2017-03-17 / Commentary

Making Mama Proud

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

Well, it’s finally happened… I’ve turned into my mother.

I think I first realized my metamorphosis about a year or so ago when I was at a stop light and looked over and saw a young man sporting long hair to his shoulders and a beard to his chest. I clandestinely observed him until the light changed, and I thought to myself “I’ll bet he’d be really nice looking fella under all that hair.”

Whaaaat? Those were the EXACT words my mother had used for any boyfriend or date I had that showed up with longish hair and/or a beard during my high school and college years! Issie-Mae was alive and well in the driver’s seat of my car that day!

My mother, Ismae Rogers, or “Issie-Mae” as she was fondly referred to by her friends, was one of the most fastidious dressers I’ve ever met. I grew up knowing my clothes must be clean, I’d better wash EVERYWHERE when I was in the tub, and my hair better never be greasy and stringy. And dirt under fingernails would have probably sent Mama to the nearest ER!

In my teen years, it was DRILLED into my brain that chipped nail polish, toes or fingers, or a run in your stockings or a rip/hole in your clothing were all “cheap and classless.” There was no excuse “evah” for dirty or sloppy appearances.

Mama was a snazzy lady, and she was big on “putting your best foot forward,” and she believed “you will nevah have a second chance to make a good first impression.” The older I get, the more I see her point and agree with her.

When I see how some people dress to actually go out in public, I have to wonder if they own a mirror. If my mother were still alive, she’d never believe it and she might even “swoon” in shock.

Recently, I’ve been doing a little traveling, and as anyone knows, one of the best places to people-watch are the airports of the world. I hate to sound all “judge-ish,” but I’m old enough to remember when flying was a big deal. You WANTED to look nice as you boarded a plane and met a stranger seated next to you.

People put on nice clothes, took care with their individual grooming, and minded their manners. I have come to the conclusion that for a whole lot of our population, that has all fallen by the wayside.

I have seen people I’m sure literally rolled out of bed and got on the plane. Women with bedheads, hair tousled and wild, not a drop of makeup, and apparently wearing their pajamas!

I’m all for the “natural” look, but when you have on a tank top that is “screaming” for an undergarment of some kind, and it shows every freckle on your chest and blatantly lets the onlooker see if you’re “chilly,” well that’s just a little too much information for my taste.

I am talking SHEER material here. The transparent tank should be enough but no…some women like to pair that with either equally translucent “shorty-shorts” or…and this may be the worst…super tight leggings that are clearly made to be worn under a skirt!

I saw two young girls in the Charlotte airport on the people-mover I had to do a double take to see if they were wearing pants. Their shorts were so brief their oversized tank tops covered them entirely! And those oversized tanks were most likely only there to show off their latest Victoria Secrets shopping spree because the frilly flowery bras were on open display.

These were TWEENS! Somewhere between 11 and 12! My mother wouldn’t have let me go in the front yard in those getups! Issie-Mae would have snatched those two girls up and taken them to the nearest sweatshirt store and outfitted them in some long pants and a hoodie.

I know I sound like a super critical old lady here, but where the heck has our pride gone? When did people stop caring about looking nice and dressing appropriately?

And “fashion” aside, what about HYGIENE??? Let’s face it…planes are DIRTY! When you think about all the rumps that have been in that seat your scantily clad behind is sitting on…ugh! Call me crotchety, but when my butt sits on a seat thousands of other butts have been in…I want some serious material and clothing between me and those cushions!

Yep. I guess I am turning into my mother. I WANT to make a good impression on people, and I do try to put my best foot forward. That was her way, and it has become mine. I know whose daughter I am.

And that’s not a bad thing at all.

I’m just saying.

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