I am really enjoying retirement. I am so comfortable, I can wear my “Sunday Go To Meetin'” garden grubs to the grocery store and not give a flying mahookey who sees me running around in dirty rags. In fact, just yesterday I had to make a quick grocery run after I got done crawling around in the garden. While I was grabbing a few necessities, I had something of a fashion flashback that happened back in the old days when I was still working.
So there I was, in a Hard Day’s Night, working like a dog, with no barking, walking around the factory after walking between the Work Buildings and having enjoyed the cool air of West Michigan spring while in my denim jacket, when suddenly I stopped to talk to some fellow associates; but not all that suddenly because I left no skid marks on the concrete floor or nothing, and long before I wrote this run-on sentence (because I was at work, not writing like I am now) a friend walked up to me with a large grin on his face and said, “Hey Ken, don’t you know that denim jackets have been out of style for 20 years?”
Being the good natured fellow I am, I smiled while shaking his hand and quickly replied, “I really don’t give a ship (or something like that…)!!” Then one of the other associates said, “You’re one of the good guys, you can wear whatever you want and it would be just fine.” Well being thought of as a “good guy” was nice to hear, but being the silly fellow I am, I smiled again and said, “How about I put on a pink tutu and some OSHA approved safety ballet slippers?? Would that be OK??” One of the associates eyebrows kinda came together as he looked at the ground; but the one who called me “one of the good guys” chuckled and said, “Yeah sure!!”
Again at work, I had yet another instance of fashion consciousness. A friend of mine came up to me and said, “Nice shirt!!” Took a little pointing on his part for me to notice that he and I were wearing shirts with nearly identical fabric. “Oh!!” I said, finally getting the point. “Yeah, I’m guessing mine is a thrift store special.” He gave me a puzzled look. I thought about that much later, wondering if I insulted him. But we are good friends so I’m pretty sure he didn’t take it too seriously. Besides, he found it amusing when I said, “Yeah my wife buys all my shirts at the thrift stores. This one was probably 99 cents. Well OK it’s kinda nice, maybe she paid $2 for this one.”
As you may have gathered by now, I’m not exactly in tune with GQ or whatever that hoidy toidy men’s magazine is called. I just don’t give a hoot about fashion. Some proof of that is:
1) I just had to google “GQ” to make sure it still was what I thought it was; and
R) I still like having very long hair, even though it’s only growing well on the sides of my head (I plan to till the top under and try to grow a new crop); so that’s like 40 years out of style, and finally
&) I rarely paid attention to what the work shirt looked like in the morning. My fashion combo consisted of a pair of blue jeans and a “business casual” shirt.
And yes, Virginia (or Vern), I stuffed my shirt pocket with my smell phone, my eye glasses case, a pen, and maybe a small screwdriver. Oh and not to forget that’s where my badge hung.
People see me from miles away and say, “NERD ALERT!! OLD HIPPIE NERD ALERT!!!”
Guilty as charged.
I did, however, try to make sure all the buttons were buttoned, my fly was zipped up, and my “gig line” was straight. For those who were never in the military, a “gig line” is correct when the seam of your shirt, your belt buckle, and your fly are all in a straight line from top to bottom. If you didn’t have that just so in basic training, you got gigged. Nobody likes to get gigged. Funny how old habits stick with you.
So the oldest habit of mine that sticks with me is I just don’t care about fashion. Fortunately my Beautiful Girlfriend keeps my garments acceptably coordinated when we have to play dress up for a wedding or whatever. Fun to see the new fashion stuff sometimes though, kind of like going to the carnival!!
I’m just not hip, folks. I’m an old hippie who doesn’t care about hip. Not even sure what the current expression for “hip” might be!! And I don’t give a flying mahookey!! So there!!
As the folks from the Tower of Power said so eloquently all those years ago (1973 in the video that follows), “what is hip? Tell me, tell me if you think you know.” Then later in the song is my favorite line: “What’s hip today might become passe.”
So I’m just not in style and that’s very OK with me. My Beautiful Girlfriend, on the other hand, is “Just My Style.”
So kids, two videos today. Tower of Power with “What Is Hip?” is first but isn’t displayed like other videos I’ve linked to in the past. That’s because I usually embed them here, but this time Youtube said “embedding disabled by request.” So just click the link to get the Tower of Power. Nice performance by them on Soul Train.
The second one is in honor of my Beautiful Girlfriend, who will always be “Just My Style” like this song from Gary Lewis and the Playboys.
Peace!! (Now that’s ALWAYS in style!!)
Click below for “Just My Style.”