OK, so I have to tell you that I don't see myself as particularly controlling when it comes to clothing the urchins. I mean, don't get me wrong -- I feel firmly that they should be clothed. And I am all for clothes that are appropriate for the venue: school clothes aren't good at the beach; church clothes are not for raking the yard. I think we can all get behind these universal truths.
Although I will also tell you that the youngest urchin showed up once at her big brother's basketball game wearing a tutu and cowboy boots -- and I felt pretty good about that. She was not nude, and it had been a really long day, so don't be a hater.
The urchins might offer a differing opinion about my controlling ways, offering as examples days when I may or may not have said, "We are not leaving until you change out of that hideous shirt," or, "When has it ever been OK to wear sweats to church?!" -- or words to that effect. I would argue that I have allowed urchins who shall remain nameless to wear clothing that other mommies might frown upon: leggings have been worn to Mass. Spaghetti straps have appeared in public. These concessions on my part are gracious and magnanimous, which is to say that I am too lazy to argue the point.
tangent: The tall boy serves as a Master of Ceremonies in our church's altar server program, which means that when he serves he stands right up on the altar with the priest -- in a cassock and surplice (very conservative priest-like garb). He has also been known to wear a pair of black and white checked Vans to church. A couple of times we have arrived at church to find that the Master of Ceremonies on the schedule has shirked his duties. The tall boy, being a responsible sort -- and being nudged and goaded by his mother -- has then stepped up and volunteered to fill in for the missing M.C. From the congregation's point of view it is hilarious to see the tall boy dressed like a baby priest, with the checkerboard shoes peeking out from under his cassock. From the clergy's point of view the shoes are problematic, although they do follow the priesty color scheme.
I'm guessing the Pope wouldn't have that much on it.
But people! The clothing trend that I cannot abide is the "saggy baggy pants" look. I have grave moral misgiving about any attire that is designed to display one's skivvies (Linsday Lohan, I 'm talking to you), but what I really don't get is just the basic physics of the baggy pants. I'm serious: how do they stay up? And by "up," of course, I mean "precariously perched on the lower hip region, below the butt cheeks, bunched in such a way as to suggest a diaper that needs to be changed." I regard the whole phenomenon as a gravity-defying miracle.
I have researched this fashion trend vigorously, where vigorously means I googled the phrase "baggy jeans." From the data I gathered (read: pictures on other blogs) it appears that the baggy jeans are an homage of sorts to the beloved song stylist Li'l Wayne. Tony Bennett, eat your heart out.
Hey! How cool would it be if teenaged boys all over America started wearing tuxedos to school as a shout-out to Tony Bennett?! Get started on this, people!
The whole thing reminds me of that Little Golden Books favorite, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, which my urchins remember fondly, but always made me crazy because the elephant so clearly just needed to pull his pants up!
What do you think?!
Billy, Eleanor, and Enyeart: Orville Wright (yes, that Orville Wright) 1898/Library of Congress
Cowboy ballerina: Heidi Malott 2008
Saggy skater: courtesy of TheUrbanGent.blogspot.com
Tony Bennett: Kevin Winter 2004/Getty Images