the hyphens that define my life

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service June 30, 2013

If you’ve crossed paths with my family ever, or truly in the past 7 years, you know we are not shy about showing skin.  This does not mean we’re locals at the Kaniksu Ranch Family Nudist Park I saw advertised in the Out There Monthly paper highlighting “The Original Bare Buns Fun Run” and other weekend or weeklong activities. Let me keep a joke alive by saying, no one needs to see old man junk.  We are not exhibitionist by any means, but my children, specifically my youngest, has been known to run down the street in the buff and flash anyone who is interested or not.  Keep in mind this is the same child that has serious issue with getting up in front of the class or to have the spotlight on him for school events like Student/Star of the Week.  The kid is a walking conundrum. As he ages up, he is becoming slightly more modest.  Slightly.  We’ll get there, maybe.

The point is, we’re accustomed to a little nudity.  We shouldn’t have been surprised earlier this week when Andre and I were in Rosauer’s (pronounced Row-zers, I learned the hard way) grabbing some groceries and a dad and his two boys walked in and all the males were shirtless.  I noticed, was surprised and said nothing.  Andre was quick to speak up and say, “Mom, they’re naked”.  Not technically, but yes, they are shirtless.  I witnessed this phenomenon earlier in the week too but it didn’t register.  This second time around, I thought what ever happened to No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.

Yesterday at Hoopfest, we were in Riverfront Mall, a multi-story complex with the movie theaters on the 3-5 floors. I understand people were playing basketball.  I understand we had thunderstorms most of the day.  They were all most likely wet from rain and sweat.  That is no excuse to not wear a shirt. Yet in the mall, in the food court, many men were shirtless. There’s a time and a place to be shirtless or topless. I’ve played part as well, I’m no holy roller.  But at 5 PM in a suburban grocery store not next to a body of water or in a mall, with food?  Not the time or the place.

Andre’s phrase “No one needs to see your nibs” comes from his misunderstanding that nipples were called nibbles so we will forever refer to them as nibs.  A good code word.  He’s right.  No one needs to see you nibs or your belly hanging over your shorts, especially while thinking about, shopping for or eating food.  I should mention I haven’t seen anything close to six-pack stomachs, though I will admit to seeing some ripped mighty guns of nice looking men sporting sleeveless basketball shirts.

There is no real harm in nib and belly bearing, but what really concerns me is that Andre is going to adopt the practice. As if I don’t have enough to manage with this kid, I envision that he will soon try to sport the local non-attire for inappropiate events….like eating dinner or going anywhere where water isn’t involved.

I ask the men of Spokane, for my sake as a mother raising boys, when appropriate, please put a shirt on.

Requests for photos of our adventures have been received.  Please note that photos of shirtless men with man boobs and big bellys is not photo-worthy.  If I had my phone or camera with me yesterday at Hoopfest, I would have stopped this one guy for a photo-op but I missed the opportunity.  You know I’m not shy.



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