Should Adults Wear Shorts?

Years ago, I read an interview with the costume designer for the TV show LOST in which the question was posed, “Why don’t any of the actors wear shorts?” After all, the characters are all on a tropical island and away from the normal trappings of civilization. Perfect shorts weather and conditions. No one is going to an office for work. Wouldn’t they be more comfortable if every day is Casual Friday?

The costume designer’s response: “The actors look stupid in shorts.”

I’d never thought about it that way before. I live in California. Most days out of the year, I can wear shorts comfortably. But should I? The new answer: not unless I want to look like a dork.

What got me thinking about this recently was this article from Forbes Magazine, Why Adults Should Ditch the Shorts, Wear Suits in which the writer equates wearing shorts with dressing like an 8-year-old. Here’s an excerpt:

The kid-who-stayed-40-years-too-long-on-the-playground look doesn’t inspire trust. If dressing up as a third grader is your idea of how to treat yourself, what’s your idea of how to treat me?

And what’s the rest of the world’s idea of how to treat you? When I was growing up, I was told, “The way you dress is the way you’re regarded.” See Dennis the Menace in the funny pages of your local newspaper to discover how you’re regarded.

Another maxim from my youth was, “Don’t dress for the job you have; dress for the job you’d like to get.” Checked the ad listings lately for WANTED: GRADE-SCHOOL-RECESS BULLY?

The author goes on to advocate suits over shorts, arguing that they hang better on the body of a middle-aged man than the t-shirt and shorts ensemble that tends to reveal far more than anyone wants to see. That’s a little extreme for me, but the point is valid.

Have you seen the The Descendants (great movie, but see it edited)? George Clooney plays a lawyer, but since he lives in Hawaii he and every other male he knows wears a sandals-and-shorts ensemble. Now, George Clooney is a very good-looking man, but not so much in this movie. His wardrobe is terrible. It hangs on him like a wet sack someone cut a hole out of. Honestly, I felt a lot better about myself after watching him traipse around the islands with his knees hanging out.

Usually, I’m not too hung up on things like wardrobe and the outer appearance. Long as you’re clean and don’t smell funny, I don’t really care how you choose to present yourself to the world. But, a year ago, I made a decision to not wear shorts anymore except for around the house and doing yard work and to wear sandals sparingly.* Funny how I feel more like an adult now.

What do you think? Are shorts on adult males verboten? Are women exempt? 

*Sorry, I know sandals are considered ridiculous apparel in many parts of the country, but it gets frakkin’ hot here and nothing heats you up more than covered feet.


I Have Been Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award?

Well, well, well. Look who got nominated for an award! Sort of. Near as I can tell, this is more of an honorary nomination for a prize that does not exist and has no winners. Yes, I’m as confused as you. Still, I’m pleased and humbled as punch that Sarah Baughman nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award. Do right by yourself and check out her blog on life, writing and parenting in unusual circumstances (overseas!).

Accepting the Versatile Blogger Award requires the following:

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Following Rule #2, her are seven (monumentally important) facts about myself.

1. I eat popcorn just about every night. Since scientists recently discovered that popcorn is the most healthy food on the ENTIRE PLANET, this makes me healthier than 95% of the people on Earth.

2. I used to be fluent in Spanish. What little I can still speak sounds pretty good though. I’ve been told (by a live, actual Mexican!) that I don’t have an American accent when I speak it.

3. I once told a girl her dress looked like a picnic table. This was a mistake.

4. I have mild scoliosis. As an old man, I suspect I’ll have severe arched back.

5. I have crashed a car and been dumped by a girl all in one night, in that order.

6. I have successfully turned my wife on to a few sci-fi shows like LOST and Battlestar Galactica, but I have yet to enjoy one movie with Sarah Jessica Parker in it (excepting Flight of the Navigator, of course).

7. I grew up with three brothers and no sisters. I now have three daughters. Some call that karma. I call it a nice change of pace.

I will now pass the Versatile Blogger Award on to seven people whose entertaining, well-written blogs convey versatility and talent! They are, in no particular order:

Kristen Lamb of Kristen Lamb’s Blog is my go-to person for all information about current literary practices and how to integrate social media into the author’s online experience. The best part is that her approach is filled with humor and analogies and all those writerly things I love so much.

Angie Mizzell has a heckuva story to share and she’s not just doing it in her in-progress memoir. A former television journalist, she’s now a happy mom exploring the challenges of a life repurposed. Warm and insightful, she will enrich your life. I guarantee it.

Wes Molebash at Wes Draws! is, like me, a cartoonist who has made his way into blogging. The difference is, Wes still keeps his focus on drawing along with his other interests. I always love seeing what Wes is up to and I love the updates on the graphic novel he’s working on.

Shelli Johnson is a self-published success story and an ace blogger who covers the tricky world of being a writer with insight and solid observation. Read her now, thank me later.

Check ’em all out. Enjoy!

Review: Once Upon a Time

Somebody call Bill Wilingham.

ONCE UPON A TIME is a show that bares some obvious similarities to the comic book series FABLES. That (very adult) title is about the (not protected by copyright) fantasy characters from fables and fairy tales cast out of their homelands and living with us in the modern day. OUAT has the same basic premise, but attacks it from a slightly different perspective.

In this version, the Evil Queen from SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS is not dead and instead exacts revenge by sending Snow and all her friends to Maine, USA. I’ve never been to Maine so I don’t really know how much of a punishment that is. Besides the main villain being an entirely different character, the other major departure from FABLES is that none of the Fable Folk remember who they are. Neat.

The show does a great job of flashing back and forth between the past and present, showing us just what life was like for the Fable Folk before they went to hell (excuse me, Maine). These flashbacks are handled with style and sincerity. I don’t think the tone is quite right–it’s a little too serious–but I enjoyed these peeks at the life before. From the promos it looks like the flashbacks will continue. No surprise since the series was created by two of the better writers from LOST.

The main plot surrounds the daughter of two of the Fable Folk and her role in setting things right again. Her introductory scene was clever and unexpected. She’s an easy gateway into the world of the Fable Folk.

There are some smart scenes (any scene with the modern day Evil Queen is quite great–she’s one of the few Fable Folk with her memories intact) and some big ideas at play here, but the writing could be a lot stronger. Characters speak mostly in cliches and the whole thing can come off a bit cheesy, but there’s still a lot to love. I especially like that there’s no content issues and I’d have no problem showing it to my 9-year-old daughter. In fact, I’ll do that tonight.

I’d rate the show a solid B-, but there’s obvious potential here for better things and I’m looking forward to see if the creators can make good on it. I’m in… for now.