Monthly Archives: March 2012

Out of Style

Growing up, there were two looks that even The Curmudgeon, who is unquestionably fashion-challenged, knew were just plain wrong and hopelessly out of fashion.

One was the white belt and matching white shoes look, which was the more pathetic of the two because it was almost always worn by someone who thought he was being stylish.  When The Curmudgeon envisions someone wearing a white belt and matching white shoes, he envisions two people:  Pat Boone and the character Herb Tarlek from the 1970s sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati.”

The other really bad look was someone’s grandfather wearing short pants – almost always a dark color – with black socks and sandals.  It’s hard to say whether this look is better than the white belt/white shoes look, but it’s certainly more innocent.  Men who wear white shoes and a matching white belt think they look good, look in style, even look cool.  Men who wear shorts, black socks, and sandals don’t even think in such terms.  They are clueless, but hopelessly so, innocently so, almost sweetly so.

You don’t see many men trying to pull off the white belt/white shoes look these days, and to the degree that you do see it, it’s almost always at a resort, waiting in line for the early bird special.  The black socks with sandals and shorts look, though, is still with us.  The perpetrator is almost always in his seventies or even his eighties.

Imagine The Curmudgeon’s surprise, then, when he recently found himself in a doctor’s waiting room and in strolled a woman and her son:  a strapping young lad of approximately sixteen or seventeen wearing a hoodie, a t-shirt, nylon shorts – and black socks with sandals.


The Curmudgeon wanted to rise from his chair and just shake the young man and attempt to bring him to his senses.  He didn’t, of course, both because it would be rude and because the young man was considerably larger than The Curmudgeon, who as a fighter was always a pretty decent writer.

This encounter has left The Curmudgeon shaken, but also wondering:  Has he missed yet another new fashion trend?  Is it now in style to wear shorts, black socks, and sandals?  Are the old men he laughs at for wearing such a combination now getting the last laugh on him?

The Curmudgeon isn’t sure, but just to be safe, he’s going to the mall this weekend in search of a white belt.

Mini-Rumination: About Marco Rubio

In a profile of Marco Rubio in the January 9 edition of The New Yorker, Ken Auletta describes the Florida senator as “…surely the most prominent Hispanic Republican in America.”

The Curmudgeon admits that Rubio is a special guy.  A tea party Republican, Rubio is smart, good-looking, articulate, and charismatic.  Because winning Florida is so important to Republicans’ hope of recapturing the White House, Rubio is on almost everyone’s short list for the Republican vice presidential nomination.  Whether it’s this election or another, it seems almost as inevitable as such things can be that Rubio’s going to be a candidate for national office one day.

But “the most prominent Hispanic Republican in America”?

To which The Curmudgeon replies:  not as long as Erik Estrada is still alive.