Editorial: A bright orange moment of indecision in Kingman
One of my favorite cartoons involves an older couple standing inside their home by the front door. It's evident they are preparing to go somewhere, and the man is wearing plaid shorts, shoes and black socks, and a T-shirt that doesn't come close to covering his beer belly. The woman is pointing a gun at him.
The caption, with the woman talking, goes something like this: "Remember that time 30 years ago when you told me to shoot you if you ever went out in public like that?"
It turns out I am that guy, only without the threat of gunplay.
In an earlier time I worked where tradition called for button-down shirts and ties from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
I hate ties. I hate tight stuff around my neck.
I moved on to a job more accommodating to my sense of fashion, a job that allowed me to dress as if I was about to play golf rather than go to work. I liked that.
And even though the Miner's rules regarding apparel are a bit more strict (I have to dress like I'm going to play golf at a very nice course), I haven't worn a tie since 1989.
Lately, though, I've been having second thoughts about my casual indifference on my days off. It started shortly after I bought two pairs of basketball shorts. The style these days means the shorts are loose but not quite baggy and about knee-length.
They are certainly a lot more casual than my normal cargo short pants.
My moment of indecision came right before I walked out the door, about the time I looked at myself in the mirror. Along with the faded Atlanta Braves T-shirt (more and more appropriately faded, like the team, as the years go by), I had on a pair of bright orange basketball shorts and worn out sneakers.
(When you buy cheap sneakers, they look worn out almost immediately.)
I looked at my reflection and almost put on the cargo shorts. Laziness, I think, rather than a sense of decorum kept me in the same clothes.
Then I got to the store and the first two guys I saw (both possibly even older than me) were wearing basketball shorts.
It was almost like those junior high years, without the acne, when it was so important to dress like everyone else.
GQ won't be calling, but that's OK. I'm in tune with Kingman's sense of fashion for at least some members of the over-60 set, and that's good enough for me.
As long as I don't look in the mirror.