My Battle Against Conformity

I was recently asked to leave a local establishment because of a particular item I was wearing. The proprietor said that the article in question was offensive to the other patrons who were trying to eat their breakfast. No, I was not wearing a firearm in a restaurant. Why would you think that? It was in my own kitchen, and I was wearing cut-off jean shorts. My wife told me that I was free to wear whatever I wanted in the privacy of our bedroom, or in the garage, but that I was forbidden to wear them in any public place.

An Obvious Personal Dislike

In reply, I attempted to waltz with her around the kitchen while also twerking. It’s harder than it sounds and also looks a bit suggestive…If you think a chihuahua humping your leg is suggestive. She responded by brandishing a butcher’s knife, in fact she stated “I’m brandishing a butcher’s knife.” It was actually a cleaver, rather than a butcher’s knife, and apparently brandishing means swinging it at my throat.

You may be thinking that the moral of this story is: never twerk-waltz with your wife while she is brandishing a knife in the kitchen; but it’s not. It is about our Constitutional right as Americans to wear whatever we damn-well please. This falls somewhere between the freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. It is not an actual amendment, but it is implied. The Framers wore capris, silk stockings, and powdered wigs. They may not have known about sweater vests and tube tops, but I think they would have approved.

As in the case with my wife, you don’t have to agree with what I wear, but don’t infringe on my right to wear it. Long ago our enterprising, thrifty ancestors discovered that you could double the life of a clothing article by repurposing it. If a pair of pants wore through at the knees, they simply cut them off to make short pants.They can even be worn over long underwear in a pinch in cold weather. Larry the Cable Guy continues a tradition to this day that was started by his great, great something-or-other, Larribald the Telegraph Guy. He also cut the sleeves off his shirts because they would become entangled in his signaling device.

Pressure to conform

These days pressure from friends, the media and the fashion industry puts unreasonable expectations on consumers. Models with unattainable bodies are put on display in commercials, magazines and on billboards across the country. The stresses placed on a middle-aged man are far greater than on any teenaged female. Our wives, daughters, mothers and friends are constantly comparing us to men like Robert Downey Jr., Captain Jack Sparrow, and the sparkly guy from Twilight.

My wife has gotten into the habit of saying “Did you skip leg day again?” anytime I wear shorts.
I’m sure that I would be offended if I knew what she was talking about. I know about “wing Thursday”, but “leg day”? She will just chuckle and say something like, “You should at least wear heels, they would accentuate your behind.” That is why I feel so much pressure; women get all steamy watching Pirates of the Caribbean and start tearing down the men in their lives. They give gifts like skinny jeans and pastel colored t-shirts with v-necks instead of pocket knives and fishing poles.

My battle against conformity and self-loathing wears the uniform of flip-flops (which I stubbornly refer to as thongs), cut-off jean shorts, and any t-shirt with a picture or funny saying on it. A suit jacket can be paired with this ensemble to make it appropriate for any occasion, or if they won’t let you in, it wasn’t an occasion you wanted to attend anyway.

A double standard

Denim shorts and cut-off jeans always seem to be in style for women. In fact, the shorter they are the more…shall we say well-regarded…they are. “Daisy Dukes” is a term coined for jeans cut off so short that the pockets are useless. It comes from a better time when Bo and Luke still slid across the hood of the General Lee, and men were permitted to wear cut-offs. Women and girls, presently, continue to sport the “denim hip huggers”, but I am banned from my own kitchen and shunned by friends in public.

I will continue to fight for the rights of thrifty, stylish men everywhere. I plan to twerk-waltz my oppressors into acceptance while wearing my Daisy Dukes and a really snazzy sweater vest. Stand with me and drop your pants to the world! (Then cut them off above the knee and put them back on for goodness sake; it looks like you missed leg day!)

Idaho doesn’t suck and neither do cut-off jeans.

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