Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Proudly Wearing It On My Sleeve

This post will probably not make me popular.

I don’t care, since some things just have to be said.

If you know me at all, then you know I am a “live and let live” kind of person. I try (really hard) not to pass judgment. Not just because the Bible tell us not to, but also because I personally don’t like having judgment passed on me.

But there are some things so offensive, so horrible - I can’t help myself.

For instance, my take on khaki.

I hate khaki. I really, really hate it.

I don’t just mean, “Oh, I don’t like khaki and never wear it,” I mean, you should never wear it, either. No one should ever wear it. It shouldn’t even exist.

Khaki is clearly something the other colors threw up.

I mean, just listen to the sound of "khaki." It sounds like something nasty got caught in your throat.

No one (and I mean NO ONE) looks good in khaki. You could put khaki on the most beautiful person in the world (current votes are on Angelina Jolie), and she would look like, well, me.

You could put khaki on the cutest, little angel-faced baby. Within seconds, you’ve got your very own Quasimodo lurching across the floor.

I have stood proudly unwavering on my opinion of khaki.

I curse the feeble-headed morons who anointed khaki the holy color of business casual. A few years ago, I was supposed to staff a booth for our company, and my boss wanted us to wear matching polo shirts and khaki pants.

“I will quit before I ever purposely wear khaki,” were my exact words to her. (She let me wear black.)

I didn’t just not join the military because of a complete lack of interest and schlubby physical condition - there was all that khaki to consider. No way could I have survived (the exertion or the explosion of crappy khaki).

I will say khaki seems perfectly appropriate on one entity – maggots. Maggots embody khaki sentimentality beautifully, and I think (as reasonable people) we should not try, on any level, to imitate maggots.

Moving on, next to my utter disdain of khaki, is my opinion of flip-flops.

I really despise flip-flops.

There is exactly one place where flip-flops are acceptable (besides the trash). If you are going into a communal showering facility with people of questionable hygiene, then (by all means) protect your feet.

Otherwise, um, no.

First of all, I’m still a relatively conservative Baptist girl at heart (I can hear those of you disagreeing based on my earlier use of the word “crappy” which is definitely not condoned in the Baptist circles.).

And, really, aren’t flip-flops essentially bikinis for your feet? In some circles, they are even called “thongs” (you don’t want to get me started on actual thongs).

I should clarify I also don’t think feet, as appendages, are necessarily beautiful and worthy of showing off. And all the cutesy, patterned, flowery, glittery, sea shelled flip-flops in the world aren’t going to change what is clearly not meant to be displayed.

There’s a reason God put ‘em at the end of our bodies. It wasn’t so we could draw special attention to the five-pronged hobbit limb that mutates grotesquely off our stumpy legs.

This brings us to the real reason for my post. I am in absolute disgust over a current fashion trend.

Sleeveless clothes.

“Oh, Ann-Marie,” you scoff. “Surely, you know sleeves have gone the way of the horse and buggy, the corset, and the buttonhook!”

Yes, yes, I know. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have searched rack after rack of clothes with nary a sleeve in sight.

Never was this trend more in evidence than when Mom and I were hunting for bridesmaid dresses.

Mom and Gary got married in May, which (in Illinois, anyway) is not the height of summer. It should have been a cakewalk to find a dress with sleeves. Instead, we had to go all over town, search several stores, all just to find ONE design that featured (albeit very short) sleeves.

I started fuming then and there and haven’t stopped since.

Sleeveless is not a trend I can applaud.

So many people - the majority really - look hideous in sleeveless items; their saggy skin and fat flaps waving brazenly in the wind. I’m not making a fat joke (like I could). I’m talking about your average, every day, sleeveless garment wearer.

I have met exactly one person who looks amazing in sleeveless clothes.

Her name is Dominique Dawes, and she is an Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast. She wore a brown sleeveless dress and looked fantastic. Her arms were incredible and sculpted to perfection. Her arms were so beautiful; they should be bronzed and placed in a museum.

Dominique can confidently go sleeveless. The rest of humanity? Not so much.

Much of my chagrin exists in not knowing what, if anything, the sleeve has ever done to be discarded in such a manner!

I love sleeves! In fact, I love anything that covers my imperfections and highlights my… (well, forget what it highlights).

Think of the sleeve-related Americana sayings that will soon be shorn from our vocabulary!

“He wears his heart on his sleeve.”
“She’s got something up her sleeve.”
“Let’s roll up our sleeves, and get to work!”

Gone! Poof!

Now, in order for someone to wear their heart on their “sleeve,” they’ll have to get a tattoo.

Sleeves have long been a thing of beauty to me.

My favorite is the sleeve that starts at the shoulder and billows gracefully down my arm and ends at the back of my hand. Long, flowing sleeves enable me to entertain the delusion that I have willow-thin and decidedly lovely arms.

Even my childhood heroine, Anne Shirley, desired “puffed sleeves.”

I also love 3/4 length sleeves. They say, “Hey, I’m willing to let my hair down and have a good time.” Without ever crossing the line into, “Hey, baby, what’s your sign?”

I’m not a huge fan of short sleeves, but they’re okay at the bare minimum.

Unlike cap or barely-there sleeves which I call “teaser” sleeves (and yes, that’s why). It’s like wearing a sheer robe over sexy lingerie. Why bother, you know?

I know my opinions are not popular, judging by the sheer volume of khaki clothes and gawdy, tacky flip-flops available in the stores. Not to mention, the pantheon that has been unofficially erected to sleeveless clothes at most major retailers.

Like Laura Ingalls had to forbid farewell to her sun bonnet, I, too, will have to say goodbye to sleeves. For now.

After all, I live in Illinois. Where we have a little thing called…winter.

*Begin evil laughter soundtrack*

Try going sleevless then. Just try it.

While most of this is said tongue-in-cheek, I’m totally not kidding about khaki. May it die a swift death, and be instantly forgotten.

“Khaki? What’s that?”

Ahh...the sound of things being right with the world.


Alice said...

Sigh. Oh, Ann-Marie. I'm positive there will be flip-flops in heaven that's how much I love them. The saddest day of the year is the day it's too cold to wear them and they must be put away for the season. They're cheap! They're sparkly!

I love sleeveless things too. Though I agree that the impossibility of even seeing a wedding dress with sleeves (or a top actually) is baffling to me.

And...what would men do without khaki? How could they then don their man uniform of blue oxford shirt and khaki pants, thus allowing them to wear the same thing every day to work and no one being the wiser?

Clearly, I have strong feelings on this. I should have written my own post. I still like you though. :-)

Pappy said...

Darling niece, who is about to bless me with a great-nephew:
Strange thing--I got an auto-generated e-mail to the effect that your post appeared on the Trotter Political Chat page, but when I went there it wasn't there!
Regardless, let me begin by saying that I'm thinking this post is a symptom of a passing mental malaise, possibly related to pregnancy--a sort of faux PMS one might imagine.
Question: Does "Khaki" include "tan"?
Question: Is it OK to wear flip-flops when traveling by air, now that they make you take your shoes off going through security?
Question: How much should I bid on eBay for the Seinfeld shirt?
Love you dearly,
Uncle Jimmy

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Sigh. Oh, Ann-Marie (many of your comments seem to be starting like this, eh?)
I own exactly 7 pairs of flip flops, in an array of colors. Now, I don't wear them everywhere. Mainly to the pool. And outside in the yard. Never to church, and rarely even to the store. I'm not exactly thrilled about showing off my feet, but I do like some convenience. And cheap is good. In shoes anyway.

Sleeveless-- well, I share your opinion about how most people look in sleeveless, including myself. I've seen lots of flabby arms flapping in the breeze. However, before bashing sleeveless, I think we should address belly shirts. I know only one person who looks fantastic in both, and that is my little sister. She is the exercise queen. That said, I have an entire drawer full of tank tops-- at least 40, I think. No joke. They are great for 95 degree days here in AR, plus they are nice for layering.

Khaki-- I'm with your Pappy-- there are degrees of khaki, as with any evil.

As usual, love the hilarious and captivating reading on your blog!

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

And, hey, what's with people wearing pajamas to the store nowadays? Don't we have bigger fish to fry than flip flops?? ;-)

Ann-Marie said...

Aww...Alice, I still like you, too! You're one of my favorite flip-flop fanantic friends (Wendy, please count yourself among them as well!).

Uncle Jimmy - I did accidentally post this first on the family political page! Oops. Also, I've felt this way for years, long before I was pregnant, so no worries there. Tan and khaki are both on my hit list with no degrees in between! I repeat - flip-flops are only okay when showering with strangers. And I would LOVE the Seinfeld pirate shirt!

Wends - I almost mentioned pajama pant wearers but figured I was already in enough hot water! You read my mind!

Jennittia said...

I tend to agree with your view of sleeveless, except when worn under another shirt.

I must say, though, I love sparkly, pretty flip flops. I do not care for the plain ones, and yes, I know they are about the worst things for your feet, but my husband LOVES my feet, and with the exception of my crooked big toes, my feet are very worth showing off!! I will very much agree, however, I am an exception!

Overall, a very humorous post and I loved Pappy's comments!!!!

Juliet said...

I enjoyed all the humor that went with this post!

As you well know, I do wear sleeveless items. I will say that I don't like sleeveless when the arm hole is too big. There are things, I would rather not see. You know what I mean.

Well, I hear the mailman coming so I better go get the mail. Now where did I last put my flip-flops?

Heidi said...

I don't really care for the feeling of that thing going between my toes, so that kind of flip flops I don't like, but the sandal ones are okay. I do wear those in the Summer. I also swelled so bad when I was pregnant that the only comfortable things I could wear were the flip flops.
As far as sleeveless. I don't like others to see my flabby arms, so I tend to agree with you there.
Khaki is great. Need I say more! To me it is more comfortable than denim as the material is thinner.