I often find my mind wandering to various subjects, subjects that make me stop and think. The blog, Musings of a Middle Aged Man, is a catalog of those thoughts I muse upon as I search for significance in life.
I am the father of 3 children and the grandfather to 2. I spend my days working for a medium sized multinational corporation where I am an Agile Coach. I view myself as a Servant Leader, have a passion for leadership, particularly, in helping people develop their individual leadership skills and abilities.
In October 2012, I went to India on business. After a week of being there, I still had not talked to or texted my 7-year-old grandson. He asked his mom, "Is Papa dead? He hasn't texted me all week." To facilitate communication now that he and I no longer live together, I started a blog for us to communicate. It's titled, "Correspondence Between Luke and His Papi".
In April 2013, I moved to Pune, India on an 18-month delegation. It's an adventure that was 1.5 years in the making...The experience is captured on my blog, "The Adventures of an American Living Abroad"
My two latest blogs are "The Learning Leader", a topic I have been studying since 1990, and "Lipstick on a Pig", a foray into the fashion sense of this middle aged man.
Sometimes, one must adjust the attire to conform to local standards. Such is the case at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.
Entrance to the Golden Temple in Amritsar requires the removal of shoes and wearing a head cover…both men and women. The shoes are checked in outside the temple grounds. The Middle-Aged Man tends to never go barefoot, even in his home, but had to make the adjustment to see the beautiful temple. It was a more than acceptable tradeoff.
The head covering was purchased at one of many vendors on the way in. There were two choices. Orange or white. I am intrigued by the color orange (Sunrise, The Dutch Football Team, Buddhist monks, the color my hair used to be) and white (high noon, purity, virginity, innocence), I chose the former as it more suited my personality. Purchase price a mere 20 rupees (30 cents)
The Middle-Aged Man and his wife were traveling through India. He decided, on his own, to wear long pants to be at once culturally sensitive and, since they were visiting ancient temples, to be sure he was allowed entry. Some temples do not allow half pants aka shorts.
Well, it was hot, sunny, not a cloud in the sky to cast shade. The Middle-Aged Man is prone to overheating. Halfway through the day, the heat was getting to him. He rolled up his pants to dissipate some heat. He is not a big fan of knickers on me but, in this case, comfort dictated the look.
As his wife suggested before they embarked on the temple investigation, he should have worn shorts for to be comfortable (she remembered my struggles in our very humid Angkor Wat excursion) and slip-on shoes or sandals because many of the temples required shoe removal. Tieing and loosening his laces became a nuisance.
It’s been a while since the Pigman has posted to his fashion blog. The biggest reason is that it is a pain in the arse to setup the camera, a tripod, and take a self-portrait he can live with. (He tends to be particular about the pictures he posts.) Anyway, last week he picked up a brand new pair of khaki’s at Macy’s at 60% discount and a new pair of kicks at DSW for at 50% discount. He likes that the pants are snug at the ankles and show of the full length of the shoe. He matched them today along with a navy band collar shirt (he has long enjoyed the look of a band collar despite the fact it reminds him of the Catholic clergy).
One of the designers at his office said she liked his ‘outfit’. He opted not to go into the usual rant that little girls and women wear outfits. Men wear clothing. Instead, he basked in the compliment coming from a person acutely aware of aesthetics.
…and it makes his wife laugh. To be fair, she gave her blessing to his yellow pants and purple shirt combo. This was vacation time so he packed just the one coat to keep the luggage light. The black hat was purchased in Canada to keep the sun out of his eyes.
He would have packed his red Canada baseball cap but the wife said it makes him look like a Trumpster. That alone almost made him throw it in a dumpster for, to be associated with the Donald, a man with strong xenophobic tendencies is in antithesis to the Middle Aged Man who views himself as a citizen of the world, not just one country in the world, who understands isolationism is not the answer when the question is a thriving community.
But he has a hard time throwing away good money so it sits on his shelf gathering dust waiting for a future when the Donald has been dumped by US voters and is sent to rot in the anals (yes, I meant anal, not annal) of history.
The first full day in Canada included a visit to Peggy’s Cove on the Nova Scotia seashore then a long, long drive to the very tip of Prince Edward Island 418 km to the North. It was cool in the morning so the stretchy jeans were again chosen. The sun was shining so shorts could have been option but the Middle Aged Man decided to play it safe. After this day, they were stuffed into the suitcase only to see the light of day on the long return trip home.
The Middle Aged Man digs the shades of orange known as rust, copper, terracotta, because they remind him of his beloved Moab, Utah, a land boasting many shades of orange and red along with landscapes that look more surreal than real. If he was given the option of living anywhere in the world, it would be somewhere in the bottom third of Utah leaning toward the East. His plan is to reside there permanently for eternity posthumously when his ashes are scattered to the Canyonland winds.
Now that he is thinking about the red rocks, he feels it’s time to visit his spiritual home again.
Vacation time typically means plane time, airport time, lots of uncomfortable sitting time all begging for comfortable attire. The trip to Nova Scotia included two plane legs and a three hour layover.
So, the Middle Aged Man wore a pair of stretchy jeans, a lycra blend shirt also very stretchy, and his very comfortable grey Adidas shoes which go with almost and casual ensemble. He wanted to wear his blue pants with the elastic at the ankle but the wife said it looked too suburban.
“We are going to Canada.” he retorted, “What do Canadians know of urban vs suburban fashion or any fashion outside of hunting and fishing gear?”
“You gotta represent,” she returned. Thus the clothing for the evening in Halifax, Nova Scotia where they ate dinner and walked along the wonderful boardwalk taking time for this picture. (I feel like I’m starting to get the posing thing down.)
I bought these pants on the spur of the moment because they were dirt cheap, I was getting antsy waiting for my wife with an ability to shop for hours on end, and I had never owned a pair of maroon pants…well…I may have in the mid-1970s but those were large bell bottom plaid with a hint of maroon thrown into the mix. But that is something we no longer talk about and the pictures are, I hope, long gone.
Every time I put these on with my loafers, and I always wear them with loafers because I have no idea what else to wear them with, I have a flashback to Samantha the Witch as played by Elizabeth Montgomery on the TV Show Bewitched from my youth. I don’t know if she ever wore this combination. Nonetheless, I get that flashback.
Why then do I continue to wear them? To overcome the misguided notion that maroon pants are somehow effeminate. I am working to eliminate some of the silly gender stereotypes from my thinking.