“Not your good shorts!”

My mother’s voice echoed in my head as I dressed for my morning walk.

My inner child stopped mid-grab and I remembered my youth when, as a family of modest means, we had good clothes and everyday clothes.

Good clothes were reserved for school and church.

Everyday clothes were for everything else.

Good clothes were handled with care, laundered promptly, and stored separately from our everyday clothes.

Good clothes were not to be eaten in, played in, or, God forbid, sweated in.

Good clothes consisted of long pants, button-down shirts, and dress shoes.

Shorts, as casual wear, did not fall into that category.

Here on Guam however, it’s a different story.

The temperature hovers around 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is consistently high. Sudden rain showers may soak everything you’re wearing and tourism is the major industry.

Shorts are a way of life.

Granted, this depends on your work and lifestyle. There’s still such a thing as Business Casual. Most of the professionals I encounter on a day-to-day basis (locals), are wearing long pants. But their offices are air conditioned. Some say their offices get too cold.

As someone who works from home, I normally don’t put much thought into my daily attire. If it’s clean and it’s next in the queue, it’s going on my body.

As someone who was born and raised in New England, I never had “good” shorts. Heck, I’ve really only ever had one or two pairs.

Recently, I’ve started walking in the morning. My loving spouse will drop me off on the way to work and I’ll walk a couple of miles home.

And by the time I get here, I’m a big ball of sweat.

So I wait to stop sweating (this can take a while).

I shower.

I change.

I reach for a change of clothes.

Oops, this morning’s shorts are out of commission either until they’ve been washed or have air-dried sufficiently to be worn again in public.

And yes, that gets gross.

So, I guess it’s time to expand my shorts repertoire.

Looking around, I see there are all different kinds out there: board shorts, bootie shorts, above-the-knee, below-the-knee, and way-below-the-knee. Yes, some of these younger Japanese men are rocking Capris. Who knew?

So for now, I’ll pull out the old elastic-band gym shorts, pray they’ll stay up with the added burden of my cell phone, house keys, and wallet and continue my walking.

Tomorrow, I’ll go shorts shopping.

Thanks, Mom.


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