By Ken Lass
So I was driving home the other day listening to a sports talk show on the radio. Two of the show hosts were making fun of the third host because they believe he still wears blue jean shorts, commonly known as “jorts.” The third host vehemently denied ever having worn jorts since he was a kid. The three of them went on and on, laughing and talking about how you can spot a loser and/or a nerd because they still wear jorts. I laughed along with them. They were really coming up with some funny stuff. Then I stopped at a stoplight and glanced down at my lap.
I was wearing jorts.
You wouldn’t think it was possible to feel embarrassed about something when you are alone in your car, but I was. It was almost like those guys on the radio could see me. Like suddenly, I was the guy they were making fun of. When I got home, I bolted into my bedroom and thrust open the closet door to change clothes. There, in the lower left quadrant of my closet, was a row of five hangars, each containing a pair of shorts. Three of them were jorts. It was then that I realized the self-incriminating truth. I wear them almost every day when the weather is hot. Have people been snickering about me behind my back all these years?
I swear I never got the memo announcing that jorts were out of style. Shouldn’t that have been bigger news? Regardless, from that point on, whenever I was out in public, I took notice of the shorts all the guys were wearing. I saw beachcombers, khakis, cargos, souped-up athletic shorts, but no jorts. It was true. I was the guy those radio fellows were teasing.
It gets worse. Now my daughter tells me I should no longer be wearing my white gym socks with my jorts. You know, the ones that come about halfway up to the knee. She says you have to wear the “footies,” the ones that you can hardly see over the top of the shoe. This is also alarming to me. I am a “cold” person. I’m always cold, always the first one in the room to complain that it’s too cold. Footies don’t keep my feet and legs warm enough. So I have to sacrifice comfort for style? Is this the sort of thing women have to endure when they feel they have to wear those high heels instead of a comfy pair of sneakers?
Oh, and then, the other day, I read where track and warm-up suits are outdated for men. So are hoodies. Just great. If you were to scan the upper right quadrant of my clothes closet, you would see a substantial lineup of, yep, warm-up suits and hoodies. So there goes my cold weather garb of choice as well.
Who is it that decides when it’s no longer in style to wear certain things? And how is a guy supposed to keep up with all the changes? Could they maybe send me a text or an email? One thing I did notice is that eventually, the fashion designers run out of new ideas, and all that outdated stuff comes back into vogue! I am so on top of that! Good thing I continue to hold on to my leisure suit, my bell bottom pants, my Nehru jacket, and my medallion. Sure, laugh at me now, but someday………
You know what? I’m too old to worry about whether I’m in style. I’ve decided I’m going for comfort all the way. I’m going to wear my jorts, my gym socks (maybe even with sandals!), my warm-up suits, and my hoodies, and I will wear them proudly. If you see me on the street, don’t pretend you don’t know me. And don’t pretend you didn’t notice me.
Because, apparently, I will be easy to spot.
(Ken Lass is a retired Birmingham news and sports anchor and Trussville resident.)