Archive for October, 2010

The Changing of Seasons

Posted in Reflections with tags , , on October 21, 2010 by Justin S. Smith

We don’t have the privilege of watching the colors of autumn wash over the trees here in west Texas. The golds, oranges, and reds don’t visit us before shifting to brown and falling. We must find other ways to mark the change of seasons and it took great effort after moving here to find a clear demarcation of the shift from summer to autumn. Then, like many things, it occurred to me all at once while making an evening trip to the grocery store.

Throughout the summer, my wife and I had discussed what must have been a denim shortage in the Midland/Odessa area. Spotting of shorts barely covering posteriors had become the norm skewing our views so as to see one that was modestly dressed as likely a religious fanatic. Knee-length shorts appeared burka-like in contrast to clothing that would have difficulty in covering a bathing suit. I had contacted both Levi’s and Wrangler to see if a poor cotton crop had contributed to a reduction of material used for the manufacturing of their garments. They informed me they were doing fine and seemed a bit irritated by my call. There was something amiss though; I was sure of it.

Then I noticed that it appeared many of the young males in the area were unable to find shorts small enough to fit their waists. Their beltlines had drooped completely below their rears and had to resort to holding them up in the front to keep them from falling around their ankles. Now I’m no activist, but the obvious unequal distribution of material being propagated by the denim manufacturers had me enraged; I got back on the horn. Levi’s informed me that they offered a full range of cuts, sizes and fits for both male and female customers and they were pretty sure it was a matter of style choices. I indignantly pushed back informing them how ridiculous their defense seemed, suggesting that so many women are intentionally picking shorts that their cheeks hang out of the bottom while so many men are getting sizes so large that they can’t keep them up over their butts. Ludicrous I say. They asked me about denim purchases in my house. I was forced to admit that we were all able to find items that actually sat at our waists and covered our posteriors which left me to ponder the ridiculousness that is style and fashion.

I continued to ponder this throughout the summer. Then I saw something change. I was first alerted to it observing a father and son crane their necks about to get a backside glance at a woman in yoga pants entering the store as they were leaving. Then as I myself entered the local grocery store, I noted the shorts were gone alltogether. I expected at first that the very little material had all but vanished while drying, shrinking as denim is wont to do, and disappeared in the dryer with the “other” sock. But then I recognized it for what it was: the change of seasons.

A sea of ultra tight yoga pants spread before me. Where their predecessors could not conceal a bathing suit for lack of coverage, now the concealment was hindered by the very essence of their Lycra existence; painted on tightness leaving as little to the imagination as the denim shorts before them. Having seen the poses taken in the practice of yoga, I doubt these pants have the stretch remaining to make it, but I am neither textile expert nor yogi. I could be wrong.

Regardless, I was warmed by the consistency left in the gradual change. Like the leaves shifting color but clinging to the tree for another month, bad fashion choices move from summer to autumn, constant yet changing with the forward march of time. How nice to again be able to observe the changing seasons.