Slowly, ever so slowly, I think I’m becoming disassociated from reality.
You can tell by the way I dress, and my current state of personal hygiene…which I think added together equal “appearance.”
It’s not like I looked like Chris Hemsworth before, or even Dabney Coleman. But I think I sort of held it together in a generally acceptable way. Being judged by whom, I’m not sure, but still acceptable. Not cool or contemporary by any means. But, you know, passable enough to be unnoticeable.
Sadly, I can’t blame the lockdown or social distancing or working remote for my aversion to soap and color coordination – I was already like this starting in about oh December, 2019. Which admittedly seems like decades ago but still.
Slovenly is likely an apt descriptor. Yesterday I was on a hike at a local, expansive, popular public park – I wore camouflage hiking books, mid-shin Seattle Seahawks socks (team colors are a bright green white and blue for this Officially Branded accessory), brown shorts, a bright-blue t-shirt and an orange/navy/white baseball hat. In other words, in terms of color palate, like a cow ate a box of Crayola’s, chewed it up into his cud, and spit it on me.
Unshaven for several days. Certainly not showered. Shirt just tight enough around the abdomen to likely warrant a 12-week keto diet or perhaps just a larger shirt. Cheeto powder on my “what’s-the-point-of-shaving” beard.
As I noticed scores of more attractive, more fit humans dashing by in Official Hiking Gear of the Pacific Northwest, including lots of Kavu®, Columbia Sportwear®, Patagonia®, Marmot® and The North Face®, I suddenly realized I should possibly try harder. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel social pressure to look like a model for any of the above brands, but I should very likely put enough effort in my look so I don’t appear to be a crazed, junk-food addicted hermit who’s just emerged from the woods to see if McDonald’s still Super Sizes things.
This does beg the age-old question regarding age – am I like this because I’m 46 and something clicks in your head when you reach middle age that makes you give up putting forth any effort to, well, look in any way appealing? What does my wife think? Am I just a whirling dervish of spilled sauces and bad clothes to her? I should probably simply ask, but since she hasn’t left any issues of Men’s Health or Nordstrom catalogues lying around I think I’ll wait. Although there are bags of ready-to-make salads in the fridge…
Wait, were the people walking by me with their fashionable outdoor gear 46? Somehow if they were younger I’d feel better, but I remember this one guy with his kids was all color-coordinated and fit-looking. Oh no! He probably doesn’t drink beer because of its high caloric count! Which may explain why he didn’t even look winded as he passed me on the trail.
Also, I certainly haven’t earned the right to look like a train wreck, ala Jack White or perhaps an art student at Parsons. There’s an extensively documented inverse relationship between the total income derived by art and one’s state of dishevelment/body odor – however, I have not reached that tax bracket yet.
Certainly these ponderings are not inspiring an urgent desire to change. The necessity is simply not there. I’ve entered a space-time continuum completely separate from the reality everyone else lives in. Here twinkies, crumbs, mouth breathing and total ambivalence abound, which is fine by me, because I’m pretty sure it’s the same place where Chris Hemsworth got his start.