Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Short-Answer Problem

It hit 102 degrees here in Dallas today, and I was glad I was indoors for most of it. But I was really amused by a post over at Althouse, where the good professor was railing against men in shorts. Granted, she's from Madison, Wisconsin, which might as well be half a world away from here in terms of climate. Still, it was an amusing read for someone here in Texas:
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

That's the short answer about shorts. Men in shorts? No such thing. If you are in shorts, you are not a man. I'll make a small exception for certain sports, or if you are staying at home or in your own yard. But if you're going out in public in a non-sports capacity, put on some pants! This includes the postman!
Needless to say, many of her readers, especially those of us from the South, didn't agree (I'm comment #63, incidentally). I certainly don't begrudge the UPS driver or letter carrier the comfort of wearing shorts to work, even if I can't do so myself (though they'd be quite comfortable in some of my schools with poorly-ventilated practice rooms). And I think they're perfectly acceptable as casual wear when it's as hot as it is now.

Anybody disagree with me on this? I know that most Musings readers (or at least the ones who comment) are from here in Texas too, so I bet we're mostly of one mind on this.

A Napster of sorts: Seeing as how today was my last free Thursday afternoon/evening until Thanksgiving, I did an unusual thing: I took a nap. My parents were visiting today, but I was toast when I came home from teaching, so I snoozed while they cleaned. (Some may thing of that as wrong, but hey, they chose to come here during one of my busiest weeks of the year, and they seem to enjoy that domestic stuff that I don't always have time to do.)

I woke up feeling quite refreshed. It's scary to think that I may not get another nap until Labor Day *shudder*, and it's scarier to think that naps have to be scheduled like that. Anyone think I work too much?

A common-sense approach to kids' treats: I'm a big Lileks fan, and in today's Bleat, he has a lot of great things to say about parenting, but one statement, regarding a trip with his daughter to Krispy Kreme, is about the most sensible parenting advice I've heard in a long time:
She was very impressed by the donut. “It was awesome,” she said.

And yes, I am trying to raise a fat kid. Of course! Goes without saying! McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme – that's all she eats. Look: we do McDonald’s once a fortnight, at the most, and she has a cheeseburger. No soda, no juice, no fries; she gets the apples. Occasionally I buy a small fries, and we split that. We never get donuts. But that’s not POLICY, it’s just the way we live. If it’s POLICY then you make the forbidden things alluring and attractive; if you stigmatize them you undercut your own authority because they see no reason why the items are taboo, and if you make all sorts of heavy food rules whose moral weight exceeds that of the Ten Commandments then the kid's going to have food isssues. Make the fun stuff part of a rotating sequence of balanced indulgences that roll around with predictable regularity,, and you raise a sane kid. Says me. Get back to me in a decade.
Sure makes sense to me.


Eric Grubbs said...

re: men in shorts
The length of the shorts are a big factor. If they stretch to the knees, that's long enough. Anything less, it's too short. The less you see of hairy legs, the better.

re: work too much?
"Work" is a relative word. If you're working against sides of your personality in order to make a living, then that's "work." If you're not, how can that be considered "work?"

j-guar said...

shorts are always acceptable in the summer, even in such "cold" states as minnesota. i often was in the back of a UPS truck at my job this summer, and even on days where it was only 80, it becomes very hot and stuffy and pants would've been suicide.