Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Lately I’ve come to notice that, on any given day, I am wearing less and less. After all, when I’m at home, there’s really not much point. I live alone, and don’t have many people stop by. Those who do are not the kind of people where I an concerned about what they think of my style, and those who I do care about don’t care about my style anyway. So, why not be comfortable?
Don’t get me wrong, when I go out in public, of course I dress nicely. If my favorite new crush happens to be working at my gun shop, I don’t want her to see me looking like a lazy slob. I know, I could be wearing an Armani tux and still wouldn’t have a shot, but still, a man can dream, can’t he?
I believe that being comfortable is important. It started with socks. I realized that the elastic top started irritating my skin towards the end of the day. Okay, maybe it’s the cheap socks I buy, but found myself taking my socks off in the evening just to get comfortable. As the time I take them off became earlier and earlier, it occurred to me that maybe I just don’t need socks on most days.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, if I’m going out, I put on socks, but not if I’m puttering around the house. I’m spending more and more in the house as I’m retired and the closest thing, I have to a job is online, so probably more often than not, I don’t even go out. That’s okay. Saves gas, wear on the car and I get an insurance discount the less I do out. So, it’s all good.
The socks thing is my friend’s fault. She bought me the first set of slippers as a gift, the first pair of slippers I’ve owned since I was a kid. Of course, our feet sweat profusely to the tune of a cup of water each day. With 25,000 sweat glands in the feet, I guess it’s not a surprise that they sweat so much, but ask yourself this; would you pour a cup of water into your shoes right now? Socks are important in shoes; it absorbs that moisture and wicks it away from the dark enclosed shoes. This is why shoes can often smell so bad; worn for too long, that moisture and darkness and warmth is ideal for bacterial growth. Without socks, then, the danger of my slippers beginning to smell increases. This is why, even as I write this, even my slippers are off. After all, I’m sitting here with my cat napping next to me, so I don’t need them on. The other good news is that these slippers can go through the washer and dryer. They take a while to dry, though. I learned that a cold and wet foot day.
Now it’s shirts. If I’m not going out, there’s a good chance I’m not wearing a shirt anymore. I do wear pants, though. Usually. But as I write this, I’m wearing a tee-shirt. And not the kind of tee-shirt most people think. Just a plain white V-neck. But to be fair, it’s also becoming warmer. Personally, I don’t believe in running the heater in the winter so you can wear shorts and go shirtless comfortably and the air conditioner in the summer so you can wear sweaters. It’s hot outside, so I only run the air conditioner to “take the edge off” inside. It’s not hot, but it’s warm enough in my house that I wear less clothing, which has the added benefit that I don’t hate stepping outside because it’s just that big of a temperature difference. Plus, running the heater and conditional like this prevents excessive burden on my system and saves a ton of money in gas and electricity.
Andy Rooney, who used to do a regular opinion piece on Sixty Minutes (very lighthearted and fun piece) once wrote, “if you can’t find shoes that are stylish and comfortable, then buy shoes that are just comfortable. Never buy shoes just for style.” That might not be a direct quote; after all, Andry Rooney hasn’t been on the show since 2011 (and died just a month later), but, for those reading this who haven’t realized it yet, the quote stuck with me. I guess that I’ve not really been big on style in the first place (is this why I’m still single?), but comfort is something I do enjoy. Most of what I have been talking about here is breaking social norms in the name of comfort. And, honestly, I cannot imagine a better reason to break them.