Friday, March 26, 2010

Old Fogeyism

I knew it would happen.
I clearly heard my mother speaking in my brain as I made a generational judgement call to myself the other day.
I remember it clearly. We would be out shopping. It was the 70's. She would glance at a very long haired male in sandals and holey jeans and many days growth on his face and she would tsk tsk.
Sometimes loud enough to get the offenders attention. This is where I would be mortified and slowly slink to another part of the store.
I dare not ask her what the tsk tsking was about because she expected me to. That way, she could answer loudly:
"What is the matter with these kids? They look like bums and smell bad! Where are their parents? Do they know what they look like, for goodness sakes?"
Then I would go into my response. 'Yes mom. They know what they look like and they like it that way. The more you stare and frown, the more they like it. They are rebelling and your distaste is just what they're waiting for... Don't give in to it...' (hoping above hope that she would stop before someone hit her.)
She would just shake her head and mutter, 'I just don't get it...'

That would be the line that I spoke in my head to myself, only she wasn't there and I was speaking to another misunderstood generation.

A real pet peeve of mine is pajama pants in the marketplace. In stores. Everywhere. Young girls, women, my age 'for goodness sake'...everyone, feeling led to be oh so comfy, cozy by navigating their world in cotton flannel.
The picture is not pretty. These said pants are usually unusually long so the bottoms are mostly dirty and dragging. Remember these pants are designed to be at home, dragging on carpet or wood or tile and gathering your own household dust bunnies. But worn outside, the bottoms pick up all the dirty snow, the rainy puddles and the dusty parking lots of our lives.
Did I mention that no one wears actual shoes (even in winter) with these Easy Pants. No, that would be flip flops or some kind of house slippers. Equally unprepared for the grime of our life. Would you wear a dress shirt with this ensemble? Of course not! You wear t shirts. The more comfy (big, dirty, with outrageous slogans on the front) the better. One day, I chanced into a local eatery to have the server attired in exactly what I'm talking about, without benefit of an appropriate 'binder' underneath. I was in awe.
As you can now see, I am fast approaching, if not completely arrived at Old Fogeydom.
I feel it as I put on lipstick to go mail a letter.
When I care if my coat looks wrinkled.
I hearken back to my little girl days when Mom made us girls wear our white gloves and patent leathers as we rode the bus downtown for a day of shopping.
How crazy is that?
I remember moving away from my hometown and feeling free to wear a sweatshirt and sneakers to the grocery, grateful that I wouldn't run into anyone I would know and be shamed of my lazy appearance. Before that, I would always clean up and redress to go to the store. Would not dream of wearing my daily clothes out in public.
Light years in perspective. That's what makes an Old Fogey and I now pronounce myself There.
If I had any doubt, this week my 'Dress Sandals' arrived in the mail this week.
These will be worn with a summer skirt. Could not wear my Keens or my Tevas with a skirt. Needed a neutral tone to go with all. Can't do ankle straps anymore; don't want to add thickness to the old ankles. Need stretch leather to accommodate my arthritic tootsies. Need coverage to hide ugly toes. Tall order, right? 157 shoes viewed on and here is my selection. Utilitarian in a needy way. Huaraches hearken me back in the day when my Mexican leather walked in 3 inch platforms.
But now I am an Old Fogey who hates Public Pajama Pants and is saddened for young women who do not respect themselves enough to present themselves nicely to the world.

So Mom, if you're reading this, I'm with you.
I just don't get it.....



  1. I have been known to clean the paint off my hands and face and change clothes in the middle of a painting job to go to the store for more paint. I also get it honestly. My dad never wore overalls to town. He was a farmer, but to go to the barber shop or even the feed mill, he washed up and changed clothes. I wonder what this generation will think about the next one.

  2. I completely agree! I HATE Public Pajama Pants. My three year old has picked up on my disdain, as he loudly announced that a woman was in her pajamas and she needed to change. Last week he loudly said a girl had "no clothes on and that is disgusting." The girl he spoke of was wearing Daisy Dukes' and a little tank top without a "binder." Yikes!

    Did I mention that this is MY generation? I'm 26. It's not that you are an "Old Fogey." You've grown in your understanding of honoring Christ through your attire and appearance.

    We SHOULD care about how we present yourselves in a way that glorifies God (via being modest, not looking like a bum, etc). God is glorified and delights in beauty. A quick glance at creation testifies this.

    Yes, we need to guard our hearts not to fall into the sin of vanity--a very real temptation. Likewise, we need to guard our hearts from not caring at all.

    I never wear lipstick to mail a letter. But I do brush my hair & put on a little foundation first. =)


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