I’m 65, I tuck

It’s 5 o’clock Friday morning and I am wrestling with a big decision.
Been wrestling with it for a week, actually, ever since one of my students at the college suggested we make today Tropical Shirt Day.
Sure, I said. Why not? I have a tropical shirt I can wear and even one for another student who said he doesn’t own any.
Here’s the dilemma: to tuck or not to tuck?
I grew up in a world where men tucked in their shirts and I must admit, the current style of not tucking sneaked up on me without my noticing. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I even realized it was a thing. I was teaching a night class one summer and therefore not teaching in my traditional shirt and tie but rather in slacks and a golf shirt. One evening as I walked into the building, a student said to me, “I couldn’t make out your face but I knew that was you from across the parking lot. Your shirt was tucked.”
Goodness, was I the only person he knew who tucked in his shirt? Was this my trademark, in some “old school” sort of way?
Apparently the answer is yes, for since that evening all I’ve seen are untucked shirts. And not just tee shirts hanging out over a pair of jeans or shorts. The tails of the untucked wave beneath sport coats and sweaters and unabashedly stroll into church services and funeral homes and fine restaurants everywhere.
While I’ve witnessed gents older than I go with the flow on this, I was pleased to at least hear Robert De Niro in a trailer for the movie “The Intern” ask a young co-worker, “Doesn’t anybody tuck any more?” Of course, the movie seems to be built on the premise of an out-of-place oldster in a young man’s world. He probably even shaves every morning.
But back to today.
Tropical shirts are designed to be worn outside one’s pants. I know that. And I’ve done that. But it’s never felt comfortable.
With zero hour just about upon me, I’m still unsure about which way to go.
One consolation, I suppose, is that if I do opt for untucked at least from a distance my students won’t know it’s me.

Ed Ackerman