Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Sag

I remember several years ago, my older son had some friends over on a Saturday night around Halloween. One of the dads came to pick up his kid; the dad had obviously slipped away from a Halloween party to execute the retrieval. He had on a suede vest and a purple shirt, jeans, some large pendant hanging from his neck. He may have said he was a Dude From The Seventies, and I remember thinking, “Huh, I dress just like that most of the time.”

It got me wondering: Would my kids, when they’re 40 or 50, show up at a Halloween party in a pair of jeans slung low on their hips – below their butts, even – with a colorful pair of boxers displayed, announcing they were Dudes From 2011? Egad.

If this Halloween was any precursor, that particular demise of society has already begun, because just days ago, I opened the door to eight giggling, early pubescent girls and, in an attempt to make small talk, asked one – a neighborhood girl – what she was supposed to be. She promptly uttered the name of my 12-year-old son and when I looked confused, she pulled up her tee shirt to reveal several inches of striped boxers, cinched below by a pair of belted, sagging jeans.

I gave her an extra Reese’s Cup, because I couldn’t think of anything else to say. And then I watched her take the porch steps, slow and wide-legged, just as my son does, so her pants wouldn’t fall down completely.

1 comment:

  1. It is always interesting to speculate about what cultural artifacts will identify eras in the future. I guess low riding pants with underwear visible will become the way of saying you are a chartacter from the 10s. One thing we won't have and it's a big gap is a shared musical experience. Throughout the 20th century it was possible to stamp an era musically--hot jazz in the 20s, melancholy or overly hopeful melodies in the 30s, big band in the 40s, rock n roll and Frank Sinatra type lounge in the 50s, the plethora of rock, R&B and folk in the 60s, Disco and punk in the 70s, New wave and techno in the 80s, grunge in the 90s (with rap/hip-hop spreading all the way from the late 70s to today.) But now, with everybody buying singles and making their own playlists, there is no focused musical style. What would it be? I suppose in terms of caricature you could use that auto-tune sound and have people dance in robotic unison, but in terms of having songs we all know and love and rejoice to, I don't think there will be a shared experience like that in the future. I wonder if that reflects the splintered nature of our culture.