Man

How to Sit

When asked whether I’ve seen a certain Seinfeld episode, chances are I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen this one, either, but like all the others I haven’t seen, the concept looks funny. Season 9, episode 12.

I carry a slim wallet around. The slim wallet has improved my quality of life ever since it was given to me seven or so years ago.

I love my slim wallet because the slim factor makes it barely noticeable in my back pocket when I sit for long periods of time and also for short periods of time.

Not only is the slim wallet good for carrying the essential cards and cash, it is also a good door opener when I’m trying not to touch germ-infested door handles in public places.

It doesn’t work well trying to open the doorknob variety, though. I use the shoe method for that. [Please watch the three second video at the link in the preceding sentence. I’ve never actually opened a door that way but it makes me want to film a few different versions.]

 

Do you do this or is it just me?

Since I can’t easily feel my wallet anymore after going with the slim wallet, I have developed a habit of giving my rear end a subtle pat to see if my wallet is still there. I try to be discreet about it. Sometimes it’s not there and I get a little panic, until I realize that it is conveniently placed in my shirt pocket.

I find myself checking my rear end and shirt pocket fairly often.

–––It’s just a thing I do. [Please click on the link in the preceding sentence for my favorite “It’s just a thing” ever.]

 

Future Biographer: Title this chapter of my biography “His Wallets”

I didn't verify, but this gentleman definitely has a thick wallet in his rear pant pocket -- the one on the right side

I didn’t verify, but this gentleman definitely has a thick wallet in his rear pant pocket — most likely the pocket on the right side, though it could also be on the left side. If it is on the right side, by sitting the way he is over one and a half chairs, he avoids tilting Pisa-style into the woman to his left.

For the ten or fifteen years prior to discovering the slim wallet, I carried the classic billfold wallet in my back pocket. The problem was that back pant pockets would quickly wear out, long drives became uncomfortable, and the see-through plastic card-holding insides would fall apart or become so seared, scarred and sticky with black ink impressions of their former contents that they would become virtually unusable.

Worst of all, I even appeared to lean a little to the left while sitting, which was always embarrassing to no one but me.

In the early days of wallet carrying, I didn’t have enough cards/pictures/etc to fill the plastic inserts. I didn’t have a bank account either, which meant that the money I earned entered my wallet — cash, coins, and all.

Through my teenage years, my wallet began to be a place I kept notes, cards, and keepsakes. It became the home of a dollar bill signed by musicians that toured through the more indie theaters in Philadelphia.

I kept a strand of Morrissey’s shirt in my wallet for a long time. The inch-long string of shirt is now ashes below a smoldering heap of trash somewhere in Landfill, PA.

I’m sure I spent the dollar bill sometime later when I began to value food more than autographs. The vending machine’s Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies were totally worth it.

My wallet also became a place I kept more spiritual things to remember.

 

Cocaine

In my early teens in the backseat of a police car, I admired my friend who boldly showed the cop through the glass partition his wallet-sized LDS For The Strength of Youth pamphlet and said, “This is what I live by,” as we tried to convince the cops that we were innocent of planting bags of cocaine along a trail in a nearby park.

It all began when we decided to call the police after noticing suspicious looking bags on a trail. We weren’t idiots – we were probably hoping for careers in the FBI – but apparently the police thought we were better candidates for the Police Academy films.

…Or they were better candidates for those films.

“You boys better come with us, ya hear?” as they picked us up from my home. Five or six cop cars waited for us at the trailhead.

Later, the older cop was getting frustrated. After splitting up me and my friend, they saw inconsistencies with our story. The older cop said, “Son, you lie to us and you will have to ride behind a mule picking up its sh**.” He thought he was terrorizing me.

That line worked well in 1642, I hear.

It must have been a slow day, because a couple hours of amateurish interrogation later, trying to break us, their case fell apart when they saw that a small patch of dry skin on my earlobe was in fact dry skin and not remnants of cocaine.

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s an unusual place for dry skin.” I agree. But it was a blessing. Today, I could be in rural Arkansas riding behind a mule.

After the cop incident, I began to carry that church pamphlet around in my wallet.

 

How I almost lost my slim wallet

The problem with slim wallets is they are so expensive. I used to buy a wallet for ten bucks. My Ralph Lauren slim wallet retails for $80. But it still looks great, even after floating down Independence Avenue.

Shortly after receiving my new wallet when I lived in DC, I got a call from the National Chicken Council (this isn’t a joke) saying one of their employees had found my slim wallet floating along the curb toward a sewer vent on Independence Ave. Re-tracing my steps, I had left my wallet on my lap as I paid a cab driver before exiting at the curb for my office during a significant rainstorm.

Point is, my slim wallet has been through a lot and it still looks great.

 

How to Sit

I’ve titled this post “How to Sit.” Here’s my advice:

  • Don’t sit with the wallet in your pants pocket.
  • Don’t sit with the wallet on your lap.
  • Slim wallets will help with the leaning factor while sitting in a convention workshop (if you missed that, see above image of man sitting)
  • Carry something uplifting in your wallet.
  • Don’t hurry out of a cab on a busy street when it’s raining hard and you have a lot of stuff in your hands.
  • Don’t call the cops unless you have dry skin on your earlobe.
  • Oh, and sit up straight. Don’t slouch.

 

Bellroy

Enter Bellroy, the company that also creates leather slim wallets within that price range. When mine wears out, I don’t know what I’ll do. Either RL or Bellroy or something else.

The Bellroy site caught my eye yesterday and I meant to write a post that said, simply, “check this out.” Then I wrote a lot more than that.

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3 thoughts on “How to Sit

  1. Natalie says:

    You threw away a piece of Morrissey’s shirt?!! If it is because there was not room in your slim wallet, then, in spite of all its amazing benefits, you should have stuck with the thick one. I think you need to rethink your priorities. Some things are worth leaning to the left for. I am just saying…

    • I can’t remember when I threw that away. It was well before the slim wallet days. I went through a pretty long phase where I purged myself of all music and all memories of music so it was probably during that time frame that I let go of his metallic silver shirt strand and the memory of when I actually threw it away. I checked eBay to see how much a strand of his shirt might go for and couldn’t see anything similar. My guess is I’d get $7 for it today, but it sounds like you would vote for keeping it.

      • Natalie says:

        I actually would like a blog post about the above mentioned purging. As someone who has gone through my own version of purging of certain aspects of my past, I would be curious as to motivation and if you feel such purges are effective. I have had my mixed results with my own attempts. I am curious about our Father’s ability to forgive and forget our things considered to be sins when I’d find it impossible to forget some of my more ” just” immature or embarrassing activities.

        Not that I think your music purging was because you did something immature or embarrassing. I would never make such an assumption. I mean I am sure you didn’t. You had to be more mature than I was. I didn’t mean to touch on a sensitive subject. So sorry. Did I mention that I spent years trying to purge memories of really stupid and insensitive things I have said?

Your thoughts?