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WARNING this is not a posting of great import – it just gives me the opportunity to share a pet peeve because I need to get it off my chest (pun intended, read ahead and you will see what I mean).

This year for some reason, I have had the inopportune timing of being around men who were 50+ who chose not to wear a shirt in public.  It seems to me unless a man this age is in his own personal space, at a swimming pool or the beach he should accommodate everyone by putting on a shirt.

Frankly, few American men 50 or older have the physique to get by without wearing some type of top in public.  (I am not being sexist because I believe most women this age also would be more visually pleasing if they would wear age appropriate clothing.)

Three events in the last few months have left me shaking my head about this issue.  When I was at a guesthouse in Liberia there were a number of other Americans there, mostly men.  One morning I got up early and went out into the dining/living room to sit at the table and do some work.  I was quietly sitting there, fully dressed I might add, doing my work when a man came out into the living room and sat down facing me.   He had no shirt on and only a towel wrapped around his waist.  I quickly diverted my eyes because of the way he was sitting.   I coughed so that he would know that someone was there, and I was sure that he probably would want to put some more clothes on if he knew there was a woman in the room.  It didn’t seem to faze him. I do need to say that he was really sick and maybe he didn’t care how he was dressed.  He appeared this way off and on throughout the day even though three women were present.  I was waiting for one of his comrades to suggest that he either should stay in his room, or he might want to cover up a bit more.

The next morning as I was once again sitting at the table, this time eating breakfast. One of his colleagues (50+) seated himself next to me to work on his computer.  I looked up to greet him and found myself staring at a slightly hairy chest.  Now I know it was hot and probably cooler for him, but really did I want to eat my breakfast as he sat there with no shirt.   Let me assure you that this man was no Adonis who would make a woman’s heart flutter.  I thought to myself, these men are pastors and they would not have found it acceptable for women to have come to the table inappropriately clothed, so why should they?  My 26-year-old female companion and I laughed about it.  I don’t think I was quite as disgusted as she was, because I understand that the body does not treat us kindly as we age.

These memories came back today as I went down to our hotel’s fitness room.   On the treadmill was an older gentleman in his 70s who was exercising without a shirt.  I credit him for exercising, but did I have to be exposed to him being shirtless?    I thought about leaving and then coming back, but I didn’t have time so I decided to stay and exercise.  I found when you are in a small room exercising you can’t constantly avert your eyes from someone else in the room. It was neither appealing to watch sweat drip off his drooping pectoral muscles or watch his midsection jiggle.   Even though he was in pretty good shape for his age, his body probably wasn’t what it use to be.

I warned you that this blog was not about a serious problem just my own personal pet peeve.  And perhaps, I just need to get over myself.  But let me close with this one last thought:



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What is a Think Through?  it is an idiom that conveys the meaning of carefully considering possibilities and outcomes of a situation.

Today’s Think Through:  Feel free to share your own pet peeve or respond to what I have written.