Thursday, January 24, 2008

I See London, I See France...I am sick of seeing your underpants

You know, it is really sad when we have to pass a law to make people pull up their pants.

This morning on my drive to work I heard about a bill moving through our government called the "Pull Up Your Britches Bill". It basically makes it illegal to wear pants that expose your unmentionables. I rather thought it should have been called the "I See London, I See France Bill," but no one asked me. Again.

I recently saw a kid wearing pants that were so low I almost missed my green light trying to figure out how he kept them from falling straight down to the ground. Safety pins? Velcro? Lots of practice walking without moving his hips? I wasn't sure, but I didn't approve. I also tire of seeing teenage girls walking around with the hot pink waistband of their thong peeking from their low-rise jeans. Then again, maybe I'm just jealous.

This would be a great opportunity launch into a tirade about the days when we had a sense of decency and self-respect in regards to our appearance, but I am going to try to not do that. I remember seeing an episode of "Leave it to Beaver," when Wally and Beaver are taking a bus to visit a cousin, and Wally asks if he can wear his blue jeans for the journey. Ward replied in surprise, "Why no, Wally. You'll need to wear your slacks and a sport jacket!" It made me laugh because I know that no matter what era you choose, there have always been people muttering how they don't know what's up with kids these days.

So is there really anything wrong with kids wearing clothes that make them look like morons? I did it when I was a teenager and...well, you can draw your own conclusions there. But really, if the worst thing someone does is wear stupid-looking pants, do we really have a problem?

I think the issue is that we are worried that wearing stupid-looking pants is a gateway activity towards doing something worse. Come on, we've all looked at those kids and assumed they were up to no good. For all we know they are the valedictorian of their class, curing cancer by day and rescuing kittens by night. But if while they're doing these heroic things, we can see their underwear...well, I just have a hard time not laughing.

I think maybe this legislation should be renamed as the "You'll Thank Us Later" bill. Kids will be kids and wear their moronic clothes (and I have the family photo albums to prove it), but eventually they will be adults and, hopefully, utter those familiar words: "what's the matter with kids today?"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm Addicted to LOL

It's the new year, so its time to make some obligatory New Year resolutions. This year, I resolved to do a few things differently. For one, I am going to attempt a full year without frivilous credit card spending or fast food. Both ambitious, but both necessary for a good 2009. So I am committed. The credit cards are out of my wallet, and my road trips will be fortified with Clif bars and homemade sandwiches. I can deal.

But one resolution has been harder to keep. Every day, I am compelled by an irresistable longing to conclude each sentence in an email by letting my fingers wander to some very special letters on my keyboard: LOL. I love using LOL. Okay, so I don't use it after every sentence, but it has gotten to the point where if I was indeed laughing out loud that often, I would lose my job, or at least be gently prodded to take advantage of our employee assistance program. LOL I love to laugh, but apparently I love telling people I am laughing even more.

LOL is such a quick and easy way to say, "get it?" or "you know what I am saying?" or even "wink, wink, nudge, nudge". LOL lets me add levity to a touchy situation, or convey that my opinion on so-and-so's new haircut is only meant in jest, and if confronted I would never actually say whatever I just LOLed about. Or, it is just an expression that I am not taking myself too seriously, and that my comments on the world are mostly tongue-in-cheek.

The truth is, I do laugh a lot, and I do laugh out loud. I like to laugh, and I like to make other people laugh. But lately I've started to feel that my constant use of LOL is diluting its impact. If I LOL at everything I think is even mildly amusing, maybe LOLing isn't that big of a deal. If I LOL at the drop of a hat, people might stop trying to make me LOL, and that would be a shame.

So, this year I resolve to stop overusing LOL and use it only in cases where it is absolutely necessary. Sure, others may resolve to get out of debt or volunteer more time to charity or stop stealing office supplies from their employer. But for me, developing coping mechanisms for ignoring the itch of my fingers that desperately want to type those three little taps on the keyboard will be rehabilitation enough.

What will I do instead to convey my emotions through email? I plan to begin abusing the smiley face. :)