Necessary Adjustments

I suppose tailors still exist today, fitting royalty or whoever may be considered as such, but getting clothes off-the-rack and dressing ourselves is the norm. So, we take what we can get, and while jeans, stretchy pants, sweatshirts, or dri-fit tees may work just fine, they are always going to require some adjustments. Since we can’t afford the tailoring modifications, we must go with the kinesthetic kind: those squirming, shuffling, scooting, and grabbing movements that somehow get everything into place, temporarily. Over time, these become unconscious actions, wherein lies the problem.

I’ve worked among women who, with no intention of drawing attention to themselves, unknowingly performed the “hop and yank” maneuver during conversation. It’s a strange unweighting of the body on one side followed by a well-timed two-handed tug that apparently gets one’s britches back to where they belong. It’s typically followed by a brushing reset of the shirttail, all while shop-talk continues uninterrupted.

When first confronted by this action, I wanted to offer “Do you need a private moment to take care of this?” but the operation was complete before I could interject. Now I just enjoy a good chuckle inside whenever I see the skill executed, and sometimes my wife does it and I tell her it’s cute.

There’s a bra variation of this, the “tug and shrug,” which apparently gets those girls back into position, but I’m not quite sure how it works because I’m usually working on eye contact during the latter part of it. And us guys have a get-things-sorted counterpart move, more to the south: the “pinch and pull,” which hurts a tad, but it’s worth it—again, for the time being.

While all these adjustments may seem unbecoming, this could instead be thought of as the new manners: being this comfortable in the presence of another is an affable gesture. It is body language that says, “You are important enough to me that I shall keep my personage in order throughout our interaction.” (Yes, body language is very formal when translated.)

All that said, aggressive scratching of one’s butt or bullocks goes too far. And you might not even know you do this, so to be sure, ask a trusted colleague whether this has arisen in conversation at the copy machine.

Enjoy your day and move comfortably, my friend!

Copyright © 2022 Richard Berndt – All Rights Reserved.

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