Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sunglasses At Night

Many people are trying to reinvent themselves.

As humans we tend to never be satisfied with our appearance. Whether it’s clothes, weight, hair, shoes, or something else, we are always trying to do things that change our looks and perhaps redefine who we are in the eyes of others.

The nice thing about traveling is that I get the chance to observe other people heading from and to places all around our tiny planet. Sometimes you can almost guess where people are heading by the company they are keeping and the clothes they are wearing.

An example is that I have seen many women dressed like they were going to diner in a fancy restaurant, and pretty much in every case they were meeting a special someone when they landed. Most of the time it was seen to be a boyfriend rather then a husband based on the absence of rings on that special finger.

Families are rather easy to pick out as they herd their offspring along, trying to keep track of each other, toys, strollers, ipods, coloring books, baby dolls, travel games, the list goes on and on. This is normally accompanied by statements about them heading to Grandma’s house or to an amusement park such as Disneyland. The obvious appearance of returning Disneyland families are the never-ending amount of “Disney Wear” and bags that they have.

Then there are the business folks. Toting briefcases, dressed in suits, and talking on their cell phones arranging meetings and discussing issues. Tending to fall into this category on most of my trips, I get to dress in jeans and a t-shirt and haul my stuff around in a nice backpack instead of using the more stuffy look of briefcase and a suit.

As casually as I am dressed, I am still doing work most of the time I’m traveling. Sometimes there is the exception when I feel the urge to put down my Blackberry and type an observational article for my website.

Some of the more amusing people are those that don’t typically fit into any particular mold. What is the deal with wanting so bad to look cool that you go overboard? These people are not just trying to look cool for the time they are traveling, they are probably just extending their normal “Joe Cool” look they wear at home.

One example is the people wearing these low-riding jeans that hang down to their knees and expose their underwear. Fortunately I see this fad moving along and these clowns are becoming fewer and fewer. More then likely it’s because they finally got tired of having to constantly pull their pants up. It also might have something to do with looking more stupid then cool.

Next we have the people who seem to love to wear their sunglasses so much that they wear them inside. Even at night I have seen these “too cool for you” people come strutting off the plan at night with their mirror shades on. News flash, you’re not cool, you look like an idiot.

Realistically we should not judge people by how they look or what they wear, but let’s get serious for a moment. If you’re walking around at night with your cool-rays on, there is definitely something more to you then meets the eye. After all, if you look around and your “style” is so unique that absolutely nobody around you have seem to adopted it, chances are you’re so far out of the fashion world that you look more like a freak then a fashion idol.

As I type this I see a girl, maybe in her twenties, wearing ripped blue jeans, and a wonder bread t-shirt. This normally would not have attracted too much attention, but she is also sporting a Mohawk! If that’s not all she curled up across several seats and is apparently going to sleep. Again, it’s not so much that she is sleeping at the airport, I have even had to do this a time or two, but it’s 1:13PM. Most of the time you see this type of behavior early in the morning, or late at night when folks have been traveling all day. When you combine all of these things together in a complete package, it’s just funny to see.

Hats are another interesting thing to watch while traveling. Personally, I find the knit ski-type caps itchy if worn too long, but here I sit across from a guy in a t-shirt and jeans, working on his laptop, wearing a ski cap. If it was snowing in the terminal, this might make sense, but it’s not. There are two folks from different groups wearing Australian-style cowboy hats, and an older gentlemen in a t-shirt and a bowler type hat. To be fair he did walk up with a type of suit jacket on, but a bowler and a t-shirt just looks a little odd.

As usual there are the few kids (or adults who have not grown up yet) wearing baseball caps. And here’s something I never really understood, the act of wearing your sweatshirt hood all of the time. Is this another attempt at looking cool, because I really don’t see the need to constantly be under a hood. This is coming from a guy who is wearing a hood from a cloak in his avatar picture. I guess the difference is that I did that to look mystical, I don’t walk around that way (unless it’s snowing and I am wearing my traveling cloak outside, or it’s Halloween).

As I take another quick peek around me I see the rest of the folks, though interesting, are somewhat normal in their appearance, and my plane will be boarding in a few minutes so I’d better get this posted.

The next time you look in the mirror and are trying to decide to what level you would like to take your coolness to, I would caution you to error on the side of subtle rather then bizarre. If you choose to dress in the extreme, don’t be offended at the looks you will receive, or if you end up in someones blog.