Subconscious holiday shirt to impress the mom

Studly models at Lloyd's of Gastown.

Studly models at Lloyd

More studly models... I mean, Wingy and I. "Just like old times." Yeah, right.

More studly models... I mean, Wingy and I.

My Thanksgiving shirt!

My Thanksgiving shirt!

salt 'n' peppa model... there's hope for me yet! (all photos Andrea Butterworth)

all photos andrea butterworth

You never know what the subconscious is up to until you do. That’s the beauty of the subconscious.

This Thursday, Nov. 27, is going to be my first ever American Thanksgiving. It’s a big deal down there, apparently, whereas here in Canada it’s like, nyeh, whatever. I mean, this is a holiday with its own Conan O’Brien skit. Add to this the fact that I’ll be meeting the Texas Twister’s mom for the first time, and on her own turf—a town called New Hope, in Pennsylvania. Plus apparently Connie (the Twister’s mom) is a terror. No boyfriend has ever gone back for a second Thanksgiving.

So tonight, I went to the official launch of a men’s clothing store in Vancouver’s increasingly trendy Gastown area. Lloyd’s of Gastown takes its name from Lloyd Hill, who bought up quite a stretch of Water Street, the cobblestoned thoroughfare that is the main trunk of Gastown. Upstairs is Francis Hill, after Lloyd’s wife, who now owns much of the block (Lloyd has passed away). Lloyd’s is downstairs, underground, in an old bunker that hasn’t been used for much up until a year ago, when renovations began. The grotto-like space, with one wall brick and another old stone, is a low-key, funky but chic setting for the clothes: Ben Sherman, Kenneth Cole, Bugatchi.

Wingy showed up—he’d invited me in the first place—and introduced much of the crew, including store manager Nathan, owner Francis, and Tim, whom I think might manage the store upstairs, named after the matriarch. Stephanie and Andrea were taking pictures (which hopefully will appear here sometime tomorrow) and three human models stood in as mannequins.

Between conversations, I zeroed in on a shirt, a white number w/ red pin stripes, candy cane-ish. I almost didn’t buy it when Nathan said it was “perfect for the holidays” (the Winnipegger in me recoiled at the idea of buying something that could be worn only one month of the year) but then I thought, well, it’ll be the perfect dress shirt for American Thanksgiving, and the intimidating Connie. I even bought a tie to go with it.

The thing is, I didn’t even know what I was doing until I was talking to Stephanie, the photographer, about the shirt and why I was buying it. As I told her my story she said, yeah, it was a great shirt. And that I should “flirt with her [the Twister’s] mother [Connie].” Gee, that’s why I bought the shirt (and tie)—so  I wouldn’t have to.

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