This blog post has been a long time in coming. And I'm reasonably confident that a number of the readers of An Ordinary American who are closet liberals and sensitive men who not only go to see Meryl Streep movies, but openly cry at them also are going to be a skosh offended.
For the record, I cried at some movies. I cried at the end of Clint Eastwood's Grand Torino because I wanted one last Dirty Harry scenario where Clint would take that old Gov't 1911 he carried with him and used it to take off the faces of those Hmung gangsters. That he only whipped out a cigarette lighter and got his ass shot off made me cry.
And I cried at Animal House and Airplane and Naked Gun because I was laughing so damned hard.
I'm sensitive. I really am.
But what has kind of set me off is the revival of the dreaded designer jeans for men. Or let me rephrase that: The sissy-ass jeans for metrosexuals.
I grew up in the glorious era of the Big Three in rugged men's fashionable denim wear: Levis, Wranglers, Lee Jeans. Levis had the famous "v" stitched on the back pockets along with the coveted little red "Levis" tag that was sewed to the right buttocks pocket. Wranglers had the "don't mess with me W" stitched on their back pockets. Lee had plain pockets--which would ultimately lead to their undoing when Sears brand "Toughskins" dropped the "x" stitched on their pockets and went to a plain pocket.
Jeans say a lot about you. I used to be a Levis guy all the way. They were the only pair of jeans I could abuse day and night that would still stand up and be presentable. They were also THE most comfortable pair of denim anything I ever wore.
Growing up in ranch country and having spent much of my formulative years on the back of a horse, riding and walking through prickly pear, yucca, juniper and cedar brush, mesquite and the other wild, hostile assortment of west Texas native vegetation, your jeans had to be tough. Money was tight back then and it got expensive to keep replacing clothes that wore out--so you bought clothes that were tough enough for the task.
I wore Levis for many years before falling out of favor with them because of their wacko stances on social issues and where they began contributing money.
Not a problem. I had a closet full of Wranglers as well. I kind of preferred the Levis straight-leg jeans for cowboying because the pants leg fit a little more snug around my boot and that kept thorns and bristles and the such from finding their way in during rides through the underbrush. Wranglers had their "boot cut" jeans which were a little wider over the tops of your boots and from time to time, I'd end up getting prickly things inside my boots. Biting insects were the worst of those things.
In high school, you saw a variety of jeans on the girls. As long as they fit snug and tight around the young lady's derriere, then they were just fine with us guys. And if you were a guy, you either wore Levis or Wranglers. Lee jeans weren't too big in my part of Texas.
But then came (expletive deleted) disco in the mid-70s, and with it, silk shirts that looked like a peacock had crapped on them, leisure suits made from polyester, and designer jeans--some of which actually had little fake jewels sewn on the back pockets.
The males who wore the designer jeans were all momma's boys. Every single damned one of them. Their mommas didn't want them wearing rugged manly wear because us ruffians who wore rugged manly wear also were known to imbibe with a longneck beer or two (or three or four), we worked on our own cars and pickups and got dirty and greasy in the process, some of us smoked (I didn't--it took the military to get me to start smoking, a habit I've long since ditched), almost all of us cussed and we'd fight you at the drop of a Stetson hat.
The designer jean wearing males were sensitive. They danced to disco songs, drank feminine drinks like Amaretto Sours and slo-gin fizz (whatever the hell that is), didn't know a phillips head screwdriver from a flathead and were relegated to using full-service gas stations because they didn't even know how to check the pressure in their tires.
They giggled with the girls in the French club, wore their Texas Instruments calculators in little side holsters, had pictures of John Travolta on the walls of their room, used blowdryers on their hair and could recite poetry. A great number of the designer jean wearing males also had a strong tendency to be little smart asses so long as there was a teacher or principle or parent nearby that would offer them safe refuge. When confronted in the parking lot after school, they cried like a jilted prom queen and begged you not to hit them--even though it was they who started the whole mess.
I'm guessing the overwhelming majority of Congress and the Supreme Court wears designer jeans. I suspect the current Joint Chiefs of Staff wear thongs.
I'm a live and let live guy most of the time. Stay out of my face and space and I'll do the same. But I despise smart asses who hide behind the sanctity of "you can't hit me because that would be assault and that's against the law." Worse are those smart asses who berate the cashiers at department stores simply because they know that the managers of those stores, most of whom wear designer jeans themselves, are so scared of losing a customer that they'll let their employees get sassed and harassed unmercifully and chalk it up to "the customer is always right."
Not me. I have no tolerance for bullies, regardless of what they wear. Odd thing is, most of the disagreements I've had in the past few years have not been with men wearing Wranglers. In fact, most of those men were rather polite to the cashiers and counter people. Lot of "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" type of stuff, never on their damned phone while trying to pay or checkout, and almost always said "thank you."
I'm seeing way too many designer jeans on males these days. I'm even seeing males trying to look like a cowboy or blue-collar worker by wearing cowboy boots or work boots with their fancy little embroidered designer jeans.
But then again, as some old Wrangler wearing friends pointed out, maybe it's best that certain folks keep wearing their little designer embroidered mom jeans.
It takes the guesswork out.
I give you our president, again, as Exhibit A.