Belts never fit me. As a thin guy I’ve lived my life imagining that the belt industry was in business for people like me—after all, the point of a belt is to hold bigger pants to a smaller waist. Yet somehow, belt manufacturers seem to be content enough with providing the right amount of pinholes for the buckle’s sword to fit through, while overlooking the importance of slack. If a person indeed requires pinholes closer to the buckle because they are thin, they don’t need extra slack at the end. Despite this relatively simple concept, the enigma continues to elude belt manufacturers and thus, often leaves me with just enough slack so that the belt fails to reach the next ring of my pants, but is long enough to look like I have the hilt of a rifle or sword protruding from my waistline.


Upon noticing, he engaged me directly with a tone in his voice that reflected a kind of awkward sympathy, as if to say, “Hey man, no worries; everyone wets the bed sometimes, even at 26”.
“Dude, the belt hanging out past your hip, no good”. You gotta hide that shit.” His body language and direct eye contact made me feel somewhere between a disobedient son and a potential customer.
            “Oh…” The expression escaped my lips in part out of surprise, and partly out of curiosity.

It used to be that I found great discomfort in failing to rebut any such inquiry or statement that I found disagreeable. Yet, experience and a bit of experimentation has taught me that life is a bit more entertaining when you let other people say what they want—and a whole lot less hassle. So, at the point of his introduction to the topic I thought briefly about objecting, but because I didn’t have the confidence to tell him I considered it a modest fashion victory for me, I listened instead. Truly though, I was also interested to know about what other fashion taboos I may have been committing.

“You should get a rubber band to fasten the end to the rest of the belt,” he said. (his wisdom left me speechless). “Actually the best thing would be to use a black hair tie.  A lot of businessmen do that.”

No one ever tells you if you’re a grown up. Yet, no matter how long I’ve been paying my own bills—in charge of my own destiny—I can never quite tell if I’m there. It’s difficult to know whether or not you know enough, because there always comes a situation or task that leaves you utterly clueless about how to approach it, such as: how to hire a lawyer, how often to feed a hamster, how to prepare for being in a wedding party, how to properly setup a grill for a BBQ, how to lease a car, or how to remove a rancid smell from your carpet. For someone unlikely to be viewed as a prime source of survival info, he seemed to have so many tips about how to solve the problems of everyday living.

His approach and delivery was so that I couldn’t tell whether or not these were legitimate problems I had been overlooking, or merely his attempt at making his problems my own. Still it made me wonder. I thought about what I had been doing all this time, worried that perhaps the responsible adult self-image I had painted for myself was about to be proven false. As it were, I still hold on to this believe that “getting your act together” is merely the subsequent organization of results from incessant trial and error. By this approach, orderliness and “knowing what your doing” comes from the chaos of being absolutely clueless. That being said, I was willing to take my chances with a minor violation citation from the fashion police and let nature take its course.

I drew confidence from this very mystic well of knowledge and replied with certainty, “slack is back in fashion my friend, and I’m just about to hit the runway…”