Search This Blog

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Like to Wear Hawaiian Shirts

(c) 2013 by Tom King

Okay, I admit it freely.  I love big loud colorful Hawaiian shirts. My children indulge me in this by buying such shirts for me for my birthday and Father’s day.  I’ve been lobbying for some time for them to start giving me Hawaiian shirts on Duke Kohanamoku’s  birthday (August 24 if you’re so inclined).  I’d celebrate King Kamahemeha’s birthday if anyone knew when it was.

There is a sort of an ongoing internal family struggle between those who tolerate my Hawaiian shirts (my kids) and those who barely tolerate my Hawaiian shirts and donate them to Goodwill whenever I’m not looking (my Sweet Baboo).
Sheila thinks I do not look good in Hawaiian shirts.  There are two things about Hawaiian shirts that offend her.

She thinks they make me look fat. 

They do.  I freely admit that.  In a Hawaiian shirt I look like someone who’s been to one luau too many and is trying to cover it up.  I think that by now, everyone’s caught on so the “covering it up” bit is kind of thin.  You don’t put on a Hawaiian shirt if you want to look thin unless you’re Magnum PI or a prisoner of war.  They can pull it off.  Not me.  I look like every pound I’ve put on since marrying my beautiful Southern belle who  is also the best cook in 4 states and cannot bear to see anything go hungry.  Since I weighed about 155 pounds when we got married, I think she may have said “yes” because she was afraid I might die before she got some decent food into me.

Now, when she sees me in one of what she calls my “fat shirts”, she is tormented with guilt because I’ve put on a few pounds.  She need not feel that way.  I have never put a bite of food in my mouth against my will, despite my protestations to the contrary. I come from a long line of people who are fat and people who are chronically thin.  I just happened to inherit the more corpulent genes from my particular gene pool. 

I don’t mind looking fat in my Hawaiian shirts.  They are loose fitting. They allow cool breezes to blow through them and they don’t bind or ride up on me unlike shirts that are more slimming. Also I don’t mind looking like a dirigible. Every time I pass a mirror or storefront window I am reminded to take it easy on the cheese doodles.

She finds the colors too garish.

My Sweet Baboo has super-senses.  She used to could spot a fleck of dirt on a brown rug at 50 paces.  Even with her increasing eye problems, she can still see dirt that I cannot.  She can smell a gnat fart at a hundred yards AND HEAR IT.  She sees colors only butterflies and honeybees can pick up.  I on the other hand am partially color blind.  Next to Sheila I can’t perceive black and white.

For me loud colors are soothing. I cannot pick out subtle shades and pastels.  If I want something red, I want it to be RED. I like fiesta colors, big, loud and bright.  My wife on the other hand has to wear sunglasses to go to a Mexican restaurant.  

I suspect that my loud shirts are painful to her.  Me, I’d wear them to church if I thought I could get away with it.  Of course, I’d also go bare-footed to church too, so I can see her point as to my fashion judgment.  I once tried to make the whole burning bush/”take off your shoes; you are on holy ground” argument with a deacon once, but he wasn’t buying it either, especially not since I was supposed to be preaching the sermon that day.

I tried to find a picture of me in one of my loud shirts and had a difficult time.  As the family photographer I don’t appear in but a few photos.  Apparently no one turned a camera at me very often when I was wearing one of my loud shirts.  I did manage to find two though. The first one (above) was the day they made me shave off part of my beard. It was the first time I had worn less than a full beard in 30 years.  It was such a rare occurrence they didn’t notice I was wearing a flowery shirt for the picture, though it was only the black and white one.  The picture at the right was one I took with the dog just a few months after we took her in and the focus was on her, not me.  This shirt was also one of my more subdued ones. It only had two colors and one of them was white.  I had some that were much more colorful, but those went to Goodwill I suspect.  

They actually told me that the washing machine fairies took them.  If so, at least the fairies are now comfortably and handsomely attired.

I’m just sayin’

Tom King

1 comment:

John and Cathy Walker said...

And one more perspective on these shirts, you can get as many as you like at Salvation Army or Goodwill that other men's wives have dropped off, for less than 5 dollars! So you can wear them, ruin them, wear more. It;s all about comfort.