Snowflake Sweater

by Pat Tarzwell12/17/18

Sandy and I were invited to an ugly sweater party last Friday night, and I went to Walmart to get myself an ugly sweater (but it turns out I am too cheap to spend $12 on a one used sweater). As I am leaving the “men’s section” of Walmart, a young man, who I would say was between 25 and 30 years old, says “Excuse me sir, could you help me?” (I must admit to starting off impressed because he said sir, but that did not last long.)

He then asks if I thought the sweater he had tried on was too big.  Never having someone ask me such a question, I was taken aback.  So my response was less than supportive.  I said “You do know I am a man, right?”  “Yes,” he replied.  So I said, “If you like it, buy it. If you don’t, don’t.”

He then reiterated, “I just want to know if it fits.  “I said, “Find a woman, she will have an opinion and be happy you asked, and happy to share her opinion.”  He pressed me again, so by now I am a bit miffed with this snowflake and I said, “Listen, it’s time for you to grow a pair of balls and make a flippin decision,” and then I walked away.

A few hours later, at the ugly sweater party, I decided to ask both males and female the question; “Was I too harsh on this snowflake?” About 10 of each of the two sexes at the party replied (sorry no third, fourth or fifth options).  I cannot say I was surprised, but the majority of the women said I was too harsh and most of the men said I was not although none of them would have said anything besides “I don’t know” to our little precious.

Well, I angered a few of the kinder, gentler sex when they claimed I could have just told him. And I said, “That is what is wrong with women being in control governments, you think telling him the answer would be helping him.  I helped him with a life lesson.” (Maybe…I do not know if he listened or just cried to his friends later).  “There comes a time in life when mommy will not be there to dress you, or take care of your every need and the sooner you learn this the better your life will be.”

Pat Tarzwell was born conservative, runs a successful hi-tech business, and lives a red-state life in a deep blue one.

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46 Responses to Snowflake Sweater

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Pat, I often ask advice regarding clothing. But never from another customer unless that customer is a chick. Otherwise they would think I’m hitting on him.

    I supposed it would be alright to ask a guy in a sporting goods section whether to buy wood or aluminum or what size glove seems to fit. But I’d feel a little funny asking some guy if my shirt looked good. It’s basically like asking “Would you like some oral sex in the fitting room?”

    This doesn’t apply the the cashiers or other store employees. But to ask another guy about a sweater?

    But let me take another angle: Odds are this fellow never knew his father. He’s rudderless. You can tell. He needed fatherly advice and you surely gave him some but it wasn’t what he expected. It might have been too harsh but mea culpa, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, etc. I’ve done worse. And often.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    The best person to decide if the sweater fit him was . . . him. It should be obvious to anyone who put it on if it fit. And no one who saw him just hold it up would know if it did, but that’s irrelevant. And that’s what you should have told him.

    I’ve gotten clothes quite often. I look for something my size based on the labels of other clothes, or tape measures. Then you go into a dressing room, put it on, and DECIDE FOR YOURSELF. After checking, I get back into my old clothes and take the item back, either buying it or not doing so.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      [quote]The best person to decide if the sweater fit him was . . . him. It should be obvious to anyone who put it on if it fit. And no one who saw him just hold it up would know if it did, but that’s irrelevant. And that’s what you should have told him.[/quote]

      The reality is that women are the ones to ask regarding these questions. Not only are they generally more skilled at it, but it’s ultimately the tastes of women that drive such fashion decisions. Am I dressing to impress Bob at the office? No.

      Not only is it okay for men to rely on someone else (preferably a woman) for decisions on what looks good, it’s one of the few manly virtues left. It’s a manly badge-of-honor to know that without the influence of the fairer sex, you’d be wearing the same pair of underwear for a month, your blue jeans would be but scraps of tattered thread, and your one well-used flannel shirt would look as if you were on an eternal duck hunt.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, yes, but this question was whether or not it fit, not how it looked. It doesn’t take someone else to decide that.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Fit and look are intertwined. I’ve tried on many things that seemed to fit just fine. But it took a second look (usually by an experienced sales clerk) to show me that it was too baggy and I needed one size down….or a little too tight in the shoulders (often the case for me) and I needed something bigger.

          But unless Pat is leaving something out, I can’t imagine him not being polite to this yute and at least saying “Fine.” But such is life. Walmart can bring out the worst in anyone. I find it a yucky place to be in.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


    I started to reply giving various excuses that you might have had to react the way you did, but it hit me that to do so would just be a lie.

    Simply put, you over-reacted to this young man’s request. Not only that, you were rude. I don’t often throw “being a Christian” in people’s faces, but as a Christian one should try to be kind and helpful to others. You will notice I am not softening this with “I believe” a Christian should try to be kind….It is a Christian imperative which knows no schedule other than always. I admit, I am not a Christian and would find it very hard to follow, but that does not change things.

    As a teenager and in my early 20’s, I worked in the men’s clothing department at Sears and have to say that a lot of men had the wrong idea as to their actual size. Generally, they would underestimate their waists and overestimate their chests. So maybe the guy who approached you had a very poor feel for his body. I don’t know, but you didn’t know either.

    Perhaps my favorite saying is, “No act of kindness, ever goes wasted.” I don’t always live up to this, but I do think it is something to think about in our dealings with people. I try.

    I am often not popular for my comments, but I have told people many times, don’t ask me a question if you do not want to hear my answer. At least it has the virtue of being honest.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      But the guy apparently already had the sweater on. In that case, he already knew whether or not it fit. If he had asked before putting it on, the proper answer would probably have been, “I have no idea.” If it were me, that would be the honest reply.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I cannot say what was in the guy’s mind. Perhaps it was a bit loose and he was not sure how it looked. Perhaps he was not very articulate and couldn’t express himself well. Perhaps Pat looks like a wise man to whom one could turn for honesty and taste. Perhaps the guy was trying to hit on Pat. I don’t know.

        I am not saying that the was a major sin, just that based on what Pat wrote, there was no good reason to get rude. Life is ugly enough without our adding to it for no good reason.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Perhaps Pat looks like a wise man to whom one could turn for honesty and taste.

          I know Pat first-hand. And the more I think about it, the more I think he has “Male Sweater Fashion King” written all over him. We all have our crosses to bear.

    • Rosalys says:

      “…don’t ask me a question if you do not want to hear my answer.”

      Good line, KFZ! I’m going to try to remember that one.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Pat, this is my Christmas present to you. Think of Johnny Mathis when you sing this with your grandchildren around the yule log. My audio track was produced by Quincy Jones. He stopped in for a brief moment.

    We Need a Little Less Chickness

    Shopping at Walmart
    The men’s department, haven for masculinity
    Pick out a sweater
    A girly-man approaches “What do you think of this one?”

    We need a little less chickness, right this very minute
    Pansies in the chain store, grow a little spine
    Yes we need a little less chickness, right this very minute
    Genders are getting blurry, please grow a pair and hurry

    Must find a bad one
    Oh stop the fussing, 12 bucks is too steep for me
    Who is this fruit cake?
    It’s time someone stung some testosterone into him now

    For I’ve grown a little meaner, grown a little bolder
    Grown a little sassy, grown a little colder
    And I need a lot of John Wayne, sitting on my holster
    I need a little less chickness now

    • pst4usa says:

      I love it Brad.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Pat, sometimes nothing can make you smile like another man’s misfortune. They say that God can make anything work for the good. I think He did in this case because you’ve stirred a little bit of Christmas Spirit in me just from doing this song.

        Yeah…okay….I’ve had a steady rotation of Bing going on in the background as well. That hasn’t hurt. But your misadventure in Walmart is a like that little fellow having met the Ghost of Christmas Manly. Who knows what good could come from this? He might go home now and create a cure for cancer or perhaps at least watch a Red Green episode. This fellow might even go on to marry a person of the opposite sex and sing bass.

        And every year — if only because of the long trail of rain leading up to December — I most definitely need a little Christmas, just this very minute. I bought myself an Apple Watch on cyber Monday. That helped kindle a few sparks, if simply silicon ones. But we’re all looking for more, right?

        The end of this story (if we were filming it) is that you would run into another fellow somewhere who asks you a question (perhaps one deeper than a fashion one) and then you break out in song. (It’s okay to use the one I wrote.) But then if life really did imitate a movie musical, they’ve probably haul you away in a straight jacket.

        But here at StubbornThings we grapple with the deep questions (both in prose and poetry). To truly help another person almost always means wounding your self, thus the true meaning of “compassion” — to suffer with.

        But maybe next time you won’t take the lines to that song so literally:

        Turn on the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen
        Slice up the fruit cake

        You sliced him up, yeah. Maybe he just needed to be told he was okay, that no matter how much society was trying to turn him into a girl, that it was okay to pick out a badly-fitting sweater and wear it proudly. The Christmas Spirit is not too picky about perfection. He always gives a second chance (and Mr. Scrooge needed chances by the dozen, for instance).

        Hang up the evergreen bough. Invite that little angel to sit on your shoulder. Deck the halls again. Hope for snow in a flurry. We’re in a hurry. We need a whole lot of Christmas now. Me. You. And even girly-men.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          To truly help another person almost always means wounding your self, thus the true meaning of “compassion” — to suffer with.

          I am glad you mention this. In my previous reply to Pat, I almost wrote, “To be a Christian is to, almost always, be at a disadvantage on earth, i.e. in the short term, but also to have a view of the long term firmly in sight.”

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Like you said, we weren’t getting all of the story from Pat. Now it’s very clear to one and all that *I* can go from zero to flaming in about 5 seconds. Pat is not that way. On a scale of one to ten in Suffering Fools Gladly, I’m a 3.5 and he’s a solid 8.5.

            But his is a great tale to be told this time of year. It’s hard to find that extra bit of patience. And it’s hard to know when to stop biting the bullet and simply to let someone have it. It’s a tough call. A Christian would have it in mind “What is better for the other?” For 99.9% of other people it would be about sating their own feelings and then pretending that losing one’s temper was for the other’s own good. But they don’t care about the other.

            Pat is a strong man who would take a bullet for an innocent. That’s the job of Good People in a civilized society. We’ll stop and help a lady (or girly-man) change a flat tire, even in the pouring rain. We’ll go out of our way not to snap at the sales clerk who we can be quite sure sees humanity (especially at this time of year) as a commercial beast who wants, wants, wants, and God protect you if you provide even a millisecond of delay between that want and its gratification.

            Being Christian (or just plain civilized) is not about waiting for people to be perfect before you treat them well. It’s treating them well as a way of being perfect in the moment. And sometimes (especially regarding men and boys) that means acting like a man instead of a child. It could sometimes require a rhetorical thump and not just a hug. Only true wisdom knows when each is appropriate. But only fools think only hugs are ever needed.

            Only Pat knows if he went too far and lost his patience. We can’t know that this yute didn’t hear exactly what he needed to hear. So many people right now do need to hear truth instead of the organized lies of the media, movies, schools, and politicians.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Slice the fruitcake? Well, Elizabeth Moon did a whole series of books in which one woman’s fruitcakes play an important role. After all, given how unpopular fruitcake is, who ever checks to see if anything is being smuggled in them? For anyone curious, the series is the Vatta’s War series, from Trading in Danger to Victory Conditions. (She’s also done a sequel series, Vatta’s Peace, but I don’t know if the fruitcakes continue to play a role.)

          • pst4usa says:

            Timothy, I am one of the few people I know that will eat fruitcake. I would not go so far as to say I like it, but I will eat it out of compassion for the baker, (only if home made), and bullet proof taste buds.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              It depends on the fruitcake, since there are no set ingredients. I’ve certainly enjoyed some, but it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had any, and I’m not complaining about the lack. I don’t know about my sense of taste as compared to normal, but a lot of taste is actually smell. I don’t recall ever having a sense of smell due to chronic sinusitis.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              but I will eat it out of compassion for the baker

              “It is not from the benevolence of the fruitcake baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” — Adam Smith

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


              The link is to a fruitcake which you will not have to eat out of compassion. You can’t eat a large piece at one time, but since the cake will stay good for a while, you should have time to finish it.


              This has been a Christmas regular since I was a child. And of course, it is made in Texas.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                That first one looks like it might actually be good. Fruits and nuts make a good start. Of course, the cake should be made in California rather than Texas.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                It is true that they say California is the land of fruits and nuts.

  5. pst4usa says:

    Mr. Kung, I accept your correction, you are right, I should have been a bit more patient. I will add, mildly, in my defense, I did try to start out less rude. My comment asking him if he knew I was a man was said in a humorous tone, (at least I thought it was), and my first answer would have been same, If you like it buy it… My rudeness built as he persisted to press the issue.
    So although I completely agree that as a Christian I should try to do better, short temper and lack of compassion at times, are serious flaws of mine. I am happy to have them pointed out. So Thank You.

  6. Gibblet says:

    ” …a young man, who I would say was between 25 and 30 years old…”

    Even Tarzan, fresh from the jungle and visiting Walmart for the first time, would know if a sweater was too big for his comfort. So I can understand Pat’s unwillingness to be involved with this grown man’s clothing decisions. Maybe the guy was just trying to distract Pat while his buddy picked his pocket.

    My husband has always shopped for his own clothes. He rarely makes a mistake. But I think he still likes to ask the female clerks if this shirt, coat, socks, or whatever makes his butt look big. He has a dry sense of humor. Plus, he’s charming.

    Mr. Gibblet was 23 when I met him, and the only real criticism I had about his wardrobe was to ask him not to wear ripped jeans when we went out together. Thirty two years later, he’s still looking good when he goes out in public, with or without me.

    I think Pat gave the guy something to seriously think about. I’m not sure it’s the way Jesus would have handled it. Jesus would probably say, ” You want the truth? I am the Truth. No one comes to the Father, but by Me no matter what size his sweater is”. Or something like that. I think Pat’s response is in a tone similar to the Apostle Paul. Paul wouldn’t let a guy go through life functioning as an infant without calling him out.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I went to the Bible to see what it might say about clothing….perhaps helping Pat prepare for next time.

      Deuteronomy 22:11 says:

      You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.

      Whether this applies to after Labor Day, I do not know.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I suspect if that verse were written today that wearing polyester would be proscribed.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I wonder if they have any restrictions on cotton. That’s what most non-synthetics use today. (Actually, I think a lot of them are a mix of cotton and polyester.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          LOL. That’s why I think a New New Testament is needed. It needs to be updated….at least regarding the fashion stuff.

          • pst4usa says:

            Careful Brad, one of the more progressive denominations is already working om it. Of course they are just removing anything Paul wrote; he was such a hater. I have no idea if they will address other problems like synthetic fabrics or not.

    • pst4usa says:

      Gibllet, in my conversations at the party, I remarked that at about 8 or 9 years old, I remember my mom taking me out to get school clothes and she would pick something out and I would reply, “I not wearing that”. Then she would get something I liked and she would have me try it on and it was up to me to say if it fit or not. I am 60 and do not think I was advanced for my age back then, but it was not long after that where she would just give me money and tell me to go get some new clothes. Times sure have changed.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m still a clothingtard, Pat. I don’t like shopping for clothes. I don’t trust my fashion sense beyond blue jeans and a shirt. But more power to you. However, I’m so totally ready for the nanny state to solve my problem and require some kind of unisex jump suit like Hillary wears. A drab concentration-camp dark green or blue. Or maybe any color as long as it is black.

  7. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I’m so totally ready for the nanny state to solve my problem and require some kind of unisex jump suit like Hillary wears.

    I think this is what you are looking for Brad.{creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583657822493139&psc=1

    • pst4usa says:

      Yes, but does it fit?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        They’re Arabs. They don’t care if it fits their women well. They can always use the Procrustes approach.

        Actually, there’s an even more suitable unisex outfit for the Fire Witch. An orange jumpsuit would no doubt look great on her.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I guess I could pretend to be some kind of ninja. But what are my chances of getting an unwanted clitorectomy forced on me with that thing on?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, men don’t have a clitoris, so that shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand, the clitoris is structurally similar and analogous to the penis, and losing that (bobbitry) would be most inconvenient. A real pisser, in fact.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          men don’t have a clitoris

          Says who? If I can now have a period, I can also have a clitoris. Just ask some professors.

          We will have to come up with a new basic proposition,

          I think in a mentally disturbed way, therefore I am what I claim I am.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I once saw someone suggest that Descartes should have said, “I think I think, therefore I am, I think.” I think the original is pithier. Your version is more accurate for leftist ideologues today.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I can’t argue with that, Mr. Kung. I love the wonderful irony of these feminist hags beating us guys over the head telling us how oppressed they are. And now you have men pretending to be women and taking away sports trophies from them. And invading their bathrooms. At this point, more power to the cross-overs. Give ’em hell, Harriet.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Sooner or later, genuine feminists will have to admit that transgenderism is anti-feminist. But sexual dysphoria ranks higher than sex on the identity politics ranking list, so the movement will never admit it. Leftist ideology matters more than the actual interests of women to them, as Tammy Bruce learned during the O. J. Simpson trial.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Sooner or later, genuine feminists will have to admit that transgenderism is anti-feminist.

                The problem, Timothy, is that sexual libertinism is so deeply embedded in the core of feminism and Leftism. This is, we would both agree, not a rational and well-thought-out platform. It’s more like a creepy cult. And creepy cults don’t tend toward self-examination.

                At the very least we can gain amusement watching these idiots wrestle with the implications of their foul dogma.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                This is why I differentiate between feminism and the feminist movement. The latter is a bastard subgroup of the former, committed to leftism in the name of feminism.

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