Thursday, July 18, 2013

Feeling “Malled”

By Brenda Black

I lived during the 70's. It wasn't pretty back then. Big chunky shoes, gaudy patterns and way too many gigantic stripes running all the wrong directions. Either the dresses were too tiny or they were tent-like. Jump forward four decades and a visit to the mall is blinding! It's 1972 all over again.

Gargantuan blooms in vivid hues and more horizontal stripes than the tiniest of figures can handle. They all screamed from rack after rack like a bad dream that just kept repeating itself. 

No matter the name on the store, the dress selections barely covered the derriere or they kissed the ankles. And heaven forbid if you looked for a mid length. The mullet dress was the only alternative. What a mistake! Whoever designed these train wrecks didn't know how to conduct business up front or have a party in the back.

I tried to find the least offensive options and wriggled in to a dozen or so with absolutely zero success. If the cut even came close to workable, good ol' polyester ruined the possibilities. I tried on one little number that weighed more than my hefty Labrador, it was so decked out in layers. I left feeling discouraged, far from stylish and basically mauled by yards and yards of ugly.

No dress. How about shoes? Again, an adventure of extremes. Either flat or frighteningly steep. I'm past the point of heels that make my nose bleed. My back can't take it, my calves cry and I've seen way too many young ladies who try to master them, end up looking like tight rope walkers without a balancing pole. I like cute, but I like my comfort also.

Maybe I'm just out of touch, but do customers really like this stuff or is it just all that is offered? Shopper after shopper hauled their hideous, over-priced goods out the doors much to my dismay, as I walked away, determined to appreciate even more what hung in the closet at home.

I'm far from hip. Don't consider myself a fashionista. But I do have the common sense to not spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that looks like Sonny and Cher's living room drapes. I won't always fit with the trends and probably seem a bit boring with my preferred monochromatic garments. I'm okay with that. I suppose I should live and let live when it comes to fashion flair or failures, but I can't wait until this 70s throwback is thrown away and something a little more tasteful and elegant makes its debut. I'd even settle for recycling a different decade, if only the styles were more flattering and less like clown suits.

Cultural trends tend to shift, and often with the upheaval, modesty and good sense disappear. Peer pressure pushes us in to corners of “I had no other choice” in matters far more serious than what we are wearing. These are the times in which we live, but it doesn't mean we have to succumb to only what the world has to offer. God still calls us to be set apart and make the kind of choices that honor Him. We need to go to our prayer closets and seek His opinion rather than go with the flow of the masses. There's always a choice about what you wear on the outside – more importantly, how you clothe your heart.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

When you feel like the world is mauling you, look for the exit! Then run to the Lord and follow His timeless and perfect pattern.

No comments: