Archive for category Fashion
Because I’m an Old Guy now, it seemed to me that I should have some Old Guywear. Nothing as frightening as Pat Boone shoes or mid-chest-level pants or anything. But you know, maybe something a dude who was trying to pass himself off as being moderately mature might wear.
You know, like a sport coat to throw with a nice pair of jeans when you go out with your other adult friends, who also aren’t dressed like they staggered out of a goodwill store bleary-eyed one morning.
(Come on, I’m a software guy by trade. We’re not exactly known for our fashion sense.)
I saw a link this morning to a NY Times Wellness blog post that talks about a study on the long-term benefits on aging of starting the kind of middle-aged running program I’ve
foolishly enthusiastically committed myself to. Well, I guess it’s not specific to running, but rather any kind of aerobic fitness in general which I suppose could include skipping down the street while muppet-flailing and chirping like a cuckoo for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
Whatever works for you, I’m not here to judge.
Anyway, the gist is that the study shows that getting fit in middle age, even if you’ve spent the better of your adult life rounder than pre-Subway Jared and solely dedicated to leaving a wide, deep imprint of your, um, dark side on your couch, can have significant longevity and quality-of-life benefits down the road. In other words, if you pry yourself off the couch now, you’re more likely to have more enjoyable time with said couch when the Golden Years show up and convince you the 4:30 PM dinner buffet is a good thing.
Indeed, that’s kind of the same thing I wrote I was hoping for in my running post. I have to admit, though, it’s nice when something you sort of just believed turns out to be supported by actual, you know, science, eh*?
Anyway, it got me to thinking (no, you don’t smell anything burning…just, shush you.) about the myriad other benefits of a middle-aged running/aerobic fitness program. So, here’s five:
- Me Time – Seriously, you love your spouse, significant other, kids, mom, boss, extended family, friends, cats, and fish. We all understand, really. So it’s okay that sometimes you just need a half an hour to yourself when no one’s asking you if “these pants make me fat”, or telling you to unclog the toilet, or complaining that your personal couch-crease is embarrassing when their parents come over. When you’re out there getting a solid aerobic workout by yourself? It’s just you, fresh air, and your incredibly labored breathing.
- New Clothes – You can’t exactly get out there in a pair of decade-old denim jeans and your favorite 1994 Metallica “Ride the Lightning” concert tee, now can you? Absolutely not, if for no other reason than because unless you don’t want to end up as flat as that toad you found when you were riding your bike in the fifth grade. You need something drivers can actually see. Black t-shirts don’t work well, fancy lightning graphics or not. So you’re going to have to get some new stuff. Preferably something lightweight and reflective. For instance, I just bought a shirt this week that’s apparently the color of nuclear fusion. It may be the first article of clothing I’ve purchased for myself that I didn’t absolutely have to have since before we had kids.
- Shoes like a Peacock’s Plummage – Admit it, you’ve always wanted to strut your stuff in a set of footwear that would make both Huggy Bear and Bootsy Collins quiver with technicolor envy. Problem is, you’re kind of, well, you know, the lamely-dressed middle-aged dude who’s idea of flashy is intentionally mismatching your tie and your belt. In other words, you and electric green shoes go together about as well as fish sauce and cottage cheese. But workout shoes, man? All the rules are off! So get that pair of neon purple kicks and show them that you’re not always the same boring color grey.
- MOAR BEER! – You’ve always enjoyed kicking back with a couple, er, um, perhaps more, Thursday evening beers, right? Unfortunately, no matter how much you might wish you could drink the beers and leave those several hundred extra calories in the glass, you can’t really have one without the other. But wait! Beer is apparently a sports drink these days. So, if you want to keep your Thursdays sudsy, just get a workout in first. Can you say, “guilt free?”
- Zombie Apocalypse prep - So, you’ve seen Zombieland? What? No?! Ok, first things first: you gotta fix that. Go watch Zombieland. Yes, now. You can get it from Netflix or from some on-demand service or probably stream it from Amazon. Whatever. Go watch it, we’ll wait. *whistles* *looks around* Done? Awesome. Good flick, eh? Too bad about [redacted for spoilers], though, ya know? Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, the Zombie Apocalypse. Obviously, Rule #1: Cardio. So, when the zombies come shambling after you, all a-groanin’ and a-moanin’ for your sweet, tasty grey matter, it’ll be good to know you can lead them on a merry chase and possibly even outrun them, and not end up zombie meat because you stopped to the puke in the bushes and found a hider.
*I feel bad the Creation Museum people will never have this feeling. But then, I suppose they have their self-righteousness and—inexplicably—several large piles of Kentucky tax dollars to console themselves.
It’s Memorial Day weekend, which used to be a time for hoping that it was not rainy and warm enough that the annual parades and grill-outs wouldn’t be ruined. But since it’s 90 degrees today, humid, and sunny in this neck of the woods, apparently we don’t have to worry about such things anymore. The good thing, though, in Old Man Winter doing a pretty shameful job this year of providing any actual, you know, winter, is that it ends up with the last weekend in May feeling like the dog days of August.
Sure, we all know we’ll pay for it later. Like, come actual August. For today, though, it made for positively awesome pool-going. Which is exactly what the family and I did since the Swim Club we belong to went to all the trouble to open up and everything.
Which brings me to today’s Saturday Debate. Against the Puddinette’s wishes, I broke out the Hawaiian shirt this morning for the trip to the pool.
And trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen me strutting the fineness that is Puddin in a loud, floral shirt.
What about you, though, where do you fall on the issue? Yep, here it is, today’s Saturday Debate…
Hawaiian Shirts: Yay or Nay?
As always, I’m happy to provide you with a matching poll as well:
Oh, and hey, do you have some awesome cabana-wear? We all need to see it, so send me a picture, stat!
I had the unfortunate occasion to attend a funeral late last week. Don’t roll your eyes; this isn’t going to be standard ‘carpe-diem’/work-that-Bucket-List-NOW/what-have-you-done-with-your -life kind of post that usually leaks out when one’s life intersects with a monumental event.
Did I just suggest that these posts are word leakage? I might need help.
Anyway, so there’s the thing: truth be told, I’m a not a huge fan of whole funereal culture/industry our society has built up over the years. That said, when someone you know loses someone close to them, I consider it my job to do whatever necessary to support and/or hold those people up.
Even if it means wearing a necktie.
Image via Wikipedia
Traditionally, I’ve always hated wearing ties. Maybe I was soured by that clip-on thing that pinched my tender throat for my First Communion when I was 8. Or perhaps it was three years of tying the ugliest thing I could find around my neck (making certain it largely clashed with my faux-denim “dress shirt”) as I toiled as stock boy/cart-getter/toddler-puke-cleaner/High-Lord-of-the-checkout-lanes at the big K*.
In other words, to me, the necktie has long been a symbol of The Man trying to keep me down. It’s a noose, conceived and made obligatory by a society run by hoity-toity, judgey old people, intent on keeping the vibrant youth in line and out of the profits. And what better way to control those exuberant whipper-snappers than by tying a leash around their necks that prevents proper breathing.
At least, that’s what I figured when I was younger. So after I did my time in the retail mines, I threw aside all my neckties and swore, defiance sparkling in my eyes, “Never Again!” Oh, no, I would not be one of the meek, weak-willed, easily-trodden masses, content to follow wherever I was led like a feverish lemur.
Wait…that’s lemmings, isn’t it? Whatever, no one asked you.
As with most things, though, age brings wisdom. And after donning…and retaining…a neck tie for the better part of an entire day last week, I’ve come to the conclusion that, regardless of what I might have told myself, I was never anti-necktie because it was actually an instrument of society’s grand Plan of Repression.
Hell, society can’t agree on whether we should consider “natural” produce the default expected type of food at a grocery store or a “specialty” good. “Grand Plans” are kind of stretch.
No, no, the real reason I’ve never liked neckties is because, well, I think they’re about uncomfortable as wearing one of those European-style Speedos backwards while sporting a fanny pack. But see, that’s a personal opinion. As it turns out, my neck is a bit more, um, stout than average. In other words, every shirt I’ve ever worn with the top button clasped feels like it’s trying to squeeze my throat shut like that soda straw your buddy’s holding kinked while you’re staring at a cute brunette across the room.
Trying to suck a mouthful of extra-thick chocolate malt through that is a first class ticket direct to Aneurysm-ville.
And that’s typically how I’ve felt wearing a necktie.
That is, until last week. I had to go back to work after the funeral, and taking off the tie didn’t seem like the right thing to do. So I left it on, but freed my captive, gasping trachea by loosening it and opening the collar.
Surprisingly, I got a bunch of compliments. It seems it look, um, nice on me. Turns out that neckties can actually be aesthetically pleasing to others.
As a software engineer—owner a wardrobe full of “programmer wear”—this was something of an epiphany. Who would have guessed that looking nice could be accomplished without a IT-Insider “There’s no place like 127.0.0.1″ tee (preferably black, natch)?
So, maybe I was wrong in assuming it was the necktie keeping me down all these years. Maybe, just maybe, sporting a sharp-looking tie to spruce up your torso isn’t such a bad thing. You know, assuming you can still breathe.
What do you think? Should I go out and buy a bunch of paisleys, or are stripes the note of the day.
Or, more importantly, does this mean I’m inching ever closer to becoming a hoity-toity, judgey old person myself?
Maybe it’s time to get one of those old-guy caps?
Tell me! And while you’re at it, quit dressing like a hippie and get off my lawn!
*I’d like to tell you this was back in the Mesozoic days before K-Mart began the massive, global descent into the utter suckage we all know and fear today. But I can’t. I mean, I didn’t feel dirty walking through the place like I do these days, but oh, how it sucked when I worked there. Just, not quite as much as it sucks now.