green and purple

In which our hero ponders what it means to be a man

It's going to be raining over the next several days. I've always enjoyed rain and seldom find it inconvenient.

On the walk from the train to my car last night a fella decided to just start chatting to me, and his topic was the weather. "This has been a very unusual winter." he said.

I never know how to take something like that. Being generally distrustful of people, and standoffish, I always wonder what somebody's selling when they start talking to me out of the blue.

The "weather" man went on about average temperatures and I related that, compared to Pennsylvania winters, I found the weather here quite satisfactory. We talked about how the plants were blooming early and he mentioned that, "as a homeowner" he was trying his hand at gardening.

Mid-way through the conversation the spontaneous chatterer offered his name and his hand, which I reciprocated. when our paths diverged toward our separate cars he expressed his hope that he would see me again. You'd better bring flowers if you expect to get to second base, you bristly-bearded ex-hippy.

I need new clothes. Unlike scienter, who has initiated a successful campaign to lose a little weight, I have been a torpid toad for the past several months and am gaining pounds. Yes, I was, and am, sluggish and now I look like one.

I don't just need clothes, I need a fashion consultant, and so does every single person in the Sunvalley Mall. I am so very tired of oversize clothing: t-shirts that go down to a person's knee's, pants that require the wearer to constantly be hoisting or risk tripping and falling flat on his face, boxer shorts (which do seem to fit perfectly every time) askew.

I did see one slack-jawed, dull-eyed, young gentleman trying to be fashionable while shopping for accessories for his cell phone. His hat was tan. His jacket was tan. His pants were tan. His work boots, as work boots often are, tan. Because of the fabrics of which his clothes were made, he looked like a giant chamois. And what really made it all so ridiculous was the extreme likelihood that Chamois Cloth Boy probably does work in a car wash.

When I look at American men in their ball caps and their short pants and sneakers, worn even in winter, and the oversize clothing, I often think that the reason they do this is because there is no longer, with a few exceptions, a transition from boyhood to manhood in our culture; no demarcation, no ceremony, no announcement. No one has told them that they have become men and to "put aside childish things." I propose a Bill be put forward stating the requirement for a civil ceremony, perhaps at the age of 21, to be performed. Maybe the ancient custom of some Native Americans of the plains could be included, to wit: piercing the skin of the chest with pegs and then tying the pegs to a tree so that the Initiate hangs from the tree by his pierced skin. Some endorphin addicts do worse than that on a regular basis.

Actually, I don't need a fashion consultant, I need a buyer. I hate shopping for clothes. I did have to do the man thing, last night, and shop at the hardware store, however.

Twice this week, at work, people have approached me asking for tools to accomplish some task; open a box of printer paper, for example. I have been known to truck around a Swiss Army knife from time to time, but since I was at the hardware store to buy an aerator for my kitchen sink, I decided to go whole hog and get one of those Leatherman multi-tools. You know the ones, with knives and pliers and screwdrivers and saw blades and missile launchers. When I got it home I found that I needed a multi-tool to open the hard plastic packaging on my multi-tool. After feebly struggling with it, because I didn't have my manhood ceremony and get strung up on a pole by my chest, I gave it to my cats and they had the thing open in a trice. It's times like those that make me miss my parrot, that living, breathing multi-tool. She would have had the thing open in half a trice.

Speaking of work, and ceremony, there is a division or unit of employees, working on my floor, who constantly move from one room to another, presumably to have meetings. I think I've mentioned them. Frequently, they carry their laptops with them. When the meetings are done and they all wander back to their own offices and cubicles in a herd, the way they carry their laptops -- half open and glowing, held flat and at chest level -- always looks like a processional to make an offering to the office ghods. It's a violation of the fire code, I'm sure, but they need candles.

Now that I am dramatically behind in my work, I leave you.
  • Current Mood: boyish
Multi -tools are good. Very, very, very good. Would not make it through the day with out one. or two. Maybe three. What kind did you get? I generally have at least 2 with me at all times. Perhaps because I'm so dependent on mechanical stuff. This is very exciting!!!
I am the proud owner of the Leatherman Wave model. Now I'm looking to put it to use. I'm typing this with the needle-nose pliers attachment.
Wave is a good choice. Access to blades without opening the pliers is a great design feature. If you ever plan on expanding, you might want to look at the Gerber recoil auto pliersl. It operates like a switch blade and makes one hand operation a breeze. (What can I say, multi-tools are my obsession second only to Kit Cat Clocks,
You are one of the few people in my LJ world who makes me Laugh Out Loud.

God, you're funny. And a fine writer.

And I bet you don't look like a slug. I'm betting.
I am getting the Michelin Man's stomach, so I joined a gym on Thursday and started last night.

As for our tiny temblor, I didn't write about it because it was no more than a little shove. Like the earth was just saying, "Hey! Wake up!" Nevertheless, because I'm not an earthquake pro, when it happened as I sat at my desk at work, I "whistled past the graveyard" and said "Weeeee!" like riding a roller coaster.
the weather is supposed to be one of the only topics left that strangers can feel safe chatting about, you suspicious blankety blank.
And I agree with your point about the manhood transition. a lot. bar mitzfas for everyone!
I am entirely too un-trusting of strangers. However, for me, no topic is taboo once broached. OMG, that is so totally a lie!

I wonder if the over sized clothing thing got started because somebody felt such a sense of comfort, and nostalgia for the days when they spent all their time growing into hand-me-downs from their older siblings.