Friday, November 8, 2013

Fashion is a Two-Faced Bitch: Dresses. Who's to blame?

Every once  in awhile I like to play a game called "Creative History".  Would you like to try your hand?

Here's what you do:  You ask yourself a question.  Not an easy question.  A question  you don't know the answer to. A question that has skimmed the surface of your mind here and again without ever rooting far enough down to fire neurons.

Next, you let the question seep down through your brain's nooks and lobes and crannies and all those other places your brain has.  Maybe it settles down all the way to your medulla.  Wait.  Do brains have medullas?  I'm  pretty sure they do.  I believe I read that word in a brain book one fine day.

Hey, there you go, excellent question, right there, perfect example.  What the hell is a medulla,  where is it, and how many do I  have?  But I digress.  The second part of the game, after you've let your question settle down to your medullah and marinate awhile,  is to answer the question. There's only one rule.You can't look up anything.  Not even a word spelling.  You just write out your answer as it comes to you.

When you are done, you can look it all up and see how you did. That's the glory of the internet. You wouldn't be able to play fun games like this without the internet.  If you play this game, you will learn something and if you don't learn anything, you didn't ask yourself the right question.

HEY CHICKEN, NONE OF THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH FASHION.

What? Did you say something?  Oh.  Fashion.  YES, thank you.  Here's where I was going with that.

The question that popped into my head today, just in time for F=2FB Friday AND, as it turns out, Creative History Game day, is why do women wear dresses?

Who thought that would be a good idea?

I've been stewing on it for a couple of hours and this is what I think:

Would you like a glass of wine?  Beer?  No?  Okay...
How about tea? Would you like some  tea?
Pillow?

Touchy touchy.  Alright already.  Here we go.

It was all about sex and having babies in the beginning. The women had to wear dresses to keep their lady bits accessible, while pants were introduced for men to protect their manly bits from sharp teeth and claws and tree branches and other potentially emasculating devices.

So the women were accessible, the men were protected,  fire had been invented and evolution continued. But then what happened? Why did the women continue to wear dresses?  And why did they complicate them even further with multiple petticoats and corsets and hoops and bloomers and stockings....

Accessibility was getting to be a bit of a pain in the ass, I'd guess.  And the church wasn't very fond of it either. So they threw some road blocks in the way to keep things seemly.  And evolution continued.

Then, I think there was a period where things got kind of loosey-goosey and flowy accessible garments had another moment. There was a population boom, an industrial revolution, a war, a particularly raucous prohibition, if  The Great Gatsby is to be believed, a great depression, another war, and finally it occurred to some riveters that if there were no hose available, they might as well wear pants.  So they did.  And then the war ended and the men came home, there was much celebrating and dress wearing, another population boom, a baby boomer rebellion, and finally, finally, despite the reign of free love, pants on women became sort of mainstream.  At least in America.  It was probably different everywhere else.

So women started wearing pants, people who like women appreciated the streamlined view, and pants were here to stay. A shift began, and it was a good one.

Or maybe it had something to do with peeing.

The end.

This is the fun part.  Now you research your question and find out just how well you did.

I did poorly. Very poorly. This is not surprising to me. But at least I am not the only one to have pondered the question.  Here's an interesting chat thread I found on the very same subject.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=933691

Yeast infections?  Really? And so we all learned something today.  Isn't that great?  Happy F=2FB Friday.

No yeast infections here

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Butter Files: The Christians and The Pagans of Macomber Hill

M was the Catholic kid next door.  Our families have been neighbors for as long as I can remember.  M was raised in a structured, consistent environment, the kind Dr. Spock would have prescribed, with a Dad who worked shifts at the paper mill and a Mom who stayed home with the kids, managing their time and driving them to various activities.  They went to the Catholic Church in Jay on weekends and, when the time came, to CCD during the week.

I had no such restrictions on my time.  As long as I was at the dinner table by 5, I was good.

All of this extra instruction  going on next door, however, tipped the scales, giving M a worldly edge.  She became my main resource for information related to things going on outside of my own imagination.

On school mornings the kids in the neighborhood walked to the bus stop at the end of Fuller Road.  I learned a lot  waiting for the bus.  I learned about the birds and the bees, for one, complete with a visual aid drawn on a frosty wind shield by Timmy G.

One morning at the bus stop, compliments of M, I learned that I was doomed. M. had recently heard, through her various affiliations, that the Devil would be taking over the earth in the year 2000.  Luckily for her, she was Catholic, and God would be sending his kid to pick up all the Catholics before the destruction began.  Or maybe they would just ascend on their own. She wasn't sure how that part was going to go down.  But she did know for sure that I was screwed.

This information rocked my world.  What the bloody hell did I ever do to deserve eternal damnation? If I had had this information when I was a newly fertilized baby egg, I would have picked different parents, now, wouldn't I have?  I was upset that apocalypse knowledge was not built into my DNA, allowing me to make better parental choices.  Now, the end was near and I was stuck with my pagan family, destined to a fiery eternity. I had visions of a big, beautiful white bus emerging from the clouds, with Jesus at the wheel, picking up all the Catholics in the neighborhood, while I cried in vain, the devil blowing his searing hot breath down my neck, yelling at me to get back to work digging the coal to feed his inferno.

After a couple nights of not sleeping well, and staring up at the sky, worrying that the apocalypse might show up early, my Step Mom's radar went off, and she asked what was wrong.  I explained the bus stop religious instruction.

And she said it wasn't true.

She explained that M. must have gotten mixed up a little, but it wouldn't be polite to tell her, so I should just keep it to myself but I shouldn't worry.  This explanation allowed me to get back to sleep.

A couple days later at the bus stop  I learned that M had indeed been mistaken about the year 2000.  Jesus wasn't coming to pick up anyone and we were all screwed.

Because.  Aliens.

Chicken out

All Aboard the Jesus Bus.  Next Stop Pearly Gates.  


Monday, November 4, 2013

Littleb's To Do List

BigB and I are both list makers.  I'm a daily list keeper and BigB has one continuous list that he adds to and re-prioritizes as necessary.  If I do something that is not on my list, it gets added to the list and then crossed off.  BigB will never reach the bottom of his list.

It didn't come as any surprise to us when littleb turned out to be a list maker, as well.

This weekend, BigB told littleb that they could spend Saturday doing whatever he wanted.   Littleb promptly set about making a list of things for them to do.

Here it is:

littleb's list

Just in case you can't read his baby chicken scratch, here it is:

What to do with dad today
1. Golf
2. Free Birds (movie)
3. Target (window shopping)
4. Bike without training wheels
5. Play at the park
6. Go to battleground z (indoor play center)
7. Drive around the neighborhood
8. Go home
9. Eat while watching new t.v. shows
10. Play Trouble
11. Go to bed
12. Get up in the morning
13.  Make a new list for tomorrow

I can't be sure, but I believe he might take after me-a daily list maker.  Dad didn't get much crossed off his own list on Saturday.  Then again, what else are Saturdays for if not eating while watching new t.v. shows and driving around the neighborhood.

Happy Monday, Kids.  Feels like we were just here.

Chicken out