Today marks the official end of summer, and with it “The Summer of Noah”. Now brace yourself for the far darker “Fall of Noah”. This week I’d like to talk about your appearance. You are what you appear. You consciously as well as unconsciously send out a message to the rest of society by the way you look, act and dress.
Its while on the recreation trail recently that I spotted what many men would consider to be an “ultimate specimen”. Sure, she looked gorgeous as she jogged on the opposite side of the trail past me, but upon closer inspection it became obvious that she was a deeply insecure woman. It was the amalgamation of her waif-like 98-pound frame, spray tanned legs, comically over-sized black sunglasses, platinum bleached blonde hair, and lastly her refusal to say hello after my polite “mornin’”, which caused me to arrive to such a conclusion.
I hold nothing against her. Some people don’t like to make eye contact with anyone on the trails, but then again, why not? It has been with my experience that the recreation trails in Cedar Falls are the friendliest stretch of blacktop for miles—particularly if you are out in the morning. No one exercising in the morning is in a bad mood. I’d imagine these people may be a little reluctant to abandon their warm beds prematurely, but once you are out in the cool morning mist surrounded by vibrant green, dew covered grass, it is impossible to sport a scowl on your face.
Back to the blonde gal.
It was after my greeting wasn’t reciprocated that I began to scrutinize her very deliberate appearance. Nothing seems to scream insecure more than pressing yourself into a specific mold. Sure, we all do things to appeal to the opposite sex (or same sex, I’m hip, I know it’s the 21st century). But when you transform yourself into the desired image that is the consensus of those that you desire, you lose your personal identifying qualities in the process. Your end result is a homogenized Barbie-esque husk of a human. Humanity has never been more self-obsesses as we are today. Yet ironically we uniform our appearance to match identically ideal end results. Many people do it—from hipsters to Harley riders—blonde bimbos to bow hunters—pseudo intellectuals to skateboarders. You can identify people and their proclivities with one passing glance.
Not saying hello, as you know, is a personal pet peeve of mine. Though, I don’t recommend that you say hello to every individual you come across. That would be weird. You can’t walk around the grocery store nodding your head to everyone. Bit of a side point that I must point out: there is a strange exchange whenever you walk around in public. Humans are visual creatures. We feel compelled to look at other humans—sometimes to identify if we know the person or not—other times just out of curiosity. There will inevitably be people that you see on a continual basis throughout your life that you will never exchange one word with. You know what I’m talking about. You see someone and you and that unfamiliar person both give each other a glance that many times includes brief eye contact, and then you both look away. Both you and that individuals lives’ orbits will cross at random occasions throughout your lives and you will briefly recognize that it is another human that you aren’t (and don’t desire to be) an acquaintance with, and then you’ll direct your attention back to the deli counter, or the great selection of Triscuit boxes before you. Not to demean the exchange, but it seems like the equivalent of dogs sniffing each other’s butts. There really is no point to what I was just saying. It just seems odd is all.
Back to appearance.
Really what it comes down to is confidence in appearance. People can sense insecurity like a shark senses a drop of blood in the ocean. It screams volumes. From eye contact to posture, people can easily read other people. It’s ironic that the more confidently a person dresses, the more self-conscious they may be. Take for instance, Halloween. Have you ever asked yourself why women get completely tanked on Halloween? It may not surprise you that I have a hypothesis. There are two factors involved. Let me break it down for you.
Factor #1: Proximity of beverage to mouth. It’s simple science. The closer you keep your alcoholic drink to the hole you’re pouring it into, the quicker you will consume it. Bars are packed on Halloween, and for the most part its standing room only. That leaves you situated amongst a crowd of strangers with your glass of draft domestic hovering at chest level. If you are sitting at the bar and your drink is placed comfortably on the sticky surface before you, you drink it a little slower. If you’re standing and your drink is sitting on a tabletop behind you and you must reach back to snag it every time you need a drink, you drink even slower.
That is why I play it safe when I’m drinking in a bar. I pace myself by keeping my beer in the bar restroom balanced on top of the urinal. Every time I feel compelled to take a drink, I must walk across the bar and into the bathroom to take a sip. Yes, you heard me. That beer that is always sitting on top of the urinal in the men’s bathroom is mine. Don’t touch it.
Factor #2: Girls get drunk on Halloween because they dress like sluts. Nothing against it. I think it’s awesome. They take anything innocuous and slut it up. God Bless ‘em. I once saw a woman dressed as a slutty girl scout. Man, that’s weird. Why do guys dig that? I don’t know why, but we do.
Back on topic. When a girl leaves the house on Halloween wearing next to nothing on a 40 degree night so she can stand in a crowded bar surrounded by strangers, she’s going to feel very apprehensive and insecure. And what is the cure to such anxiety? Why our good friend alcohol of course!
So, in conclusion, be mindful of what you wear and what it says to the world. Girls, if you show a lot of skin on Halloween be prepared to be visually molested by a bunch of creeps hiding behind their pilsners. And guys, if I spot you wearing skinny jeans I will be hoping that the jeans will cut off your circulation below the belt, leaving you unable to reproduce.