By Jeff Burton
It was 1983, the year I first showed my individual side by getting my ear pierced ... like everyone else I hung out with. We wanted to push the envelope. We were testing the boundaries of childhood. I for one was testing my dad's patience along with several faculty members at Vianney High School.
The school's stance was NO EARRINGS. I didn't care about the no-earrings policy, kinda like I didn't care about the do homework and don't fall asleep in Spanish class policies. My dad's policy was "holy crap am I really buying my son earrings for Christmas?”
For background, my dad was a sheet metal worker, Local 36. Bought only American cars ... (1985 I buy my first car by myself. "Dad, I bought a car." "Yeah, what you get?"
“An 82 Datsun B510.” “Congrats son, just don't park it in MY driveway!”
I wanted to give you that background because those instances along with more I could tell you about my upbringing will make what follows seem a bit hypocritical.
When did people stop caring about how they look? When did people stop caring about the impression they leave on others? I understand the "I'm like this if you don't like it then don't look." But let's take a look at www.peopleofwalmart.com. I am here to suggest you never want to be on that site. As you peruse the site as I know you will, notice you can pick a state and look at the hot messes in a Walmart anywhere in the U.S. Question: Is this a good thing that we have this site? Is it good that it has ads on it? Meaning someone bought ad space on a website about how bad people dress before going to Walmart!
Sometimes it's not about what you are wearing but what you are not wearing that floors me as well. I was in a local Mexican restaurant not too long ago. As I was waiting for my takeout order, a family came in. Mom and Dad and three kids. Two daughters probably 12 and 14 years old and a son probably five-ish. The two girls looked as though they just played soccer or another outside sport as they were still in uniform. I noticed the two girls had no shoes on. Socks yes, but no shoes.
The greeter said hello and sat them without batting an eye! No shoes on! In a flippin' busy Mexican joint around dinner time! Did he not see the no-shoes situation that I saw? Or more likely he didn't care because it was a table of five that will probably spend $40-plus.
When I was playing sports growing up, I brought flip flops to slide on after the game. They were comfortable and I wasn't breaking a health code if we stopped at Ponderosa or someplace after the game.
Do people still buy irons? Do people still use irons? I iron my shirt and jeans or shorts (oh crap don't get me started on jorts) every day. Always have, always will. I cannot control the fact that I have a face for radio but I can control the wrinkles in my shirt, how my body smells and how my hair looks.
It's not going to end the threat of terrorism or cure poverty or rid the world of racism and homophobia, but if you just start to care just a little more about yourself before you leave the house each day me and all the other old hypocrites might not laugh at you as much ... and get off my damn lawn.
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