Ratty T-shirt Richard Armitage fantasies

I’ve seen at least two posts on this topic that I enjoyed — at The Armitage Effect and Me, My Thoughts, and Richard Armitage, where Jas even wrote a cheesy poem. I won’t venture to interpret the photo as I’m totally without context — that left jaw clench sometimes signals annoyance and other times the weary, sad, wistful Guy of Gisborne-esque smirk; the leaving on of the sunglasses says a lot, too — but yeah, that photo (edited at The Armitage Effect, if you don’t know the one I am talking about; I’m not reposting it because I don’t know who owns it) sent my fantasies into overdrive. Brown-haired boy-next-door in spades. There’s also my old airport / airplane anti-fantasy (which I went into detail about in the comments on thefrencharmitagearmy) that gets kicked up in response to images like this. Maybe he’s still flying economy, if he dresses like that to travel? A girl can only dream — in my case, about sitting next to the guy for thousands of air miles and not being able to make herself say a word.

The beard is only the buy-in, though — the untrimmed margins at the cheeks that say, I didn’t look at it this morning, and the tiny little bit of bed-head over his scalp are most important to me when I’m dreaming of kisses — but that’s not what I think of when I see an airport picture like this. Here, it’s the everyday jeans and the t-shirt (and I wish I could have seen his shoes) and the backpack that start the gears turning. The oh-so-masculine forearms. The crew neck and especially the arm on that t-shirt. There’s no hem on the sleeve; instead, it’s serged (overlock stitched, if you’re British). I assume he bought it that way (although who knows; maybe there’s an especially serious needleperson in his life who serges over the hems of his ratty t-shirt sleeves to improve the household economy — although only the most active and involved sewers I know have a serger). The jeans are worn; the t-shirt’s not chosen for style, and even had it been, it’s been washed enough that it’s mostly lost its shape. Oh, and the way he’s standing in both photos, a little restless, as if he’s just about to move on to the next thing. To rock a bit onto his toes to see something.

The ratty t-shirt that says, Saturdays with nothing to do in particular and no one we have to impress. Just get out of bed, run your hand through your hair to flatten it, pull on some clothes, and walk out the door into the sunshine. Outside, that’s the important thing, catch the breeze before it’s too hot. Put on any clothes; a man who dresses like that probably can’t be bothered to care much about what his partner’s wearing. He grabs his backpack, we head out to the farmer’s market. Mmm, some beautiful carrots, some fresh strawberries, look at that arugula (rocket for our British friends). He pulls out his billfold to pay, unzips the backpack, layers the food inside. All the things that speak to us, no worries about how it will fit together, when the backpack is full, we’re done shopping and walk over the market, hand in hand, still feasting our eyes. After a fresh lunch, there’s no difficulty if we’ve stained these clothes, if juice from fresh berries or homemade salad dressing we’ve concocted ourselves has strayed from its path toward our eager mouths. There’s always another ratty t-shirt to put on after we take this one off — and no worries taking these clothes off or fear that they will wrinkle when they fall on the floor, or worry if they tear on the way to the nap …

The ratty t-shirt, the restless stance that says, we could be about to tour a city we’ve never been to before. We’re eager to walk as far as we can, to see everything there is to see. Everything we need (map, camera or camera phone, bottle of water, maybe a sweater or two) in the backpack; put on a ratty t-shirt that won’t show the dirt as it accumulates from the day. We’re not there to be seen, just to feast our eyes on the unfamiliar setting, to fill up our senses with new pictures. Stop and buy a pastry and a cup of coffee. Wander along as the sun moves toward its apex. Look at that steeple, that alley, that café, that little kid, the way that stair is constructed, the cobblestones, what Paul Simon would have called the “angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity.” Casual touches over the back, occasional hand-holding, looking into his eyes and watching them change as he sees something he’s never seen before, shared laughter, the winces that only we notice. Sharing a water bottle. Street musicians, good ones and pitifully bad ones. Isn’t that pretty? Let’s buy one — and put it in the backpack; a treasure here, a flower there, an odd stone from the street with a funny copper vein running through that will make it into a jar of odds and ends at home and remind us, months later, of this day, a dirty napkin from the sandwiches we buy to recycle later. Running to an overhang to stand under it in a sudden downpour. At evening, when the backpack is unpacked, the debris reminds us again about all the images from the fullest of one of the simplest days, the minutest of impressions. And when the t-shirt comes off, under the dust and grime of walking, there’s another story, waiting …

Ratty t-shirts and old jeans, handy backpacks, standing in airports, waiting to take off: it’s a fantasy about shedding image, about simplicity, about the fantasy of no expectations, wandering through a day where how we see ourselves can’t get in the way, and because of that, we are freed to encounter everything we see as a wonder. About finally being so much smaller than everything we see.

~ by Servetus on July 24, 2012.

48 Responses to “Ratty T-shirt Richard Armitage fantasies”

  1. Lovely portrait of my own view of good manliness.

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  2. 😀 I love that he looks very casual and yes, boy next door and definitely not metrosexual but at the same time, not schleppy and scruffy. Didion said it well: good manliness.

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    • well, just a little scruffy.

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      • Well, there’s scruffy and there’s RA scruffy. 😉 He still looks very appealing whereas some other blokes would just look–scruffy.

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        • I’m sure that’s true, but the being just a little disheveled is definitely part of it for me. This is one of the first pictures I’ve seen of him where I’ve thought, huh, he’s gorgeous, but I could reasonably stand next to him and not be ashamed of my tousled appearance.

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          • It’s that regular guy sort of thing, that he’s actually from the same world that we are. Actually, I love the way my husband looks with his hair a little too long and disheveled and a touch of stubble. I find it oddly endearing.

            I somehow suspect RA would make us feel comfortable in his presence no matter what he’s wearing or we are wearing. There’s just something about him that causes me to think so.

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            • well, embarrassment comes from the embarrassed person, no? I’m chronically underdressed. I don’t do anything to change it, but I would feel like a schlub standing next to him if he were wearing (successful) black tie.

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              • I see your point. ; ) I can’t help but chuckle at the chronIcally underdressed line. If you’d seen how I’ve dressed since being at home so much, you’d feel extremely well dressed. And it’s really hot here, too, with only part of the house air conditioned, so . . . you do the math. LOL

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            • Several people that have met him said he’s good at putting shy/nervous people at ease.

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              • And that’s really what I meant–he has a way of making a person, no matter what the situation, feel comfortable in his presence. Nervous people, shy people, someone chronically underdressed. Really charismatic people, from my own experience, can do that.

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  3. Love this. What a perfect day!

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  4. A perfect fantasy of the perfect day with the most perfect man. (Of course no one is perfect but even his imperfections [assuming he has any] are perfect!). 😉

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    • yeah, I should have drawn some flies into the ointment. Probably he hates fresh vegetables or something.

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  5. Well, it was not MY fantasy until I just read how beautiful a day like this could be. Yep, I will add this one to my fantasies. I especially like the idea of his backpack carrying the reminders of our moments together.

    He can wear any ratty or regal outfit as long as i can see his forearms and biceps.

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  6. ….. what?…..you mean.. no internet??? 😉

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  7. It would be a good day indeed if that man sat next to me on a plane, a bus, subway, train ….

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  8. *Sigh*….perhaps I could forget about my fear of flying.;)
    ..as to your comments on someone else’s blog…..”thefrencharmitagearmy” maybe?. 🙂

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  9. That’s a very interesting train of thought regarding the airport picture. It’s nicer than the thoughts I’ve had on it.
    I read somewhere that these images were taken by a ‘professional’ autograph / celeb picture hunter, and there’s an image where they are standing side by side, and poor Richard looks really uncomfortable. Sorry I’m being vague, but I just saw/read about it in passing (I think it was Tumblr) and can’t find a link. To me, that’s a picture of a man who rolled out of bed, threw some clothes in a hurry to catch his flight, as he’s done many times before, and got his first taste of the uncomfortable aspect of fame and recognition, meaning some weird dude catching him at the airport and causing a scene ;(
    It may all be hearsay, and the interpretation of the pictures could be very wrong, but just to be on the safe side, I decided not to post them. Just so we’re clear, I have no problem with others doing so, but I’m just not ready to engage in the whole ‘RA in private’ pictures. That may change, as I adjust to the new situation.
    Just so you know, I prefer your thoughts on “Richard Armitage at the airport”, but I think these images represent a shift in the way the media and fans / people who recogize him in public regard and treat Armitage.
    Wow, I sound serious! Sorry about that! It’s just something to ponder.

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    • Found one of the links:
      http://richardarmitageconfessions.tumblr.com/post/27584694585/didsomeonesayguyofgisborne-vec170203

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    • I can confirm that I saw the autograph offered on ebay for I think about 60 or 70$, the pics accompanied the autograph as evidence they this is a real RA autograph. The same seller also did offer several autographs of Martin Freeman, plus pics of him wearing a very colourful shirt.

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    • Well, dealing with autograph hunters is part of the cost of doing business as an actor. I honestly can’t agree that this is the first time this ever happened to him. Someone else sent me another candid of him that must have been taken about the same time, also watermarked with an autograph sale watermark, which I am also not posting, but which I will put a link to, which he appears to be smiling. He also signs first day covers from obscure places that make money by printing exotic postage stamps, I assume because people write to him asking for autographs, and these are also for sale on the internet — in our age, everything is a commodity. I reflected on that at length in my post on relics so I’m not going to reproduce it here. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but Richard Armitage is an adult and can presumably refuse to have his picture taken with autograph hunters if he wishes to do so.

      As I stated explicitly in the first paragraph of the post, I wasn’t interpreting the picture but talking about my fantasies that resulted from seeing him in very casual clothing, still apparently disheveled from sleep.

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      • “Richard Armitage is an adult.” Yep, I do believe he will be 41 years old in a few weeks. He’s been in this business for years and he is not mentally deficient or physically handiicapped as far as I can see. So I am pretty sure he can walk away from the autograph hunters and other possible annoyances if and when he chooses to do so.

        And as I pointed out on another blog, these days with cameras on phones and iPads, etc. just about anyone anywhere can take your photo, so as he becomes better and better known, we can expect to see more and more of those candid type shots. I don’t condone people being excessively intrusive and rude, mind you. I am just being realistic.

        And really and truly, I think he can handle it, y’all.

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  10. Servetus, random comments regarding this post:

    1. My sister owns a serger!!! She worked part-time @ Nordstrom in their alterations department while in college. Now, she’s an electrical engineer – oh well.

    2. Is it wrong the first thing I noticed in the photo referred to – is the See’s Candies kiosk in the background? 😉

    3. I own 4 backpacks by Swissgear (scattered between US and London) – my versions are designed for traveling with multiple laptops and getting through airport security with maximum ease, I absolutely LOVE them.

    Can I tell you that THIS just showed up outside my office in London??
    http://cruise-international.com/ms-deutschland-to-be-floating-hotel-for-the-london-olympics/

    Not far off is Paul Allen’s superyacht, Octopus.

    Looks like this little sporting event / track meet might be happening after all at the end of the week. 😉

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    • yeah — people who do alterations would definitely want to have a serger. My grandmothers both had them.

      I’m glad you keep your attention on the important things, like the candies.

      And yeah, Swissgear is definitely a backpack for the power flyer. I don’t have one, but I admire them.

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  11. In that off-duty photo – he is scruffy! 😀 As long as he’d showered before the airport, and the jeans and ratty t-shirt were at least laundered? – well, would be happy to sit next to him a flight. Would even give give up whatever seat I was assigned to accomodate his legs…

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  12. His being this “regular guy” is a huge part of his appeal for me; no attitude or inflated ego, and dressed for comfort not the camera.

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  13. @Mezz, exactly why the candid photos (no make-up, no staged and ?photoshopped? professional shoots) are appealing, do you think?

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    • fitzg, that’s bit of an “I don’t know why, it just is” kind of question and answer for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the photo shoots and when he’s all dressed up in a tux too, but there’s just something about the candid shots.
      Maybe it’s because for all his inaccessability and total removal from my RL, they make him feel more accessible, as if I’m getting a glimpse of who he is as Armitage the man, rather than Armitage the actor (and I’m rather besotted with him too!) My instincts tell me that what I see is indeed a modest, thoughtful, intelligent and focused man, but at the same time, I am fully aware I do not and never will know him.
      The question of at what point am I crossing the line from having a healthy interest in someone I admire and crush on, to being a too-avid stickybeak into his private life, is one that concerns me when these candid photos appear. There haven’t been that many before now, he’s managed to go about his daily routine in relative anonymity, but I daresay that will change as he becomes more well-known.

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      • I always remember that quote in an early interview about how a fan should have said hi to him, and then he says (paraphrasing), oh, what if I had smelled?

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  14. Better expressed than I was prepared to write. My thoughts exactly, including that variable line of privacy invasion/voyeurism/etc. One thing about the candids – the actor always responds to those strangers naturally and modestly. He has certainly learned by experience that these encounters will happen, and found a way to react, in my observation (is that voyeurism?) within what appears to be his personality comfort zone. (And here I have crossed my own line of analysing the private person.)

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  15. here’s the link someone sent me to another picture in the same setting, ostensibly for the same purpose:

    http://www.autographworld.com/scrapbook/show.asp?item=8479

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  16. […] want to peel your rucksack back and push your t-shirt over your head and shoulders all the […]

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  17. […] does it for you. I love the pictures of Mr. Armitage that she cited, and have written about them once platonically, and once not so platonically, but I have a hard time answering that for two reasons. One reason is […]

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  18. […] whose every scheduled public move is starting to be watched by tens of thousands of eyes, and yet you go to the airport in your rattiest t-shirt, you walk around like it doesn’t matter, none of it, either you will succeed in flying under […]

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  19. […] for cleanliness and order that in turn link to other fantasies about the joys of dressing badly and everything you can do with a fantasy man in a wornout t-shirt. Your readership gets frustrated with you on the cleanliness question — and you shut them off […]

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