Rant: Overly-Comfortable People

I am totally all about comfort, and I’ve gone off on this topic before here. My off-duty wardrobe reflects my affirmation of comfort as the azimuth by which I dress myself when not otherwise doing Army stuff.

However, there is a point where folks really need to embrace a basic level of decorum, if not common sense. I like to think I adhere to that minimally, and sort of exceed it most of the time. Some people clearly do not, and I only have to refer you to the People of Wal-Mart website as explicit proof of what I’m ranting about here: that there are some people who are just a bit too comfortable in public.

What got me thinking about this subject was my most recent sojourn through three of our nation’s larger airports. Sitting and waiting for my flight, there’s a guy directly across from me in an airport chair reading a book. This continued for about fifteen minutes, at which point homeboy decided he was tired, and sort of contorted into a modified fetal postion and went to sleep. In the middle of Gate 37A. With folks all around him. Total coma. I don’t know about you out there, but that’s waaaay too comfortable for me, and not just because I can’t reasonably fold all 6’1″ of me enough to do that. To me, you might as well tape a sign to you that says, “Easy Target: Prison Sex Candidate.”

As if that weren’t odd enough, then I start noticing other folks. A young guy wearing what turned out to be the same cotton sleep-pants I like to wear. Difference is, I just sleep in them. Occasionally I might venture as far as the porch in them, maybe the car if I left something in it. But the airport? Really? I half-expected the kid to curl up next to Mr. Coma and join him. Maybe I’m wrong and was inadvertently sitting in the terminal section marked “Day Care,” but I doubt it. I figured BWI was having a theme day.

I never fully understood the clean underwear while traveling imperative, but I do know there are some things you really ought not wear out in public. Some of these things are:

Underwear: Actually optional, clean is better – they shouldn’t emit a fetid reek through three layers of outerwear. However, whatever your personal choice, make sure nobody else knows about your choice. Underwear (if worn) always goes under your clothes, not on the outside. That’s why it’s underwear.

Workout Clothes: Occasionally acceptable, always ok for actual exercise. Generally, though, it should leave no more than 50% of your skin exposed. If working out, exposure percentages increase inversely with body fat content. If used for general public wear, it shoud not be “used” (English: moist and / or with odor), and should support the general idea of not showing off your underwear. Of note, velvet track suits are not workout clothes.

Pajamas: Great for activity inside your home, nominally sleeping. Not good for travel, shopping, picking up grocieries, or church.

Other: This category would include specialized sports equipment, Halloween costumes worn on the other 364 days, bondage equipment, sports team mascot costumes, or anything else that might mildly resemble this stuff. A notable exception are those who need a hockey helmet, but odds are good that if you’re reading this you don’t fall in the short-bus group.

Behaviors: I’ll try to condense this, but in truth this list could go on over several blogs. Sleeping is generally not cool, though on nice days in a park, you can get away with it. Nose picking is off limits, and gold-diggers are reminded that cars have windows, and they’re transparent. PDA – refrain from performing tonsillectomies with your tongue in public on your boo, and we don’t think you’re actually performing a breast exam either. Package handling is crass as well, because believe me it is attached well enough that you don’t have to carry it, and none of us believe that sorry thing is so massive it requires manual control. I’ve ranted before on this, but pants waistbands go on the waist, and if you insist on being digitally connected to friends, music, or the mothership 24/7, you should look up ever five seconds or so to make sure you’re not being a moving obstacle to us folks out here in the meatscape.

More Behaviors: Ok, I had to add more… crack spelunking. Leave it there. If your underoos fit that poorly, that’s a sign you need different ones, but please stop trawling your asscrack for cotton. Bathing is a must. Nobody wants to be trapped in a metal tube at 40,000 feet next to Mr. Natural. Also, please finish your makeup routine because the world is not your personal vanity, and I don’t want you brushing that hair out for the seventh time in an hour because no matter what, I’ll have to explain that, so stop being a human cat. Gum popping – prepare to die. There is an upper limit to the amount of cologne / perfume one ought to wear, and that is far below the eyewatering, nosebleed levels some think is acceptable. Probably most important, control your offspring. I will never blame them for acting like savage heathens, but I will punish you for it. Trust me, they’re not cute. I don’t want saliva and cracker on me, nor do I enjoy the ear-ruining frequency at which your little angel can shriek (and neither do the dogs).

Hope this clears this issue up for everyone.


68 Responses to “Rant: Overly-Comfortable People”

  1. I’d like to add that while trapped in the metal tube please refrain from eating anything with curry in it. This has happened to me on multiple occasions. Indian food is not; I repeat “IS NOT” an acceptable carry on snack! That is all 🙂

  2. wordsfallfrommyeyes Says:

    A good rant, but I can’t help wondering how tired the guy was – maybe he’d been there 20 hours… And I’m guilty – I did once wear a Wonder Woman outfit to a party – it was New Years Eve. Didn’t know you were in the army… I like that!

  3. I liked your post. It was very funny as well as informative. It’s good to meet someone else who is bothered by things and needs to rant once in awhile.

  4. Here’s my airport advice:

    If you see me holding a book, it means I am busy reading and have no interest in talking to you.

    If you see me wearing headphones, it means I am busy listening to music/or audiobook and have no interest in talking to you.

    And seriously guys out there, don’t hit on women in airports. We’re not going to date you while we wait to board a plane.

  5. So you’re saying I should leave my Hannibal Lecter at home while traveling?

  6. You’re 6 1″ too !!…. Besides that , you’re probably a step away from needing anger management or something 😛

  7. Amen. I was going to write a post like this after I went to Walmart last week. After that trip, I decided I don’t need anything at Walmart anymore. Perhaps it was the 400+ lb. woman sitting near the door on her motorized cart wearing leggings and not much else…
    P.S. I am guilty of sleeping like the dead at an airport. Sorry. I was bored and I finished my book.

  8. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Rants, you make me laugh until my sides hurt. Unfortunately, in the ‘Hood’ sleepwear is very fashionable to wear to the grocery store, post office, pick up the kiddos from school, etc…guys will throw perfectly good shoes onto the power lines and then walk down to 7-11 in their house slippers…

  9. I once wore a gas mask to school…

  10. John Erickson Says:

    So you’re saying that my buddy and I should NOT have worked the very last nerve of the guy chugging beer ’cause he was afraid to fly? But it was so much fun watching his pulse via the vein in his forehead – the only part of his face that WASN’T white to the point of transparency! Boy, ain’t YOU the spoilsport! :p
    I always hated the OCD luggage arranger. The business guy who had to take his bags onto the plane in a particular order, though he would just drop them in a pile while waiting at the gate door.
    Or top-secret laptop guy, who would perform yoga to keep you from seeing his precious spreadsheets. Trust me, ya seen one, you’ve seen ’em all!
    Never did ride a plane in a costume, though I did carry Spock’s head home on the Chicago “El” train, all the way from the South Side out to O’Hare. For some reason, I had a circle of clear space about 6′ in diameter around me, despite the packed train. Can’t figure out why….

    • Screw the blog idea. You need your own cable access talk show.

    • Spock’s head on the Ell would do that. You should have known.

      • John Erickson Says:

        Actually, I did know better, hence the reason I rode for almost an hour standing up, using a pole as a brace. Right next to the door. It’s hilarious when tough young black hoods get on the El, all full of “yo”s and “ma man”s, suddenly turn whiter than I am seeing Spock’s head cradled in my arm. (It’s a ceramic decanter.)
        Just as much fun as when our sci-fi club went to the Renaissance Fair in garb We stopped at one of the rest areas that span the highway that leads to Wisconsin. Weary travelers and bleary truckers all doing spit-takes for the 6 folk, all wearing swords and period clothing, led by yours truly wearing chain mail and a 66” sword on his back. “Freak the mundanes” is what that’s called. Great fun! 😀

  11. Dear BrainRants:

    I’ve been following your column for some time and feel that your advice is spot on.

    I wear Nike shorts and a t-shirt everywhere all summer. They’re comfy and, frankly, at my age, I don’t give a sh*t about following fashion trends. But . . . I’m right on the border of 50% skin exposed & 50% not exposed.

    Is that acceptable?

    My private parts ARE all covered . . . and my UNDERware is UNDER my other ware.

    Comfy is as Comfy does. :mrgreen:

  12. truelibertarian Says:

    I love you.

  13. Hmmm…. I’m hugely in favor of comfort. It might actually #1 on my list. I don’t even bother to buy clothes unless they *feel like pajamas* and that includes professional clothes as well – and believe me that ain’t easy when you have fashionista taste like I do. But even then most of my hang around the house/play with my kids/drink beer with the neighbors clothes ARE actually pajamas. You’d be amazed at how many of the pajamas at Target easily pass as regular activewear.

    Then again, I live in one of the most casual cities in the country – you can wear a white t-shirt and flip flops to *the nicest restaurant in town* and they will happily seat and serve you. I love this town!

  14. I have to say, someone curling up and conking out in public is awesome. I could never do that, I always have the prison rape fear running at high when my butt is popped out like that.

  15. very interesting post, enjoyed it mate. I like the suggestion of curry though lolzzzzzzz 🙂

  16. I love airports! The potential for screwing with people is Awesome! I like when it’s late, or it’s a place no one wants to go to but I have to, and the gate is really empty of people – and I go sit right next to the only other person there. Especially when they move.

  17. John Erickson Says:

    You know, Edward, I know it’s not the characters you were thinking of, but all we need is somebody to take the nickname of “Pinky”. Then we can have “Pinky and the Brain”!
    (Please tell me SOMEBODY gets that reference!)

  18. Hilarious… with the day I’ve had, much needed. Thank you!

    BTW… I used to work in an airport while completing my Masters.

    So you forgot people who brush their teeth outside the restroom area. Yes, over the trash.

    Also, I have a big problem with baby changing outside the restroom area in airports.

    Airport Bars should have a drink limit. Getting FUBAR will either delay the flight for your co-passengers or get you arrested. Sometimes both.

    Um, women who wear nine inch heels tugging 40 lb bags always perplexes me. I know their not comfortable and the ladies who love to wear white terry cloth track suits and hot pink underwear.

    My list could go on forever. I will stop.

    • C- well, lots of material suggests a rant of your own, girl. I’ve never seen anyone brush teeth like that, but damn if I had you woulda read about it. Now, for babies… love babies… ya know they just have to be changed. That said, you gotta kind of move away and establish a distance reek barrier… just sayin.’

  19. “Underwear (if worn) always goes under your clothes, not on the outside. That’s why it’s underwear.”—I’m not sure why some people miss something so simple.

  20. We’re on the same page, my friend! Awesome!

  21. savorthefolly Says:

    okay Brainrants, I just wanted to let you know that I’m getting ready to go leave for a parent/teacher conference wearing…you guessed it! PAJAMAS!

  22. esl conversation class Says:

    hilarious! yeah damn some people’s comfortabl’ness’ can be so fucking UNCOMFORTABLE…….since the invention of lycra, civilization has seriously gone downhill….and ALL in the name of comfort…. I mean if people weren’t being so comfortable and sitting on their ass,… eating so much food that is not only comforting to eat, but requires little or nil preparation,.(again…comfortable)…… then they probably woudn’t require such a stretchy and comfortable fabric, that is just SO comfortable that it can be worn either IN bed, or OUT in public, or even in the airport. Such a comfortable yet uncomfortable society….I like your rants!!

  23. esl conversation class Says:

    (sorry I made a spelling mistake in the first post and I’m supposed to be an ESL site!)

  24. It’s a tough economy. People probably can’t afford mirrors; if they could I’m sure they would avoid all the above fashion faux pas.

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