America is old enough to dress the part

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Happy birthday America!

On the occasion of your … which birthday is this again? 200 something plus?

Never mind, a lady never admits her age. You don’t look a day over 150, 175 tops. Anyway, happy birthday to you!

Now, can we talk?

Dress the part. It’s come to my attention that after a, ahem, certain age, a lady, her nation, really has to dress the part.

Now, I know you are a vast and colorful land of free spirited and free thinking souls. Hey, that’s great.

But can we talk about your spokesmodel for a moment? The chick with the torch in the harbor over there? Yeah, her. A toga and sandals? Really?

Crowning. In retrospect, might we agree that she may have turned out to be far too casual an example to set for your people?

I know she moved here from France and the French are purported to be the most fashionable people on the planet (despite their insistence on the beret which, I believe, makes this designation suspect at best) but let’s be frank here: Even the crown can’t effectively accessorize a toga for a professional setting.

Lord knows, I’ve tried. To be fair, when good old Lady Liberty first arrived, Americans had some modesty and a sense of decorum.

Since then, some 100+ years later, we have certainly grown as a nation. Unfortunately, our clothes have gotten smaller.

Sure, we can all agree that the ankle length bathing suit of old was carrying things a bit too far.

Trends. But is the dental floss bikini of today any better? Not to mention that if your citizens, as a whole, are reportedly getting bigger, then why, pray tell, can’t they keep their pants from slipping off their waists and revealing a full view of their Under-roos?

Shouldn’t hip huggers stay put if they have ample hip to hug? Mind you, this isn’t an age issue.

Some of the worst offenders I’ve seen are people who should be old enough to know better than to wear a “Budweiser” T-shirt to a funeral.

As for the man wearing the four-letter word on his shirt for all the world – and any children who could read – to see?

I’m praying he was a foreigner (French, perhaps?).

Casual. Even in this age when every day is, apparently, “casual Friday,” shouldn’t certain places and proceedings demand certain attire?

You would think so, yet recent events with one of your own former representatives – always a neatly dressed and dignified man – prove this not to be the case.

Reagan’s funeral. Have you seen the footage of President Reagan’s funeral?

Can you even imagine people traipsing past Abraham Lincoln’s or John F. Kennedy’s casket in bike shorts and flip-flops?

Furthermore, I know it was hot, but the young ladies pouring the free bottled water liberally over their heads, thus turning Reagan’s calling hours into the equivalent of a funereal wet T-shirt contest, might have been better served by just fanning themselves lightly in a more, um, ladylike way.

Somehow I imagine their grandmothers (great-grandmothers?) got through many a hot summer without resorting to streetside showers.

Listen, I know we can agree that the bustle isn’t coming back.

Most Americans don’t need any padding in that department.

Nor will we embrace the corset, high button shoes, or full body collars.

Best foot forward. Nonetheless, can we all agree that if you – America – are to put your best foot forward for endless birthdays to come, that at least once in a while that foot – and everything attached to it – might aim to be properly attired?

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt wishes everyone a safe, happy, and appropriately dressed 4th of July. She welcomes comments c/o kseabolt@epohi.com or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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