This week, summer prematurely came to New York and with it, came a few discoveries.
1. People on the East Side spend a lot of time on their knees, while people on the West Side spend a lot of time on their food. How else to explain the plethora of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils sprouting from every tree-trunk garden from East 69th Street to East 91st Street, and the presence of Zabars, Citarella, H&H, Barney Greengrass and Fairway in roughly the same area on the West Side of town?
2. When your children scooter to school, it is unwise to wear your brand new bright yellow beaded Rafe flats. You will get blisters. You will bleed. The yellow will turn orange. And not in a good way.You don’t want orange shoes.
3. Whichever Ice Cream your child wants from the Ice Cream vendor whether it’s neon green shots, disgusting Sponge Bob ice with gumball eyes, or even the basic Ice Cream sandwich — said vendor will be out of it.
4. I am old.
No, this isn’t about my upcoming birthday (Sunday – feel free to leave birthday greetings right here in the comment section. No. Really. Do.) This isn’t about saggy knees, or brown spots, or elbows that look as if they’ve been crumpled up in the back of a drawer for a few decades. No, I know I am old because I am consistently horrified by what “young girls” are wearing.
Yes, it seems I have jumped right from young mom in trendy threads, to disapproving Grandma in hip-high underwear without stopping at middle-aged woman still trying to be relevant.
Is there some rule that if you are female and possessing of a bustline you must display it so prominently that one might think your are at a State Fair, vying for the blue ribbon in Breast Augmentation?
Did I miss the memo that said your skirt must be so short that when you raise your arm to wave to your friend across the street, you must reveal a thong so wedged in that one wonders if it’s reappearing on the other side?
Did someone forget to mention to me that tank tops must be worn below the bra line, so that all you need is a glass of mead and some rotten teeth to accurately approximate a Medieval serving wench?
Did I neglect to hear the phone mail about displaying one’s love handles at every opportunity? Or the one about wearing your pants so low you practically need to straddle as you walk, to keep them from falling down?
What ever happened to keepin’ it covered? If you’re twenty-something, well, OK. I don’t love it, but at least you’re twenty something. What I don’t get is women thirty, forty, even fifty-something wearing belly shirts. Here’s a newsflash: I don’t care how fit you are: unless you’re a movie star or a porn star, once you’ve given birth, nobody wants to see your stomach. (Over forty Olympian Dara Torres is the exception that proves the rule.)
Plus, the flesh on display is not always taut – even when it is young. I suppose I should think it’s great that these girls feel confident enough about their bodies that they don’t care that they’re muffin-topping it around town. But I don’t even like seeing the svelte ones so scantily clad I wonder if they forgot to finish getting dressed before they fired up their i-phones and left the house. Why on earth would I want to see the pudgy ones busting out of their hip-huggers?
When I was a teenager, Preppy was in. We must have looked ridiculous, a bunch of frizzy haired Jewish girls in multiple polo shirts with the collars turned up, as if we thought the real Wasps might not notice we were poseurs if we piled on the polos with aplomb. Our look was Wasp-wanna-be.
Now, the look seems to be “hooker with good highlights.”
The other day in Zabars I saw a polo-wearing college boy with his short-short wearing, bra displaying, tummy flashing, $400 haircut sporting girlfriend. Preppy and the parentally supported Porn Star.
See? I’m old. Passing judgment on the young folks just because they flash a lot of flesh. Maybe I should look at it this way: when I go sleeveless and wave at my friend accross the street, I’m flashing it too: my arm-wattle is in it’s wiggly glory.
I hope I don’t start becoming intolerant of other things. Like people who don’t move aside to let you off the train. Or people who wait on the line at Starbucks for fifteen minutes, get up to the counter, and then start debating what to order. Men who clip their nails on the subway. Women who paint their nails on planes. Rest room patrons who don’t wipe the seat.
Oh wait. I already am intolerant of those people. Maybe I’m not old – I’m just me: negative, critical, intolerant me. And I thought I was getting old. What a relief!