I Am Samurai! Ay!

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A lot of things changed in our part of the world while I was living in the islands for the better part of a decade. To be honest, I’m having a bit of a problem adjusting to life back in America. I was not all that trendy in the first place, so I didn’t put forth any effort to keep up with the changes Americans were experimenting with while I was gone.

When I finally came back to stay (at least for now) I knew there was going to be some adjusting back to “the real world,” as they say. Of course while I was in the Caribbean I explained to more than one visiting American that the good people of the Caribbean view their world as real as we Americans view ours. It’s surprising how many people don’t seem to get that. Anyway, like I said, I knew there would be some adjusting and by in large I’ve done so-so, but there are a few things that I can’t quite wrap my head around. Three of them are men’s fashion issues and perhaps somebody would be kind enough to write and let me know what I’m missing.

First. Why did men start wearing suit jackets that are too small for them? Every time I see one of these guys in a restaurant or in an office or on TV, I wonder if the poor guy knows that he bought the wrong size suit? Clearly they look uncomfortable with a suit jacket that has tight sleeves and fits so snug through the shoulders they look like they are wearing a hand-me-down that belonged to their little sister. Yet they swag along in their tiny coat with full confidence that they look good. The sad truth is that they bought it too small because someone told them that it’s the “in thing” and it looks good on them. Just for the record, my wife bought me one of those tiny coats. Now some homeless guy in St Petersburg has a nice, new blazer. If he’s lucky he is smaller than I am and it fits him perfectly.

Second. For the love of God! When did all the little old men in Florida start shaving their legs or getting laser or whatever is done that makes their legs as smooth and hairless as a bride on her wedding day? The first time I noticed it was when I was home on vacation from the islands. I said to my wife, “I think that old guy has shaved legs.” But that was a few years ago, before an apparent outbreak of smooth, toned, tanned legs found their way into the geriatric male world in Florida. These days, just about every time I go out in public I see old dudes with legs so smooth and tanned that they could belong to a high school cheerleader. My only question is, “Why?” Why are all you old guys shaving your legs all of a sudden? Do you have too much time on your hands and just need something to fill your day? Is there some sort of old man hairless leg club I don’t know about? Why do you do that?

Third. Who on Earth ever told a grown man, “You should put your hair up in a bun. I think that would look good.” And when they said it, did they manage to keep a straight face? I keep expecting one of these man-bun guys to stroll up and grunt, “I am Samurai! Ay!” And then whip out a sword. I’m pretty open-minded and I get the style behind just about everything from Afro to flattop to ponytails and dreads, but the man-bun defies any stylistic logic. It’s the style that says, “I want long hair, but I don’t like long hair so I keep it up in a bun like a spinster grandmother from Amish country. Cool, huh?” The obvious answer to that is “No. It is not cool. It does not look good, man. Take it down!”

There are other things that have challenged me now that I’m back in the states, like junk mail. In all the years that I lived in the lands of blue water I got about a dozen pieces of junk mail. Now, I get almost that much every day. With that said, I understand why it’s sent to me. It’s marketing. I don’t like it, but there’s a reason for it. But if you’re a grown man with a bun on your head, wearing a suit jacket that’s two sizes to small and you have shaved legs smoother than a baby’s bottom, there’s no good reason for that my friend. I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re just getting sucked some sort of bad style-of-the-day trend. In fact, if you’re doing all of them, you’ve been sucked into at least three bad trends and there’s a good chance that you’re going to feel a sense of shame when you look at a picture of yourself a few years from now.

Let me help you envision things a bit clearer. If you’re an average guy who jumped onto the smooth leg, tiny coat, man-bun trends, do yourself a favor. Google a photo of a shirtless Brock O’Hurn or David Beckham standing in all their glory with a bun on their head and take a good long look. Do you think women would say those guys were hot, even if they were wearing a red clown nose along with their man-bun and tiny suite, with shaved legs or not? Now, take a shirtless picture of yourself wearing a red clown nose. Do you see what I mean? Everything looks good on a supermodel. Are you a super model? For the record, super models get away with wearing freakish styles because they’re super models!

With all that said you should feel liberated to be yourself again. Give your tiny coat to a small guy that needs a new suit. Stop shaving your legs because it serves no purpose. And last but not least, either get a Samurai sword or put on a dress and move to Amish country, or perhaps the boldest thing to do would be to let your hair down and be a trend setter and just be yourself. Ay!

B.M. Simpson

About B.M. Simpson

B.M. Simpson was born and raised in rural Maine. He joined the Air Force at the age of 18 and lived and moved across the U.S. and Europe. After leaving the military, he spent years living and working in the Caribbean. On the islands of Anguilla, St. Kitts and Grand Cayman, he discovered a passion for island life and formed friendships second to none. After more than 20 years of writing songs, poems and short stories, he wrote his first full-length novel, Island Dogs, A Caribbean Tale of Friendship.