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Imponderables (Part 1)

January 9, 2011

As I ‘mature’, I find myself more and more often shaking my head in disbelief as I observe the world around me changing.  Don’t get me wrong – I am a huge proponent of change.  However, there are some changes that simply defy logic (to me, anyway).  Here are just a few (I imagine this could become a regular series!)

$300 Kenneth Cole purse

This simple purse sells for $300

First – purse stores.  I know very few women who do not carry a purse of some type.  Unlike men, women’s clothing is not designed to hold a wallet (which generally contains vital pieces of personal identification, numerous debit and credit cards, paper money, and, perhaps, coins).  Even if they did, the resulting bulge would be fashionably unkind.  Women are also known to carry a wide variety of cosmetic-related items with them (brushes and/or combs, mirrors, sunscreen, an assortment of eye shadows and liners, lipsticks and glosses, blushes and concealers), not to mention various and sundry other personal effects (which vary at different stages of their lives; young mothers, for example, have been known to carry an assortment of diapers, juice boxes, snacks, wipes, and several changes of clothes [for the child and, perhaps, themselves] when going out for more than ten minutes with a youngster under the age of two). Most women also carry (at minimum) a cell phone, several pens, spare house and car keys, a variety of hand-written lists, and perhaps a paperback novel or an iPhone/MP3 player and headphones.  It would not be unusual to find a pair of gloves, an empty water bottle, a USB/flash drive, and twenty-seven dollars in loose change lurking at the bottom of some women’s purses.

That being said (women need a container for all the stuff they carry), I fail to see why – when any number of stores sell any number of makes, models, sizes, and price ranges of women’s carry-alls – there are stores dedicated ONLY to selling them, or why these ‘convenience’ items are seen by so many women as a ‘fashion accessory’ and – therefore – worthy of price tags in the hundreds of dollars.  Now, if you are Angelina Jolie or Kate Moss (or some other overpaid ‘celebrity’) who can afford to pay any amount of money for any single item, I would easily say ‘who cares?’  But the majority of women don’t earn thousands of dollars an hour, so how do they justify paying the equivalent of twelve or more hours of work (before taxes) for something they are just going to drop seven pounds of ‘stuff’ into, throw over their shoulder (or elbow) and head off to work (or play)? And why do some women find it vital to own several (to either match their wardrobe, or for different seasons of the year)?  Does anyone REALLY notice what kind of purse you’re carrying (in my entire life, no one has ever said ‘Wow, what a great purse’, or even ‘Wow, what a cheap purse’ – I don’t think they’d know if I was carrying a DKNY exclusive or a WalMart special!)  It baffles me.  I’d rather have that $300 IN my ($45) purse – and available to spend on something much more intrinsically useful instead!

Next – droopy-drawers.  When, exactly, did exposed underwear, female butt-cracks, and pyjama bottoms become ‘de rigueur’ fashion statements?  Ye gads! 

Droopy Pants

WHY?!?!?!?

I suppose exposed underwear as a fashion statement began when Marky Mark (Wahlberg) first bared the band of his Calvin Kleins back in the 80s, and it was nicely parodied in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie when Michael J. Fox was mistakenly called ‘Calvin Klein’ because that was the name on his underwear.  Personally – not as a teenager, a young girl, a mother, or a mature woman – I have absolutely no interest in knowing (or seeing) what brand of underwear a man (of any age) wears (the only consideration I have ever made when buying underwear for the men in my life is that it is reasonably priced and keeps its shape after many washings)!  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see young boys attempting to walk down the street with the waistband of their pants hovering six or eight inches below their navels and the crotch gaping at knee-level (although I must admit to mild curiosity at how they defy gravity and keep their pants up when most of them have no hips to speak of).  Some of them waddle along (not unlike penguins), others hitch their pants up a half inch or two every three or four steps. The fact that a number of them also sport chains, and fill the pockets with wallets, music players, cell phones and various other items makes it that much more ridiculous.  It can’t be comfortable and it’s certainly not attractive (do young girls REALLY want to see six inches of scruffy underwear sticking out above drooping pants and skinny hips?) I often wonder how many of them have suffered mortal embarrassment when – hands full of school books (or skateboards) – their pants have come tumbling down around their ankles. Underwear is called under-wear for a reason, boys – please, tuck it in and pull up your pants!!!!!

The Female Butt Crack Fashion Statement

This is NOT an attractive look!

Do you remember when the ‘plumber’s crack’ was considered a pretty disgusting occurrence, to be avoided at all costs?!?!? Well, now it seems that ‘hanging it out’ is all the rage – but among young girls, not boys.  Jeans and slacks are deliberately cut VERY low, and young women (of every size) can’t help but ‘show off’ whenever they bend over (or, in some case, walk more than five steps).  The ‘hip-huggers’ of the 60s and 70s would be considered ‘high waisted’ pants in today’s fashion market.  Certainly some of the thinner girls can get away with wearing these low-slung pants (provided, of course, they don’t bend over or crouch down), but most ‘average’ (and certainly ‘above average’) ones should avoid them at all costs.  Not unlike the boys mentioned above, these girls are either hiking their pants up (not that they go far) or shuffling along uncomfortably because of tight fitting jeans, shorts, or even dress pants that always feel like they’re falling down.  When they crouch to pick something up, bend over to look at something, or even sit down, they expose things that – honestly – most of their ‘audience’ is uninterested in viewing.  Again, how can that be comfortable?   Here’s a word to the wise for those young women who think that ‘baring’ their butts (and their bellies) is attractive – the cut doesn’t do a thing for you!  It is definitely NOT flattering and it’s not sexy! Covering up and being comfortable makes a heck of a lot more sense than following ‘fashion’ trends (particularly when the trend isn’t all that fashionable!)

Students in Pyjamas

Get dressed before you go to school!

Pyjamas are for sleeping in.  Always have been; always should be.  But recently (in the past ten years?) they’ve started showing up in schools, malls, and movie theatres.  Why?!?!?  And why aren’t there any kind of ‘dress codes’ in these places anymore?  When one of my boys was in grade 7 or 8, I recall the school holding a ‘jammie day’ (where kids could wear their pyjamas to school) as some type of fundraiser.  I don’t think my son participated, but I understood the premise (let them do something ‘out of the ordinary’ and raise money for a school trip or other event at the same time).  But soon kids started wearing their pyjamas (usually just the bottoms, but occasionally the entire set) to school on a regular basis.  I suppose they thought it was just too much trouble to get dressed in the morning, and their parents must have already gone off to work (you can’t tell me ANY mother would allow her twelve or thirteen-year-old to go to school wearing their pyjamas!!!)  This ‘fashion statement’ soon crept into the high schools (likely by the same kids who’d gotten away with it in the lower grades), and then – heaven help me – college students started doing it!  And I’ve seen ‘kids’ (and even some adults) on the street, in the malls, and even working behind the counter at various retail outlets wearing their ‘jammies’.  The look is sloppy, careless, and far too casual for these environments. Where’s the pride in one’s appearance? Where’s the pride in official settings (school principals? store owners?)   Please – someone needs to put a stop to this before we become a nation of utter and complete SLOBS!  If you are going ‘out’ – get dressed first!!!

Perhaps it’s my age.  Perhaps it’s my upbringing.  Perhaps it’s pride in having some degree of common sense, decency, and decorum, but I find it very hard to get my head around some of the things taking place in the world today.  You hear people (of all ages) demanding / expecting respect, but you don’t see them exhibiting it themselves.  I shake my head far too often these days as I wonder where we’re going (as a society) and whether or not things will change for the better (or worse) as the ‘younger’ generations ‘grow up’ and (eventually) reach … the other side of 55.

Give Respect to Get Respect

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