Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And Get Off of My Lawn, Too, You Whippersnappers

I have often mocked The Husband for premature aging. Before we even had children, we lived next door to a family, who on the night of the youngest's high school graduation, had a party. There was music and drunk kids in the yard and it was all very harmless. He laid in bed all night long and grumbled about their music being too loud. I chuckled softly at the old man I had married.

Then, when we first moved to Sadieville, a teenager down the street from us had his party busted by the cops. Right before the fuzz showed up, the kids went flying out of there, mostly turning around in our front yard. While I giggled and settled in to watch the show, The Husband paced and complained about people driving in our yard. (Just to clarify, we have a lovely green lawn that is more weeds than grass and almost entirely not landscaped, it's not like they were damaging anything. Except my precious, prize-winning dandelions.)

I pride myself on not exhibiting this kind of old lady nonsense. (Of course, I complain about new music and wonder about the attention span of youth, but I have never, NEVER, lectured a McDonald's employee about making change.) Today, though, I must do it. I must unleash my inner blue-hair. With the following unoriginal diatribe.

Put on a damn coat, you idiot. Seriously, what is wrong with the youth of today?!?

Yesterday, I drove by a wreck near the high school. Two young girls were huddled together on the side of the road while the police checked out the damage. One wore a long sleeved t-shirt and a down vest and the other wore (wait for it, wait for it) a nearly see-through sweater and a spaghetti strap tank top. It was seven degrees. I really don't think I'm exaggerating. It may have gotten up to like twelve.

Today, I watched as a girl in her late teens walked into a doughnut shop wearing a skirt with no leggings and long sleeved tee shirt and a scarf. That's it. Today, I believe it was in the 20's.

Now, okay, I get it. Coats are so uncool. Coats were uncool when I was in school, too. I mean, there's just not that much that can be done with one stylistically. And that's okay. I get suffering in the name of fashion. I own high heeled boots. But frankly, there is a level of suffering that is acceptable (high heeled boots) and there is a level that is not (no coat in sub-freezing temperatures).

Despite the horrific uncoolness of coats when I was a teenager, we wore one. Why? Oh, I don't know. Maybe it was because we had parents. Perhaps it was because we had the sense to not turn purple. Maybe it was because we loved the continuation of our lives more. I don't know.

What I do know is that my fine state is setting records in low temperatures. So, please, for the love of all that's good and holy, get a freakin' coat. Put it on your body. Button, snap or zip it up. Rest well in the knowledge that you look great under said coat. Live with it.


Suze said...

Up here there are crazy people - lots of them - who wear shorts ALL WINTER LONG, even when it's below zero.
My hubby bikes when it's below zero (at least, he used to, before he fell too many times on the ice) but at least he dressed for it!

Joni said...

Oh my goodness, Jessi! I am relating to this! I have never been the kind of person that knows what is cool and what isn't. So I was SHOCKED last week when I saw a girl window shopping at an outdoor mall last week in a TANK TOP. She was just jabbering on her cell phone and tromping through the SNOW, and her arms and shoulders were completely bare. I did note that she was talking on her phone about how stupid her parents were, so I guessed that her lack of coat was some sort of rebellion. I didn't realize it was generation-wide. Lord help us all.

Jen Stoll said...

You are so very, very, very old. Here's the thing. I don't wear a coat often because 1. It's one more damn thing to wash; 2. It has pockets in which I will inevitably lose my keys, credit card, children...; 3. You're outside for like five minutes total, when you aren't wearing a coat. When I go skiing, I wear a coat. When I don't, why? You can totally get used to the cold... (But don't tell my kids, ok?!)

Mrs. Allroro said...

I have preschoolers who come to school without a coat. I think that is the ultimate of stupid, because at least the parent could hide it in the trunk and slip it to the teacher. (We arranged for that with one family.) Once we have it at school, if the weather is above freezing and we play outside, we have ways of making them wear coats. (As in, you don't go outside without a coat.)

My dad always told me to wear my coat, just in case the car broke down. I would add, "Or you get in a wreck." Either way. Or if you're not going to wear a coat, at least keep a blanket in your trunk. Blankets are really cool, right?

I saw kids in Florida on our vacation who were wearing Uggs. It was warm, and I wore shorts. I can not imagine how their feet must have smelled. So maybe we need to show the kids having fun in Orlando in the 75 degree weather in their coats and Uggs, and maybe the KY kids would see them and think "Wow, I'm cool becuase I get to wear a coat for so many more months than those kids."

Jessi said...

Suze - I will never understand people who wear shorts in the show. My favorites are the ones in a parka-type coat and shorts.

Joni - I've just really started noticing it with the super-cold temps. Before, it didn't really register.

Jen - I understand and I often skip the coat, too, but I tend to have one when it's below freezing and I usually have one stashed in the car just in case.

Ann - I have some sympathy for the preschoolers, though. Today, my daughter went to school in sensible clothes, a jacket and a coat, my gloves, no hat and dress shoes. On the day the snow is going to melt. Why? Because you can only win so many battles. The teacher was asking me if I had some boots in the car and my response was, "She'll never quit making bad clothing choices if she doesn't get muddy feet and live with the consequences." Yes, it makes me seem really cruel, but there's a reason why I don't have to talk her out of wearing a bathing suit and tights to school anymore.

Steve said...

My 4yo son has been protesting at wearing a coat in the current sub-freezing temperatures because he wants everyone to see his Superman shirt.

Even more crazy are the school kids I see walking a mile or more to school at a snail's pace with their shirt hanging out and not buttoned up. I sit in my car tutting, feeling old and looking grumpy.