Friday, March 26, 2010

Soderblogger, Aging Fashion Curmudgeon, Part One

So the other day I was out getting my lunch at the complex down the street from our embassy that houses several other embassies, and this non-Thai guy in front of me was wearing suspenders.  Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing suspenders.  They are, in fact, an effective way to keep ones trousers from falling down around ones ankles.  But suddenly I was transported back to my junior high school years, when suspenders were cool.  But you didn't actually wear them over your shoulders--you wore them hanging down off the waist of your pants.  Yes, I fell victim to this fashion tragedy.

And that got me thinking about how patient my parents where with my various grooming and style choices as a teenager--remember the bleached bangs and long hair shaved up and under, Mom and Dad?  I'm pretty sure the last haircut that my mom actually approved of (aside from my missionary years) was the flat-top I rocked in eighth grade.  I am proud to say that I've never sported a mullet, however, so that should count for something (by the way, thanks to my parents--and Mali--for letting me do all sorts of silly things with my hair and still loving me).  There were also plaid shirts (sleeves rolled up, of course), pegged pants, and white socks with Teva sandals (honestly, I should be flogged for that one, but wool socks with sandals would still be acceptable).

But what really scared me was thinking that I am just a heartbeat away from where my parents were--watching my children make clothing and hairstyle choices with which I might personally disagree, but that are not matters of life or death or eternal salvation.  Our oldest is 12, and fortunately for us, up until now she has not been particularly interested in the latest fashion trends.  But that can change in an instant, and I think I'll have to learn to hold my tongue as well as my parents did.  It might be a challenge, but I think I can do it.


  1. As one who sported similiar styles and corresponding hair colors, my parents too had patience. They told me recently that they saw no problem with my peronsal "expression", as it was expected to be a temporary state. They did note that differs from where someone's beliefs change and the "expression" is reflective of that. For me, it was just having fun, but my looks were always appropriate for church (removed hair coloring Sat nights).
    As a fellow outdoorsman, I have to ask if you sported long thermal pants under shorts like my brothers and I?

  2. My parents were similarly enlightened when it came to certain expressions. I knew that an earring would be removed, downward through the lobe--luckily I've never even thought an earring would be cool for me.

    Thermals under shorts--I'm pretty sure I never did that one. If it was cold enough for thermals, it was not shorts weather. Eight years in California ruined my conception of what constitutes "shorts weather," however, and Thailand is not helping, either. It's a look that would be sweet now, since I've graduated from those horrible cotton waffle-knit beasts of our youth to the super sweet, striped technical fabric thermals from REI...

  3. This brought back memories! It just seemed that hair styles were things we could live with, smile about, take pictures of (for your children, of course), and let go. Other things would have been infinitely more serious, as we have learned through the years. We are eternally grateful that your "one sin" was a hair penchant. Thanks!