Tuesday, August 07, 2007

DO CLOTHES HORSES WEAR POLO SHIRTS? If clothes make the man, dressing for success is done one pant leg at a time. A scientist needs a white lab coat. Both male and female executives need to be well coiffed in tailored suits, but the female executive has a chip on her shoulder from hitting her head on the glass ceiling. Politicians, with their hands out and talking out both sides of their mouths, should wear conservative suits accessorized, of course, with flag pins. Accessories are an important part of the look. A professor with a worn briefcase looks like he knows more than a professor with a new briefcase. Add patches to the elbows of the professor's tweed jacket and gray, unruly hair and you've got a professor who looks more than tenured. He's looks twelveured. Patches on a NASCAR driver's jacket and badges on an eagle scout's uniform, however, aren't accessories. They are real signs of achievement. A few years ago yellow was the power color. To look powerfully successful men wore yellow ties. I knew yellow was a power color as soon as I got married. In fact, seeing a traffic light turn yellow still has the power to make John drive faster. Many people think wearing designer clothes – any color - makes them look important; but my grandmother never understood why people paid more for clothes that had labels on the outside. She thought wearing the Nike swoosh or the Polo horse was like wearing a one-sided sandwich board. Prominent actresses dress in designer gowns for award ceremonies, but today's starlets undress for success. Fully clothed, many couldn't act well enough to act like actresses. Teenagers want to dress like their favorite stars. It's copycat chic - boys in clothes too big and girls in clothes too small. Teens must expect their stars' fame to wear off on them. When my boys were growing up, dressing for success meant wearing their "Sunday best" – no t-shirts, no jeans, no sneakers. Clothes were Sunday best if wearing them made the boys groan, "Do I have to?" My boys think they're lucky because dressing for anything in Southern California is casual. I'm casual in black. Wearing black is convenient because everything matches. Unfortunately, the only place I look dressed for success is at funerals. In fact, the only place I'm sure I'll see a man wearing a tie is in a casket. Heaven must be formal. I feel better. Thank you!
SICK OF EATING HEALTHY? When I read package labels in the supermarket, am I the only one who thinks I'm reading about "hellth" food? A food manufacturer makes his products low fat. That sounds healthy, right? Wrong. The products have so much sugar I could serve them for dessert. I recently read that the average American eats two and a half pounds of sugar a week. First, who are these average Americans? If they eat that much sugar, shouldn't they be easy to see? By eating natural sugar in things like apples - plus anything that means sugar because it ends in "ose" - plus man-made sugars like high fructose corn syrup, I supposedly see an average American every time I look in the mirror. How come if I'm constantly on a sugar high, I find this depressing? Supposedly the closer food is to a natural state, the healthier it is. Call me pessimistic, but based on that I expect food manufacturers to lobby Congress to change a state's name to Natural. The closer food was to that state, the closer to Natural it would be. I love breads, pastas and rice. Wasn't there a time when loading up on these was supposed to be good? Wasn't it what runners ate to build energy? Now these foods are called "refined". Now they're not good because they're man-made. Obviously, refined doesn't mean man made it fine twice. Then there are the chemicals that are put in foods to increase shelf life. My son's cereal has an expiration date of 2010. I'd eat it too if I'd have a longer shelf life. Why not? By the time I've used brown sugar, raisins and milk to make a bowl of good-for-me oatmeal taste good, I've turned it into a breakfast sundae. It's not easy to eat healthy. I tried to get my family to eat tofu, but they insisted I'd put meat tenderizer on an eraser. Serving fresh vegetables was more successful, but my younger son refused to eat eggplant. He won't eat eggplant because our dog won't eat it and dogs drink out of toilets. No eggplant for him – no Coke for me. When I was a child I used Coke to take rust off my bike. It can't be good. For years I told the boys that chocolate wasn't good for them. Now they say chocolate is healthy because it strengthens bones. Snickering is healthy! I feel better. Thank you!

Knight Pierce Hirst

I may be the only writer who has moved to Los Angeles for the weather.

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