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by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Never let it be said that I am not in the mainstream of things. I read most of the newspapers each day of my life, watch several news programs and manage to stay aware of current trends and fads as they come and go from our collective socially consciousness. By this time of the morning, I have heard way more information than I need to get me through the day.

I have to admit, most of the stuff you get is very repetitious and just a variation on the same theme. Not very original.

Nukes in Korea
Nukes in Iran
Deaths in Iraq
Starving children in Africa
Someone new running for President
Unrest in the Middle East

Sad to say, but this seems to be our lot in life these days. Misery and more misery.

But, wait, there is a smidgen of hope, a ray of sunshine.

Over the weekend, we were in a bed and breakfast. In our room was a variety of magazines that are never in our house concerning things I would not buy at the store. These were fashion magazines. I'm not a big fan of current fashion, but thought I'd just skim through one and see what was hot and what was not.

First off, let me tell you that the people, who buy the majority of these clothes, in my humble opinion, have more money than they have good sense. For example, on one of the pages is a photograph of a forty something year old woman wearing a dress, not a gown, a dress that costs $83,000. You can buy a house for $83,000. You can probably buy two houses or at least two double wides for that much.

It says she is friends of the designer, so do you think she really paid this much for this thing or is that the retail price for those of you out there who might wish to run down and try one on? First off, where would you go to try one on? Not in any store close to where we live. This outfit (the dress, not the shoes or anything else) isn't that great looking to me, but then what do I know? What makes a dress worth this much? This one has a silver look to it, but I'd bet a dress of solid silver would be cheaper than $83,000. Not that you could wear a dress of solid silver, even if you wanted to. A solid silver dress might be a better investment, as far as dress investments go. Do people invest in dresses? I'll do some research and get back to you on this.

A dress like that should last a lifetime. In fact a dress that expensive should be all you need for a lifetime. I have to suppose it's made of some super tough fabric, maybe polyester and has multiple stitching so it won't tear or fall apart. Of course, wearing this creation day in and day out for several years would likely call attention to yourself and might defeat the original purpose. I don't think the customers who purchase such garments as these, use them very often. Heaven forbid.

Speaking of polyester, I keep wondering when those shirts are going to come back in style? I see all the young dudes of today wearing old snap button cowboy shirts with the shirttails hanging out and I wonder how much longer it will be before polyester is back in vogue.

I can assure you that even if they do come back, do not look for me to take that look up again. Those things were horrible looking and hot as all get out. I do not have any stashed in any closet in my house. I suppose we gave them all away and they found their way to some village in Asia or Africa. Some local probably thinks he's styling just like the guy in Saturday Night Fever or whatever that movie was. I bet we could feed his entire village for a year for the price of that one dress that I mentioned earlier.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that would seem to me to be a better use of their money rather than trying to play 'Look at me, I can afford a dress that costs this much." A dress they can't wear very often at any rate.

I appreciate nice things. I am happy that other people can afford really nice things and I don't begrudge them for wanting them. I do draw the line on some things that do seem a little bit excessive. A dress is a dress, the same as socks are socks….are $2,000 socks better than ones I buy at Wal-Mart?

Probably not, and I bet no one really cares in the long run. I'd be willing to bet those people in Africa or Asia who need food or medical supplies would remember you more for helping them than they would what you wore in February.
© Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

February 16, 2007 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com
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