Winter is over. I mean, I just moved my snow shovel into the shed from its permanent place on the porch, so it has to be. Right?
I raked the crud out of my front lawn, straightened the stakes in my side yard that support my anemic rose bushes, swept the salt and sand off my sidewalk, filled the bird feeder. In the process I discovered the first green shoots of spring forcing their way upwards through the muck. So naturally my thoughts turned to summer and my annual struggles with wardrobe selection.
As I started my research on this post, I searched the internets for complementary images of men wearing shorts. I couldn’t really find any. Most of the pictures I found made the models wearing said shorts look about as sexy as partially-shaved albino gorillas. See above.
The great wit Fran Lebowitz, in a recent interview with Elle Magazine, lambasted the modern development of men wearing shorts in public. I was alerted to this article by my favorite podcart of all time, TBTL, of which I’ve posted about here and here. I have to say, after reading what she said, I kind of agree with her. The entire interview is worth a read, but I’ll just quote her here on the shorts issue:
“I have to say that one of the biggest changes in my lifetime, is the phenomenon of men wearing shorts. Men never wore shorts when I was young. There are few things I would rather see less, to tell you the truth. I’d just as soon see someone coming toward me with a hand grenade. This is one of the worst changes, by far. It’s disgusting. To have to sit next to grown men on the subway in the summer, and they’re wearing shorts? It’s repulsive. They look ridiculous, like children, and I can’t take them seriously. It’s like any other sort of revealing clothing, in that the people you’d most like to see them on aren’t wearing them. And if they are, it’s probably their job to wear them. My fashion advice, particularly to men wearing shorts: Ask yourself, ‘Could I make a living modeling these shorts?’ If the answer is no, then change your clothes. Put on a pair of pants.”
As a man who has for years unthinkingly worn shorts during the warmer months, I believe it’s time for a change. I’m going to try a little experiment this summer. I can’t guarantee success, but here goes: I’m only going to wear shorts when I’m: 1. exercising, 2. at the beach, or 3. home when no one is looking.
Living by these simple sartorial rules will make it so much easier to decide what to wear every day. I already have an extensive collection of pants, t-shirts, and low-cut Pumas. I won’t need to feel self-conscious about my pale legs. I’ll save on pedicures. I’ll never have to put away the “winter stuff” and dig out the “summer stuff.” Like Einstein and his daily white shirt and gray trousers, I won’t have to think about my wardrobe and can instead just concentrate on the fun things like playing the guitar, listening to early Sabbath, and writing inane blog posts. And since my legs do look like those of a partially-shaved albino gorilla, I’ll be saving everyone else a ton of grief.
Last point I’ll make: I’m supported in my decision by all the greats. I have a feeling that Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and David Bowie never wore shorts unless they were in a swimming pool. And maybe not even then.
I’ll go with greatness. And go easy on everyone else’s eyes.
One of my favorite podcasts, and the only one I listen to on a regular basis, is from Seattle. Too Beautiful Too Live, hosted by Luke Burbank. Kind of like fireflies in a jar. Thanks Luke, Jen, Sean, and Andrew for bringing me joy on a weekly basis, and for turning me onto cool bands like Discovery. I may never meet you in real life, but I’m proud to call you my friends. And in honor of my running re-boot, here is one of my favorite Luke moments. Remember: no mountain too tall, and good luck to all.
And when you’re done with your run, cool off with a refreshing, ice-cold drink: