May 11, 2012

A Silicon Valley Culture Snippet

Last night, E and I were eating dinner at our local favorite Mexican food joint when a man walked in with a pin-striped button up shirt (very common) hanging over what appeared to be boxer shorts (very uncommon).

He stood in line and joked with other patrons, several of whom were in biking gear or spandex (also, very common).  E evaluated the situation and decided, "He must have lost a bet." 

Eventually, he was seated at the patio to eat by himself, walking through the restaurant in what to me, appeared to be a half-dressed state.

After we finished, my curiosity (plus the margaritas) got the best of me, and I convinced E to let me go talk with him.

I had seen enough pointing and joking and discussion while he was waiting, that I knew he'd be a good sport.

"Hi.  I'm just curious, how come you are in a dress shirt but not dress pants?"

He laughed and said, "I'm not from around here."  (Umm... yes, we could tell.)

"I wanted to go for a run and so I parked my car in the lot, went for my run, and then changed into my dress shirt to avoid eating in my sweaty shirt."

He paused.  "I guess these running shorts do sort of look like boxer shorts, though."

"Huh."  I said. "Where are you from?"


"Interesting.  Well, thanks for chatting.  Have a nice dinner."

I'm fascinated to learn that in Colorado, it's apparently much more acceptable to walk around in only the top half of the Sand Hill Uniform (pin-striped blue shirt, khaki pants) than it is to wear a full work-out uniform if it's sweaty.  To me, he looked half-naked, and a little creepy 'til it was obvious that he was embarrassed.  My perception of the inappropriateness of his attire is even more interesting because I had these thoughts while he was standing next to a guy in full cycling spandex.   

Apparently the social rules are different here than what this Colorado dude expected.  In my experience, walking into a restaurant in your workout clothes, even in a sweaty post work-out state, as long as you were willing to sit on the patio so as to avoid being stinky near other folks, wouldn't be considered odd at all.  Whereas being more clothed, but in a way that most folks in the restaurant seemed to perceive as half-dressed, made this guy stand out horribly.


Arvay said...

I am amazed that multiple sili-valley-ites noticed what *anyone* was wearing! :~D

[No Nickname] said...

@Arvay: Agreed. And even funnier that it was so innocuous. He was completely covered.

But they were *short* shorts. And the combo with the fancy button down was just so weird. He looked like a flasher.

Arvay said...