Sunday, September 02, 2007

Heavy sigh...


I will not write posts with any attempt at humor. I will not write posts with any attempt at humor. I will not write posts with any attempt at humor.

Now that I've been suitably punished:

Some of you got my earlier posts on dressing as what they were. Maybe because you know me. Maybe because I declared my curmudgeonly intent at the beginning. Sarcasm and exaggeration were present in abundance.

So for those of you who don't know me:
I have friends who dress well. I have friends who don't. I don't care.

I don't care if you wear a baseball cap in a four star restaurant, unless you're with me. (But, guess what! It's okay for me to have a little pet peeve about that!) I do on the other hand care if you wear shorts so brief that I'm seeing parts of your anatomy better left unexposed.

I don't care if you wear jeans to church. I'm not going to, but you can if you want to. And that is an entirely different conversation.

I do, however, think that the way you dress shows respect--or lack thereof--for where you are and what you are doing. I don't think that the growing casualness in our society is a good thing. Businesses and schools are recognizing this. There have been a number of articles lately discussing the retreat from casual attire in the workplace and many schools and school districts have instituted uniform policies or stronger dress codes, because they know that how people dress has an impact on how they think and act.

As for the guy in the baseball cap that some of you seem so concerned about: The baseball cap was just one thing. If it had been a good match she could have trained him not to wear the hat at the table, inside a building, while talking to a lady. (And yes, for those of you who don't know me and have judged me to be judgmental, I have a HUGE grin on my face as I type that.) It just wasn't a fit.

(Oh--and for anonymous if you are curious--there are many websites with proper hat etiquette. You are fine with your hat on in the mall. It is considered the same as a street. But as soon as you go into an eatery, it should come off.)

11 comments:

elephantschild said...

"Anonymous" wrote:
Just so you know, the most "proper" fellow that I ever knew ended up being a real creep and was charged for sleeping with a teenage girl. "Don't judge a book by its cover".

"J" wrote:
By the way....I've seen three differnt (sic) situations of spousal abuse at church... they all wore suits.

Isolated examples do not a premise prove. Our outer appearance speaks volumes about our inner heart and attitude, social mores notwithstanding.

Anonymous also wrote:
"Maybe that guy who met your friend for coffee just wanted to keep it a casual thing and thought nothing of it."

Exactly so. The young lady was out with a guy and he "keeps it casual and thinks nothing of it." If he thinks so poorly of an early date with MY daughter, I certainly don't want him to continue seeing her. If that's how he handles an early meeting, what will his behaviour be like when he has her confidence?

Indiana Jane, you keep right on being a curmudgeon. The blogosphere will be better for it. It's not your fault if readers do not heed the warning posted on a curmudgeonly rant.

~Jennifer said...

I knew exactly what you were saying and how you were saying it without taking any offense, even though my own husband frequently wears a baseball cap. Two times I was going to write comments, but got busy with other things, so I'll write my comments now.

First: My husband wears a baseball cap when he wants to hide his messy hair and is running to the grocery store or something, but come to think of it, if we are going out he always washes his hair, so no need for a hat! He cares! :-D

Then the very next day: Oh dear, I found myself in a restaurant face to face with my husband in a baseball cap today! (Oh the shame!) But, but, but the reason he had the hat on is because he graciously accompanied me to the park for a brisk walk, and we impulsively decided to stop for dinner afterwards. Both of us were wearing sweats and were actually sweaty. Not sure if that's good or bad. We made a point of not sitting too terribly close to any other patrons, though. ;-)

Mrs. MacAodhagain said...

Jane - I will be very angry if you stop posting about sloppy dress - it's a huge pet peeve with me. It costs nothing to tuck your shirt in and remove your hat, but it speaks volumes.

This sorts of posts upset people ( why are they always "anonymous???") because courtesy is gone, whatever makes me feel good is in. Going out of one's way to make others feel comfortable is no longer the norm. How sad.

J. said...

elepahntschild wrote:

"The young lady was out with a guy and he "keeps it casual and thinks nothing of it." If he thinks so poorly of an early date with MY daughter, I certainly don't want him to continue seeing her"

Not to be picky, but in the original post, it sounded like they juct met for coffee. I would hardly call that a date. Maybe the "proper young lady" was reading way too into a cup of coffee.

elepahntschild also wrote:
"Our outer appearance speaks volumes about our inner heart and attitude, social mores notwithstanding."

I don't know if you identify yourself as a Christian or not, but the original poster does. God looks into our hearts, and I've always been taught that we re to be constantly striving to be more "christlike" in our ways and our ATTITUDES. He cared nothing of social mores or outer appearances. He knows that they have nothing to do with our heart or our attitudes. I feel very badly for you that you do. I bet you're missing out on getting to know a lot of really cool people.

The problem with todays world is not that the "young man" thought nothing of wearing a hat....the problem is that you did. I hope that someday the "proper young lady" exands her world a little, and learns to be a bit more accepting of others.

And Indiana Jane....with the state of our country and the world, the last thing the "blogosphere" needs is one more person complaining about silly things. If first impressions are so important to you, please take a moment to consider how you are representing yourself. No one really likes a curmudgeon...all they do is whine.

Jane said...

This is my last comment on this. The hat issue is not a big deal for me, but apparently for some people freedom to disregard social niceties is important and those who value respect for others and an ordered society are judgmental and un-Christian. That larger issue is important and I may revisit it at sometime, but not soon, because fluff is my usual domain.

I find it interesting that the anonymous posters on this thread latched onto the young man in the coffee shop and have turned that small example into a big issue.

For the record, the young woman did not see this as a big deal. She hardly knew the guy. Because of this, a couple of friends were there keeping an eye on things. They were stunned that the guy was wearing a cap. It doesn't matter that it was just a cup of coffee.

And if you have read any of my other posts and want to pigeonhole me as a whiner, feel free. When someone doesn't have the courage to say who they are, and feels free to bash not only me but my friends, that tells me that they really aren't sure enough about what they're saying to put their name behind it.

elephantschild said...

I do think there's a distinction to be made between how God views us, clothed with Christ's blood under the Cross, and making an assessment of how a person you met for coffee might view his fifteen minutes with you.

God looks into our hearts, yes, but through the looking-glass of the Risen Christ. As a baptized Christian I can only weep with gratitude that this is so. And it is only the Grace of our Lord God that makes us Christ-like.

If your pastor showed up to do a family member's funereal in cut-off jeans and a Rush t-shirt, would you wonder about how seriously he was taking his job?

elephantschild said...

Wow, Indiana Jane - bet you didn't expect such a war in the comments!

(Feel free to shut us all down if you're sick of discussing this!)

Jane said...

elephant's child says:

"God looks into our hearts, yes, but through the looking-glass of the Risen Christ. As a baptized Christian I can only weep with gratitude that this is so. And it is only the Grace of our Lord God that makes us Christ-like."

Amen.

J. said...

Jane said:

"And if you have read any of my other posts and want to pigeonhole me as a whiner, feel free. "

Exactly the point, Jane. It stinks when someone jumps to conclusions, pigeonholes, or judges you without really knowing you, doesn't it.

And for what its worth, my name is Julie. I am not trying to hide my identity....there is just no way that you would know me. I am greatly disturbed by the way many homeschoolers and Christians act towards and think about others who are different than them. Its not about social niceties. Its about heart and attitude. Clothing and outer appearance are not what say volumes about you. Actions do.

elephants child said:
"I do think there's a distinction to be made between how God views us, clothed with Christ's blood under the Cross, and making an assessment of how a person you met for coffee might view his fifteen minutes with you."

Of course God views us with perfect eyes...but that does not mean we should not be constantly trying to do better....trying to see people as he does.

Bethany said...

There is a difference between Christian love for a neighbor and the squishy, "if you love Jesus you won't question my manners", anything-goes attitude I am seeing suggested. The fact that we are to love our neighbors does not give them (or us) a carte blanche to act with discourtesy. For good or ill we live in the world and there are established norms which, on the surface, have little to do with right and wrong. They do, however, give us a relatively simple way to show respect toward those around us, which is certainly loving. This is not so much a matter of judging by outward appearances, but judging by the unwillingness of some to consider the comfort of those around them.

And no, in the grand scheme of things, whether or not one wears a hat indoors or chews with one's mouth open does not matter. But for now those are things that many people would rather not see.

Jane said...

Well, at least now we're out of the hat realm.

"J." who has revealed that her name is Julie, says in her comments, apparently referring to me:

"It stinks when someone jumps to conclusions, pigeonholes, or judges you without really knowing you, doesn't it."

I am not getting this at all. No one was pigeonholed or judged in my post.

Julie again:
"I am greatly disturbed by the way many homeschoolers and Christians act towards and think about others who are different than them. Its not about social niceties. Its about heart and attitude. Clothing and outer appearance are not what say volumes about you. Actions do."

I am trying to figure out the leap between my being annoyed by too revealing clothing or lack of manners in public to "the way many homeschoolers and Christians act towards and think about others who are different than them."

First, talking about clothes and outer appearance: I live in reality. Clothes often send a message to the rest of the world. Every teen knows this. Often, I think they are confused about the message that they are sending, but that's yet another subject. Punk rockers and goths know it. Gangbangers know it. Doctors know it. (Studies have shown that the white coat inspires trust, so many of them wear it even though their particular practices don't necessitate protecting their clothes.) Homeschool moms know it. Some shun the ubiquitous denim jumper while others embrace it, but we all know about it. My husband travels almost weekly on business and has for years. He knows that dressing in a polished professional manner to travel makes a huge difference in his treatment.

I fail to see why my being peeved at people who shun accepted standards of polite behavior means that I act and think in a certain way about people who are different from me. Different from me how? I would dare say that most of the people I was writing about are far more like me than not. It was their dress and actions that I was commenting on, not who they were.

One of the great things about good manners is that they impact the people who are the same as you and the people who are different than you in the same way. They show respect.

If Julie has some idea about insular homeschoolers who only stick to their own kind then she's definitely got the wrong person here. I started and run the largest inclusive networking group in the state. I've been called names and had nasty phone calls and emails because of it. I have spent huge amounts of time and energy trying to get homeschoolers to work together. But,
I am not going to get caught up in trying to prove anything about how I treat those who are different from me. I know and God knows.

Being a Christian means many things. It doesn't mean that I have to be pleased that some folks have decided that manners are out of style and choose not to RSVP. It doesn't mean that I have to like it when some girl at the mall flashes at lot more than her thong when she sits down in front of my son and I. It does mean that I am to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. And it does mean that every day I need to turn to God for forgiveness for the times that I don't do it--and many other things--perfectly. It does mean that I have been saved by the grace of God, which--thankfully--does not depend on my actions.

I am not going to stop wishing that people would dress with more dignity. I am not going to stop thinking that the woman in the sweatshirt and raggedy short-shorts letting her child run all over at Biaggi's is rude. I won't stop teaching my sons that there are times and placed for hats. And I am not going to stop believing that respect and good manners are important to the fabric of society.