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    Fail Safe Compatibilty Test

    There's this old tank top I still wear. How old? Not really sure. Let's put it this way; I've got pictures with it on, circa 1990, and it doesn't look brand new.

    It started off jet black, and has faded to light black. It's got more holes in it than the streets of Boston after a snowy winter, when the asphalt has been mangled by plows. All the edges are frayed, and it's ripped halfway up the right side, held together by two big safety pins. And it's got a few bleach stains on it from who knows where. I love it.

    I wear that shirt to the gym, to yoga, and out and about. It's not something I would wear on a first date, however. Or so I thought.

    At yoga the other day, a striking woman walks by me and says, "I like your yoga mat". She had a good eye for style, because, in the generally austere world of yoga mats, this one was bitchin': it had a cork base, with seven colorful circles riding up the middle, demarking the chakras. "Thank you", I replied, and winked at her. She smiled. Not a bad way to start a class. Later, I saw her in the lobby of the yoga studio, checking out clothing. We started to chat, and I asked her out for coffee (told you I love yoga babes). She accepted.

    Over coffee, she asked, with a smile, "Is there story behind that shirt you're wearin'?". It's worthy to note that my tank top had acquired even more distinction by being drenched in sweat. I told her about it, and she laughed. She dug it. We had a honey of a time.

    That interaction got me thinking. I have a mile walk home from Westwood Village, which is where my gym and yoga studio are. I walk to and from The Village at least once a day. It's a beautiful jaunt, bordered by UCLA and it's botanical garden on one side and Sorority row on the other (flora over here, fauna over there). I get lots of ideas on these walks, sometimes sketching out entire writings in my head. 

    It occurred to me that my infamous tank top has been more than just a trusty garment over the years; it's been a barometer for female compatibility. I thought back to all my girlfriends since I started wearing it (approximating of course, not knowing exactly how long I've had the thing). I realized that, without exception, there's a line that breaks like a perforated Saltine cracker; the women who have had issues with me wearing this ragged piece of clothing, and have proven to be incompatible, are on one side; the women who have dug this shirt, and have proven very compatible, are on the other.

    This is not a matter of right or wrong, good or bad. It's a matter of sensibilities, attitudes, and a general approach to life. The women who don't like me wearing this shirt are of the opinion that it looks "tacky". The women who like it will say things like "I dig that shirt because it's so You". And therein lies the compatibility acid test. Compatibly is a complex phenomenon. Which is why it's so exciting to realize that a simple article of clothing can gauge it.

    I feel great wearing this shirt. I wear it like I do all clothing; from the inside out. I'm comfortable, feel good, and believe I look great in it. If you're totally on board with that, it says that you're okay with me being me. With me wearing whatever I want. With me being comfortable in my own skin, with my own second skin, and expressing that to the world at large. If you like it, you place a high value on self expression. You don't care too much about what people think of me, or what people think of you being with a guy who would wear a tattered tank top that predates the millennium. This is just one way I express myself, but it translates well across the wide spectrum of self expression.

    If you don't dig it, and in fact if you truly hate it, I'm not going to psychoanalyze you; but I am going to say that our sensibilities don't align. Our values don't match up. Our attitudes about self expression and letting it all hang out are quite different. That has been the case, every time.

    Expanding my general thesis, I don't go for "preppy" women; their conservative nature, attitudes, and overall approach, along with their conventional lifestyles, are usually reflected in their clothing; and I'm at the other end of the universe. I'm most compatible with women who are unconventional, far from conservative, are wild at heart and wild in spirit, very artistic, with a certain unique flash. I go for women who love how they look in a pair of tight jean shorts, a bikini top, sparkly Chucky Taylor high tops, no make-up, and a baseball cap (with the ponytail pulled through the opening in the back - fuck, I love that look). If a woman feels sexy in that, I'm on board. It's not just skin deep (or clothing deep). You look sexy in that because you feel sexy in that. And if you feel sexy in it, you are sexy. To yourself, and to me. I pick up on that vibe and resonate with your energy. The same is true the other way around. I feel sexy in my battered tank top. If you can feel that, ride my energy with me, then we're on the same wavelength; were vibrating on a similar frequency. We gel. We ignite together.

    I'm looking to explore this more, I'm just not sure when. That's all I got for now.


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli. MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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