Do you ever wonder what possesses someone to go out in public looking a certain way? I am disappointed almost every time I go to some public place where a lot of people are gathered because of the unfortunate decisions some folks make regarding their clothes or hairstyle or other things of that nature. Before I continue, allow me to say that this rant does not pertain to people like me who are just looks challenged. Some of us, no matter what we do, how we dress, how we fix our hair, can’t help certain things like simply being old fashioned ugly. I am chief among this group and readily admit and accept this fact. I do, however, feel like I give it my best shot and do as good as I possibly can with the severely limited outward physical gifts that God blessed me with. For instance, you’re not likely to find me pushing a buggy around Wal-Mart wearing a stained wife-beater t-shirt, pajama bottoms, and a pair of house shoes. I may not have much to work with but I can at least take the extra 90 seconds or so to put on an actual pair of pants, a regular t-shirt, and a pair of flip-flops before I make the trek into “town” to buy a bag of dog food, a case of Schlitz, and a can of potted meat. Good night, man! You couldn’t tear yourself away from Dog, the Bounty Hunter long enough to put on some clothes before going out? This is not something I’ve seen in public only once or twice, either. I see it on a regular basis. Boggles the mind, I tell ya’.
While I’m at it, you ladies who like to wear your shirts a little short so as to expose your midriff? More power to you, I suppose. If you are tipping the scales at a reasonable weight and want to show the world your navel, then make it hap’n cap’n. Whatever floats your boat. But if your exposed midriff keeps us from being able to see your knees then we neither need nor want to see said midriff. There are few things more disturbing than catching a glimpse of that EXPOSED AND UNCOVERED, big ol’ hang-me-down belly as it bounces by me in the food court while I’m trying to finish my allegedly Chinese bourbon chicken and pile of yellow rice soaked in soy sauce. By the way, does anyone else feel like they’re traversing the game section on the midway at the state fair every time they walk through the food court? “Hey, man! Come here! A winner every time! Win your lady an inflatable Atlanta Braves tomahawk by shooting out this little red star with a BB machine gun! Or maybe she’d like this Quiet Riot mirror! Oh, and while you’re at it would you like to try a sample of this mystery meat/chicken/beef off of this toothpick I’ve probably been picking my teeth with?” You sample offerers are coming in a little hot. But I digress. Anyway, I’m not talking about those of us who are heavy but have enough sense to dress appropriately. I’m talking about the blissfully unaware 700 pounder who thinks she’s got the body of Shakira. Those hips may not lie but neither does that gut. Buy a bigger shirt.
All I’m asking is for folks to take a look in the mirror and then make an honest, the key word here is honest, assessment based on what you see. If it takes you 20 minutes to convince yourself that no one will notice that you combed your hair from just above your right ear all the way over the top of your head to just above your left ear, then we probably will. We can actually see your bald head through those nine strands of hair. This is not an indictment on comb-overs, either. I’ve seen some good ones where you’d never know it was a comb-over unless a stiff breeze hit the wearer’s head from one side, got underneath their hair, and caused it to stand 18 inches straight up.
Heck, I fell vicitm to “I’m ignoring the mirror syndrome” myself once when I was a younger man. I actually found myself at the old Atlanta Highway Wal-Mart, of course it would be Wal-Mart, wearing a yellow and gray striped tank top with a pair of stone-washed, black cutoff jorts. It’s not that I was wearing the jorts. They were actually somewhat in style in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s that I had cut them off too short and the pockets were sticking out waaayyyyyy below the bottom of the legs of the jorts. Mortified, I bought a pair of fake, Wal-Mart brand Sun Britches and changed in my car in the parking lot. Ever have that dream where you’re in a public place with no pants on? You know that embarrased, self-conscious feeling you have in the dream and then the relief you feel when you wake up? There was no waking up from my horrible jortmare. A simple, honest self-assessment in the mirror could have saved me from having to go through that traumatic experience. I’m certain I’d have made it onto The People of Wal-Mart website had websites and camera phones existed at the time.
Thankfully, they didn’t and I’m probably a more conscientious, even paranoid, dresser because of it. I’m not saying I always make good decisions on the clothes I wear or that I ever look particularly good at all. I am saying that I at least give it an honest try. You can be certain that you will never see me in Wal-Mart wearing pajamas and house shoes, at the beach wearing a Speedo, or anywhere wearing black, stone-washed jort-jorts. You have my word.