I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've noticed a fair bit of change in the world since the early 60s, but the particular thing that is on my mind tonight is the way North Americans have changed culturally in the last several decades.
If you watch old movies, if you've watched vintage TV sitcoms or variety shows, i'm sure you know what I mean when i say that I think we've lost something.
I don't really wish to go back to an era in which women were thought of as 'housewives' as if they said their "I dos" to a house, nor to a time when women were called "the little woman". *that term could never apply to me no matter what era I'd live in!!! perhaps when i was 3?* I don't want to think of a world in which "Father Knows Best" cuz let's face it, he doesn't always and neither does Mom! I wouldn't like to see stereotypes of that era remain. . or any era for that matter. But what I wish is just for a little class. . you know? A time before reality tv's incestuous slugfests a la JerrySpringer, or the ridiculously salacious weirdness of "A Surreal Life", a time before the words: 'hot', 'smokin', 'sucks', 'slammin', 'blows', 'ho', 'pimp'. A time when women were 'beautiful', 'graceful', 'lovely' and men were 'handsome', 'suave', 'debonair'. Is there any such thing as feminine mystique anymore? Everything is on display - physically, verbally -- no restraint, no one is demure -- even kids clothing is shrunken down versions of whatever adult fashions are trendy, really disturbing! Not to be cliche, but is chivalry dead? Do we even want men to be chivalrous? Do they want this?. . . and their clothing. . metrosexuals and gay men have a pretty awesome style sense, but there are many guys out there shlumping around in t-shirts, jeans all the time, or they look like they're going hunting, or they're dressing and talking like rappers, when they're not! It drives me crazy when people say things like "That's how i roll". I'm not really wanting to regress in any way. .don't want us all to be buttoned down and uptight, but I feel like we have collectively lost some of our sophistication.
I remember regularly wearing dresses with crinolines as a little girl, with patent shoes for birthday parties, cotton dresses with runners for play, I wore white gloves to church and carried a little handbag. I wore hats on special occasions like Easter. People used to dress up. Things were tucked in (but i'm SO not a fan of tucking!!!). Shoes were buffed and polished. People talked differently to each other. There was more respect in our terminology. . . "Sir", "Ma'am", "Master", "Miss", I was never permitted to address an elder by their first name. . i mean NEVER! We would 'call on' our friends, knocking and asking permission from their parents for our friends to 'come out'. We wrote thank-you notes. We RSVP'd. Commerce was different -- service was the rule, not the exception. Food was different. People were slimmer, yet there was no 'low fat' or 'low carb' talk. . butter, full fat milk was in every kitchen. Portions were smaller. The family table was sacred and abundant. Seasons dictated our diet. People had to 'put up' or 'can', preserve. There was no waste. Even a cup of tea was a different thing. . it used to involve china cups, sugar cubes in silver bowls, which you removed with sugartongs, 'tea sandwiches' (crustless, work of art, inventive sandwiches), tea biscuits (cookies). An after-church 'tea' was one of these amazing, formal occasions. Now, if you want a cup of tea, you just get an earthenware mug, put you tea in it and sit in your track pants curled up in your chair -- WAY more comfy,? YES! But missing something. . . a sense of occasion, specialness.
It used to be that people could be shocked. People still blushed. Dirty laundry wasn't aired so much. . society wasn't so hypersexualized, nor was it so disturbingly desensitized to violence. I know that we can't turn the clock back.. .and i wouldn't think that would be so great, because all the gains we have made would be reversed. . . but couldn't we bring back some of the class, modesty, innocence ? I get so sick of everything and everyone being described as 'hot'. Even Listerine mouthwash has a ridiculous spokeswoman describing herself as a "hot woman" who wants to keep her teeth ". . looking their whitest, brightest and hottest" Whaaaa??? Can teeth even BE hot? They can look nice, but come on!! I get so tired of seeing "Warning, this program may contain scenes of . . . . . . . ." preceding every television show. I grow weary of seeing how much power we ascribe to celebrities. . . Oprah, Dr. Phil, et al, wanting them to be our collective saviours. Society seems so depraved sometimes. I know this is "nothing new under the sun"!! Still, it all gets to me -- you know?
I know that people will continue to change -- that's one thing sure. But wouldn't it be nice to have a little bit of classy change? Some positive change? Some righteous, peaceful change? Some beautiful, spiritual change? Some sense of the sacred, the special. . of treasuring and revering. . And I know its a little thing, but how about this change?. . men and women would no longer be deemed 'hot', rather they would be beautiful and handsome. . .