No Shirt, No Shoes, No Socks, No Service


Today, May 8, is a very special day. It is the day that besides being outdoor intercourse day, where people are encouraged to gather outside and converse on various subjects in the Pennsylvania town called Intercourse in Lancaster County, today is ‘National No Socks Day’! Today, if only for today, you are allowed and should not feel ashamed, to not wear socks anywhere you go. You can certainly walk outdoors without socks, and in the mall, in the office, and in church, if you go to church on Wednesday. Of course, May 8th, today, is not to be confused with ‘National Go Barefoot Day’, which is on June 1 this year. Today, you don’t have to wear socks, but you should really wear shoes. To combine these two holidays would be just as wrong as combining Christmas with Easter. They both have very different meanings.

Do you remember when businesses were very much in the practice of putting their slogans, rules and demands on little signs around their businesses, specifically on the front doors? Signs like, ‘No smoking withing 500 feet of door.’ ‘No soliciting’. ‘No loitering’. ‘Restrooms are for customers only’. ‘No public restrooms.’  One that started showing up in the 1960’s and early 70’s read, ‘No shirt, no shoes (socks), no service!’ This most likely was even before May 8 was declared a day to collectively go without socks in this country. Although there is no exact time for the origin of the day, it can be assumed that people were finding out how comfortable it was to not wear socks long before its first celebration as a holiday.

Coincidentally, at the same time in the 1960’s there were other signs on store fronts that were even more restrictive, and more personal than not servicing someone who wasn’t wearing socks. It was the time when civil rights were coming to a head and the federal government along with civil rights organizations frowned on the outdated restrictions and prejudices. That was when these more subtle signs regarding shirts, shoes and socks started popping up. They stayed as the country went from civil rights to human rights and the hippie movement started to spread. 

Most young people saw it as a way of protest not to wear certain items of clothing, and shirts, shoes and socks were included in those. So, another obstacle standing in the way of an unsanctioned National Holiday. My how far we have come as a nation and as a people! Have you been to a Walmart lately? No shirt, no shoes no socks no service? Hardly! How about pajama bottoms, halter tops that barely cover the halter area, and slippers accepted as the uniform of the shopper! Not to single Walmart out, these same shoppers need to go to the grocery store, the bank, the doctor, and some of them have even been seen attending church! There is always some one who will take a holiday way too far. It’s all fun and games with no socks until somebody has no pants!

Okay, maybe it hasn’t gone there yet, but it comes awfully close, you have to agree. Pajama bottoms are not sold in the Levi section of the department store. They are sold in lounge wear if anywhere. You do not walk into a store looking for lawn furniture and go to the sporting goods area. Then, when you are looking for a pair of pants don’t go to the sleepwear area.

So, today, you can go anywhere and do not have to wear socks, but you cannot go anywhere and not wear pants! There is no such holiday as wear your pajamas to the store day, but in an attempt at transparency, April 16, the day after Tax Day has been designated ‘Wear your pajamas to work day.’  So, on that day if you saw someone at Walmart wearing lounge wear, they were probably an employee…not! Have fun and feel the freedom of going sockless for the day, just keep the rest of your clothes on, please.