First off, happy Fourth of July, everyone out there in blog land. I hope you all have a safe and fun holiday while taking at least a little time to reflect on our independence and to appreciate all who have fought to secure it.
As I dressed for work on the third of July, I felt casual was in order for a night shift on the eve of a holiday, so I opted for jeans and a white and blue polo shirt (throw in a splash of red and it would be the perfect shirt for today as well).
Preparing to pull on the polo, I noticed the size — large, the same as all of my other polo and T-shirts.
Having been the same size since I was 15, I’ve had thousands of occasions to wear such shirts, but on July 3 I thought of something that had never occurred to me before: Large is clearly the size that fits me, but at 5-foot-7, 148 pounds, I could not accurately be described as a large guy.
A large guy would be, say, my son Bob.
Really, I suppose I couldn’t even be correctly categorized as a medium-sized guy, but medium shirts are clearly too tight on me. And small shirts? Forget it; my circulation would be cut off.
So what gives?
How is it that in our apparel marketplace, large is the correct size shirt for someone who could gain 11 pounds and still not be too heavy even for the middleweight division?
And something else I have wondered about …
A few years ago, when Bob worked for the Boys & Girls Club in Corvallis, he and other staff stumbled onto a box of OSU basketball uniforms from the early 1960s; who knows why they were there. But knowing I’m huge fan of both the Beavers and old sporting goods, Bob asked if he could have a few of the jerseys for me, and he was told he could.
They looked super cool, but I was amazed by how small they seemed, given that they were made for college basketball players who, even 50 years ago, generally tended toward much bigger than I am.
And they seemed small even allowing for the fact that the jerseys were worn tighter in those days, and that the fabric may have shrunk a bit during their multiple washings.
Still, I donned one of them for my blog profile pic, which appears below, during the 2010-11 basketball season. Seriously, knowing my size, could you imagine a major college cager wearing it?