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Gear Wars – May the Shorts Be with You!

As a general rule, I wear shorts from the earliest days of spring until the frost is on the pumpkin. This means I can enjoy about an eight to nine-month period of going out in comfort. There is nothing better than going out and feeling an extra spring in my step because I am wearing shorts. Shorts are the best gear for basically everything – walking, running, playing sports, traveling, attending ballgames, and going out to eat.

Unfortunately, I cannot wear shorts to work – most of us cannot – and there is nothing more unbearable than wearing pants on a hot day. There are also those special occasions where shorts will not make the cut. I am going to a beach wedding later this summer, and how I wish that I could get away with shorts and an Hawaiian shirt, but decorum does not allow for that.

If you did not know it, there are objections to people – particularly men – wearing shorts. Writer Fran Lebowitz says, “Men in shorts are disgusting.” It turns out she is not the only one. Apparently, there are a number of other women who have similar feelings.

I have experienced several negative situations about my wearing shorts – incredulously even from a complete stranger. One time I took my son into a children’s clothing store and a shopper who was an older woman looked me up and down and with a sneer asked, “Do I have to see your legs?”

Believe it or not I said, “Oh, I’m sorry.” Later in the day I thought about this incident and became angered at myself for apologizing. Every person should have a right to self-expression, and an important part of that is the clothing that one wears.

What my shorts say about me is that I am in summer mode as much as possible. I like wearing shorts because I connect them to free time, and shorts allow me to have comfort when I want and need it. Of course, I’m not going to wear shorts to the opera at Lincoln Center or a concert at Carnegie Hall, but I certainly wish that I could get away with it.

I do realize that there are some strong feelings about shorts and even a somewhat established etiquette about wearing them. These so-called rules are a bit of a bummer, yet I try to observe them, but feel they stem from a gear wars mentality – why is what someone else is wearing something to fight about? The problem is finely tailored suits are all about rules, while shorts are all about breaking them.

Cargo shorts are my favorites because of what most other guys will agree is their best feature – pockets, lots of pockets! I really do not wish to walk around with my things in a bag and prefer not carrying a backpack. Cargo shorts allow me to put all my stuff in the pockets and walk about with my hands free. The best part is that they have a tech pocket that’s just perfect for my phone.

I know a few people in my family who are not so crazy about my cargo shorts. While I still wear them and withstand their comments, one thing I did take into account was my pair of camouflage shorts. I did like them but they hated them with a passion, so they now languish in the bottom drawer and function as my painting – indoors only – shorts.

Of course, what would summer be without the most essential shorts of all – swim trunks. I love putting them on and heading out to the pool or beach. Absolutely nothing feels like freedom better than that.

I support anyone wearing shorts, and this summer I have seen as many women wearing shorts as men. I don’t know why every man, woman, and child is not wearing them during these scorching hot days.

Everyone should be able to wear shorts everywhere they go, and my great idea that I will send to Invent Help is the Shorts Suit – I’m aware that someone has probably already thought of this, but a guy can dream about spreading the word about shorts freedom and making a little money too. Either way, men and women could go into the office being as comfortable as if they were sitting on a beach and sipping a margarita.

Come on, America, let’s end these gear wars now. It’s time to throw away your pants and slip on a pair of shorts. Celebrate summer and your freedom from walking around with hot legs. Who cares if people don’t like it when we wear shorts?

It’s summer and the hottest days are yet to come, so go out there in a pair of shorts and enjoy every minute of it.

Oh, and may the shorts be with you!

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. His latest books 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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