There are a million stories in the Naked City, particularly during the All-Star Game festivities. This is one of them:
One of Alan’s colleagues, a working man of no great pull or clout, bought a password on eBay that promised to let him hack into the All-Star Game ticket database. As promised, the password unlocked the gates of heaven, and he was able to buy four seats for both the big game and the Home Run Derby at face value — considerable, but still face value. He was so nervous/incredulous that this caper apparently worked that he immediately ran down to the ticket office to pick them up.
“Wow!” the seller exclaimed. “These are great seats!”
They were great seats. He was in Jack Nicholson Country, only a popcorn throw away from…how about Bud Selig? Yes, the commissioner of baseball. Anyone else? Yes. George Will, self-appointed poet laureate of this game we call baseball. Hmm, impressive. Anyone else? Jon Lovitz, and “some Red Wings guy whose name I forget,” Alan said. “He said it was ‘the single most incredible sports experience of my life.” Well, I hope so.
Hey, at least he PAID for them. You think George Will didn’t get comped? Grow up.
Oh, and how much did he pay for the password? Four dollars. There are still nickel bargains left in these United States.
I didn’t go to any All-Star festivities this weekend. I went to the pool with Kate on Monday and… I cannot tell a lie. I ogled the lifeguards. To make it seem more like intellectual wool-gathering and less like, well, ogling, I considered how lifeguards can wear so little clothing and still wear it well. The look this summer is to take the standard-issue shorts, which would normally sit at one’s natural waist, and roll them down. Some very brave (and very slim) girls roll them down so far that the legholes of their suits rise above, and that is, well, a very bold look. The guys roll them down until you can see that oh-so-clever V where there hottus abdominus muscles point down to where the action is, and, and…
I’m no tadpoler! I’m just enjoying summer, that’s all.
I mention all this because I had one of those hop-click-jump experiences today, and wound up on one of those religious sites, this one by a woman who advocates “modesty” in apparel. A quick surf through and a recollection of Psych 101 suggests her real motive — insecurity over her fading beauty plus hostility toward the younger and prettier and blah blah blah and before long you’ve come up with an elaborate belief system that says women are happier when they’re covered neck to ankles in clothing that values their true worth as women and so on and so forth.
Yes, it made me think of burkas and chadors. I mean: Duh.
But it led me to a webpage offering “modest clothing resources” and who knew? There are any number of ghastly outfits to be had out there. My favorite? the swimsuits. No, these swimsuits. No, these.
Oh, I give up. I just know I’m tickled when I read sales copy that starts with: Around 1901, swim wear was modest and stylish. ..
Show me a woman who complains she can’t find modest clothing and I’ll show you a) a whiner; and b) the last woman in America who doesn’t get the Land’s End catalog.
Dorothy said on July 12, 2005 at 10:20 pm
Gosh! The Von Trapp Family Singers reborn! I wonder which window they took the draperies from to make all those outfits?? That’s the main thought that hit me when I saw the first link to the modest clothes. I’ll be shaking my head and laughing about those websites in my sleep tonight!
Nance said on July 12, 2005 at 10:38 pm
When I lived in FW, I used to go to the park around the same time every morning. (Kate was a toddler, and they run on schedules.) There was a young family who was usually there at the same time — a mother and two daughters who passed time on the playground while their older brother took a tennis lesson. They were friendly girls, and talked a lot about their home on a small farm, where they raised animals, played on rope swings and were home-schooled. From their plain gingham and obviously homemade dresses they were pretty easy to peg — probably strict Christians, but very nice girls. Bright and fun.
The following year they were back at the playground, but by then the girls were wearing some sort of Christian headscarf. Nothing like Amish women wear, but one of those homemade deals you see on the woman whose “testimony” you’ve just stumbled across via the web — a story about how she prayed and prayed, and God told her he wanted her to modestly cover her head, and how free and holy and obedient she feels now.
And these girls somehow just…knew. They knew they were now, officially, Different, and they were no longer outgoing and chatty. They kept to themselves, kept their voices down and didn’t laugh much at all. It was as if they could see their future as handmaidens of the Lord, and that it would involve much backbreaking labor, a child a year until they were wrung out with exhaustion and lots and lots of sewing.
I always hear how “joyful” women like this are, and I’ll tell you: They don’t seem very joyful to me.
MaryC said on July 12, 2005 at 11:11 pm
I’ve seen the second swimsuit site you linked to before — the Wholesome togs, with the black top over the wetsuit — but not the first one with the 1901 mobcap and bloomers.
But my first reaction was the same at both sites — those things must be heavy. You could drown in one of those. The weight would just pull you down.
And imagine, if you do survive your swim, getting out of the water with that heavy cotton (cotton!) dress clinging to you, and sitting down in the sand. Then trying to play or just stroll on the beach with 56 pounds of mud clinging to you, and that wet skirt slapping against your legs …
MaryC said on July 12, 2005 at 11:20 pm
By the way, one thing that has struck me about these “modest clothing” sites — they all invariably feature matching mother-and-daughter (and daughter’s doll) outfits. Oddly spooky somehow.
mary said on July 13, 2005 at 1:52 am
You reminded me of the one thing I remember being funny on the Carol Burnett show. It was a parody of Gone With the Wind, and they were doing the scene where Scarlett comes down the stairs wearing a dress made from some fancy draperies. In Carol Burnett’s version, she’s left the drapery rod in, and it’s across her shoulders with the dress sort of hanging from it. Rhett tells her she looks beautiful, and she says, ” Oh this? I saw it in the window and just had to have it.”
Dorothy said on July 13, 2005 at 5:23 am
Yes Mary, that is a great one! I remember it well. My personal fave of Carol Burnett is when she’d do Mrs. Wiggins (or Ha-Wiggins as Tim Conway called her in the sketch). Her exaggerated backside and the way she’d teeter on the high heels. I love to imitate her!
Most of that clothing reminded me of the Mennonite women I’ve seen around Lancaster PA. They aren’t as strict as the Amish. And being a quilter, I’ve seen many at quilt shows all over, too.
Mindy said on July 13, 2005 at 8:03 am
Love that 1901 number! It looks like a stage costume made out of Grandma’s kitchen curtains, sans curtain rod. I had the same thoughts as you, MaryC–that has to be a heavy sand catcher when wet. And howzabout the guy’s modest swimsuit? What guy would be caught dead in public wearing such a get-up?
Nance said on July 13, 2005 at 9:13 am
I like the marketing slogan: “Clothes your father would approve of.”
susan said on July 13, 2005 at 12:12 pm
Every once in a while I see a family in my local grocery store. Or rather, I see mother and children at my local grocery store. Guess Pa doesn’t go shopping. Anyway, the females (mother and 4 stairstep daughters) are all wearing these modest style jumpers (made out of the same floral fabric) with white T shirts or turtle necks under them, white socks, and some type of plain brown sensible shoes. No makeup, hair is clean but obviously home cut and non-styled. Boys wear shirt, vest, and plain pants.
They stick really close together, always, and are very quiet, unlike other families in the store. Not to say that is necessarily a bad thing, but just different.
I always wonder about the kids, especially the girls – how do they feel? Obviously, when they are out in the world they must realize how different they are. Do they care? Is there one who is righteous when she looks at everyone else, taking pride in her modest dress? Is one a rebel and just really wants to have a pair of pink capri pants?
I have to admit that I am strangely fascinated by this family and almost have to stop myself from following them around the store to eavesdrop…
Nance said on July 13, 2005 at 12:40 pm
I try hard to cultivate a live-and-let-live attitude with people who choose a different path; I figure it’s a big country and there’s room for everyone. If you want to dress like a frump, be my guest.
But I suppose I can have my own private opinions about it, and I’m always amazed at how lustily women cling to the chains that bind them. Sometimes it takes a 90-degree day to realize how fearful of female sexuality so many religious people are.
Now I’m off to fetch my daughter at the pool, in shorts and a T-shirt. Thank you, God.
mary said on July 13, 2005 at 2:18 pm
I used to volunteer at the recreation center next to my house. One of the employees there was a very devout Christian. She wanted to call child protective services once because a little girl, all of three years old, was wearing a little one piece sunsuit thing that would occasionally expose her nipples. It was one of those buttoned strap sort of garments. This employee was convinced that the parents were sending a message of some sexual nature by allowing their kid’s nipples to show.
Dorothy said on July 13, 2005 at 3:11 pm
Oh Mary, I would have had a very difficult time keeping a civil tongue in my head and not yelling at that volunteer. I work hard at keeping my opinions to myself in public, but everyone has their limits and that would have done it to me. An innocent three year old!! A sundress!! I probably would have been arrested after getting into a heated exchange with an idiot like that.
colleen said on July 13, 2005 at 5:17 pm
Someone seeing “naughtiness” in a 3 year old in a sun dress makes me wonder where THEIR minds are….
Dorothy said on July 13, 2005 at 8:04 pm
Thank you Colleen. That’s what I was trying to say – you did it for me.