Category Archives: fashion

Shrinkage: the other kind

I’m not the man I used to be. No matter how hard I try to live a proper life in all ways physical, intellectual, and emotional, I am a lesser person.

How lesser am I? About an inch. Relax: this has nothing to do with the “Seinfeld” that so eloquently portrayed the shrinkatory effect of cold water on the male, uh, exclamation point. The missing inch came out of my height.

This became clear when I was going through old papers and found a medical report from my college years, which listed my height as six feet plus half an inch (6’ 0.5”). At my last visit to the doctor a few months back, I checked in at 5’ 11”. Even if that means 5’ 11” and a quarter, a half, or two-thirds, I’m going through a slow but undeniable vertical fail. This isn’t fake news! I can’t argue with cold, hard science and real-time medical technology (like a measuring stick).

Why do we self-condense? Over time, the discs between the vertebrae dehydrate and compress, or maybe collapse from osteoporosis. The spine can get curved, or muscle loss in the torso can give you a stoop. Even the gradual flattening of your arches can leave you shorter.

The loss can start as early as age 30, which is about when my hair started vanishing. I’m used to that, but this plunges me into the tar pit of male insecurity. All my life, I’ve considered myself a Tall Guy. Can I honestly think of myself that way if I no longer top the six-foot baseline? Will I get busted by the vanity police?

My wife often asks me to “come here and be a tall person for a minute” when she needs something off a high shelf. Can I still fulfill her desires? (Not THOSE desires. I already told ya this ain’t about the meat and the motion.)

The worst kind of shrinkage is the kind that’s going on in my personal hard drive, also known as my brain. After 60+ years, it’s critically overstuffed with useless facts, and seems to be sending some of them down to the minors, for recall only when needed.

Just now, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of a Cajun band I saw at a joint called Tornado Alley in suburban Washington DC about 22 years ago. I remembered other Cajun musicians: the Balfa Brothers, D. L. Menard, Bruce Daigrepont, Terrence Simien and the Mallet Playboys, etc., before finally hitting the holy grail of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.  This is what’s known as a “senior moment.”

I try to limit my cranial clutter by weeding out nonessential info, like the name of the person I’ve just met, but it’s a losing battle. Now if you’ll excuse me, whoever you are, I’ve got to go put on some high heels.

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Bun amuck

Men wearing man buns; blonde and dark buns shown at side.

From Groupon

Women, is your man hard to shop for? And maybe a little short in the style department? Did you swipe right on a sizzling metrosexual dude who turned out to look like Dilbert instead? Want the perfect gift for your guy in this holiday* season?

Well, here it is: The clip-on man bun. Take a second to absorb those four words: Clip. On. Man. Bun. Now ponder the implications of living in a time where that phrase actually makes sense.

I gave up trying to understand fashion, especially men’s fashion, a long time ago, but this takes the absurdity to a new level. First of all, since when did buns even look stylish on women, except maybe ballerinas? Second, what’s the point in looking like a wannabe samurai? You might as well wear a Darth Vader mask and carry a plastic light-saber.

I guess if you’re determined to join the bun brigade, the clip-on makes more sense than natural hair, especially since this trend is liable to flame out any minute. Prediction: the next hot hairstyle for manly men will be the crested duck, or better yet, the crested coot.

*Don’t even think about giving me any of the grief that people are giving Starbucks about their red cups. Violators will have their devices hijacked and locked into an endless loop of, “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas.”