I think I officially became old sometime in 2006.
That's when I discovered the usefulness of the pocket that comes, usually on the left side, with a button down shirt.
My entire life I've worn these shirts, and have never found the need to use that pocket. Dare I say it would not have been cool to do so in front of fashion conscious friends or peers during my high school years, lest I subject myself to teasing. Imagine that guy with the pocket protector. Such a useful tool, such a ridiculed accessory.
But I find myself using that shirt pocket to hold everything from plane and train tickets, to my cell phone and even my glasses. It's been a ground breaking discovery for me.
I noticed the significance of this on a train home from Washington D.C. yesterday, when I placed the ticket stub in my pocket, and there was little room for it between my cell phone and glasses. But I did have open spaces on the inside pocket of my blazer that were not occupied, and so I started to fill that one up too.
And then I asked myself, "Self, what has changed in you that causes these pockets to swell with nothing and everything in particular?"
I guess I used to use my pants pockets more. But when you want easy access to something while sitting down, it's easier to reach your phone if it's up higher. And your glasses.
When I was younger (read in my 20s) I wore an awful lot of cargo pants. They were cool, and useful if not all together practical. Cell Phones, Passports, tickets, small books.... you name it, they fit in those side pockets on the pants. But it seems that cargo pants don't go well with a button down shirt and blazer, so I'm left without that option more and more. And that fad train seems to have left the station.
Some people graduate to a "man purse" or a "fanny pack." I got married, and have spared myself this embarrassment by politely annoying my ever tolerant wife by asking that she keep everything I can't in her purse. So when an occasion calls for us to bring a camera, and all the regular amenities of life, my wife looks like she is carrying a watermelon in her purse. She does admonish me for my lack of practicality by only owning that which I can keep on my persons.
I've ranted before about those people who wear the bluetooth device on their ear while eating and socializing in a fancy restaurant. I continue to hate it, and think people just look stupid doing so. There is a time and place for everything. The Macaroni Grill on a Friday night is not one of them if you want to tell Jackson about the latest bling you've bought that's mad crazy off the hook. The three year old at the table in front of you and me and my wife in the table behind you don't care, and continue to not understand.
But I wonder if the people who do that have realized better than I have that their pockets are all used up, and the ear is the best kept secret, and the next place to start storing things while you are in transit.
Call me old fashioned, or just old. I'm sticking to my shirt pocket. Give me a ring. My left breast pocket might vibrate. If I'm not having steamed mussells over linguine I might answer it. I just hope I don't look uncool by reaching into my shirt pocket to get it.