Thursday, October 21, 2010

That Outfit Is Criminal

     You've all seen them. They're on television, movie screens, magazine covers, at schools, in stores, and walking down the street. Yes, I'm talking about those unfortunate individuals who have starved themselves to the point where their pants simply won't stay on their waist. I don't know what causes this phenomenon, but I have a few guesses. Maybe their nutritional education is so low that they don't know how to eat in order to maintain a healthy weight. Maybe their funds are so limited that they can't actually buy clothes, thus leaving them no choice but to accept hand-me-downs from their morbidly obese relatives. Maybe they are too poor to actually afford food and are slowly and painfully dwindling away physically. Maybe they had large amounts of money once, so they spent it all on gastric bypass surgery, but then had no money left to buy a new wardrobe once they'd reached their goal weight. Maybe they are confused by the American fashion sizing system and erroneously believe that the number listed on the tag inside a pair of pants is supposed to be representative of their beverage choice, thereby resulting in a multitude of skinny young males dressed in size 40 jeans.
     Well, I had occasion to discuss this with a young man today. As he entered my office, he was dressed in oversize, long, denim shorts, plaid boxers (I know his underwear choice because I could see most of them protruding from the "waistband" of his shorts), house slippers, and an undershirt (a "wife-beater" which may have been white when first purchased). I commented to another employee that it breaks my heart to see so many young individuals who can't afford clothing that actually fits. The client overheard my statement, pulled up his shorts (without tightening the accompanying belt), then looked at me and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't know they was showing". Well, I wasn't in the best of moods, so his response didn't sit well with me.
     Naturally, I was obliged to respond to his denial of knowledge about his attire. {Warning: this is where the ridiculous run-on sentences begin} I tried to clarify that it was not possible that he did not know his underwear were showing or that his pants were sagging below his rear end or that his belt wasn't tight enough to keep his pants where they were meant to be worn. I emphasized that his wardrobe choice and personal appearance were conscious decisions and that he intentionally put on pants that were too big with the desire that his underwear could and would be seen by everyone who crossed his path. I then informed him that his "shirt" wasn't a shirt, but was actually an undershirt, by definition, meant to be worn under a shirt. I finished by communicating to him that not only did he look absurd, but that he was breaking the law. Oh yes, my city actually got it right. It is illegal in this city to wear pants below the waist, revealing your underwear. Of course, if you're feeling especially sexy, feel free. Okay, not free...the fine ranges from $100 to $250.

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