Friday, November 23, 2007
Am I an Old Fogey?
My usual Thanksgiving ritual over the past ten years or so has been to go to my in-laws' place in Greensboro for Thanksgiving dinner. It was going to be a bittersweet Thanksgiving this year, because we lost my mother-in-law to ALS on the first of this year. Usually she and my sister-in-law do all of the cooking, and I know my sister-in-law was going to take up the slack this year--until she fell and broke her hip a couple of weeks ago.
This necessitated a total change of plans, and there was no family get-together in Greensboro this year. My husband and I scrambled to make other plans, and we finally got reservations for a Thanksgiving dinner at the Sienna Hotel. This is the nicest hotel in the area, and certainly one of the best--and fanciest--restaurants with about 50 miles. I dressed up in a lovely skirt that's just too dressy to wear for everyday occasions. My husband wore a dress shirt and sport coat. And my 21-year-old stepson wore an Oxford shirt and Chinos (which is about as dressy as he ever gets, even when he goes for job interviews). If I'd been in charge of the wardrobe, they both would have worn jackets and ties, but I still thought we all looked very presentable.
At the hotel, we had to wait awhile for our table to be ready as the first sitting began to clear out. While we were waiting, I got a good look at some of the other patrons. Most had indeed dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner at a fancy hotel. But I have to say, I cringed when I saw a teenage girl and her mother. The mother was wearing a dressy enough blouse and slacks, but the girl was wearing blue jeans and a camisole top with her bra straps showing. I know our society is getting less and less formal as time goes on, but shouldn't some occasions be considered important enough to dress up for? Only slightly less horrifying was another teenager who wore a black and white plaid miniskirt that just barely covered her butt, paired with calf-high athletic socks and chunky black shoes.
So, am I now officially an old fogey, complaining about "young people these days?" I don't know, and I'm not sure if I care. While I'm all for being comfortable, I still believe there are occasions--and locations--for which dressing up is the only appropriate choice. Do you suppose in twenty years, the girl in the jeans is going to be complaining about her daughter's decision to wear shorts and sneakers to her prom?