Random Thoughts

The passing parade on the Parkway

... I'm freezing - why aren't they?

by Marie Salamanca

While occupying my corner of Melrose each morning waiting for the Roosevelt School kids to be crossed, I watch the passing parade of Middle and High School students, also. I have noticed something I consider rather noteworthy.   

I hate to say, "When I was a kid..." that sounds so stuffy, disapproving and just plain old, but the kids' outfits are strange.

Most mornings I am cold, very cold. The mittens, hat, and jacket provided by the Commonwealth help, but I'm still cold. It was suggested by Melrose Policewomen who have been on the job much longer than I, that I purchase battery-operated socks which I intend to do in October if I am still on this job. But getting back to the kids.  

I have noticed that the girls are wearing fewer and fewer clothes, and what they do wear doesn't meet in the middle. Their tops don't meet their bottoms. There is a space of approximately two inches of waist showing. The bottom of the tops are quite high and the tops of the bottoms are quite low, if you know what I mean. There is this never-never land in between, and I've seen more belly buttons than I have since I was bathing toddlers.

The boys, however, are wearing clothes that seem to belong to their much bigger older brothers or perhaps their fathers or even grandfathers. The inseam (I'm a sewer) is down around the knees and the jeans (everyone wears jeans only there are five times as much denim in the boys' than in the girls') drag on the ground. Their shirts are also huge and hang to the knees.  

Now comes the "when I was a kid part." Girls had to wear skirts or dresses, and boys wore shirts (usually white) and neckties. Every homeroom teacher had a supply of ugly ties in her desk. As the mother of five, I'm just as glad I didn't have to iron all those shirts everyday, but we did look nice.  

I'm thinking the girls are going to have back and kidney problems in their old age with all that cold air hovering around their midsections. Perhaps it is part of some Grand Plan to finally even out the life spans of the male and female humans. I can't think of any other reason for this absurd dress, but then there's always attraction of the opposite gender and looking like all the other kids.  

Remember the line, "You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny?"  Well, these kids of many races are beautiful, but they do dress "funny."


July 1, 2005


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