John Y’s Musings from the Middle: The benefits of NOT “Copping an attitude “

jyb_musingsA few weeks ago I was joking with a friend about my shirt sleeves always swallowing my hands unless I rolled them up. He suggested a website called “The Modest Man” which I checked out and it turns out that “Modest man” is really a euphemism for, well, “Miniature man” The website features clothing suggestions for short (or “short-er ” as they put it) men, i.e. men 5 ‘8 and under.

Welll, I was ticked! Offended and hurt. Was he suggesting I was a “short man” who needed special sized clothing? Why not just tell me to shop in the “Little Boys” section? 

5 ‘8 and under! What was my friend thinking? After all, I stand a full 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall! (And if you want to be really precise, I am actually 5 feet and 9/16th inches tall, which rounds-up easily to 5 ‘9.) So, yeah, I’m actually much taller than the 5 ‘8 cut-off for men’s clothing lines for the smaller man.

But as the week wore on I kept going back to the website. When no one could see what I was looking at on my computer. And there were a lot of links to men’s clothing lines for these slighter, more diminutive or “modest men.” Unlike me.

Then I began comparing my reaction — the umbrage I was taking to my friend’s suggestion — to a similar incident last year when a different friend suggested I drop some weight and I defensively reassured myself he was way out of line since the BMI level for “Obesity” starts at 30 and I was checking in with a mere 29.5 BMI. (He turned out to be right. And I took his advice despite my initial denial.)

I kept going back to the website and finally — and very secretly — bought a shirt. Just to see (mostly out of intellectual curiousity) what the shirt would be like. Would it make me feel even shorter? Self -conscious? Ashamed? Like my feet may not touch the ground when I sat in a chair?

Actually, something very different happened. The “modestly” (or “acurately,” as I prefer) tailored shirt made me feel none of the things I feared. I just — for the first time in my life -was wearing a casual shirt with sleeves that didn’t swallow my hands without me rolling them up.

And, frankly, it made me feel pretty good. In fact, it even made me feel about an inch taller, too. Not that I needed it, mind you!

After all, I am already too tall for this kind of specialized clothing. But I’m glad I didn’t let my copping a negative attitude initially keep me from eventually having an open mind –and shirt sleeves that actually fit me.

Even though I am not going to tell anybody, I am probably going to buy another shirt at some point. Maybe a sweater, too.

And may recommend the website to a friend who is 5 ‘8 3/4 –which is even taller than me.


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