Mailman seeks comfort in kilt
Lobbies for option as Postal Service uniform
Dean Peterson, 48, of Lacey, Wash., owns 15 kilts. Local mailmen aren't too keen on wearing kilts on the job.
By David Abel
Globe Staff / July 21, 2008
Dean Peterson has heard the snickering.
His 17-year-old son "keeps quiet" about his father's new obsession, and when his 15-year-old son proposed following in his dad's footsteps, the principal at the boy's school warned that other students might pick on him.
But the 6-foot-tall, 250-pound mail carrier from Lacey, Wash., doesn't worry about anyone questioning his virility, or ogling his bare knees. He just wants to feel as free as a woman wearing a skirt.
"A lot of people think I'm crazy," said Peterson, 48, who became a mail carrier after retiring from the Air Force eight years ago. "This is important to me - I just want to be comfortable. I just want the option."
As some 10,000 mail carriers gather in Boston this week for the 66th biennial convention of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Peterson is on a one-man mission to persuade his colleagues to approve a change in their strictly regulated uniforms. He has proposed a resolution to allow mailmen to wear kilts, which he calls a Male Unbifurcated Garment, or MUG.
Over the past few weeks, he says he has spent the $1,800 he received as part of the federal government's stimulus package to send about 1,000 letters and photographs of a mockup of the new uniform to postal union branches in every state, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico.
"MUGs are worn all over the world, and have been for thousands of years because they are comfortable," he wrote to fellow mailmen. "Unbifurcated Garments are far more comfortable and suitable to male anatomy than trousers or shorts, because they don't confine the legs or cramp the male genitals the way that trousers or shorts do."
He argued that pants can cause sweat rashes and added, "Please open your hearts - and inseams - for an option in mail carrier comfort!"