New World Experiences: Wearing a Vest

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Note: One of Danny’s responsibilities at TSR is writing blogs — like the one below, or this one that already posted. When we discussed potential topics, I wanted to give him creative freedom, and told him he could write about anything, so long as it related to social media or the Internet in some form. And in true intern fashion, he ignored me and turned in this ∇ instead.

Who knows, maybe I am bad at explaining words. Maybe he’s playing like he can’t understand me. Maybe he just feels strongly about vests and needed to get the word out as quickly as possible. Either way, you get to read a blog about vests. (Which is totally true, BTW. He wore it to our important business meeting and zipped it up when the vent got too cold). Enjoy. — Bethaney

 

danny in a vestSomeone left a black fleece vest at my house a couple of weekends ago, so I started wearing it everywhere.

I’ve always thought vests such as these were for sorority girls and dads who liked camping way more than me, but I had never worn one before. How could I be sure? I started to question why I hadn’t given vests a chance. Did I really dislike the garment, or was I just buying into a mainstream media narrative about sleeves?

After extensive soul-searching, I concluded that the problem was one of access. In Kansas there are ZERO fleece vest rental companies. The good people across this state can find no opportunity for a vest trial run. I don’t have $49.99 to gamble with. If I buy a fleece vest I need to be sure I’ve backed the right lamb.

The forgotten garment in my living room was a gift. I could determine whether or not I was a “vest guy” risk-free.

The results have been wonderful. I find the vest warms my core in all the right ways. It’s a conversation-starter: “Danny, why are you wearing a vest? You never wear vests.”

“Oh, I found it. Just taking it for a spin.”

It provides authority as well. I often, one time, had someone say to me, “You look like you should be directing, or at least managing something.” And I can’t even grow facial hair! That’s power.

I’ve worn the vest with a T-shirt, button-down, and nothing. My best look actually consists of black athletic shorts and no shirt underneath. My roommates and I call this the “Pokemon Gym Leader.”

“Your journey ends with me, kid,” as Pokemon Gym Leaders are wont to do. “My dark-
bug Pokemon will have you crawling with regret!”

Lame, but on purpose.

Everyone (five people) really seemed to love the vest, so with a confident air, I showed this look off to my girlfriend. She told me I looked like a mom when I wore it. The vest is definitely at least sexually ambiguous, if not vaguely masculine. I was crushed. Had I pulled the fleece over my own eyes? Were vests kind of dumb after all? I had nearly decided to actually make an effort to return the garment to its owner, when a thought occurred: who wouldn’t want to look like a mom? The moms I know are strong, multi-faceted women. They’re smart, caring, and courageous. And I look like one that directs, or at least manages something! I’ve never felt so empowered.

So I’m keeping the vest. And I think I finally understand what the person who left it behind was trying to teach me: You have to be comfortable in your own maternal skin. A piece of clothing can define you, but it is you who writes the definition.

Thanks vest-leaver. You’re a hero to someone.

Danny Neely

Danny Neely

Danny Neely is a Kansas State grad living in Dallas. He likes writing, comedy, and evaluating media.

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