What has happened to our society? I’m not talking about political stuff, religion, crime, drugs, teenage pregnancy, gay marriage – I’m talking about something really important: attire and lack thereof.
Today was the last straw. I was standing in line at the post office in Tombstone, Arizona when this woman walked in wearing attire I could only describe as pajamas, complete with bedroom slippers. I’m serious. She was wearing stuff my niece wears to bed: matching pink socks, and fuzzy slip-on bedroom slippers. Her only concession to proper attire was the possibility that she was wearing a bra under her thin flannel skin-tight top.
Two months or so ago, I was talking to a woman who is a librarian in one of the ‘larger’ cities in New Mexico. First, one needs to understand that a ‘larger city in New Mexico’ is like a smaller city anywhere else. I digress. I was complimenting her on her attire — shorts, blouse, matching shirt, earrings, and matching sandals. It was hot that day and her attire was a casual concession to the mid-morning parade she attended. As she was not going in to work that day, but assisting her husband, a business associate of mine, she was not properly attired in skirt, dress, hose, etc. She shocked me by complaining about how shabby she looked, how unprofessional, which was not true. Then she complimented me by telling me she always used me as an example for her daughters and their friends. She said I always looked ‘well dressed’.
The mutual compliments over, we started doing the girl thing and shredding women’s attire and reputations (not really). She was telling me how horribly dressed people were when they came into the library. I told her I wasn’t sure if I could believe it when she was telling me about the man who came in wearing plaid PJs. Then I saw the woman at the post office in Tombstone and realized my friend was telling the truth!
People don’t give a rip how they look or how they dress any more. People take no pride in their appearance.
I know women who have made fun of me, my mother, sister, aunts, cousins, and nieces because we follow our grandmother’s hard and fast rule: You never leave the house without makeup, hair done, jewelry, and proper attire. No exceptions. You dress for the occasion. Even if you are cleaning house and scrubbing around in the yard, you put on your makeup and do your hair.
I will admit the third generation (mine) has let the scrubbing around the house and yard slide a bit. If you lounge around the house in your jammies, you need not follow the above rule. That is the only time, ICU and life support notwithstanding. Surgery, you do makeup, hair, and nails. Hospital stay, same thing. No exceptions. When my mother was in ICU about a year and a half ago after having coded twice with heart stoppage, the nurses couldn’t get over her eye makeup and lipstick being intact. Simple – she’s tattooed!
I know it sounds shallow. Heck, my father’s sister-in-law always treated my mother and my sister and I like we were shallow and uneducated. I don’t care if she does have a Ph.D., she doesn’t need to go around in pedal pushers, plaid shirts, rolled up ankle socks, horrible athletic shoes, no makeup, and the unpardonable sin – a fanny pack. I think people who use fanny packs ought to be taken out and shot, the only exception being astronauts, for whom they were created.
Back to the shallow and superficial – not!
Somewhere, I either read or heard that having good manners is the ability to make a person, no matter who, feel comfortable. Doesn’t this apply to taking care of one’s appearance? (Okay, I overdress, I know that. Enough with the criticism about it, already.) Seriously, if our attire is so (words fail me)… that it makes people feel uncomfortable, aren’t we guilty of having bad manners?
I’m not taking the outrageous, but the ordinary. Wearing your jammies to the library or the post office doesn’t actually make me uncomfortable, but is sure makes you look stupid. And, to quote the philosopher, stupid is as stupid does. I don’t give a rip if you wallow around in pedal pushers and a t-shirt and your rear end is the size of a VW Bug! The fanny pack doesn’t really offend me, as long as you are bumming around in the yard, or slopping hogs on the back forty. But when you dress this way and insist on being seated in a four star restaurant, you look stupid and out of place.
Oh, speaking of stupid, nothing is worse than men in their baseball caps. Take them off, already. When you sit there at the table, hunched over your food like the above-mentioned barnyard animal shoveling food into your mouth, at least take the blasted hat off your balding head. There’s nothing wrong with balding men. Look at Patrick Stewart. He’s sexy. There’s a difference between sexy and oily and greasy. You look dirty in that cap.
So, we’re talking the all American traveling couple. They look like they’ve been sleeping in their clothes for a month, and haven’t had a bath in two. She’s wallowing around in that fanny pack. He’s sitting there slopping food, picking his teeth, and wearing that nasty baseball cap. (I love baseball, by the way.) Tom Selleck in a baseball cap (a real one) is gorgeous. The man in the John Deere cap, slurping his Big Mac, is just plain repulsive. Know when to wear one. Don’t you have any pride? Why look like someone’s half-dead middle-aged relatives when you travel? Ever heard of a mirror?
I love old movies. Have you ever noticed how glamorous people look in them? I long for those days. I’m sorry, but it would be nice to go out with a stunning hat, holding your gloves as you knock ‘em dead. Oh, and traveling with those adorable little cosmetic cases? (Dooney & Bourke has one – yep, I bought it.) Could one be any more… Myrna Loy? And no, I don’t have luggage with those tacky rollers on them you need for flying today. Fact is, I don’t fly. Face it, I’d open my big fat mouth and insult one of those brain dead security people and cause an international incident and end up either shot or in jail.
Ingrid Bergman was magnificent when Bogey put her on that plane from Lisbon. She was wearing a hat and gloves and carrying a little bag. Bogey was iconic in his Fedora and trench coat. That was romance. Today’s Bergman would be wearing hip-hugging jeans, spaghetti strap T, bra straps showing, and her boobs bouncing up and down, navel (with ring) exposed, and toddling around in stiletto mules. Her bag would be a Juicy backpack. He would have on jeans, cowboy boots, baseball cap, and a T-shirt. Now, you really want to know why movies aren’t as good as they once were? Where is the romance, where is the glamour?
Do you really think that exposed navel with the cute little ring is attractive? I know it is style, but nothing is tackier than T-shirts and limp bra straps, with your boobs hanging out all over the place. Yes, it attracts men and that’s the name of the game, but just what are the limits of style? When do we say enough? Yeah, I know, when people start going around half-naked. Wait a minute, they already are!
Little tidbit that will keep the biddies at church and the garden club from shredding you. You only wear white shoes between Easter and Labor Day. No exceptions. They tried the ‘winter white’ for a while, but it went nowhere fast. No white shoes after Labor Day and before Easter – get it?