Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Celebrating Black Laundry Month

I think I'm turning into a Ninja.

Before I moved to Vegas, I owned absolutely *no* black clothing. No black pants, socks, shoes, jackets, nothing. I wore either polo or Hawaiian shirts to work every day, with either navy, tan, or olive green khakis. That's it. And on my off days, it was more Hawaiian shirts or t-shirts, and shorts. I always thought black clothes were for shallow urban poseur-types that subscribed to the NY Times, drank wine with dinner every night, and shopped at Pottery Barn. Not my demographic.

Of course, Johnnie Cash looked good in all-black, but I didn't recognize his hipness until he was walkin' that line in the Great Beyond.

But when I made the decision to move to Las Vegas and become a casino dealer, I knew that I'd need a wardrobe update. I had plenty of white oxford shirts--those have been a staple of my wardrobe since my sophomore year in high school when my favorite cheerleader told me I looked good in one. But unless you plan on being a waiter, white shirts will only carry you through the auditions in this town. So I needed some new gear. Black socks, black shoes--with big comfy soles, black polyester pants that could stand up to the rigors of nightly abuse, and of course every casino ninja needs a black belt.

Well, that's where it started, and that portion of the wardrobe keeps growing on it's own. But now my current job requires us to wear black undershirts, too, if we wear one at all. I'm certainly not going to go without--I sweat too much, and a cotton undershirt actually keeps me cooler than not having one. And wearing one will keep nasty sweatiness from showing through the uniform shirt too. So for comfort and aesthetics, I now have a drawer full of black undershirts in addition to everything else.

My only nod to traditional clothing when at work was the fact that I wore regular old plain white Jockey boxer-briefs. More support than boxers, minus the geekiness of tighty-whiteys. Just like Victoria, that was my secret I kept underneath. Then one day I made the mistake of bending over to get an errant chip off the ground while wearing an old threadbare pair of pants. Polyester is tough stuff, but once it goes, it goes all the way.

Suddenly, my bright-white billboard of shame was on full display for anyone unfortunate enough to be looking in that direction at the time. All I can say is, thank god they were clean!

I live too far from the casino to make it home, change, and come back in time during my break, so I just had to grin and bear it, as they say. Of course, I turned my apron around, but that just drew more attention to the fact that I was mooning everyone in the pit for the rest of the evening.

Some of them probably deserved it though.

Anyhow, that was a bit embarrassing, but it taught me a lesson. Always keep a spare pair of pants in the truck, and start buying black 'fashion' underwear.

So now that I have to dress in black from head to toe five days a week, I have tons of cold-water washing to do on my days off. And my outfits have never been so coordinated in all my life! But all black from head to toe is rather dull, so I guess I'm lucky that the casino gives me shiny blue and maroon shirts to wear every night. Yep, fake satin long-sleeve bowling shirts with contrasting cuffs and wide disco-style collars.

So now I look like a cross between Johnny Cash and a 350-lb. peacock. From the 70's.

As Paris would say, That's hot!


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