May 15, 2013

Wearing short shorts, a field report

Yesterday in a trendoid part of town I saw, for the first time in 20 years, a chick jogging down the street wearing just booty shorts and a bikini top. Not young young, maybe later half of her 20s or early 30s. And by now it's not totally uncommon to see dudes walking around or chillin' with no shirt on -- at least out here in the Mountain states. I assume it's still more stuffy back east.

That told me that the moment has arrived to take things one step beyond and start wearing short shorts. Keep the early momentum going away from the Victorian zeitgeist. Help usher in that Late Victorian / Late Fifties atmosphere where things started shaking up a bit.

I'd planned ahead awhile back and bought the closest thing I could find to short shorts, these swim trunks by H&M in navy (minus the suss-looking belt). As the pictures show, they just look like jogging shorts or tennis shorts from the '70s and '80s. Although made from synthetic materials, they're not really clingy and don't cover a huge area of your body, so they don't make you sweat any more than normal. Not like a polyester leisure suit or whatever.

In fact, aside from being comfortable to wear, they're much more comfortable to walk around in because your legs are free. I haven't worn shorts this short since like 1990, and holy shit, locomotion feels noticeably more natural. Not as though today's shorts feel like burlap sacks, but they do trap some heat and rub against your skin more than they need to (i.e. not at all).

Sitting down, squatting down, and standing up all feel more natural too -- especially when squatting down to look at or pick up things near the ground. That's when longer shorts get pulled more against your legs. None of that feeling with real shorts. There's no "riding up" feeling on the mid-to-upper part of your thigh because there's hardly any material down there to ride up in the first place.

Needless to say, I can't see going back to medium-length shorts anymore, and will get the couple pair that I have hemmed, as well as turn slacks and jeans that I don't wear much into shorter-length cut-offs. If it's good enough for Clark W. Griswold, it's good enough for me.



Ha, I know... I heard you asking it already -- what was everyone else's reaction? You must have looked like a traveller from another planet with your legs showing in public.

For the most part, no strong reaction, visible, audible, or tangible. I noticed chicks checking me out a little more than normal, but nothing out of this world. Then when I was walking through a crosswalk, a car full of teenage or college girls who had to stop for me, let out a fanfare of catcalls -- "Yeah!" "Uh-huh!" "All right, get it!" Typically, even if girls think you're cute, they don't make catcalls unless you're dressed in some striking way, like wearing a suit with a bold pattern. It shows the guy isn't so self-conscious and feels a basic level of comfort with himself, even somewhat daring. In the back of their minds, if they had your baby, it wouldn't grow up to be a total wuss or a wallflower.

I didn't notice any disgusted or creeped-out looks from girls, though there could have been some, just given how prudish the culture has become. Most of them merely noticed a dude walking around with unusually short shorts and it didn't faze them enough to have it show.

As for guys, there was a tiny bit more of a backlash, but only among losers. Some fat black teenager turned around and gave me a mild "WTF?" look on the train, and a wigger or juggalo guy who rode past me on his bike turned around to give me what I assume was a "WTF?" look (he had sunglasses on). Both were wearing dumpy trashbag shorts themselves, so I took their reaction as a good sign.

Oh, and there was a sexually frustrated chump in that car full of girls, and he tried to yell something at me but got cut off or shut down by one or more of them. I couldn't hear exactly, but the tone was of a generic insult. The girls said something like, "Pssh, please" or "Oh, hell no" to rebuff his attempted cut-down. You can't try to slam a guy who is too much higher up on the attractiveness scale because it comes off so obviously desperate and pathetic, and by calling attention to the contrast or gap between you two, makes your own ugliness / dorkiness more palpable.

Overall, though, again the reactions were nothing noticeable from guys. I was hoping for one or two reactions like shouting out, "You cannot be serious!" in a John McEnroe voice, but I guess it's good enough that I didn't hear anything like, "The '80s are dead, faggot!"

It's weird, I didn't even notice the queers looking over or stalking me around any more than usual. That's what I was the most afraid of -- a whole gaggle of them flocking over and ejaculating their lisping, buzzing voices all over the room. Really dodged a bullet there.

So if you're the easy-going, no self-consciousness type, I say give 'em a try. You'll be surprised by how little people will react to them, and by how comfortable they feel to walk around in. It seems like people's reaction was mostly on an informational rather than an emotional level -- noting an occurrence, and ever so slightly updating their expectations of the world to be in a more informal and carefree direction than they'd believed earlier.

14 comments:

  1. A couple months after the election, which I remember because I wrote a lot about the atmosphere here, suddenly everything seemed to change here in Florida. I do see guys without their shirts on, girls are wearing brightly colored make-up and in clothing neon, bright colors have been back. Kids and adults even walk around more outdoors.

    A couple months back, down the road from me, a kid made the national news for streaking at his school's homecoming game and had his buddies with the get-away car demonstrate the most perfect timing to whisk him away. Unfortunately, they didn't cover their license plate:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsjxDJK1-bI

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  2. BTW, those shorts were daring. Have not seen anybody around here doing that, yet.

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  3. OT, but about a big theme of yours, Britons contrasted with other Europeans, you have made me notice this so much whereas before I didn't notice it all. Largely, because I'm not well-traveled.
    My own mother has been trying to tell me for years the things you have pointed out: that Southerners and "Irish" people are different and that I won't be as happy as I think I will be around others.
    Now, I hear about some white person doing some wild and crazy thing, I will guess that he/she belongs to this group and every time I've bothered to look it up, this has turned out to be the case. Just today, that football player on Drudge who peed on that IRS sign.

    Anyway, it's caused a real crisis for me and I'm getting cold feet about moving to Ohio which we planned on doing before the year is out. They're much better than New Englanders (I'm around them a lot; not good-looking and meh personalities.) Southerners tend to look bad on average because so many are low class and fat, but the regular Southerner is very good-looking and has a great personality. Mid-Westerners are good-looking, too, but are a bit cold and staid.

    This may seem trite, but I kept watching Dwight Yoakam videos last night and just asking myself if I can really leave the South. Especially Turn it On, Turn it Up. Young Dwight Yoakam has the most beautiful face I have ever laid eyes on. Something about it just lights up every single one of my buttons. He moved to Bakersfield, but is originally from Kentucky; typical Southern ancestry. He's got an amazing personality, too.

    I don't know. My dad is very German and he was always telling me to calm down and complaining about that part of my personality. I get this from transplanted Yankees, too, who think I'm upset when I'm not, but have *never* heard this from a Southerner.

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  4. There's a good amount of hillbillies in Ohio, which are different from Southern rednecks, though still rambunctious and descended from pastoralist types rather than staid farmers.

    And not just in the hills themselves -- most everyone who could walk and chew gum at the same time moved out toward the larger cities or their suburbs, like my mom's family.

    In fact, the hillbilly area along the Ohio Valley is one of the most depressing places you could ever visit these days. Totally hollowed out, everyone is either over 40 and can't make it out, or under 18 and hasn't gotten the chance to break out yet. Joyless addictions like cigarettes, booze, TV, and lottery tickets make up most of their daily activities. I'm guessing about half or more are on Welfare / Social Security / Disability / Etc.

    If you have a morbid curiosity for living ruins, though, it's hard to beat. Steel mills with bright gigantic flames at night, normal dangerous playgrounds intact because federal inspectors never stooped to visit such backward areas, "Van Halen rules" and "I Love Susie" still left painted on the overpasses. And I swear to God, I think it was in Wheeling, West Virginia, there was a VHS rental store along the main drag downtown.

    What part of Ohio are you moving to anyway?

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  5. not sure what to make of this.

    LA Schools Throw Out Suspensions For 'Willful Defiance'

    http://www.npr.org/2013/05/15/184195877/l-a-schools-throw-out-suspensions-for-willful-defiance

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  6. Speaking of the 80s, high waist jeans are much better for sitting down and bending over.

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  7. My brother and his in-laws live in Geauga county, east of Cleveland.

    Thanks now for any and all input. You have no idea how much it is appreciated. I spent a week up there and loved it, but I was mainly staying with family, not getting out. I was struck by the beauty and cleanliness of the place: Chagrin Falls, Mantua, etc.

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  8. We checked out Kentucky, on the way to and from Ohio, but is it ever poor, not that we got that much of a look. Besides, no family.

    My mom and her sister will be moving to North Carolina or Tennessee within a year. My mom doesn't think they're as redneck as Kentucky and West Virginia; she will never leave the South and she thinks I'm making a mistake.

    If it wasn't for my kids, I'd be considering those states much more, but I want them to be with others that have more on the ball as well as be better able to marry fellow Catholics.

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  9. Never mind, it's Cuyahoga county. They have tiny counties up there. My sister-in-law sent brochures for two different counties (Geauga and Cuyahoga) that we'd be traipsing around in to help us familiarize ourselves. I misremembered where they actually lived.

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  10. My bro moved to Medina County last year (his wife is from that area).

    Kudos on the shorts! Ever since I was younger, I made it a point to never wear shorts below my knees. I just knew something wasn't right about it. I wish I had the body anymore to wear the ones that you linked (I'll get there again eventually).

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  11. FWG,
    How does he like it? Where is he from originally?
    I did read that Ohio has Irish ancestry, but this seems surprising somehow.

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  12. "-- "Yeah!" "Uh-huh!" "All right, get it!" Typically, even if girls think you're cute, they don't make catcalls unless you're dressed in some striking way, like wearing a suit with a bold pattern"

    Well, this may be overcomplicating it. I think its more that women like it when men dress or act sexy, so they want to encourage that.

    (A lot of evo psych. is bull)

    -Curtis

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  13. Per the topic, I saw some girls wearing short shorts a few days ago in the city, and one in the mall yesterday.

    I have seen several young men, over the past few weeks or so, running shirtless.

    -Curtis

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  14. Start playing aussie rules or rugby, it comes with the uniform! Every now and then when we travel to or host teams from newer cities, there'll be a guy or two who wears (contemporary) basketball shorts that go to the knees. Bad for functionality and blatantly indicative of a rookie.

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