The Hawaiian-style Shirts I’m Wearing This Summer

TECHNICALLY I'm not even sure if this is a true "Hawaiian" shirt.  There are criteria you know.

TECHNICALLY I’m not even sure if this is a true “Hawaiian” shirt. There are criteria you know.


Here’s what I brought to wear in Taiwan: six “Hawaiian” shirts and two pairs of shorts; one dark cargo shorts, and the other a lighter plain shorts.

There is also a simple shoe plan, socks and underwear, and some t-shirts, and the relaxed pants I wore on the plane ride. That’s it.

I chose these loose-fitting Hawaiian style shirts because:

  • they are comfortable in the heat.
  • they are easy to wash cold and hang dry
  • they hide food stains, sweat patches, and other things particularly well.
  • they express my big brown pacific identity pretty well
  • I’m on vacation.

Voilà! That is the complete set of reasons that I’m only wearing “Hawaiian” style shirts.

Today, two separate people, congratulated me for wearing Hawaiian shirts, because, “It shows that you just don’t give a f*ck about anyone.”

Here are my questions:

  • Does wearing less comfortable clothes show people that I care about them more?
  • Do people really look at a big brown man wearing a Hawaiian style shirt and think, “That man doesn’t care about me at all.” ?
  • Do people think that Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders who wear colorful, loose-fitting, un-tucked shirts are some kind of clowns? Do they not know that other people have cultures, and that they are capable of following standards that have NOTHING TO DO with what European people consider proper? Do they REALLY THINK we’re actively thinking about subverting their culture when we put on a “Hawaiian” shirt?

I chose Hawaiian shirts because they are easy and it seemed appropriate, but apparently my choice of clothes is sending a message that I hadn’t intended. Two people, separately, made that comment to me, TODAY! “It shows that you just don’t give a f*ck about anybody,” they said.

Well, one thing’s for sure… they’re totally right! I absolutely do not give a f*ck about anyone! Why should I… I’m on vacation!

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