But It's Comfortable
“You really need to get rid of that shirt,” she said with that look that made me wonder if I had stepped in dog poo and was wearing it. I was wearing an old shirt with some witty coffee saying blasted across the front. There was a hole over one of my nipples and my underarms had sweated out the fabric that used to cover them once upon a time. The neckline and hem were frayed with surrendered strands dangling down. There were paint stains and grease stains covering most of it. I own a pair of jeans in about the same shape with most of the crotch missing.
“But it’s comfortable,” I pouted. “I’m just going to the back porch. Who is going to see me?”
“We will. Here let me get you another shirt.” And before I can escape to the cigar and coffee waiting for me on the back porch, I am completely redressed.
Later that evening with dinner done and dishes washed and put away, we gather in the television room to catch up on So You Think You Can Dance. I’m still in my stiff new jeans and the button down shirt that was picked out for me. The girls walk in wearing their “comfy” lounging clothes. I just stare. The double standard is all too obvious with their pajama pants lacking elastic around the waist and the faded spots and stains covering the material. The shirts are so worn they’re almost see-through. Grant it, I’m not really complaining about that part, but hey, they made me cover my nipple up!
“How is this any different than what I was wearing earlier?”
Again, I get that look like I’m a visiting alien. “These are our laying around the house clothes.” They also have their cleaning the house clothes, which have bleach stains across certain parts of the body that came too close to counters or floors. I had claimed the other clothes were my working on the car or out in the yard clothes, but since I never do either my excuse found no sympathy.
Truth be told, I prefer dressing up. In my office working on a manuscript I’ll be in dress slacks, button down shirt and dark socks. However, I forsake shoes until I go out, which I try to avoid doing at all costs. I remain dressed like this until it’s time for bed and you don’t need to know what I change into then.
Of course, in the morning before donning my writing attire is a totally different scenario. Then I’m barely awake and playing taxi. The main goal is to get everyone to work and get back home before I finish that first cup of coffee. As I am awakened for the day, I slip on whatever pants I slipped out of the night before, which is usually my slacks and then grab a T-shirt and flip flops. I would go barefoot but I’ve already sliced a foot open on pebbles and branches left as booby traps by angry squirrels. My fingers are my comb and soon I’m behind the wheel beginning the drop off portion of my morning. As soon as it’s done, I’m back on my porch in comfy clothes enjoying coffee and a cigar. Only the squirrels see what I look like and I don’t care about the opinions of a bunch of freeloaders.
When we were younger we used to ridicule old men in dark socks and sneakers. Now, we’ve become those old men and realize those are the quickest socks to find with caffeine-deprived eyesight. At a certain age comfort trumps appearance and we no longer care. There is nothing wrong with wearing those comfortable clothes that have become favorites over the years. However, do us all a favor and wear them at home. This attire may be fine for those quick trips where I’m not getting out of the car or for my back porch with an empty house. However, I wouldn’t be caught dead in public looking like that and neither should you.
Appearance matters, even on those quick I-just-need-milk trips. You just never know who you will run into while out and next thing you know there’s a picture of your mushroom top under a half shirt on Facebook and you didn’t even know the picture was taken. This doesn’t mean you have to get all gussied up, but at least make yourself look somewhat presentable. There are enough visual nightmares walking around Wal-Mart aisles proclaiming, “But it’s comfortable.” It may be comfortable to wear, but I promise you, it’s not comfortable to look at.
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