The Empress’s New Clothes

c11a534828a6aa32af46551a8b61fe58There are some times when I honestly wonder if people just don’t look in the mirror before leaving their houses in the morning. Yes, I get that it’s very warm today in upstate New York, but that really isn’t an excuse to wear the smallest thing in your closet. Especially when you’re going to work, or if you’re going to be around other human beings who have eyes. A bikini top is not a shirt, and shorts that show your cheeks are not shorts. They are an excuse for underwear.

And no, I’m not just talking about the people who are out of shape. That’s a whole other story. I’m talking about the fit people too, the ones who have actual defined musculature, who have stomachs that don’t overlap their shorts. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets into an accident because a woman was walking down the street without a bra on. It is a distraction, and definitely hard to focus when people are half dressed out in public.

I know what they would tell me, too. If I got it, why not flaunt it? Which is fine and well in theory, but as a practical matter it doesn’t hold up. It’s like those guys who wear the pants hanging down around their ankles. Would you want to do business with someone like that, whose underpants you can see without trying? The same is true of someone showing a lot of skin. And yeah, today I saw an awful lot of skin.

Maybe I’m just a prude. I have been accused of that in the past. It’s their own business what they do with their bodies, others told me. I’m sure it’s a lot more comfortable than what you’re wearing, they would comment while judging my jeans and slightly over-sized button down shirt. Perhaps they’re right. I hardly ever wear shorts no matter how hot the day is. I figure I shouldn’t subject people to the sight of my legs. Maybe I just have image problems.

Whatever the case I know from historical evidence that this was just the first of many days I will be subjected to all kinds of body parts in public. Most times I discreetly look away but sometimes it is so overwhelming that I can’t help but stare. It’s like when you see a car wreck by the side of the road and you slow down without even realizing it. That’s exactly what it’s like.

Time and place, people. The beach is for swimsuits. Not Target on a weekday morning.

Sam

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