“Grandpa, why do you always tuck in your shirt?”
I was asked this question on July 4th by Max. The answer? The answer is almost one of those answers I absolutely hate to hear “That’s how I’ve always done it.” When I question people on why a certain thing is done a certain way, I sometimes get that answer: “That’s the way we’ve (I’ve, They’ve) always done it. I don’t really care for that response as it seems like an easy way to not deal with the situation at all or even consider any options. Perhaps, for example, a person makes a bed a certain way and has done so since they started making the bed. Someone sees how they do it and suggests that they could get the same or better result and save one or two steps if they did it another way. The bed making person does not even want to consider changing what they’ve known and they respond with “that’s the way I’ve always done it.”
I heard a story about someone making a holiday ham, or wanting to make it like Grandma. Grandma had always cut the ends off of the ham for some reason and the ham was a delicious memory. They also would cut the ends off of the ham in their own preparation. When someone asked Grandma about her special prep job, it turned out that the only reason she cut the ends off of the ham was so she could fit it into her too small roasting pan. Sometimes doing things because that was the way it was always done is just stupid.
Back to the shirt tucking… when I was in high school, in industrial arts class, we learned that un-tucked shirts and unbuttoned long sleeves could easily become entangled in rotating machinery. One of my friends was wearing sloppy gloves while operating a drill press and was caught. His hand and fingers rotated with the bit and the leather fabric almost cut off a finger or two. I knew another man who died when his loose clothing was caught in a PTO shaft and he was found spinning on that thing – dead. Most of the time, especially in the winter, I wear button down long sleeve shirts. I also have the impression that it looks a little neater than un-tucked. I went the extra moment to try to make myself look slightly more presentable, kind of like I actually do give a shit about how I look. Polo’s and t-shirts, I sometimes tuck those too. Looking casual – un-tucked – is alright once in a while for me but when I’m tucked, I’m ready for action, mister. I wear a tool belt at work and need those tools A.S.A.P! I can’t be fumbling around moving shirt tails out of the way when I need tools! Tucking also gives me the opportunity to display my belt with super large trucker buckle (no, I don’t really have that) and better pocket access for change, wallet and keys. Pesky critters are prevented from entering my private areas and I don’t look like a complete stoner, man.
As I thought about this I decided to check the web to see if there were other opinions out there. There are a lot of them. Many opinions on tucking or not tucking based on style, type of shirt, size and shape of the person and so on. Then, I came across something so stupid looking (of course, this is my opinion only) that I almost can’t believe it: The “Half Tuck.” Yeah? This is ridiculous. The fashion dude who came up with this is the same person who just comes up with stupid shit just to see how many morons out there will copy it. Kind of like a catch phrase from your 70’s and 80’s sitcoms. Happy Days had “Sit on it.” As if this was actually said a lot in the 50’s. Or perhaps, “Yada, yada, yada from Seinfeld. There are many more. I figure it is really a marketing ploy to see how many people can be influenced. The more people would use a catch phrase on their own, the more notoriety for the source. That’s my unscientific opinion.
Beyond the tuck, there are other fashion things that maybe are not the best idea. Perhaps wearing your pants half way down your ass is a cool statement. Perhaps wearing your pants half way down your ass while wearing sandals or flip-flops (when I was a kid, we called flip-flops “whack-whacks” because that was the sound you heard them make when wearing them) is another cool statement. Wearing your pants half way down your ass while wearing sandals or flip-flops WHILE scaling a snow-covered mountain… kind of nuts. Those people have special skills, indeed (used “indeed” just for Sarah). Not only do you have to navigate up and down the mountain while your feet are freezing while getting sunburned at the same time, you also have to do it in a way that your stupid pants don’t just fall down.