We took a rather spontaneous trip north to scenic Hershey, Pennsylvania, yesterday to enjoy a day at Hershey Park. It has been one of Mrs. Wanders’ and my favorite amusement parks in the area for the last six or seven years. It has always felt very family friendly, with an excellent selection of roller coasters for our teenagers.
But Monday was Hillbilly Day at Hershey Park. I’m not sure of the details, but there must have been some sort of promotion. I think if you wore a muscle shirt you got in for half price because I have never seen so many muscle shirts in one place. Ninety percent of all males, ages ten to 75 were wearing them, most of whom should have stopped wearing them 40 pounds ago.
The first muscle shirt we saw was in the parking lot, and this was on the only guy we saw who actually looked qualified to wear a muscle shirt -- perhaps overly qualified. His wife was unloading the kids from their car when we pulled in behind them. He stood there the entire time with his arms sticking out from his torso as if there were some sort of magnetic pole pushing his biceps away from his pecs. He glanced down at his veiny arms every chance he got.
I have always subscribed to Mr. Fred Rogers’ philosophy penned in song:
Your body’s special,
And so is mine.
All of us have different bodies, with different challenges, and that’s okay. But dress accordingly. Most men, if not all, should not wear muscle shirts. If I had seen one more man boob hanging out of its sleeve hole, I would have retched. I’m not sure what the appeal of wearing a muscle shirt is, except perhaps at the gym. But if I pay $50 for an event ticket, I promise you I am not going to wear gym clothes.
Men used to attend amusement parks in slacks and a sports shirt, and perhaps a hat. I’m not advocating that, but the muscle shirt, goatee, beer belly combination is a pretty sorry statement about how we feel about ourselves. Add a pair of short pants and some ill-advised tattoos and we’ve slipped down the social ladder about as low as we can go.