10/22/2004 Entry: ""
Posted by Maynard @ 09:14 AM MST
Fashion Sense and Maturity
That new fedora I mentioned earlier? Check it out:
$38 at Robinsons May. Schweet. Now I just need a leather A2 jacket to go with it.
Men don't wear hats anymore. They should. Fedoras and bowlers and other hats with full brims are more stylish than the baseball cap or fuzzie that most teens wear today. Not that baseball caps aren't fun, but they have their place.
In sports settings.
I long for the days of yore, when men wore suits and hats to ballgames and smoked big, fat cigars. At least they enjoyed their sport with style. Nowadays you look out of place if you have a shirt on over your non-painted chest and aren't drunk by the third inning or end of the first quarter.
Casual Fridays have gone too far. It's not a good thing when I can wear a polo shirt, jeans, and sneakers to work and be more dressed up than my boss. On a Tuesday. Whatever happened to quality menswear in the office and the serious professional look? In that regard I envy the stockbroker and financial industry worker. They have to look good, because people judge them by their appearance. Not that the judgment is a good thing. The care they devote to their appearance is the good thing, as it generally indicates a care devoted to ones inner self. Or at least it's supposed to.
Go home tonight and watch Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, or The Big Sleep. Note the care with which Bogart dresses. It's a smooth, careful style (except for that ridiculously short tie in the Casablanca marketplace). It indicates a suaveness lacking in today's culture.
Why do physically grown men go to sporting events and behave like physically immature boys? Why don't they care about their outward appearance? The outside is not just a reflection of the inside but, indeed, it could be said that what's shown on the outside is caused by what's on the inside. So why are they internally immature?
Do we, as a society, shun growing up purposely? Why is there a stigma attached to advanced age? When we were young we couldn't wait to grow up. Now, in our twenties and thirties, we can't handle the relentless march of time. What's wrong with turning forty? Or even thirty for that matter? Why don't we greet every birthday with the same vigor and eagerness we had in our childhood?
Because old means dying and dying isn't fun. But who cares? We all die; the only difference is some die more than others.
I want to be mature. I don't want to go out to football games with my chest painted. I don't mind the approach of my 30th birthday (in two years, by the way). I look forward to it. I enjoy being at the point in life where I am responsible for not only myself but someone else. I eagerly await the arrival of more responsibility in the form of a noisy, smelly, fully loved child. BRING IT ON!
I know it takes a lot to raise children, and that it requires a maturity that many lack. I see them every week on TV. That behavior does not appeal to me in the least. The change between who I am and who I want to be intrigues me, and it calls to me. "Get up," it says. "There's work to be done. People are counting on you. Most of them don't exist yet." Maturity prepares me for their arrival. It prepares the rest of the world for them as well.
There's nothing wrong with enjoying sporting events. There are lots of things wrong with going topless to a stadium, your chest smeared in team colors, imbibing until you can't see straight, and engaging the drinking fountain in a shouting match over the last botched referee call until the fountain wins and you yack $40 of cheap beer into it. Sorry if that is a little graphic for you. But it's not unheard of. You can go to a sporting event and enjoy it while remaining in full self-control.
That's what maturity is all about: self control for the benefit of others. Yes, yes, there's the old saw that acting like a child in public never hurt anyone. Until you count yourself, and the future generations who depend on you being able to pull it together and save up enough to put a roof over their heads and food on their plates.
Oh, sure, they may be ungrateful themselves someday, but that's because they are immature. Watch what happens when you teach them how to internalize maturity so that they can do the same for their children. If you want to see that then you have to have maturity yourself, for how will it spring up in others if it isn't in you?
And when, in their immaturity, they ask you why they have to brush their teeth or take a bath or wear nice clothes, you can do one of two things. You can tell them "because I said so" and make them do things for no reason at all, or you can tell them "well, you want to be nice on the inside, don't you? Why not show that on the outside?"
0920 MST 02Dec2004: The Weekly Standard put up an article quite some time ago that also addresses this issue, in more eloquence than I can muster.
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