Friday, August 31, 2007


I pulled into the little shopping center at Brannon and 9th during lunch to see if there might be any last chance summer Penguin or Ben Sherman shirts at the Nordstrom Rack. (They had some, but none worth buying; I was pretty disciplined about not going overboard on other things, especially since I'd just been to the Colma store yesterday.) Then it was over to Trader Joe's to buy something for lunch and make sure I didn't make the mistake of being out of anything that would require a tortuous return trip during the holiday weekend.

There was one guy that I passed two to three times who caught my eye in the physically but not spiritually fetching mode. As in 95% of the cases with such males and about 25% with such females (I know, yeah, go figure on that second one), I did a mental undressing of him before getting back to more earth shattering matters such as deciding how much non-fat yogurt I wanted as opposed to Greek yogurt.

When I got to the check out lane (which in this store they give hokey names in honor of well known streets, Lombard in this case), he was unloading his stuff at the register, and a woman "about my age" was between him and me. He had eight packets of shrink-wrapped hams and three potted lavender plants. (Do the Freudian spin on that combo!) As I eyed his flip flops and skinny/lowrise jeans, I thought about some recent articles I've seen on both. There have been a number of opinion and etiquette pieces written about inappropriate venues for flip flops (most famously worn to the White House by a women's lacrosse team). More recently, I've seen a couple of pieces sharing warnings about the damage you may do to your feet by wearing them. Oh, that's such a revelation. I always sneer with condescension when I see some idiot wearing them while driving a motorcycle. Guess what, shoes and socks were invented not as a form of uptight restriction but to protect your feet!

More recently, I saw New York magazine's Approval Matrix giving a thumbs up to women in skinny/low rise jeans and thumbs down for them on men. "Yeah, obviously written by some straight guy!" I sneered when reading it. Just as that matrix flashed in my head, this guy bent down to pick up one of his hams and voila, there was 3/4ths of his crack flashing right in front of me. I tried to act like I was looking at the three flavors of Ricola cough drops on display next to me as I fought the impulse to clear my throat. Before I could even catch my breath, he was reaching back down and there was a 7/8ths view. This happened at least five times, with him reaching at least twice to pull up the jeans and staring back, almost as if to confirm if he had an audience.

On about the fifth squat -- the woman in between us who, like me would probably characterize her body type as "about average" in a personal ad as opposed to the "athletic and toned" showman ahead of us -- turned around and smirked at me, shaking her head. We shared a disapproving smile in a split second of over-45 bonding. The guy -- whose in-the-flesh attributes met if not exceeded my previous in-my-head view of the same part of his anatomy -- swiped his Wells Fargo platinum ATM card, picked up his bags and told the clerk to have a fabulous Labor Day.

As my turn came at the register, I decided that I think I do agree with the New York magazine assessment of men in skinny/low rise jeans. Or they should at least consider investing in a belt. There are some things I'd rather have just dancing in my head, not in front of my nose while I'm buying penne and Belgian crackers.

(Editorial note: I had my Treo with me, and I was actually checking email while waiting in line and could have sneaked a photo to verify that the above incident happened. This was one of those editorial ethical crises such as the tape mailed to the Today Show by the Virginia Tech bomber. Do you show it just because it's news and you have it, or do you show a bit of taste and restraint out of respect of your readers and the victims -- in this case me and Ms. Also-Over-45? I decided to take the high road and just show the much more benign stock photo above.)

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At 4:47 PM, Blogger Two Write Hands said...

Thanks for not including the picture. (Though I'm sure someone's going to hate you--or at least your ethics--for it.)

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Emily - Yep, I am more of a Midwesterner than I ever realized. Wasn't there some liberal city that just passed a public nudity ban? This guy was certainly pushing the limits here. In the meantime I'll keep this site family friendly. Pictures of Donnie and Marie and the tour schedule for Up with People are next.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

I hate feet.
They are creepy long palms with short stubby useless fingers

At 11:33 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Gavin - I'm actually quite fond of them when well groomed and seen in appropriate place. In general, I think faces, hands and forearms are the only things that should be displayed to strangers, by men at least. I'm not a prude, just don't want to give away the bank at the candy store.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger WAT said...

I kinda have a thing for feet. Nice kept ones that is.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

WAT - I likes me some men's feet too when they're well cared for. Ugly, gnarled feet in Birkenstocks should receive citations for crimes against humanity. I think that's a good task for the Minneapolis Airport Police, and I'm sure they'd appreciate getting out of those smelly stalls for a change of pace. I know it would make me feel safer getting on a plane.


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