We’re a pretty casual family, and I bet yours is, too. I like to dress up as much as the next girl, but honestly, I don’t get much call to, anymore. Who does? American life, even office life, has been trending away from neckties and pantyhose for a while. I have what my fellowship director used to call “power clothes,” but I don’t wear them very often.

When Kate was younger, I learned that in Grosse Pointe, there is one holiday event that is beloved by all, and it is not the Santa Claus parade on the day after Thanksgiving, but the various elementary school holiday choir concerts. All the kids sings in their grade-level choir, and it is an utterly charming event. (The kindergarteners came out on stage one year, and the dad next to me slapped his hands together and said, “AWRIGHT. Now we’re getting to the good stuff!”) When Kate went to her first one, I think she wore school clothes, i.e., jeans and a sweater, and she might as well have been a hobo. Nearly all the girls were wearing Christmas dresses, something we just didn’t have.

We’re not churchgoers, we don’t take studio family photos at the holidays, and without something to dress up for, why own dress-up clothes?

Which is the long way around to today’s subject, which is: Why do conservatives dress their kids so weird?

By now, those of you who are Extremely Online have probably seen the amazingly weird photo of the Acosta family on dad’s first day on the job as Secretary of Labor:

Holy shit, now there’s an image to haunt your dreams, eh?

Never have two little girls who live in Florida look so untouched by the sun, and not because their mother is always reapplying SPF 5000. The colorless lips, the hollow eyes – and that’s not even getting to the strange haircuts and identical dresses on sisters that look to be about two years apart, maybe less.

Now let’s consider the outfits worn by Jack and Josie Roberts, son and daughter of Chief Justice John Roberts, when he was introduced to the public in 2005. I can’t find a public-domain pic of the two – one could Google – so let’s call upon the descriptive prose of Robin Givhan:

There was tow-headed Jack — having freed himself from the controlling grip of his mother — enjoying a moment in the spotlight dressed in a seersucker suit with short pants and saddle shoes. His sister, Josie, was half-hidden behind her mother’s skirt. Her blond pageboy glistened. And she was wearing a yellow dress with a crisp white collar, lace-trimmed anklets and black patent-leather Mary Janes.

(Another girl with a pageboy? Josie and the Acosta girls must go to the same stylist.)

Finally, Barron Trump:

He just turned 13, so I suspect in this pic he was about…11? He’s accompanying his parents to a New Years party at Mar-a-Lago, wearing full black tie and looking, as he often does, like he lives deep inside his head. I believe, two years into his father’s presidency, I’ve seen two photos of him not in a jacket and tie. Because his father’s idea of outdoor recreation is golf, there are no pix of the two of them cavorting on the White House lawn, or dressed for skiing or the beach or any other place you’d expect a wealthy family to cavort.

I keep thinking about that NYE party at Mar-a-Lago. Can you imagine a more miserable place to be, at 11? Most kids would be having a sleepover, maybe a movie marathon in the rec room with popcorn and pizza and a sitter making surge-price money, not wearing a bow tie in a room with a bunch of adults, the youngest of which is probably 5x his age, all saying, “What a handsome boy! Do you like living in the White House?” Shudder.

Of course I loved the Obamas, and Michelle drew most of the style spotlight, but when we saw the girls, they seemed to be pretty standard American kids. At the turkey pardoning, they wore scarves and sweaters and down vests. On vacations, they dressed for the setting and the weather. And yes, for formal portraits, they wore dresses, but they looked like individuals, not like the twins in “The Shining.” And their clothing was contemporary, modern, not something out of an early-series episode of “Mad Men.”

Of course children have opinions about what they’re asked or told to wear, but when they’re young, the turnout is all about mom and dad, and mostly mom. Lace-trimmed anklets, matching dresses, identical haircuts, seersucker short-pants suits, saddle shoes — these are relics of a different time.

Givhan, again:

In a time when most children are dressed in Gap Kids and retailers of similar price-point and modernity, the parents put young master Jack in an ensemble that calls to mind John F. “John-John” Kennedy Jr.

Separate the child from the clothes, which do not acknowledge trends, popular culture or the passing of time. They are not classic; they are old-fashioned. These clothes are Old World, old money and a cut above the light-up/shoe-buying hoi polloi.

…Dressing appropriately is a somewhat selfless act. It’s not about catering to personal comfort. One can’t give in fully to private aesthetic preferences. Instead, one asks what would make other people feel respected? What would mark the occasion as noteworthy? What signifies that the moment is bigger than the individual?

But the Roberts family went too far. In announcing John Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee, the president inextricably linked the individual — and his family — to the sweep of tradition. In their attire, there was nothing too informal; there was nothing immodest. There was only the feeling that, in the desire to be appropriate and respectful of history, the children had been costumed in it.

The Roberts kids are probably in college by now. I wonder what they wear now.

A good weekend to all. Man I feel like I’ve earned it.

Posted at 8:13 pm in Popculch |

62 responses to “Costumes.”

  1. David C. said on July 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    He makes his kid wear a suit to a fucking baseball game. No wonder the young unfortunate is usually seen dressed like that.

    They reportedly had some run-ins later on, too, when Trump, Jr., was enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. “Don Jr. opened the door, wearing a Yankee jersey,” Scott Melker, one of his former classmates, wrote on Facebook last year, describing what happened on one occasion when Trump came to take his son to a Yankees game. “Without saying a word, his father slapped him across the face, knocking him to the floor in front of all of his classmates. He simply said “put on a suit and meet me outside,’ and closed the door.” (The Trumps have denied this account.)

    Of course they deny it. He denies what he was recorded saying earlier on any day.

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  2. LAMary said on July 11, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    That is a very disturbing photo of the Acosta family. Pence’s presence does not improve the mood of the photo. Nonetheless, I would really like an 8×10 of that to hang in my spare room.

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  3. alex said on July 11, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    LA Mary for the win.

    I almost wanted to ask if the Acostas were repurposing bridesmaid dresses and then it occurred to me that they’re aping that kind of fashion because that’s their idea of classy. I didn’t think it was possible to have worse taste than The Donald but these folks are undercutting him by about a country mile. Mother Pence’s Sunday garb at the inaugural gala is neck-and-neck with the Acosta girls in terms of unflatteringness, but at least it was modest.

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  4. susan said on July 11, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    at least

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  5. susan said on July 11, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    they didn’t look

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  6. susan said on July 11, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    anemic, repressed, and beat down.

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  7. Suzanne said on July 11, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    I used to work in a library and the term the staff often used about a number of patrons was “pasty white homeschoolers”. I have to admit, most of the homeschoolers I know (admittedly not that many) look like the Acosta kids. And their mothers like his wife. Pasty white. Unhealthy non-glow to their skin, like they never see the sun.

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  8. Sherri said on July 12, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Are we sure those are really girls and not robots in the Acosta picture? Looks pretty close to the uncanny valley to me.

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  9. Jakash said on July 12, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Hadn’t seen that photo before, but “like the twins in ‘The Shining'” was definitely my first thought, too. Upon further review, even that seems too recent for the one looking at the camera, though. If she were auditioning for a throwback production of “The Crucible,” or perhaps actually on trial in 1692, that’s the look I’d imagine would get her the part, or get her convicted, depending on the era. Sorry to be mean to an innocent youngster — I realize that it’s that kind of snarky attitude that supposedly got Trump elected. D’oh!

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  10. Dexter Friend said on July 12, 2019 at 2:44 am

    Jakash beat me to it…REDRUM REDRUM !!!! A few years ago I drove Carla Lee and daughter Sandi to Metro for a flight to Las Vegas. It was hot as hell and I was attired in shorts and a short-sleeved button-up, when an airport limo bus stopped by me and and 15 men exited, all business, all dressed in black suits with vests, all wearing new black high-top clodhoppers, all with white starched shirts with all black ties, and those flat rim hats. I guessed they were Orthodox Jews of some sub-sect perhaps, as they all had the little curls hanging from their conservative short haircuts. I deduced a big conference in Detroit perhaps, and now a night flight back to Tel Aviv. I have been in enough international airports to have seen many things but only one group of men in new suits and starched white shirts and shined black hard shoes and flat-brimmed hats, oh…and all carrying the exact same briefcases…Men in Black deja vu?

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 12, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Heather, the gorilla is gone (I think, it’s hard to say one has seen the whole place), and replaced by an animatronic T. Rex.

    I can’t get into mocking either the children or the parents’ choices in dressing children, though Trump is always a target of opportunity. It’s like making fun of WalMart shoppers… down this road lies madness. We arrived in Deadwood last night, and it’s a base of movement around the region for us, but last night my wife did apologize after sitting on Main Street for a while saying “this is like a day in court for you, isn’t it?” I’d suggested we work from a Rapid City hotel, but she thought this would be fun and was about $20 a night cheaper for this admittedly high demand window, even early. Deadwood is interesting. Al would have a lot of people to slap, but lots of opportunity to make a buck. Or two.

    Had a Knob Creek in the Bullock Hotel, so I’ve got that going for me.

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  12. Mark P said on July 12, 2019 at 8:55 am

    The Shining indeed. That was my first thought. Jesus fricking dog! How did they get out of the Overlook? And Pence doesn’t help, looking like the devil’s cheerful helper as Acosta signs his black and shriveled soul away.

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  13. Dorothy said on July 12, 2019 at 9:17 am

    The entire Acosta foursome are what my mother would have gently described as being ‘homely.’ God love them. I don’t mean to pick on them, but with parents like that it’s natural the offspring would be lacking in the looks department. Maybe the girls will outgrow it and transition to ‘satisfactory’ instead of homely. I’m betting a smile on the girls’ faces would give them an entirely different aura.

    Susan’s one minute apart entries are priceless! Way to go!

    Mary if I ever come to visit please warn me ahead of time if I get to sleep in the room with that 8×10 picture. I will bring a scarf to lay over the framed shot!

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  14. Jeff Borden said on July 12, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I’m back in the smallish Ohio city where I lived during high school for my 50th reunion. The top story in the local paper today is a group called the Ohio Christian Alliance calling for a referendum on gay rights after the Medina City Council passed an ordnance protecting LBGTQ rights. The good folk also are calling for the ouster of all the council members who voted for the ordnance. Apparently, I’ve returned to Smallmindedville, USA.

    BTW, didn’t Givhans describes the Roberts kids as looking like Necco wafers in their pastels? I remember that story well.

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  15. JodiP said on July 12, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Susan FTW! Mrs. John Roberts looks like she is channeling Puritan garb. So bizarre!

    I love dressing up, even for work. But, as a social worker, you’ve also got to be relatable. I have pretty much stopped wearing skirts or dresses in my job at the jail, as it feels too pretty. However, I also want to show respect for my clients, so I only occasionally wear jeans. I am sure I think about this waaay too much.

    I am so excited for tomorrow: the master gardeners are having their tour. I’ll get to see 11 gardens, and the creativity and variety are always impressive. I usually work one of the gardens, but took a hiatus this year as my plate was too full.

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  16. JodiP said on July 12, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Acosta just stepped down.

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  17. Deggjr said on July 12, 2019 at 10:41 am

    When our eldest child was in 1st or 2nd grade, she was in a combined age level group of about 90 children for the holiday concert. They sang (to the tune of The Stars and Stripes Forever and a spirited piano accompaniment):

    Be kind to your web-footed friends,
    For a duck may be somebody’s mother.
    Be kind to your friends in the swamp,
    Where the weather is very, very damp,
    Now you may think that this is the end,
    Well it is!

    Every child knew it was great and sang full-throat. The crowd went wild and was rewarded with an encore. These days the performance would be on YouTube. I wish it was.

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  18. Dave said on July 12, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I saw a meme that said, “Thank God that Epstein was a rich white man abusing underage girls and not a poor black man selling cigarettes one at a time”.

    I still think there is a time to dress up, funerals, perhaps. We recently were at the cemetery in Southern Ohio where my parents are buried and there was a burial happening while we were there. I’m old, I know, but the way some of those people were dressed was appalling, in my eyes. I guess they should get credit for showing up but it doesn’t seem very respectful to wear ragged jean shorts to a funeral.

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  19. AndreaJ said on July 12, 2019 at 10:55 am

    The Roberts’ Family photo:

    Or maybe this one:

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  20. Julie Robinson said on July 12, 2019 at 11:48 am

    It’s amazing how many people wear raggedy workout pants/shorts/singlets to weddings and funerals. Do they not know better, or do they not own anything better?

    I like to look nice even though I dress casually now that I’m retired. Nothing with holes, coordinating colors, makeup and jewelry. It’s my armor with which to face the world.

    Those girls have allergy eyes, but something else is going on too. Possibly abuse of some kind.

    My theory on the dressed up kids is parents wanting them to look like the little royals. But I’ve read that Catthy Cambridge only dresses them up for public appearances. The rest of the time they’re in normal kid clothes.

    We saw a very interesting show last night, a bonus because our daughter’s friend manages the theatre and offered us rock bottom prices. Will have to share thoughts later.

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  21. Joe Kobiela said on July 12, 2019 at 11:51 am

    On the subject of dress I’m on a airliner twice a week commuting to one of my company planes and the dress on airlines is something to behold. What gets me the most is footwear if nothing else wear good sturdy shoes of some sort, I couldn’t imagine trying to get out of a burning shredded plane wearing flip flops or sky hi heels, I usually get a emergency row seat since I fly in uniform if I ever need to open the exit believe me I’ll be screaming to leave your damn carry on and gtfo.
    Fly smart
    Pilot Joe

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  22. Connie said on July 12, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Be kind to your web-footed friends,
    For a duck may be somebody’s mother.

    I have known all the words to his since I was a little kid! That’s like 50 years ago. You hadn’t heard it before?

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  23. Jason T. said on July 12, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Years ago, Chris Elliott wrote a “tell-all biography” of his father, Bob Elliott (of “Bob & Ray” fame), that was in the style of “Mommy Dearest.”

    To give you an idea of how “serious” this biography was, Chris Elliott claimed that he and his father had escaped from the sinking of the Andrea Doria; that at one point he gained 600 pounds and had to be rescued by Dick Gregory; that his father sometimes strolled around wearing nothing but “Gold-Toe” brand socks and a Bella Abzug hat; and that the “Elliott clan” briefly lived inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Bob Elliott wrote rebuttal chapters for each chapter Chris wrote.)

    Anyway, there were several obvious composite photos illustrating the book that showed a young Chris Elliott with Bob, with both dressed in identical blazers and ties. In one photo, Chris’ head is shown “shaved” with the explanation that when Bob Elliott started going bald, he forced Chris to go bald, too.

    That book and those photos are what I thought of when I saw the picture of the Acostas with Pence, and the photos you linked to: These have to be composite photos, right? No one would really do this, would they?

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  24. Dorothy said on July 12, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Some people just don’t know any better, Dave. Or don’t own any ‘nice’ clothes so they probably put on whatever is clean. I too have seen that at funeral homes. I have to avert my eyes so I don’t give them disapproving looks. The older I get the more I don’t bother to hide my feelings on my face. I really don’t care much anymore what people think of me. Maybe that’s the influence of the current president, but whatever.

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  25. Suzanne said on July 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I am with you on the funeral attire. The visitation part as well. I was appalled when my husband’s grandmother passed away at age 101 & most of the great grandchildren showed up in flip flops for the visitation & funeral. They were all in high school or college. I wondered why their parents didn’t step in and ask them to show some respect.

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  26. Jakash said on July 12, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    “Do they not know better, or do they not own anything better?” A good spot for the “why not both?” meme.

    “I’m betting a smile on the girls’ faces would give them an entirely different aura.” Sure, Dorothy gets to say that, because she’s a woman. Yet when I smugly accost random women on the sidewalk with the same observation, I get the stink-eye. “Down this road lies madness.”

    Uh, that’s a joke — I don’t really do that! : )

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  27. Dorothy said on July 12, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I can understand why women don’t want to be told to smile to improve their looks.
    But children in general are much cuter when they are smiling. People in general are much nicer looking when they smile. Many times I’ve had the opinion that Bernie Sanders would profit from smiling or laughing once in awhile. He’s much too stern and mad-professor looking for my tastes.

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  28. Scout said on July 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Those poor children were dealt the absolute worst of both sides of their gene pools, but it’s not even the wardrobe or the homeliness that chills me about this. It’s the dead blank stare of the older one that gives the creeps. Like looking into the eyes of a future serial killer.

    While it is cause for celebration that Acosta has stepped down, no doubt he will be replaced by someone even worse, as is the pattern in this mis-administration. I only hope this is a foretelling of a fire hose of info about the ‘parties’ involving sex with children and cocaine that Epstein and Trump were evidently fond of. I shudder every time I think about it. How how how did someone this evil end up in the White House? And wtaf is WRONG with the people who still support him? Using the economy as an excuse to support a sexual predator pedophile who cages babies is the epitome of white privilege and does not fly as a legit reason, imho.

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  29. ROGirl said on July 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Nobody should tell a woman to smile. It’s worse coming from a man, but not by much. It is often accompanied by “you look so pretty when you smile,” which is a hideous thing to say.

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  30. Little Bird said on July 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    One of my friends suggested the girls have different magnitudes of Buschemi eyes. Poor kids.

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  31. David C. said on July 12, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    As dressed up as I ever get is khakis, a dress shirt, and brown leather shoes. I think I have a blazer somewhere but I’m sure I don’t own a tie. Even then, I know I can go to most any occasion and know I’ll be better dressed than half the people there. I’m sure at some point when suits became the thing to wear, somebody in knee breeches and silk stockings thought the world was going to hell in a handbag. Time moves on I guess, so I try to stay just a little behind the curve so I don’t look slovenly, but I also don’t look like the guy in the box at the funeral.

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  32. Deborah said on July 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Our last day in the South of France was another good one. We had lunch in Bonnieux at the home of an artist that uncle J met a few years ago and has been her patron since. Actually it was at her mother’s house, built in the 17th century and restored by her father 50 years ago. Good food and great company.

    Tomorrow we head to Paris. I have love, love, loved the So. of France way more than I thought I would. I wish it had been a little cooler, but still very spectacular with the lavender fields, the vineyards, the olive groves, sunflower fields, quaint villages, lovely people and of course the amazing food.

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  33. Scout said on July 12, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    We are planning a SoF trip in the next year or so. I love hearing about your adventures, Deborah!

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  34. Julie Robinson said on July 12, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Even my hubby’s boss doesn’t regularly wear a suit anymore. Hubby is last man standing. He often gets asked if he’s an attorney.

    Of course all this means that suit departments have drastically shrunk their stock and it’s harder to find a variety of fabrics and styles. He says no more new ones now.

    We stopped in a Uniqlo and found linen pants and shirts, so we bought him two of each. They’ll be great for summer and Orlando.

    Deborah, we also want to visit France after he retires. I’ve always longed to visit Monet’s garden, among other places, and seeing his paintings at the Met has renewed that longing.

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  35. Icarus said on July 12, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I was thinking that the girls might be a bit on the autistic spectrum? I’m hoping it’s the allergy eyes instead.

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  36. Dexter Friend said on July 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    My last uncle’s memorial graveside service is tomorrow morning and this morning I made sure a good pair of dress pants were pressed and I had a good shirt ready, and my new shoes were brushed and shiny. I’d wear a tie but I’d stand out , as it’s all outside and nobody but the preacher will wear a tie. If it was cold weather, I’d wear a coat and tie, as would most of the cousins.

    Anyway, a historical night, July 12, 1979. I had just finished a softball game and had stopped at The Four Crowns in Auburn for a beer or three, and the Disco Demolition fiasco was on TV, as back then White Sox games were on basic cable. The Freep ran a story today that was crazy, saying it was a racist, homophobic attack, targeting gays, Latinos, Blacks. I call bullshit. Facts: This was not Bill Veeck’s project, it was a Mike Veeck/Steve Dahl project. Many were sick of disco dominating the airwaves and Steve Dahl decided to have some fun with this mindset. Dahl was hugely popular and was a baseball fan, and Comiskey Park was a big venue for this supposed night of fun. Then it went nuts, the fire area burning vinyl, fans streaming out of the seats onto the field. Chicago had radio stations for every music taste, jazz, rock, R&B, Blues, Classical…take your pick. This ridiculous claim that DD Night was programmed with hate towards gays, Blacks, people who loved dancing but thought baseball was just, oh SO butch, and the Latinos is just SO missing the mark. Bill Veeck was upset at his son Mike, but Mike and Steve Dahl got a kick out of the aftermath, which is still remembered everywhere .
    I was 29 then and I indeed thought disco sucked.

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  37. MarkH said on July 12, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Jeff(tmmo) – How far west are you all going?

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  38. Icarus said on July 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Ugh, I meant down’s syndrome.

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  39. Deborah said on July 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Sunday is Bastille day, we’ll be in Paris, that should be interesting.

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  40. ROGirl said on July 12, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    The Acosta girls made me think of this movie.

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  41. Kim said on July 12, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    People, they’re children! They asked for none of this (including their parentage/genes). Quit it with the positing. Pray that they grow up to be happy adults in this effed up world.

    That said, it would seem like the missus is about 7’2″, given My Pants’ 5’10” status.

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  42. LAMary said on July 12, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Remember the photo of Santorum with his family when he was defeated? There was some costumey stuff in that picture and maybe a doll wearing a dress matching one of the kid’s outfit.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 12, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    MarkH, with regret I report our furthest west tomorrow will be a run up to Devil’s Tower (beep-beep-beep, beep-boop), then back to Deadwood and next-door Lead, South Dakota for a peek into the Homestake Mine Pit and then the joys of (looks around to see if the Geek Police are nearby) Neutrino Day at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

    Then back to my parents, so I can turn around and go to Des Moines with my dad for a church meeting, and wife & son can go back to work. My church organization meets every other year, a few thousand wild and crazy Christians invading a perfectly innocent town to have meetings to discuss the obvious and avoid coming to conclusions. But do we meet in Jackson Hole? Nooooooo…..

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  44. Deborah said on July 13, 2019 at 3:38 am

    Hey Jeff tmmo, if you have time when you’re in Des Moines check out the Norman Borlaug World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. It’s been 6 or 7 years since I’ve worked on the project so it has probably changed some.

    Jodi P, I meant to tell you that we had reservations to go to that place with the Van Gogh light show but we stayed too long at the artist’s house and couldn’t make it in time.

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  45. alex said on July 13, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Santorum’s daughter appears to have inherited her father’s sourness but not his talent for masking it with smugness.

    Had a lively conversation with my elderly parents last night about libertarianism — I guess it comes up quite a bit in a book my mom has been reading about studies of the brains of sociopaths.

    So glad the weekend’s finally here. It’s not nearly enough time to recuperate from my work week but I’ll take what I can get.

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  46. basset said on July 13, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Boxing up books and CDs this morning to take them to the additional storage unit we rented yesterday… gotta sort everything and clean out the attic in preparation for the upcoming move.
    Haven’t worn a tie since before I retired last September, haven’t shaved two days in a row more than once or twice.

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  47. Bitter Scribe said on July 13, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Once I lived in a place across the street from a park and close to a Christian school. You could always tell when the kids from the school came to the park to play, because they were watched by young women who invariably wore long sleeves and ankle-length skirts, no matter how hot it was.

    I get (not by much) a religion telling women to dress “modestly.” But when it starts issuing a dress code, that’s when I think it’s time to bail.

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  48. LAMary said on July 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    That song about web footed friends was sung by the whole gang at the end of Sing Along with Mitch every week. Anyone old enough to have been subjected to watching that show with their parents has that song imprinted on their brain.

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  49. beb said on July 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    The comparison of the girl in the picture to the twins in “The Shining” seems apt, I also thought it reminded me of “The Handmaid;s Tale.” Also the identical haircuts and dresses suggests someone who isn’t really involved with their (girl) children.

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  50. brian stouder said on July 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Well, while the Nathan Bedford Forrest story shows us yet again how important historical consciousness and clarity is (and how depressing/dangerous willful historical ignorance is)

    news stories like this one, about the an old woman in St Louis, whoe wallet was stolen 75 years ago, wand which she just got back, is nothing short of wonderful

    an excerpt: A St. Louis TV station recognized Sissom’s name and reached out to Baltzell to see whether it could deliver the wallet to her.
    Sissom, a 1947 graduate of Centralia High who now lives in the St. Louis area, was shocked to see the tattered red wallet after all these decades.
    “I can’t imagine somebody stole all those wallets and put them behind the toilet in a space I didn’t even know was there,” Sissom said.
    The wallet contained pictures of classmates she hadn’t seen in years. She was also excited to find a picture of her brother, who was fighting in World War II at the time but has since died.
    “I was just so glad to get that, because I don’t have a picture of him,” Sissom said.
    She didn’t find any money in there, but she did find her Social Security card, which she admitted she’d been looking for for 70 years.

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  51. Deborah said on July 13, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    We’re in Paris now, arrived around 5pm after an uneventful train ride. The weather here is cooler, thankfully.

    Since tomorrow is Bastille day there are firecrackers going off, it’s about 10:00 so not horribly late for that. Hopefully it won’t go on much longer.

    We walked over to Notre Dame, from the street it doesn’t look nearly as bad as I was expecting. From the front it looks just the same as before.

    We had a picnic in Luxembourg gardens which is close to our hotel, it stays open until 9:15. Our hotel is in the Latin Quarter, a place we’ve never stayed before, it’s across the street from the Pantheon. Our room is tiny, which is fine we’re only going to sleep here.

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  52. LAMary said on July 13, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    I was the fifth of five kids, the only girl, and born 8 plus years after the youngest boy. My mother liked to dress me in very classic girly things. Shopping at Best and Company, the whitest old money department store that ever existed and knitting sweaters with matching knee socks for me. She had good taste from what I can recall. She got very sick when I was 6 and died a year later, but I remember very nice crisp cotton blouses and subtle plaid pleated skirts. For a beach party she put me in pleated khakis and a red and white striped tee shirt, which was very classy. I had the short bangs and pageboy too, but we’re talking late fifties when even Mamie Eisenhower had short bangs. I don’t think there was ever as much effort put into dressing my brothers. Boys were not nearly as cooperative about that sort of thing.

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  53. Jakash said on July 13, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Hmmm… 2018 white evangelical share of national vote: 26%. 2018 white evangelical share of U. S. population: 15%. So there’s a handy statistical factor which helps to explain the nation’s slide toward becoming a theocracy.

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  54. Suzanne said on July 13, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Very interesting, Jakash. The religious conservatives vote. They always vote. They don’t see politics as an opinion on the direction people want the country to move. For them, it’s a method for God to achieve his ends on earth. They aren’t voting for themselves but to enact the will of God. That’s why it’s so hard to change their minds and so hard to reason with them. They truly believe they know how God wants his most favored nation to be run and they don’t want to face God someday, as they absolutely believe they will, and have God question if they did their all to help him. Zealots.

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  55. Sherri said on July 13, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Brian, Bill Lee grew up in Tennessee around the same time I did. It’s inconceivable he’s unaware of Nathan Bedford Forrest or his significance. He just doesn’t care.

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  56. Deborah said on July 14, 2019 at 1:57 am

    They are expecting some protesting by the yellow vests today, Bastille day, in Paris, mostly on the Champs Elysee. Apparently there have been protests steadily every Saturday with about 100 protestors each time. Today they are expecting more but still not a lot. There is a story on International CNN that over 20 protestors have lost an eye, mostly as a result of rubber bullets. We will stay clear of the Champs Elysee but I’m not worried, I’m sure the city will be crowded and crazy though.

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  57. Deborah said on July 14, 2019 at 4:54 am

    We’re at a cafe for breakfast, the big military parade is happening that Trump is so jealous of, it’s at the Champs Elysee, we can hear the roaring aircraft overhead. We could see a few of them.

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  58. LAMary said on July 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    My grand niece, Sarah, is on the women’s national inline skate hockey team. They just got their third international championship in Barcelona.

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  59. Sherri said on July 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Yay, Sarah!

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  60. Deborah said on July 14, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    I’m tired. We walked 9.7 miles today in Paris. It wasn’t as crowded and crazy as I expected, who knows why, maybe the French aren’t as gaga over Bastille day as Americans are for the 4th of July. Or maybe the possibility of yellow vest protests kept them away. Who knows?

    As I said we heard roaring aircraft during the parade and saw a few before we got to our breakfast cafe. After breakfast as we were walking away we saw lots and LOTS of helicopters flying in formation, huge ones, medium sized ones and small ones.

    Later we went to the Musee L’Orangerie where the Monet waterlily paintings are because tomorrow we’re taking a train day trip to Giverny to see Monet’s garden. There were lots of people in the museum and it was fascinating to watch tourists experience the whole exhibit through their phone cameras, taking videos and stills, barely glancing at the paintings directly. I don’t want to stereotype but the Asian tourists did this more than others. There are a lot of Chinese tourists here now, many more than in December when we were here last.

    Our goal was to walk our patooties off in Paris and I think we’re going to easily meet it.

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  61. Sherri said on July 14, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I sure hopes this results in a profile of Monica Lewinsky by Taffy Brodesser-Akner!

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  62. JodiP said on July 14, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Deborah, we went to L’Orangerie in October, too. We were able to go right away in the morning, so it wasn’t too crowded. We purposefully left our phones in our purses to really *see* the paintings. There were perhaps two other poeple in a room of 50 that did this. I think we spent an hour just taking them all in. We also went to the floor below to see the other art–so many artists I’d never heard of, so I learned a lot.

    LA Mary, congrats to your niece and her team! The USA women’s teams are on a streak: everyone knows about the World Cup, but we also won softball and volleyball world championships! I am not very sportsy, but this still makes me so happy.

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