Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanks for Making Me Look Good

The other day I was shopping at the Commissary, which is the military version of a grocery store.  I needed some TV dinners for lunch (although since I eat them at work I guess I should refer to them as cubicle dinners) and I saw an elderly gentleman, obviously an old retiree, who somehow made it out of the house without his wife stopping him; or possibly he has no significant other to provide dressing assistance, which was sorely needed.  While I take a bit of pride in my lack of fashion awareness, I don't feel it's to the level of incompetence that this fellow exhibited, which is saying a lot if you've ever seen me out in public.

This gentleman was decked out in gray shorts, ending at the knees, which was also the terminus for his black socks.  I'm not sure where I got the impression that black socks are not to be worn with shorts, or that they shouldn't be pulled up to the top of the calves, unless they are part of a sports uniform, but apparently this guy missed the memo.  The most memoriable piece of his ensemble however was the blue Air Force Physical Training (PT) jacket he was wearing.  Although I can understand the temptation to keep using military gear that hasn't seen the end of it's useful life after retirement, the PT jacket isn't exactly a well-designed piece of apparel to start with, and judging by this guy's age he was retired for at least a decade prior to the PT jacket's debut, which means he actually bought it specifically to wear with his civilian clothes.

All of this made me realize that there comes a point in your life where a person loses all sense of self-respect, or else any ability to make reasonable determinations on what will look absolutely ridiculous in public simply passes away with age, like one's sense of taste and smell.  In fact, perhaps sense of taste is like the other senses, and plaid pants are like using copious amounts of salt and pepper.  Maybe one's fashion sense simply develops cataracts with age.  Perhaps I too will find myself someday wearing gaudy clothing and not even realize it.  I have written a living will that instructs Heather to pull the plug if I ever start wearing Gold chains, pinky rings, a comb-over, or any form of polyester dress clothing.  I guess I'd better add knee-high socks and military uniform items mixed with civilian clothing to the list.