hooded sweatshirts

21 01 2009
the aviator glasses are optional... but awesome!

the aviator glasses are optional... but awesome!

so, i don’t have a job or nothin’, but i still make purchases on occasion.  over the past few weeks, i’ve been wearing my only hooded sweatshirt a disproportionate amount.  far more often than some would consider hygienically reasonable, but that’s their problem, frankly.  it just felt right.  when i’d put on a sweater, or a jacket, or even a t-shirt over a complimentarily colored long-sleeve t-shirt, i couldn’t keep my mind off of the soft, encompassing warmth of the hood i’d so recently worn.  so i went out and bought a second.  except this one was a zip-up!  and brown!

let me tell you, i love the zip-up.  you don’t have to be committed to wearing it like you must be when you decide to wear the pullover.  it’s not as bulky but still keeps you warm in the chill of the houses of people who graciously house you briefly but are too cheap to crank the heat above 60.  i mean… who are deeply concerned with energy conservation and are brave enough to make the mindful sacrifices that must accompany the heroic preservation of our planet.  on the other hand, the pullover has the tunnel-thru handwarming pocket, and i’d be lying if i said i didn’t miss feeling a little like a kangaroo when i don the zip-up instead.  there’s something about being able to clasp one’s hands together inside a single pocket, and the size of it is great for carrying anything you need around with you.

so really, they’re both great, and i can’t really claim to love one above the other.  and, of course, the salient feature of these newly beloved articles of clothing, the hood, is the pudding.  but why?  for years and years, i’ve never cared whether i owned or didn’t own hooded sweatshirts.  i had them, i didn’t, i wore them, i didn’t, i sweat in them, i didn’t (which is curious, given the name).

let me tell you this:  the prevailing effect of this affect falls beautifully in line, i’ve found, with general life philosophy that i tend to be agreeing with lately.  it is focus without blinding.  it is shelter without being sheltered.  it is realizing the moment and reaffirming that you’re in it.

think of it:  the head is the primary entrance for your senses.  and your senses are everything that you know in this world.  sure, you’ve got the sensation of touch everywhere, but smell, sight, taste, and hearing all begin and end in the head alone.  sometimes, all that stimulation can numb you.  it’s a lot to handle.  i’ve read somewhere that 99.997% of all stimuli presented to a human passes unnoticed, simply because the conscious mind couldn’t possibly pay attention to everything that is sensed by its body.  and still, it’s a lot to process.

sight:  the hood cuts the periphery from your vision.  i once found this to be disconcerting, but now i love it.  whatever it directly in front of my face gets my visual attention.  i catch more of what’s there instead of scattering my focus into numbnitude.  do you like my new word?  i thought of it with the part of my brain that wasn’t being used up looking at useless junk.

hearing:  the hood walls buffer the ears from unnecessary noises.  you still hear everything that you need to hear.  in fact, you probably still hear everything, just at a lower volume.  i liken it to being just old enough to have the kind of hearing loss that entitles you to ignore whatever displeases or annoys you without being socially culpable.  it’s kind of awesome.

touch:  the only sense possibly negatively impacted by the hood, i’ll admit.   sometimes, if you don’t get the hood up, over, and into place cleanly, it’ll take some tuft of your hair or two and put them in unnatural positions.  and you can feel it.  the offended hairbit is invariably pinned to the head dead-opposite its natural position, and the hairs contained therein invariably sprout from the spot on the head with the highest nerve end concentration of your entire body.  it’s annoying and must be dealt with until rectified.  even then, sometimes a turn of the head reveals some unsavory friction between the cloth and the plumage.  my only consolation is that you do learn to deal with it and soon enough, it’s removed (nearly) entirely from your consciousness.  on the upside, sometimes the front edge of the hood brushes your face or bumps your nose, and it feels pretty cool.  not to mention it’s a great reminder that you’re wearing a frickin’ sweet hooded sweatshirt.

smell and taste:  these senses do not seem to be greatly hindered or enhanced by use of hooded sweatshirt.

the verdict, my friends, is that going about many daily routines while wearing a hooded sweatshirt really puts you in the moment:  your tasks are ahead of you and your diversions are a thick cottony layer of world away.  anything you don’t accomplish is pretty much on you.

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