s been single ever since my high school sweetheart dumped me for the cashier at Nate’s Hardware. I spend most days alone out on the Gulf. I still enjoy it, but I’m getting close to 30 and I’d love to have someone to come home and make shrimp chowder for. The other day, I met a nice girl at a pool party. Shrimping keeps me in shape, so I don’t have a problem talking to women with my shirt off. However, with my shirt on, well that’s another story. My closet is pretty basic: white t-shirts and jeans that have a salt stain or two. I feel like clothes shouldn’t matter, but after talking to the ladies in my office, they forced me to write you. I’m taking this new girl out to Fancie’s this weekend. Is it okay to dress as my normal, basic self? I think she should like me for me, but I suppose I’m willing to make a change or two if it helps me find my shrimpette.
A: Dear Simple Shrimper
If only you could go on all your dates with your shirt off. Then, you’d be sure to secure a shrimp sweetheart. But, my simple shrimper, we ladies enjoy events other than jet skiing and gigging. We like to go to concerts, nice dinners, fancy parties, and we generally appreciate a man that wears more than his skivvies. That’s not to say that we’re trying to change you (though we might improve you a little), we just like to see that you’re trying. A man that wears a t-shirt and stained jeans to a nice dinner seems like a man that isn’t going to put much effort into our relationship. And that’s what you want, right – to find your shrimp cocktail of love? (okay, I’ll stop now).
Here’s what you do: go to those ladies in your office who so dutifully made you write to me; tell them that you desperately need their opinion if you’re ever to secure a mate. Head to the mall in Mobile and make sure they don’t let you leave until you secure a pair of khakis, a pair of brown shoes, and a button down shirt. Make sure you buy a fitted shirt and pants with NO pleats (the lack of pleats is of paramount importance here, you don’t want to look like a saggy balloon all night). Oh, and get a belt. A belt is key. Some men forget about this ever-important accessory. Not only does a belt keep your pants up but it also flatters your shape (and from how you described yourself with no shirt on, I’m guessing you have a nice shape – show it off!). If you do all this, I am certain your date will appreciate the effort you put in, and it’ll greatly improve your chances at that late night bowl of chowder.