It’s fall in Tennessee. For those of you who are not as familiar with the weather here, that means upper 60s one day and a chance for snow the next. You may head to work in short sleeves in the morning and need an overcoat for your ride home that evening. I’m convinced that the creation of the “hourly forecast” on weather apps was done for places just like Middle TN so you could know exactly how to dress. Even with that, its not always easy to know how to plan for fall weather. I thought about that yesterday as I waited for a friend I was meeting at lunch. I had arrived a few minutes early so, being the people watcher I am, I stood in the front of the restaurant and watched people as they came and went. It was interesting to say the least. So, being the civil-servant that I am, I thought I’d come up with a few helpful hints to help people who travel to our area. They might even apply to your area or you might want to add some of your own.
1. There are times when fashion is folly. Case in point, the young lady who walked into the restaurant before me yesterday. She had on a cute, silky blouse with 3/4 sleeves. The problem was that it was 40 degrees and windy. She shivered from the parking lot to the restaurant where she continued to shiver as she waited in line. Then (and I am not kidding) she took time to let the manager know that the dining area was too cool for her taste.
2. Boots don’t go with everything. As my friend and I sat and talked yesterday, I watched four different people come into line wearing cowboy boots. The first was a lady wearing yoga pants (see #3). The second was a man wearing a pair of business pants. The third was a young lady wearing pajama pants (see #4) and the last was a young girl wearing gym shorts. (Remember, it was 40 degrees outside) I’m happy you have boots. I really am. But if you are going to wear them, please wear them with something that matches appropriately. BONUS: If you wear boots, learn to size them correctly. Otherwise you wind up with the familiar “thud-scoot-scoot” style of walking. Every step is a reminder to all of us that your boots are too large because they slide off your feet every time you take a step.
3. Apparently, wearing yoga pants (those stretchy things) is acceptable now. But if I can see the shape and pattern of your under garments, then you probably have purchased your yoga pants a size or two too small–or perhaps you should just wear your yoga pants to yoga?
4. Ah, the infamous pajama pants. Look. Everyone has worn pajama pants in public at some point or another. But that stopped about the same time you stopped picking your nose and throwing tantrums in public. If you don’t have time to change into real pants at 20 years old then you probably shouldn’t be at a public restaurant or you should have on business clothes looking for a job.
5. Wearing short sleeves in 30 degree temperatures does not prove you are tougher than me or the others who choose to wear jackets. It simply means you have either a) a higher metabolism, b) more body fat or c) no contact with the outside world to get a daily weather forecast. However, should you choose to wear short sleeves in the close-to-freezing temperatures, please do not stand next to me and cough, hack, sniffle, sneeze or wipe your hands on items that I might have to use after you have done so.
6. Check the weather. Then, throw away what they say and go outside and check it for yourself. I’ve had this theory for years that (at least in our area) the weather forecasters have an agreement with the local grocery stores. You watch. If they predict a 2-1/2% chance of snow, ice or sleet, there will be a massive rush on the store to get bread, milk, eggs and water (sometimes people will purchase other items as well but these are the staples). It’s as if all of Middle TN is afraid that, with the snow, they will be unable to make pancakes or scrambled eggs for days. The funny thing is that, with rare exceptions, the snow seldom lasts more than a few hours before it melts.
7. Lastly, as my wife would say, “save the billboard for the roadside, not your backside.’ Pants and/or shorts with writing on the buttocks are put there for one reason and one reason only. So, instead of placing the name of your favorite team, “pink” or “cheer” on the backside of your pants, why not put what you really mean…”can you please stare at my rear end intently??” As a dad, I have to tell you that I don’t want my daughters encouraging that behavior in any manner. Such items aren’t allowed to be worn away from my house.
Okay, it’s all in fun (kind of) but the clothing choices of people–even my own family–really cause me to think about who we are and what we think of ourselves. My encouragement to you is this…”clothe yourself today in the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6). You can’t go wrong trading in those yoga pants for the righteousness of God