John Grindrod: The clothing version of what’s in your wallet

First Posted: 9/3/2013

As a single guy, there’s really not a whole lot to laundry day, unlike my life of many years ago when others in my house were busy tossing their soiled and wrinkled garments into the basket with me each day.

And, while I say not a whole lot, that means once a week, one load, cold water, and no separation of colors, fabrics or types of garments. I know that probably appalls many of you out there, but after checking the unwritten book single guys know by heart titled “Single Man Rules” and finding said technique listed on page 36, that’s just the way I roll.

So, with fewer items being pulled out of the dryer, I tend to notice the condition of those items, especially dress pants and shirts, more readily than I would have in my yesteryears. I give them a pretty decent look-see while pulling them out damp and hanging them so they’ll dry pretty much wrinkle-free, allowing me to avoid what single guys despise doing, which is plugging in that iron (see page 38, “Single Man Rules”).

Last week, while removing a pair of navy dress pants, I sighed as soon as I noticed it on the back left pocket, the beginnings of the dreaded wallet imprint. Unless the pants are jeans (which, I believe, tend to look cooler with a pocket outline), as all guys know, the wallet outline is first indication that those dress pants will soon be deemed unacceptable in the civilized business world, one I occasionally occupy as a customer-service rep. Then those pants are told to report to the lawn-mowing division of attire.

Now, if the pants were in service for a long time, the garment’s demise would be both expected and accepted, but that wasn’t the case for the navy blues, which have only been around for a couple of months. I don’t know about you, but I expect a little more than a dozen or so wearings before the pants are only suitable company for a Briggs and Stratton-propelled mower!

For men, this whole business about carrying a wallet and its accompanying inherent problems has bedeviled us for generations. In many ways, we envy the pirates who sailed the high seas long ago who got by using a pouch for their ill-gotten doubloons and didn’t have to worry about pants-pocket outlines.

Now, for me, as a north paw, I carry my wallet in my back left pocket. I’ve tried it in my right, and you wouldn’t think such a subtlety would matter. But, in the right pocket, it feels obtrusive and makes me feel as unbalanced physically as I realize I am mentally!

Now, if you’re thinking front pocket, well, in terms of feeling awkward, that’s just out of the question! My only exception to that is when I’m in a large crowd and fear pickpockets just may want to practice their nefarious talents.

Besides, I think were I to go front-pocket with my technique, the same outline issue would manifest itself in front instead of the back.

Now, for those of you who feel the way to go is to espouse the thin wallet or even the money-clip approach with just some folding cash, a license and a credit card or two, I envy you for your minimalist approach. For me, I just can’t stand the thought of voiding my wallet of much of its current content.

Since I feel a bit like annoying my best pal, Mike Schepp, who, inexplicably, never chose to join the legions who live in a Seinfeldian world, I will tell you that while my wallet doesn’t approximate the size of George’s famous exploding wallet (episode five, season four, Mike), it’s still far bigger than what it probably should be.

Well, since I’m not one who would ever consider carrying a man purse or strapping on a fanny pack, I guess I find myself in the old waiting-for-that-30 percent-off-Kohl’s-sticker holding pattern before I buy another pair of fancy drawers.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re of the notion that the reason for the girth of my wallet is all the big bills inside, consider the fact that those Washingtons and Lincolns are the same size as the Jacksons and the Grants!