The Politics of Pockets: An Exploration into the Etiquette and Angst of Hands-In-Pockets - Bitter Threads

The Politics of Pockets: An Exploration into the Etiquette and Angst of Hands-In-Pockets

Pockets as a Societal Mirror

Oh, pockets! Those humble guardians of knick-knacks, the sanctuary for wandering hands, and the unsung heroes of the fashion world. Today, however, we are not dissecting the depth, size, or even the gender politics swirling around pockets. No, today we venture into the profound societal implications and secret life of hands nonchalantly finding solace in pockets.

The Stigma: From Innocuous to Incendiary

Now, who would've thought that sticking your hands in your pockets could be such a hot topic? A comforting haven for some, yet a blatant disregard for manners according to others. It was just last week at my Toastmasters meeting that I discovered this act was tantamount to a social faux pas. I was astounded because I habitually shove my hands deep down into my pockets. And don't even get me started on clothes sans pockets or faux pockets. I grew up in a family with a propensity for pocketing their hands.

My Mother and Her Corduroy Pants

I can't discuss pockets without bringing up the tale of my mother. In school, she was the introverted kid who had a peculiar relationship with her pockets, specifically the ones in her corduroy pants—yes, corduroy, that material that loudly announces your movements as if you're walking with a marching band. Far from the limelight of popularity, she remained somewhat of a ghost in her school hallways.

Kids can be cruel, as we all know. When they noticed my mom sticking her hands in her pockets while meandering alone, they accused her of something far less innocent than seeking comfort. They made fun of her, labeling her actions as masturbatory. This only fueled her resolve, pushing her hands deeper into the sanctuary of corduroy and up into trees to escape the ludicrous accusations of her peers.

My Pocket Comfort

I've also found solace in pockets. As someone with inconveniently long arms, pockets offer a physical and psychological respite. Up until recently, one of my comfort techniques involved diving both hands into the vast, welcoming depths of my PocketSkirt™—front or back, it didn't matter.

Why Is It Considered Rude?

Let's play amateur anthropologist for a moment. The aversion to hands-in-pockets varies from culture to culture, yet there are some universal reasons for the taboo. Here are a few:

Perceived Laziness: There’s something about seeing someone with their hands in their pockets that screams, "I'm not fully engaged with the world around me."

Non-Verbal Cues: Pockets obscure the hands, making it difficult to gauge one's openness or honesty. Remember, hands are often the unsung heroes of body language.

Professionalism: Imagine going to a job interview with your hands tucked snugly into your pockets. It’s not exactly the epitome of 'ready to work,' now is it?

A Fine Line Between Comfort and Courtesy

Now, you have a choice: to pocket or not to pocket? I'm not one to bow to every societal whim, but I also don't want to be the person who makes an entire room uncomfortable because my hands fancy a pocket holiday.

So, I've adopted a compromise. When I'm in a safe space, like my home or among close friends, my hands are as pocketed as they want to be. But in professional or unfamiliar settings, I respect the unwritten rules and don my new Helping Hands Dress because placing one's hands inside of gloves is a completely different thing. Am I right? It’s not selling out; it's coexisting.

helping hands dress

Final Thoughts: The Pocket Paradox

Pockets are more than just convenient receptacles for our keys and phones. They're a complex sociological phenomenon, a small but telling part of our culture and behaviors. They can bring comfort, but they can also bring judgment. My advice? Go for a pocket detox and wear only clothing without pockets for 30-days and break free from the grasp of this addictive comfort. Then slowly reintroduce pockets back into your wardrobe monitoring yourself for any boorish pocket dwelling behaviors.
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