I have this thing for Batman t-shirts.
For years I have been collecting Batman action figure: no, not only the Caped Crusader/Dark Knight or his faithful sidekick, the Boy Wonder/Nightwing. I collect action figures of Batman villains --- the Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler ... the whole Arkham menagerie. And I love wearing Batman t-shirts.
I buy them online. I buy them whenever I have a chance to see one. But mostly I go to the (are you really ready for this?) Teen Section at the SM Department Store where they sell these wonderful shirts for P399.
And since I am blessed to work in a job that does not require a dress code, I am in perpetual shorts and t-shirts of which a great number are my Batman collection. So what? Does that make me a duly certified cast member of The Big Bang Theory? At my age, is that inner Sheldon finally appearing.
I do not know how my students feel or think when I come to class in my Batman t-shirts. There was a time that one of my kids also appeared in our Wednesday morning session also garbed in a Dark Knight top. Mano-a-mano! I loved it. Somehow despite the fact that I was standing in front of the whiteboard (Take note: it is no longer a blackboard but a whiteboard) and he was there seated at the far end of the class, we were sharing a particular experience of bonding in the name of Bruce Wayne.
Recently, the Dean of the College I work for as a consultant saw me wearing one of my Batman shirts in campus. "Cool," he said, smiling with amusement. That sounded fine. But I was more interested in the level of amusement. I am definitely a few years older than our dean who always dressed so impeccably elegant in his Ralph Lauren casualness --- and I was there wearing a t-shirt showing the humongous villain Bane and Batman beating the living daylights out of each other.
All is well in with Batman shirts but there is this issue about jeans. Skinny jeans. Carrot jeans. And all these other cuts that are meant to highlight the length of legs and the blessings of thighs.
Truth be told, I love skinny jeans. Why? Because I've got great legs. Really? Yes. Because I was born with feet that are more flat than those of a platypus and because of that my calves are overdeveloped to the point that they look ridiculously big. Added to that is my addiction of cycling --- which has further enhanced all my leg muscles.
So even if my middle has expanded to a size that looks like a swallowed a watermelon (and believe me, 150 crunches a day ... and still no effing effect!!) I take great pride in wearing jeans that cling onto my legs like second skin.
But the problem is that there seems to be some unannounced yet observed code in the universe about those who can wear skinny jeans. A friend of mine (who is into slacks, cotton long-sleeved shirts and bermuda shorts as if he were playing golf at the sight of any existing lawn) said that anybody past 40 years of age should not wear skinny jeans.
I was aghast when he said that knowing that he was referring to me since I was proudly wearing a pair of very, very tight Berksha skinnies (that actually made me look like I was wearing leggings --- therefore approximating the image of Henry VIII) which I bought because it was on sale.
"What's wrong with wearing skinny jeans?" I asked.
"There is nothing wrong with skinny jeans ... it looks good on young people."
The sudden emphases on young people was deja vu. It was tantamount to the words often repeated about propriety and acting your age.
Yes, there is indeed a need for propriety --- but acting your age? What do people exactly mean by acting one's age?
Does that mean that anybody over forty years of age cannot wear skinny jeans? Or sport one inch Speedos while gallivanting down the stretch of White Beach in Boracay? Should there also be a maximum age requirement for anyone to attend an event at the open air venue of Mall of Asia and fist pump to the beat?
Does that mean that since I am sixty I am only entitled to listen to the songs of ... uh, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or Sting or ... yes, Madonna ... but not Katy Perry or Bruno Mars ... or should I just stick to Lisa Loeb?
Unfortunately there are many of us who do not believe in acting our age.
True. There are some who cannot carry wearing carrot cut jeans because they look like they have just been circumcised or suffering from mid-stage hernia. True. There are some ladies who should really not wear skater skirts because their hips have grown to proportions that their outfits look like half-opened umbrellas.
But then again ... that is their choice, their alternative ... and to quote another friend who to this very millisecond believes that she still looks good in mini-shirts, "It's my choice ... and I do not give a flying f--k what others think."
OK. Fine. Age is but a numeral but mindset is a choice, a definite choice. It is not a matter of style ... but a lifestyle. And I, for one, choose to be happy.
So in my Batman t-shirts and skinny jeans, I make myself visible to the public. No one has accosted me for having a pronounced crotch when my jeans are far too tight. And certainly no one dares to make a comment about my Batman t-shirts.
What is important is that I make myself happy not at anyone's expense. And that comes at any age --- and regardless of the cut of my jeans.
P.S.: However, I draw the line about wearing low-hanging hiphop pants. That, I believe, is already a criminal offense if I should even dare to wear a pair.