Traverse City Record-Eagle

Feature Columnists

November 3, 2013

Nathan Payne: Sometimes you have to go superhero

When is it inappropriate to wear a superhero T-shirt under your work clothes?

That’s the thought that crossed my mind Thursday morning in the predawn hour when I hustled to get ready for work and helped my wife, Kate, get our boys out the door.

Hey, plenty of superheroes have donned brightly colored spandex suits under their work clothes, most notably Superman and Spider-man. So, it’s probably not that far-fetched to wear a simple T-shirt, is it?

I spent a few minutes justifying my undershirt to myself before Kate walked past, spotted the shirt, rolled her eyes and laughed.

“It’s not like I’m wearing my underwear on the outside and diving into phone booths,” I thought while she adjusted her Batman shirt.

Heck, she looked equally ridiculous and hers wasn’t going to be covered by another shirt all day.

Still, Kate probably had a more reasonable excuse for the Batman outfit since she was going to help at our son’s school Halloween party.

I stuck by the excuse that it was Halloween. But that wasn’t just a little fib, it was pretty much a bald-faced lie. I’ve been sneaking the man-sized comic into my undershirt rotation for a while now.

My oldest son, Spencer, looked up at me as I closed my button-down shirt over a massive image of Spider-man swinging from a string of web. He stood in front of the mirror for a few seconds, posing and pretending his palms were Iron Man blasters.

It can be tough to keep your composure with a 5-year-old dancing around the room pretending to fight bad guys. But I managed to maintain my professionalism and refrain from posing in superhero positions with him.

“Dad, I’m going as Iron Man, James is going as Hulk, mom is going as Batman and you are going as Workman,” he said.

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