Last week we took an elderly minister to a neighboring town for a couple of doctor's appointments. He was unable to drive due to some medical issues he had been having, although as he stoutly assured us, it had nothing to do with the fact that he was 84!
Well, of course not.
While we were sitting in the pleasantly appointed waiting room I looked around enjoying the good landscape reproductions on the walls, the well-tended real plants (none of those odious plastic things in this upscale establishment, thank you very much) and the general air of good taste.
That is, unless I allowed my eyes to dwell upon the patients coming and going through the main lobby. What were these people thinking?
Most of the jeans had holes in the knees - at a minimum - and some seemed to be absolutely shredded from the thighs to the knees. More than one fellow had on some kind of T-shirt, baggy shorts, and flip-flops, while the women seemed to have lost their elan' altogether.
More than one lady had apparently dashed out the door in such a hurry to be treated that she had donned her knit top inside-out. Why else would seams be on the outside of the garment?
I almost felt sorry for those who had forgotten to button their shirts; but at least they had worn some kind of undershirt that was almost covering their, ahem ... their upper torso.
I suppose they could not help it, if they could not afford an iron, but one had to ask oneself whether, at least, they could have mended the rips and tears in their outfits before dashing off to the doctor's office. Just wondering.
Never being one to keep my opinions strictly to myself, I leaned over and whispered to the *LOC, "Did these folks all just fall out of bed and come straight over here, do you suppose?"
"What do you mean?" he asked, clueless and with very little interest. He was engrossed in his book.
"Well, I mean they all either look like they just got out of bed and didn't bother to put on something besides what they slept in, or they came here directly from working out at the gym. I'm sorry, but they look a little tacky to me."
"Marsha", he said with a weary air "It is summer, and it is hot. Not everyone feels the need to dress like they are going to a tea."
Now I was wearing simple slacks, a decent blouse (ironed) and sandals. Trust me, I have never "gone to tea" dressed like that in my entire life!
But I knew what he was implying, so I replied, archly, "Well, this is just the way I was raised."
"Yes, but that was a hundred years ago."
I have to admit, I had to laugh. This is the guy that is usually telling me that I look at least twenty years younger than my real age; so I knew he really was saying "Jiggs, mind your own business."
He had a point.
# # #
About forty-five minutes later, we had returned to the car as our passenger had appeared in the lobby and was about ready to leave. We thought we would get the car started and have the air-conditioning going by the time he made it through the lobby, down the steps, across the side walk, and into the parking lot.
A few minutes later we watched as our older friend attempted to open the door of a nearby vehicle, of a similar color and make as our own, parked about two spaces from us. The lady in the driver's seat, who had just started her engine looked quite startled, I must say.
The LOC jumped out of our car and called out, "We're over here."
That saintly old man snatched his hand back from the car door handle as though he had been scalded, and as quickly as his mobility allowed, scuttled over to us and got in.
"Whew. That could have been really embarrassing. I thought that lady was you, Marsha."
I looked over at her again, and just began to chuckle to myself. She was at least twenty years younger than I am, and was not much more than oh.... well, let's just say she was a tad thin, and I am not.
I might have been complimented, except for one thing. The appointment he had just come from was with the eye doctor!
# # #
Times change, don't they? Fashions are nothing like the ones I was raised with, and no one wants to listen to me get snippy about how standards have fallen. Particularly not the LOC.
And this little incident reminded me that what we wear on the outside matters very little. However, what we wear around our spirits, what we choose to wrap our hearts in, now that is another matter altogether.
If we choose, He will give us "garments of joy"(Psalm 30:11) and those are much better than anything a tailor or seamstress in this world can ever come up with.
# # #
Hope your Labor Day weekend is healthy, happy, and not too hot.
Until next time - your old-fashioned, but smiling fellow traveler ~ Marsha
(*Lovable Old Coot)