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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Big Tuck


Taryn and I have lived in three very different cities over the last three years. We have moved from the SW corner of the US, to the NW corner, and now to the NE corner. One of the things we have thoroughly enjoyed in this bi-coastal season of life is the vastly different cultures we experience. It is also fascinating to see how these cultures rub off on us.

As anyone who has ever moved, traveled over seas, or watched foreign films knows every culture has their own set of norms. These norms are then used as the lens through which everything is interpreted. Whether aware of it or not we are frequently interpreting verbal and nonverbal behavior through these lenses. If people are from the same or similar cultures, they will often attach the same meaning to a given behavior. It's not rocket science, I know.

Let me highlight this with the first thing that comes to mind...my currently tucked in shirt.

Just years ago I sat in Phoenix, AZ having a spirited dialogue that asked whether any of us would ever be a shirt-tucker-iner. All of us in the group said "no". If you are in PHX and you tuck in your shirt you are either going golfing or have to go work an office job from 10-3 and then go golfing. There is no other reason to tuck in your shirt. Then I moved to Seattle. If you live in Seattle and tuck in your shirt you either work for Microsoft or you are going on a date. Period. Then I moved to New York..the Big Apple...the Big Tuck. Every shirt here is tucked. T-shirt, polo, long sleeve, dress shirt, Tommy Bahama...all tucked. You tuck it in for work, for a date, or for a walk to the store. I have seen variations of the tuck. The half tuck. The muffin top tuck. The keep the gut in tuck. The pants to high tuck. The wall street tuck. Tuck, tuck, tuck! I have heard it said that your tucked in shirt can make or break a job interview. You want to succeed in Manhattan, you better tuck in that shirt buddy!

As I sit with my Ben Sherman button down shirt tucked in, I am not certain that I will leave this city as a shirt-tucker-inner. However I am eager to see how my own lens is shaped by our time here in The Big Tuck.

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josué.blanco said...

Call me when you move to Miami to round off the US. We tuck more than just our shirts!

What does that even mean?

Jarrod said...

Taryn and I are considering a vacation in Florida before we move anywhere else. That we will have touched all four corners.

I can't wait to experience the infamous Miami-tuck.

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