Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy being a dinosaur

February 24, 2011

Over the years, I have often written that I believe we live in the best time ever in history. We have a higher standard of living than ever before and we live in a time when modern medicine literally performs miracles. We are developing a greater concern for the rights of others. We have a life that is very convenient and gives us greater time for leisure.

Yet, with all that said, there are some facets of modern life that I simply don’t understand. No, these aren’t earth-shattering issues, but none the less, they really confuse and baffle me.

Take, for instance, teen-age clothing fashions. Go to any high school and you’ll find a mish-mash of clothing that defies definition. Probably the most popular shirts for boys and girls are sports team T-shirts. On an average day you’ll see Royals, Chiefs, KU and K-State T-shirts everywhere. In addition, there are a lot of orange T-shirts in Bonner and green shirts at Basehor-Linwood. Of course, there are shirts advertising a variety of companies I have never heard of. Certainly, there are few, if any, youngsters who are “dressed up” by the standards that existed when I was in high school in the 1950s. Come to think of it, a lot of kids look like they are wearing Halloween costumes.

In the old days, guys wore jeans and if you were a “hood” you had a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of your white T-shirt. Of course, now many guys wear their jeans very low.

Girls wore mid-calf-length skirts, white anklets and saddle shoes. White blouses were popular, but there was no cleavage showing. Today, there is a lot of cleavage displayed around schools.

In the old days, girls weren’t allowed to wear slacks or jeans to school. An exception might be on a Friday when there was a big event, such as homecoming, etc.

Teachers dress a lot more casually now, too. Back when I was teaching, you were required to wear a tie and sport coat or suit. Only physical education teachers had immunity from the rule. Now, only administrators wear ties.

What I will never understand is the ragged, worn-out, ready-for-the-rag-bag jeans that kids wear now. I figured that you could find them at any thrift store or garage sale for a couple of bucks. I was shocked when I was told how much these jeans cost. Jeans that looked like they were about worn out and had been washed hundreds of times were being sold for more than a 100 bucks. My guess is that no girl in the “old days” would have considered wearing the tattered jeans that are so popular now.

Certainly, adults dress far more casually than in the old days. That fact became very obvious a few weeks ago when we flew to Texas. In the old days, passengers really dressed up when they were traveling. In addition, flight attendants were very well dressed and wore high-heeled shoes. Now everybody dresses comfortably, and I guess that’s not a bad thing.

What really shocks and amuses me is how popular musicians and band performers dress. Popular bands in the old days wore matching jackets. Singers such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra often wore tuxedos. Almost every group was stylishly dressed. Watch a Lawrence Welk rerun and you will see how well bands dressed. Oh, yes, you’ll get to hear some real music, too.

Now bands look like they buy their clothes at a low-budget used store. They are very badly dressed and, in my opinion, the only thing worse is their music. Yes, yes I know that I am badly out of touch with modern, pop culture. I went from a period when I knew all about popular music to a time when I couldn’t name a single top 20 song.

There is no doubt that I am a dinosaur wondering around and waiting for the ice age, but I have no intention of changing. In fact, I think I will go and listen to my Pat Boone records.

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