If Only (or "Lack of a Lamborghini")

It turns out I'm kind of scared of Saudi men's clothing. I never knew growing up because my dad didn't dress like a Saudi very much. Which is a shame, because I bet the other guys on graveyard shift at the aluminum plant would've really thought Dad dressing like a Saudi was cool and appropriate, and they probably would've smiled fondly when his headdress got too close to the molten metal and caught on fire. Flaming headdresses = always funny.

I first realized that Saudi men's clothing intimidates me at a diplomatic function in a swanky hotel ballroom. I'm glad-handing and swigging watermelon juice and swapping business cards like a kid flipping Pokemans. I'm on fire. I'm on my game, you know? Building bridges, one stilted conversation at a time.

Then the Saudis walk in, white thobes flowing across the marble floors, and I freeze. You can think what you want about the Saudis, but these guys look majestic. We're all standing around in stupid black suits and off-white shirts looking like penguins, and here come the Saudis clothed in textile snow threaded together flake by flake, gliding like ghosts. And their facial hair is immaculate, all perfect symmetry and flawless stubble. And I can't bring myself to approach one. Can't do it. Mostly because I'm afraid they'll laugh at my motley beard and lack of a Lamborghini.

If only Dad had dressed like a Saudi during my formative years in our semi-rural, blue-collar, north-central Oregon town, so that I could not be afraid of Saudi men's clothing. I guess life is full of if-onlys.