Is it a Shirt Thing?!

So I don’t typically judge a person by their looks. I’ve never swooned at stereotypical Adonis-invoking models with chiseled jaws and ripped stomachs. It’s because I tend to respond to the the whole person, so if I don’t have a sense of your personality, your interests, your values, your ability to articulate and punctuate, I’m looking for them, not really looking at your body.

Which isn’t to say I’m not sometimes absolutely turned on by the look of the male of the species. There was the case of the fairly innocent t-shirt that conspired to days later make Sting (and some members of his band on stage that night) sexy. And who can forget the Fitzwilliam Darcy emerging from the lake in a the wet shirt moment?! For us college girls it was rather swoon-worthy…and okay, in our 40s we sure think it is still!  And of course there was the guitar rift that had me wrapped around Neil Finn’s little finger – but then with him it’s also all those wonderful stories he plays and who he is as a person..but I remember what shirt he was wearing in the Into Temptation film clip!

I once dated a man who I think was a bit insecure about his looks, and would pester me about which men I found attractive. I’d tell him it was Neil. He would keep saying “yes, but who else?” and I was stumped. Funnily enough, over time he morphed a bit into Neil, was the haircut deliberate perhaps?

Sometimes I’ll put on a television series in the background while I’m doing something else. When I moved The Writers Wrest to Sydney a couple of months ago I was reminded just how many puzzles I have, and how few I’ve done in recent years. So I have been doing puzzles and watching Brothers and Sisters – good American sitcom drama! With a bonus attraction…Rob Lowe. Now he does it for me, it’s that big smile! But I forget about him until he pops up on my screen again when I regularly re-watch The West Wing. And now, Brothers and Sisters. I love his character in The West Wing, he’s such a good guy. So I struggle with him being The Senator, a sometimes not so nice person and sometimes very nice person. And I always wonder how it is he has not aged!

And I think back to his wet shirt moment…as Billy, playing the saxophone and shaking his sweaty hair in St Elmo’s Fire. It takes me back to the pictures I had stuck on my wall beside my bed in the 80s, the era of my own coming of age (which is still going on actually)…I am a shameless over-sharer, so here we go, let me bare my soul, sorry wall, with no shame…Neil Finn and the rest of the Crowded House gang of course…and Steve Waugh…a man who wore his cricket shirt well! I can’t remember who else adorned the wall of my lower bunk bed…I have a great black and white photo of my youngest sister on my bed, with my cricket and music pictures, pulled from magazines, behind her…but that photo is still in a box of precious stuff that I’ve only just collected from my sister’s garage and not unpacked. So I may be remembering wrongly, but it could have been Alex Papps and Alan Border were also keeping me company! Ha!

In the mail one day I got a card which didn’t have a return address on it. I opened it up and it was a sympathy card – my first reaction was who has died now?! I couldn’t make sense of it at first, inside was a heartfelt message of condolence. Then I cracked up laughing…my friend Mel had sent me the sympathy card on the occasion of Steve Waugh’s marriage…to someone other than me. Priceless.

Jules, y’know, honey… this isn’t real. You know what it is? It’s St. Elmo’s Fire. Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them… there was no fire. There wasn’t even a St. Elmo. They made it up. They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you’re making up all of this. We’re all going through this. It’s our time at the edge. -Billy in St Elmo’s Fire

I suspect the shirt thing is a bit St Elmo’s Fire too…come on, fess up, how many of you chose the man you love based on his shirt?!








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