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Clothing Required

Jul
23
2008

Let me start off by saying I am not a prude.

Okay, maybe I am by television standards. But as attitudes go here in the Shenandoah Valley, I’m pretty laid back.

I understand the lure of practices like nude sunbathing, though I would never indulge myself. Not out of embarrassment, you understand, but more as a public service. And I’m in complete agreement that when you are at home you can dress as scantily as you like, an opinion I have to convince myself of everyday considering the chosen domestic attire of the men parading around my house. (In case you are picturing a sort of orgy of Chippendales dancers frolicking around my settee, know that two of them I spawned myself and have been married to the other for almost 21 years.)

Believe me, I know that this time of year most of the country is sweltering in temperatures over the 90-degree mark, making the outside very uncomfortable. But let’s face it, folks: just about everywhere is air conditioned these days. We’re going from an air conditioned car to an air conditioned building and only briefly feel that heat.

So, I have a request. More of a demand really: For the love of God, people – cover up.

I’d like to say that this comes from a deep seeded concern for the epidural health of each and every one of you and for my concern that an epidemic of basal cell carcinoma will put further strain on an already shaky health care system. It would be nice if a simple tube of sunscreen would be all that is required to placate me.

No, I’m afraid that in order to make it safe for me and those like me to venture into Target any time in the coming weeks there will have to be some major wardrobe adjustments made.

Because frankly, people, most of you are not in as good condition as you think you are.

Men, your waist is above your hip bone, not just above your crotch. For those of you who haven’t seen your hip bones since Sonny and Cher were together, stop wearing the same pant waist size you were wearing back then. In fact, in some areas this practice is downright illegal.

And, having worked several jobs with the general public, I know of the male illusion that women are dying to see your bare chest.

Honestly, guys – not so much. I don’t care how buff you perceive yourself to be, we just don’t need to experience your hairy paunchy self while trying to count your cashed check out to you. It’s not like there is a T-shirt shortage.

And women, when there is an official name for your fashion faux pas, the only excuse for still allowing that muffin top to show is some sort of psychological condition; so either buy your true size or put a tunic over that roll of extra you-ness. Believe me, being shaped like a gnome, I accept there are certain fashion choices that are closed to me. The low rise jean will never be my friend.

We won’t be able to make it to the beach this year, but I just know there are going to be some of you donning Speedos and bikinis who should be thinking in terms of swimming trunks and swim dresses.

To be honest, the appearance factor is only the tip of the iceberg. What really gets me is all that strange skin being so accessible in so many public places.

I know, I know. You took a shower this morning and are fresh as a daisy. But you’ve also been running around in 90-degree heat all day and, frankly, you’re a little clammy. And not everyone is as conscientious as you, so they’re clammy and starting to turn – and I just know you all are getting on that crowded elevator with me.

This may be only a personal peeve. I can’t even watch people hug each other after one of them has, say, completed a marathon, let alone embrace my own kid when he’s just come in from running my dogs around the neighborhood to give them a good workout. Of course, knowing this, the Heirs make a point of chasing me around the house yelling, “Mommy! Give your baby boy a BIG HUG!”

My personal phobias notwithstanding, I find it rather egotistical when someone thinks their body is so attractive they need to be in everyone’s face with it. I feel this way not only because of the arrogance involved, but also because 95 percent of the time they’re wrong.

And the other five percent just isn’t worth it.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 10:37 AM | Permalink

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