I'd Give You the Shirt Off My Back
I'm not sure I'm prepared to handle the responsibility that goes with blogsitting while Fadkog is away.
Sure, it's nice to have the place to myself, and as she mentioned, it carries the benefit of being able to sift through her drawers while she's gone. But I have to be honest with you -- I'm having some flashbacks back to that time in high school that I was housesitting for my girlfriend while she was on vacation with her family, and I made the mistake of noticing a letter she had on the floor of her bedroom. A letter that I read out of curiosity. A letter she was evidently writing to another guy she had met at camp.
A letter filled with phrases like "I've been thinking about you a lot" and "it's so hot in here as I write this, that I had to take my shirt off."
Yeah. That was totally a good time, finding that letter. So, you know, watching someone's place while they're away doesn't always have the best connotations for me.
But I did want to take this opportunity to write about something near and dear to Fadkog's heart. And I don't mean her boobs. Although she did say that one of the prerequisites for writing on her blog was that I must say nice things about them. I tell ya, the way she talks about those funbags, you'd think a chorus of angels starts to sing every time she takes off her bra.
Which, really, I don't doubt at all. I don't see very many boobs these days apart from my wife's, and I'll admit that I break out in song on occasion when she takes her shirt off. Sometimes I even do a little jig.
Being that it's summer, 4th of July and all, I wanted to write briefly about male shirtlessness. It seems to be a popular theme lately on her blog -- with all the discussion of man pelts and stay-at-home Dads mowing their lawns. Plus, it just so happens I was writing about male body parts on my own blog recently.
I tried out a little experiment last week. Occasionally, I'll be shirtless while mowing my own lawn -- check that, my tiny thatch of weeds couldn't be defined as a lawn, so we'll have to call it a "yard." I generally don't think twice about going shirtless, being the ripping male specimen that I am. But on this occasion, purely for the reason of sociological study, I decided to gauge the reactions of those around me as I mowed. Would hot neighbor chicks with kickass racks be looking on in awe? Would 18-year old girls arriving home after cheerleading practice take a moment to admire my glistening masculinity? Would a group of desperate housewives gather on the front sidewalk?
Alas, it was not to be. Halfway through my mowing, I remembered that there are no kickass racks or desperate housewives or hot cheerleaders that live on my block. Although, to be fair, I did get the attention of the 60-year old woman with the crooked teeth that lives next door. Although she was probably two days into another meth binge, so I didn't bother trying to understand what she was saying over the roar of my Snapper.
I had another occasion for shirtlessness the next day, at our Big Honkin' Church Picnic Shindig. Hundreds and hundreds of families at a large public pool-slash-waterpark that the church reserved for the event. After a dinner of way-too-much food, my family was preparing to jump in the water. After doing my manly duty of blowing up floaties for my 4-year old son's arms, I removed my shirt and waded into the shallow kids section of the pool with my wife and two children.
After about five minutes, I noticed something. I looked around at the other men in the pool and realized that nearly all the men around me had their shirts on. Let me repeat that for a moment: Most of the men in the pool had their shirts on.
Does that strike anyone else as strange?
I'll admit it wasn't the warmest evening on record. It was maybe 75 degrees, and the sun was setting. Plus, at Midwestern church functions such as these, people are just accustomed to being OVERLY modest. You won't find any tiny string bikinis on the women.
But seriously. Shirts in the pool?
I poked fun at a couple of my friends about it. I know when you are a guy over 30 and you've got three or four young kids, you are allowed some leeway on how often you hit the gym. Trying to maintain your body like that of the 18-year old lifeguards just isn't going to happen. Not to mention, some guys really rock the farmer tan, and bright red arms with a pasty white stomach doesn't always impress the ladies.
Why are you guys wearing your shirts?, I said. I mean, seriously. Dude. We're in a pool.
But you've got YOUR shirt off, they said. We definitely can't take our shirts off now.
I thought for a moment they were joking or being sarcastic. But then I realized they were half-serious. Evidently, somehow, they actually thought that MY shirtless chest and stomach was setting the bar too high for them.
This most likely means that I surround myself with out-of-shape friends, because my chest and stomach and arms? Seriously? NOT that high of a bar.
The two of them did manage to take their shirts off shortly after that, and I'll admit they were both rocking the farmer tan and a bit of the Man Boob. As a guy, it's always interesting to see your friends in various stages of undress. Women, of course, are used to it, because we all know that lingerie parties and pillow fights and making out while topless is the norm among hot chicks when they get together. But most guys are just NOT used to seeing each other naked.
My most extreme example is, of course, the locker room at the gym. Seeing hairy naked strange old men in the locker room is no big deal. Emotionally scarring, perhaps, but not surprising. But when you see someone that you KNOW, it's always slightly awkward. Like when I was putting on my shoes a couple of weeks ago, and a friend of mine who also happens to be a pastor at church came out of one of the showers.
Talk about a man pelt. I never would have guessed he was so hairy. It was like having an uncomfortable conversation with a naked sasquatch.
Let's just be honest here. The male naked form can't hold a candle to the naked female. A guy has to do a LOT of work to get his chest and upper body looking good and ripped. A woman, though, just needs to take her shirt off, and (I'm speaking for all heterosexual men here) we're pretty darn impressed. Granted, women have their own share of self-image issues because of society, the media, and all that crap. But having boobs gives them a distinct advantage.
Look at that. A whole post centered around BOOBS! Who would have thought. It's like the circle of life.