When I got dressed this morning, I put on a pair of green flannel boxer shorts and my black LEAVE ME ALONE t-shirt. I don’t normally dress like that–most of my “shorts” go down to my knees. The shirt doesn’t matter so much. English on t-shirts is trendy but meaning mostly gets ignored. I wonder, though. If I wore that outfit in the States, would people think I’m gay?
I got a lot of leg ogling, which I actually enjoyed. A while ago, we were doing wide hook punches at the dojo and I complained that it wasn’t fair that my partner had particularly long arms. She said, “Yeah, well, you have long legs, so it’s the same thing.” I get comments like that all the time and really get a kick out of them. Long legs? ME??? I’m only five feet tall. I don’t have long anything! Even here, pants tend to be too long on me, except the ones made for old ladies,which tend to be too short, too tight in the butt and too big in the belly, so they look like diapers.
So clothed in my attitude outfit, I was sitting on a bench near the station and a man walked by carrying a shopping bag that said, “For your JUST” and that got me thinking about the strange relationship Japan has with English. Other slogans: Inspire the Next, Shift the Future. Some product names: Creep (coffee creamer, “Hey, creep, don’t touch my coffee!”), Calpis (sweetened milk beverage, let’s hope it’s milk), Collon (tubular cookies filled with chocolate, use your imagination). I guess it’s the same as the shirt, that the meaning doesn’t matter, but it makes me wonder. If you’re not looking for meaning, does that mean there isn’t any?