The Boy, since his freshman year of high school, had always been rather preppy. At least in the way he dressed and groomed himself. He wore a lot of khakis and button down shirts. In fact, he didn't own any blue jeans at all. Still doesn't. Hardly ever wore sneakers, eschewing them for his Tims or other lace-up shoes. He also spent an inordinate amount of time "grooming". While I used to get irritated when we had to wait for him to finish "doing his hair", I did appreciate the care he gave his appearance versus the other directions he could have chosen.
When the term "metrosexual" came into vogue a while back, we realized he fit it to a tee. Dictionary.com defines it this way. Ayup, that's The Boy. His friends used to come home with him after school and he'd make them omelettes. Every so often they even cleaned up the kitchen afterwards. Every so often like once in a blue moon. Ah the good old days?
The Boy had a friend named Jason in high school. Jason is gay. The Boy is quite comfortable around gay people because... well... he grew up with us. They used to go clothes shopping together, among other things. One year Jason accompanied our family on our biennial beach "reunion" trip. Those trips are great. Mingling with family members we only see every so often and observing how they've changed (or haven't changed) is enjoyable. Plus at the beach, if they start getting on my nerves (like family is so good at doing either intentionally or inadvertantly), I can just take a walk or a nap or bury my nose in a book or do whatever to escape.
Jason and The Boy had a pretty tight friendship. The beach was a good place to practice their social skills, flirting in particular. Not with each other, but with others. If you've ever seen how teenagers are at the beach, you know what I mean. They developed a strategy that evidently worked quite well. When Jason was too shy to approach guys he wanted to talk to, The Boy started the conversations. And vice-versa with the girls. Those two had a great time that week. The Boy met a girl from our locale whom he actually ended up dating for a few months after that trip.
Okay where was I going with this? Oh yeah. During his first year of college, he kept up his metrosexual image. But when he landed his current summer job, one of the requirements was to grow out his hair and beard. And when we visited last week, he greeted us wearing a thrift store t-shirt and some cheap sneakers he had picked up at Walmart. (Not that he didn't look good, because he did. A sight for sore eyes indeed. He just looked so different.)
Now granted, actors often have to adapt their looks to the part they are playing. So the shaggy hair I understand. But those clothes! Has our metrosexual transformed permanently into a hippie? Or is this just a summer phase? Or is he just trying out a completely different image?
Metrosexual or hippie or anything in-between, matters not to us. Another of the joys of parenthood: watching them evolve. Change, as this year has proven to me in so many ways, is inevitable.