The day I first got filmed for Maya Bedrossian’s reality show, I got called into her assistant Sandy’s office. First we talked about some legal stuff I had to sign…then she totally changed the subject:
“Now,” she said, “time to take you on a shopping spree.” Her eyes kinda sparkled there…I guessed because that’s how chicks feel about going shopping. Not that I understood what she meant.
“We have to upgrade your wardrobe,” she said. “I know you’re gonna say it’s just clothes to get sweaty in, but you’re gonna be getting sweaty in front of a lot of people and, well, ratty shorts aren’t going to cut it. Maya cares a lot about how people look when they come to work – remember anyone can be on camera at any time. That’s why Dr. Peterson has to wear a tie and why I come to work dressed like this.”
She didn’t stand up, but she indicated her outfit, which I could tell was another of her short dresses and heels combinations. She looked smoking as usual.
I was starting to feel super underdressed.
“Don’t worry, we won’t make you wear a tie,” Sandy continued with a smoking hot smile, “you can still wear shorts and a tshirt. You’re the cool good-looking gym teacher, remember.”
“Am I so cool?” I mean, I like to think I’m pretty cool, but I wasn’t sure I was TV cool lol.
“Jacob’s already crazy about you,” Sandy said.
“Yeah, but what about Matteo?,” I asked.
“He likes you too. At least that’s what’s made its way back to me. I wouldn’t have added to your hours if the boys didn’t like you. You should have seen how Matteo treated the man we had here before you. Tons of crying tantrums and running into the house. He seems to be trying with you at least.”
“Sometimes. The effort comes and goes with him. I try to take advantage of it when it’s there. He’s running a little better, when he thinks about it. But he falls easily into his bad habits.”
“Maya’s going to appreciate anything you can do with him,” Sandy said.
Yeah, I thought…because she’s got a fitness segment on her TV show and she doesn’t want to have a fat kid. Then I realized I was thinking like Matteo. Sandy’s voice brought me back to reality:
“So what is the well-dressed gym teacher wearing this season?”
“What I have on, I reckon,” I said.
“Yes, Hunter…only not quite.” She looked me up and down, but not like she was checking me out. “So that’s basketball shorts, a tshirt, athletic shoes and a baseball cap. We don’t need to worry about what’s underneath.” She laughed and that made it sound hot. “We just need things that are presentable on camera and aren’t so ratty. Ok: easy things first. Maya has a deal with Nike and we can get all the basketball shorts, shoes and shirts we want from them for free. Let’s see what they have to offer. Pull up your mask and a chair and we can look on the computer.”
So I pulled up my chair while Sandy brought up nike.com and opened up the shorts page. I’ve never been overly partial to Nike, but they certainly make plenty of different kinds of basketball shorts and, if they were going to be free…
Sandy didn’t go crazy exactly, but she was getting excited as she said “what about these?…or these?…or these? These are great, I think. Hmmm…those are too long…we want to see more of your legs…” Within in 5 minutes she’d written down the colors and style numbers of about 10 different pair of shorts.
“Hold on while I call their rep,” she said, dialing the phone on her desk.
“Hello, it’s Sandy from Maya Bedro… Of course you know who I am, Ted.” She laughed into the phone. “I need to outfit the boys’ new gym teacher, and he likes basketball shorts…so I thought of you guys. Yeah, he’s picked out some things he liked…” Sandy had done most of the picking, but…ok lol. “Of course I have the style numbers and colors.” She laughed again. I was really liking her laugh. She then rattled off a whole bunch of numbers. “Size?,” she then asked, turning to me.
“Usually a M in basketball shorts,” I said.
“You’re sure you’re not a L?” She turned back into the phone. “I’ll ask him.” She turned back to me. “What are your measurements? You’re 6’?”
“5’11” and 185 pounds,” I said. “32” waist…anything else you need to know?”
“Did you get that?,” she said into the phone. “Yes, definitely muscular. He’s a baseball player.” She turned back to me. “You’re definitely a M, he says. We certainly don’t want your shorts falling down on camera.” That got the hot laugh again. “How soon can you have them here?… Great. That’ll be fine. We don’t plan to have him on camera until the start of next week…you know we film early on the week usually. Oh, yes… Yes, he’s got a pair on now. A very beat-up pair. He definitely needs some.” She turned to me. “What about shoes?”
I tried ordering softball spikes online once when I first joined the Parrots and didn’t know where to go shopping for them. It took three returns before I got them right, and it’s not like my feet are such a hard fit. So I was a little hesitant about ordering more shoes in the mail.
Once again, Sandy read my thoughts: “do you want to get them off the website, or do you want to go try them on? Ted says it’s fine either way.”
“I think it’s better if I try them on.”
“Then head to the Nike store in Old Town. Do you know where it is?”
“Yes.” I know very well where it is. It’s where the Gap used to be.
“He’s going to go into the Pasadena store and pick a few things out. Can you send me an email for him to take in?,” Sandy said, back to talking into the phone. “Of course I trust you to call them, but he might get a little nervous not walking in with proof of who he is.” She laughed a little more. “Perfect. Shirts? Don’t hate me, Ted, but I was thinking of getting those elsewhere. I know all about product placement, but our gym teacher doesn’t have to be a Nike billboard. The logo’s pretty big on most of the shorts we ordered. Don’t worry, as long as Ethan’s producing his segments we’re going to see plenty of his shorts…and his legs.” More laughter. I think she’d just charmed this Ted dude out of making me wear Nike tshirts, which was good, because, well, Nike’s not a baseball company and their shirts just aren’t my thing.
Sandy talked to the dude on the phone a little bit longer while she was doing something on the computer. By the time she hung up she had something she printed out and handed it to me.
“Go in, ask for he manager and show her these,” she said, indicating the print-out and handing me one of her business cards that she wrote something on the back of. “Just call ahead to make sure she’s there. Her name is Linda. You’ll have the run of the store practically.”
“Don’t worry. And don’t worry that you need to wear everything you get from them on camera. Pick out four or five pair you like. No, make that 5. If I say 4 or 5 you’ll only take 4.” She laughed. “Oh – don’t forget socks.”
I gotta admit that I was starting to get a little uncomfortable. I know it wasn’t like a chick was buying me a whole mess of clothes like I was a gigolo or something, and that it was ‘wardrobe’ if I was going to be on a TV show, but, still, it was beginning to feel weird.
“Now…” she said. “Shirts. You’re a Dodgers fan, yes? You wear their clothes a lot.”
“Yes ma’am. I may have been born in Tennessee, but I pretty much bleed Dodger Blue now.”
“So then we’ll get you Dodgers stuff. It goes to the baseball theme, and Jacob’s a big fan too. Where do you get Dodgers clothes?”
“mlbshop.com,” I said.
So she brought that up on the computer, and we spent like the next half hour ordering stuff for me off there. I gotta admit, it was a little like getting let loose like a kid in a candy store, and Sandy ordered anything I said I liked. It’s not that their stuff is so incredibly expensive but $30 tshirts start to add up quickly.
“Size?,” she asked me.
“It’s tricky. I’m a L body with XL shoulders. So I usually have to get an XL. L is always real tight across…”
“…your exceptionally broad shoulders…and yes, I noticed them. They’re one of your best features.”
I wasn’t about to ask what my other best features were in Sandy’s opinion.
“What about one of those shirts the players wear?”
“A jersey?,” I asked. “I already have one” – the one Sabrina gave me after she’d used it to paint me in. Plus the replica version I bought to wear to games.
“Let’s see…they seem to come in different colors.”
“That’s home and away,” I explained. I was getting the feeling that Sandy didn’t know a whole lot about baseball.
“Which one do you have?”
“Home,” I said.
“Then we’ll get you an away one. Whose number do you want on it? Seager 5 again?”
“Well…yes,” I said, “if you’re going to order one. Only, I mean, an authentic jersey isn’t something you run around and get sweaty in.”
“We may want something nicer on you at some point,” she said, looking like she was completely ignoring the $315 price tag. She turned the monitor around when she took a credit card out of her desk and paid for the Dodgers gear, so I didn’t get to see the total, although I estimated it in my head at at least $600. I hope she got free shipping lol.
“Next…,” she said, ignoring that her phone was ringing, “we need some other shirts that don’t say Dodgers on them. We need to mix it up some. And,” she said, looking me right in the eyes, “we need them in blue.”
“Most of the Dodgers stuff we got is blue,” I said.
“Yes, but most of what people are going to see of you is your eyes over your mask, and don’t think I don’t know what a blue top does for blue eyes,” she said. That’s when I noticed she had on a light blue dress, and, of course, that brought out the beautiful shade of blue of her eyes. I don’t know a whole lot about flowers, but you know those little blue orchids you can get? That’s the color of Sandy’s eyes.
“I have no shortage of blue tshirts,” I said. “I used to work at the Gap.”
“Not the look I have in mind. What’s the company that all the athletes wear…,” she tapped the credit card on the desk as though she were thinking. “That’s it: Under Armour. They make a great workout shirt. Let’s see how many colors it comes in…”
She typed very energetically on her keyboard.
“Hmmm,” she said, “a lot of colors. 3 shades of blue, we’ll get all those…then black of course and I’m liking this red…men never wear enough red.”
I wanted to tell her to slow down, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t make a difference. She ended up picking out 7 of the colors they made. Don’t get me wrong: I already have a navy blue Under Armour tshirt and it’s great, although I’m sure Sandy would say it’s ratty. I didn’t need 7 more, especially after Sandy ordered me more than half a dozen Dodgers tshirts about 5 minutes earlier.
“Now you’ll need bathing suits too since you said you wanted to use the pool. Let me see, who makes good…what kind of bathing suits do you wear?”
“Boardshorts,” I said. I wasn’t going to wear my first Speedo on national TV lol. I didn’t even mention that.
“So…who makes the best boardshorts?”
“I don’t rightly know, I…”
“No, I was asking Google… Hurley? That sound good?”
She had the Hurley website up before I could finish that sentence. That’s when I realized she was on a definite chick shopping tear.
“Pick a few out,” she said. “But maybe you should stay away from the patriotic one. We don’t want you seeming like a Donald Trump supporter.”
I didn’t say anything to that, and picked out one pair in a solid color and another in a geometric design.
“Camouflage will look hot on you,” Sandy said, “and it seems Southern, so we’ll get that also. And then that pink color is nice. Do you like it?”
“It’s a little…”
I didn’t want to say it, but I guess I was thinking it loud and clear.
I blushed. I didn’t want to come off seeming like a homophobe, especially since I knew that Maya has a big gay following, but, yeah, pink boardshorts are totally gayass if you ask me.
“Okay, no to the pink. How about these?” She clicked back a page to a black pair with bright stripes and a turquoise waistband.
“Those’ll be fine but…” She had 5 pair in her cart by this point, and this time I could see the total. I reckon $350 for boardshorts didn’t seem like so much to the Bedrossians.
“Don’t worry,” she said. Maya’s good for it. And you might as well take advantage of the opportunity. “You’ll need flip-flops too,” she then said. “Something a hot lifeguard would wear…” She tapped the credit card again on her desk. “Looks like we go to Amazon. This sounds good…men’s surfing flip-flip sandals.”
What I saw were $75 flip-flops from a Hawaiian company. I had a pair coming my way before I could say ‘kowabunga’ lol.
“Now, last but not least a hat or two. I guess you need a baseball cap to go with your baseball look… but that Dodgers hat you have on is looking the worse for wear.”
That was my running around and getting sweaty Dodger hat. I have a couple nicer ones at home, and, besides, a well worn baseball cap is a sign of a real ball player.
“Where do you get baseball caps?”
I was afraid to tell her about hatland.com, but she smiled at me and it just came out.
When I looked at my phone, it was more than an hour after we’d started…and Sandy had spent over $1000 on ‘wardrobe’ for me – not counting all the free Nike stuff and the shoes I hadn’t even picked out yet.
“Need a watch?,” she asked.
“Not that I need for getting sweaty,” I said.
“Hmmm…you’re going to need something with a stopwatch to work with the boys, aren’t you?”
“I usually use my phone for a stopwatch.”
Sandy put her hand up. “That’s not going to look good. We need you to look a little like a real gym teacher.”
I was getting a little annoyed at being called a ‘gym teacher’ when I think of myself as a ‘baseball tutor’ – but, with Matteo, I reckon I was as much a gym teacher as a baseball tutor at what Dr. Peterson calls Bedrossian Prep.
“I gotta warn you, I don’t like fancyass watches,” I said. “My girlfriend tried to get me an Apple watch and I made her return it.” That kinda slipped out. Although maybe it was good that Sandy knew that I have a girlfriend. If it made any difference to her, she sure didn’t show it.
“Ok,” she said, “no watch. How about a waterproof stopwatch to put around your neck.”
“I reckon that’ll give me the gym teacher look,” I said, with something of a smile. Actually a stopwatch would come in handy. Me and Lucas were always worrying about losing our phones in the pool when we were timing each other.
“Sounds like an Amazon item,” Sandy said. Then: “here’s a blue one that’ll set off your eyes…done…and done.
“I got 2-day shipping on everything, so we should have it by Wednesday. The Nike stuff may take a day or two longer. I had it all sent here since it’ll be easier for sending stuff back if it doesn’t fit.” I think I was looking a little lost. “Don’t worry. This is normal. We got Dr. Peterson a whole wardrobe too, although he was a lot less fun to shop for than you. It’s a business expense. Comes right off Maya’s taxes…and it’s better she should spend it on you than give it away to the government. Did you know Maya’s a secret libertarian?”
I still hadn’t met Maya, and they didn’t discuss politics on the episodes of the show I’ve seen. So I didn’t know. I wasn’t even sure exactly what a libertarian was.
“Well,” Sandy then said, “this has been loads of fun. I don’t get to spend money on men these days since I don’t have a boyfriend” – I think she wanted me to know that – “and even if I did I couldn’t afford to drop this kind of money on him in one fell swoop. Point is you’ll look great in it. And we need you looking good for all the people out there in TVland.”
That was a weird expression. I reckon she picked it up working with TV people.
Finally I was free to go home, which was good. My feet were killing me from all the virtual shopping.