Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shirtless Guys, Skanky Girls, and My Seventieth Birthday

I am a stick in the mud. A fuddy-duddy. A party pooper. A drag.

I don't have a problem with it. I like to be in bed at eleven. It feels nice to fall asleep at the same time every night, and if I stay up any later, I get cranky. I like my meals on time, or nearly on time. Or I get cranky.

And I hate, hate, hate when people do certain things. Things they should know better than to do. Stupid jerks.

I am a self-described cynic, and paired with out-of-control, almost ceaseless sarcasm, this presents difficulty for those around me. Especially my family, because I completely relax any semblance of social niceties around them. They see my inky black heart and ruthless hatred of human stupidity. They also know exactly who makes the cut.

Okay, I am not really mean. I am predisposed to like people. Mostly. Except the stupid ones. Or the freaky ones. Or guys who hit on me for no reason.

Like today, at work.

Maybe these guys weren't actually hitting on me, but to me, men who don't wear their shirts indoors, in the presence of the opposite sex, may as well be sexually harassing unsuspecting young librarians.

And even if I didn't find it socially offensive--it's just gross. I mean, come on. Guys take off their shirts for several reasons, in my view, and none of them have a place in a library:

1. They have been in great heat and need to cool off. I see their point. Really, I do. But here's the thing. I don't take off my shirt when I'm hot. Because it isn't tasteful, and because the cops would arrest me for indecent exposure (and that's not taking into account my lack of physical fitness). And I could do without the sweat, and the smells related to sweat, when I am shelving books inside my workplace.


If you are sweaty, I don't want to see it. Ever. This is non-negotiable. Sweat is gross on me, so it's gross on you.

2. They want girls to see their sexy muscles. My response to this is: Eww. Gross. Not at work, and not you, I don't even know your name. Plus, body hair is not attractive. And the guys who would look good shirtless don't live in our part of Indiana. Here we have the farmer tans where your crew-neck shirt covers you or doesn't, and--judging from the guy I saw at Target today--Hoosier guys have longer necks than normal just so they can be even redder than necks ever get in other states (that guy was like a freaky human brontosaurus). And if I have to take all that time to shave areas of my body I won't mention here, you could at least try to keep some control over the hair situation.

3. They are being Alpha Males, ripping off their shirts in the presence of other males, in order to vie for superiority.

Okay. How is it cool to stroll around shirtless with other men? Do other men really want to see you half naked? Don't you see a problem with that? If you don't, you likely aren't a male from the Bible Belt. But what the heck. Stay away from me, and you can enjoy each other's nudity all you want. Just don't talk about it in public.

There might be more reasons. But I don't care what they are. Shirts good, shirtless bad.

So when I looked up from my shelving today and saw shirtless guys, I thought I would have some kind of psychotic break.

Now. In the world of shirtlessness...does no one see a problem with walking into a library shirtless? I get grabbing an ice cream at The Works in downtown Wabash. I get running in to pay for gas for your truck. But the library? That is like walking into the BMV or to the bank or something, without your shirt!

Only a generation ago, the whole shirts inside places of business thing would have gone without saying.

I was complaining about it over dinner, because that is how I roll, and my family started accusing me of being my 86 year old grandfather in a 24 year old girl's body, and I didn't argue.

I do think people should take off their baseball caps inside, especially when eating, as a sign of respect to others. I think we shouldn't talk on cell phones wherever we go, during dinner, in the restroom, or at the movies. I think girls should avoid being bra-less whenever possible (there could be some kind of Bra Monster that steals them at night, what do I know, to keep you from having them. But do try).

And I think we should be as respectful as possible to others--even if that means trying to be polite in other places. What do I mean? How about not swearing in front of others? That would be sweet. And not telling me about your freakish husband you plan to divorce any second would be great too. Just because the divorce papers are upstairs. Really.

I drove up to get my laptop in Kokomo today, and as I drove, I related to Paul how horrible the mall there was getting. How all the slutty girls hung around, attracting the scum of humanity, dropping condom boxes in the parking lot and making chalk outlines of each other in dead-guy poses on the ground because it is so funny to make it look like there's been a murder outside the bookstore.

How it is so cool to just, like, totally stand in traffic, like, as if you were just so saying like "whatever, I am so to cool to get killed in a traffic accident," even though we are thousands of miles from whatever valley that dialect is supposed to come from and the people using it have never touched a surf board, and they think being punk means dying your hair a different color, like red or dark brown, and wearing more black than normal.

You can't be a valley girl and punk at the same time. Even I am cool enough to know that.

And I saw one girl. Oh, she was badly afflicted. Wearing tiny white shorts (see-through) that were simultaneously too loose and too small, she also sported a sequined, slutty tank top combination. As she and her mate of choice strutted with a second, no doubt lesser, female across the parking lot toward Best Buy, they caused traffic to stop completely as they pawed each other, like monkeys in the wild, grooming as they chose their mates.

Paul said, "Those aren't bad," as I went on and on about how slutty the shorts were, and how she should put on some pants, for crying out loud.

But then, walking out of Best Buy minutes later, he glimpsed the girl closer up (where she, plastered against the male, smoked a cigarette and tried to flirt with each passing eligible male simultaneously) and came to agree with me.

He then told me that I was totally right, that the shorts were disgusting. Then he added that they wouldn't have been so bad on someone else, like someone who they would have fit (Cough-90-pound-cheerleader-Cough).

No one wants to look up your short shorts because you had to buy a big size and so the leg openings are loose enough to fit two of your thighs in them even after you have rolled them up to make them ultra-short.

Maybe it makes me grumbly, maybe my noticing all these things makes me intolerant of other, sluttier lifestyles, but I do not care. They are infringing on my right to open my eyes in public--and we all know the people who should wear the skin-tight patent-leather leggings are never the people who buy them.

I embrace it all, call me what you like, when you like. Just not from the Target public restroom.

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