Whenever I see a movie that’s about the Greek or Roman era’s, I am stimulated to think about why the fashion of those times did not hold over. Toga’s, caftans and other loose and flowing garments were very much a part of the culture. Both men and women wore loincloths similar to Tarzan’s. Imagine life without wedgies!
Fashion has definitely changed, but I don’t think for the better. Most of what we wear is constricting and made so that the focus is on what we look like rather than what we feel like. Underwear is often uncomfortable, especially bras that have an underwire. I don’t know how many times I have taken a bra off and seen what looks like track marks under my breasts. I think that getting older does have something to do with clothing feeling claustrophobic. Perhaps that’s why my mother, who was a fashion plate in her youth, ended up wearing boxy trousers, loose t-shirts and shoes that looked like they belonged to a Hobbit.
In retrospect I realize that she finally said “the hell with how I look, I need to feel the freedom of loose clothing”. Eventually she didn’t even wear a bra, which I thought was appalling, especially when she went out in public. I thought what if people notice. Now I think who cares! Is there a bra police that reports you for going braless? I watch some women strutting their stuff in their tight blue jeans, little tops and heels that are 6 inches high and I think “Thank God it’s not me”. Oh I have moments of nostalgia when I remember how I poured myself into some of my hot little outfits. However, those are distant memories and I am enjoying some of the changes I have accommodated myself to like roomier clothing. I’ve found that you need the room since it seems that by the time the evening rolls around my body has somehow expanded. I don’t know why or how that happens, but you do end up feeling a little like a zeppelin. Even with my new found freedom, I still love steeping myself in the joys of disrobing. Nothing feels as good as taking everything off and slipping on a nice nightgown, robe and slippers. It feels like every part of my body sighs with relief and gratitude that at last it has permission to let everything “just hang out”.
As I watched the protestors in Egypt railing against their government so that they might gain freedom from thirty years of being ruled by a dictator, I felt an overwhelming joy that I was able to witness the courage and bravery that we humans are capable of.
I was especially taken with the young people and the fervor they portrayed. It gave me pause to think about how often society mocks the habits of the young, especially their attachment to cell phones and texting. I have often remarked to my grandchildren that they will soon become one with their phones. However, this amazing foray into a nation’s democracy would not have occurred without the spirit of the young and the social networking that they have so grown accustomed to. It shows unequivocally that technology can be a tremendous blessing and that we must use it as such rather than as a conduit to becoming alienated from one another.
I also felt incredible gratitude as I listened to the participants in the rallies for the many years I have lived in freedom. We, Americans have never been held hostages by a government that disallows our ability to follow our hopes and dreams. Our right to speak out is available and encouraged. Our airwaves are filled with individuals who are allowed to say just about anything. The Egyptian government and others like it do not allow any news that vilifies those in public office. Not a day goes by here without some caustic and crude remark about some politician. We do not sit in fear in our homes waiting for some covert agency to show up and spirit us away to never be seen again. We come and go without restraint, unless we are a criminal or deemed insane, and even then we are not put in a gulag type facility to be left drooling and overmedicated.
I hope that many of you felt a new-found respect for your freedom as I did. I know I take it for granted because I have become accustomed to the privileges it gives me. Perhaps this is the greatest lesson we can learn from Egypt’s journey to freedom, that we must never take living in this country for granted. We are fortunate and because we are, it is our responsibility to make sure we never surrender our freedom to anyone.