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Saturday, November 28, 2009

If They All Just Disappeared...

Thanksgiving's a nice time of year to be a blogger, and have blogger friends.

You're probably waiting for a "But...," but there isn't going to be one. I'm for realz. Yo.

As a blogger in late November, you get to read all about what the folks you care about are thankful for. For some, it's their health. For others, it's their significant others, or their jobs, or their cats. For most, it's their family.

And that's, just, well, nice.

As I was driving around downtown Philly tonight, I tried to think about what I was thankful for. After a notably awkward and stilted Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house, I reinforced the admittedly uninspired fact that, yes, I am thankful for my family. But I tried to reach beyond that to find something slightly more off-center that I was decidedly thankful for, something everyday that maybe didn't receive everyday approbation or appreciation. And then it hit me.

My undershirts.

I am thankful for my undershirts.

There isn't really an article of clothing that I depend on more than my undershirts. I have lots of different kinds of undershirts-- and they are truly the day-in, day-out workhorses of my wardrobe. If my dresser was Jay Leno's multi-car garage, my undershirts are the equivalent of his Honda Accord. There it sits, amidst the Dusenbergs and Lambos and Lotuses, waiting patiently for its chance to prove itself as the banal, mundane, yet essential motoring companion.

My undershirts are Jay Leno's Honda, and I never realized it until tonight.

I have two types of cotton crew neck undershirts. I have two types of cotton v-neck undershirts. One of them has a very slight v, the other is the equivalent of a plunging neckline. Very sexy. I also have an endless supply of Coolmax white crew-neck undershirts, thanks to my father, who manufactures them. The Coolmax t-shirts are excellent at wicking moisture, which, when you're an anxious sonofabitch, you tend to produce a lot of. The necklines, however, of the Coolmax t-shirts are very thick and high, so it's difficult to wear these undershirts underneath dress shirts with ties, as nothing makes a man look like a 4-star d-bag than wearing a dress-shirt with a tie and a little square of white t-shirt peeking visibly over the closed dress-shirt collar.

Unless, of course, you're wearing a semi-transparent dress-shirt with a v-neck t-shirt underneath, and the people you meet can see the outline of the v underneath your dress-shirt.

This, friends, is why I own lots of different styles of undershirts-- because you can't be successful in life as a man with just one permutation. At least, not if you're crazy.

The one type of undershirt I do not own, have never owned, and would never wear, is the so-called "wife-beater." Maybe it has to do with its negative monkier, maybe it has to do with the fact that my 6'5" Neanderthal freshman-year roommate wore them (even to class) and I still shudder at the memory of the broccoli-like tufts of his shoulder hair sprouted out around the slim shoulder straps.... I don't know, but I've just never been struck with the desire to put one on. I do, however, thoroughly enjoy their aesthetic on the female form.

In this life, as a man you either wear undershirts or you don't. If I didn't wear undershirts, I would ruin all of my precious dress shirts with sweat, so going without isn't really an option for me. If all my dress shirts went away-- if they all just disappeared, well, I would be one messed up puppy. I need them. I hoard them. I crave undershirt diversity and consistency. I would gladly free-ball it for a month-- wouldn't bother me a bit-- but I can't go out in public without the security blankie that is an undershirt.

A good undershirt might just be the most important component of my wardrobe. It's definitely the one thing in life I'm most thankful for.

I mean, after my family and my wife and my dog and my collection of old typewriters and eyeglasses and telephones and antique hats and recordings of G&S operettas and English cookies and orgasms and aimless drives around town and sugar in my coffee and 1970s britcoms and winter coats and meaningful talks with old friends and our sofa and dirty jokes and sad folk songs. And all of you, of course.

1 comment:

  1. goddamn it! i forgot to be thankful for dirty jokes! i need another turkey.


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