Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#200. or, I Wear My Own Kinda Cap

  Sometimes, it's nice to take a couple of day just to get away.

  You know, take a little time for your own sanity and leave behind all the things that cause the stress in your life.

  In my case, things like trying to keep up with new equipment, attempting to learn even more technology that's apparently making my life easier, figure out better ways to market my grain, and making decisions about seed purchases that will put into play all of next year.

  So, a week or so back, my lovely wife and I packed a bag, fueled up my truck, and headed 3 hours south for a little get-away.

  To the farm show.

  To look at new equipment, learn about the latest technology that's going to make my life easier, figure out better ways to market my grain, and make decisions about seed purchases that will put into play all of next year.

  Farmers love farm shows just as much as they love pick-up trucks. I know this, because even before we got into the pavilions, we had to do that thing where you circle around the parking lot looking for a spot like it was Costco on the last Saturday before Christmas.

  You know who else loves farm shows? The hutterites do. Technically farmers too, but they were out en mass, both days we attended, and despite living within about a half hours drive of not less than three different Hutterite colonies, I have to admit to not knowing a terrible amount about them. Aside from the rumors I've heard about some wickedly potent potato alcohol they brew, and also from the Corb Lund song, that apparently if you and all of your buddies get your trucks stuck, when the Hutterites come by in their big ol' Hutterite four-by-truck, they won't come anywhere near you.

  Hutterites have a very distinct way of dressing. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I believe that knowing your first decision of the day, every day, is going to be; I guess I'll wear the black pants, plaid shirt, and black jacket over top, probably frees up a lot of space in your brain for other more pressing issues. If I wasn't burdened with the weight of trying to select and match attire, all groggy brained, first thing in the morning, I would probably make a far more responsible decisions. Like how much Baileys I'm going to add to that first cup of coffee.

  From what I could tell, about the only way that the Hutterites are able to express their individuality, is through their choice of cap.

  I can appreciate that.

  This year, upon the urging of my wife, I only brought one cap to the farm show. Which is not a decision to be taken lightly. I mean, I intended to visit a multitude of different seed companies and tractor dealers. Choosing a hat that you can comfortably wear to any booth and not tip your hand toward any brand loyalty is quite daunting. It's a decision that weighed heavily on me for at least a week before we actually left, and included pie charts, an excel spreadsheet, and a scale model of the entire pavilion grounds made of popsicle sticks on the floor of the spare bedroom.

  Finally, and again with the urging of my wife, my choice was made easier by taking all of the hats I keep in the closet and getting rid of everything I haven't worn in the past year. So that only left around 20 or so, and from there, I narrowed it down to one of my John Deere caps. Because lets face it, even if I do visit the red tractor booth, I'm not going to buy one.

  Having crossed that hurdle, relatively painlessly, my wife is now urging me to bring only one cap with us on tropical winter vacation in the new year. That's one cap for an entire week! This may require some therapy on my part.

   Funny thing I'm noticing, with less hats to choose from, the less time I spend trying to decide what hat I'm going to wear each morning, which is leaving me with enough time for an extra cup of coffee and Baileys.

  ............  and it seems that makes the decision far less stressful as well.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

#199. or, The Rise of the Comfortable Pants Gang

  I've been around for long enough to know, that in fashion, trends will come, and trends will go. And more likely than anything, we'll probably look back on some of them in ten or so years and wonder, what the hell was I thinking?!

  I'm looking at you, skinny jeans.

  Don't even to try to conjure up that image. There was never anything skinny enough about me to even entertain the thought of shoe-horning my man bits into the pants of a prepubescent boy.

  There are however, certain trends that have come to help define, and even add to the mythos of particular cultures. Say, for instance, cowboys and Wrangler jeans. I'd wager that if someone asked you to imagine up a cowboy and describe that image to you, your cowboy would be wearing  boots, a hat and Wrangler jeans. Those jeans have come to define that ideal even more than cows. And cows are part of the damned name and job description.  

  Recently, while in Costco, I discovered a technological advancement in fashion, the scale of which the world has very likely not seen before, or might not ever see again. Stretchy denim jeans!  Honestly, I don't even know if they're actual denim or not, I don't really care, because those freaking things are stretchy!

  Did I mention that those freaking things are stretchy?

  They're my new favorite goin-to-town jeans. I even own two pair now, just in case I need to go to town while the other pair is in the wash. If both pair are in the wash, I send someone else to town for parts.

  When I was younger. Probably last year. (that was a joke) There was nothing like slipping into a crisp pair of freshly washed jeans to make me feel emboldened, and teeming with sexual confidence. But, slipping into a pair of stretchy denim jeans is completely different. They're not empowering, as much as they are comfortable. It's almost like you're wearing pajamas, without the judging looks you get from actually wearing pajamas at one o'clock in the afternoon, or the chance of finding yourself on a People of Walmart internet page. They're  a metaphor for the place I am in life right now. Feeling pretty good in jeans, but not so much caring whether or not all my manly accents are on display. Not so much to be desired as a sex object, but just happy things still work well enough to have sex.

  The thing is, and I don't want you to think here that I spend a great deal of time looking at other mens asses, but lately I've been spending a good deal of time looking at other mens asses.

  For research purposes.

  You'd be surprised at the number of times I've been in a group of guys, where I've noticed more than one of us wearing those Costco stretchy jeans with the familiar stitching on the pocket. Granted, the demographic that I'm usually hanging with is middle-aged-farmer-guy, but it would seem, that the stretchy denim gang is on the rise.

  The thing that worries me though, is this.

  I'm not certain if any of my brothers, in the throes of stretchy denim bliss have noticed or not, but over the course of a day out and about, stretchy denim gets relaxed. I mean, really relaxed. To the point where I find myself continually hiking up my pants. I worry that this whole stretchy denim phenomenon might have all of us old guys, wandering around with our pants drooping down our backsides like a bunch of teenagers. Then how are we all going to sit at the CO-OP, drinking coffee, and yell at the kids to pull their pants up and get a job, while maintaining any sort of credibility?

  Of course, this could all be avoided with the use of a belt, but how comfortable are they? Besides, belts seem more like a fashion accessory when your waistline exceeds the girth of your hips. And who wants to complicate things with fashion accessories, when you want to feel like you're wearing old grey sweatpants and dressing for success at the same time?

  .........although, I might see a business opportunity in starting a line of casual pants/pajama belts. Anyone interested in funding me?