Sunday, July 13, 2008

More Stuff I Don't Get

Okay, I'm back again with more stuff I don't get. I'm a smart gal, but sometimes the mysteries of this world just escape me. Some things just annoy me, other things I question why they even exist. For example...

Teenagers with Coach Purses and Boob Jobs - When I was in high school, I thought I was the sheeiiit because I had a Liz Claiborne purse. It was so pretty - light tan vinyl with all those tiny triangles all over it. I think it even had REAL leather handles. I guess that justified the $60 price tag. I wanted one soooooo bad that my mom went ahead and let me... buy one with my own money. No way in hell was she going to pay $60 for a purse for a kid who goes to school and gets pen marks all over it, then sets it on the lunch table so a Coke can get spilled on it, while a Clinique Free Bonus Lipstick was melting inside all over the lining.

Now, it's not that I didn't take care of my stuff. Okay, well maybe I could have done better.... but really! I was a teenager. Aren't those years of teen angst the time when we learn by making mistakes? When we cut our teeth on our experiences? So, I'm not sure my parents were too far off base to insist that if I wanted an expensive purse I had to earn the money myself and pay for it the grown-up way. That way if I didn't take care of it at least they didn't have to throw their own money away on it.

So, now that I'm a grown up, I would LOVE to have a Coach purse. Do I? Hmmm.... well I think that Clinique lipstick is still in the bottom of my purse.... so the answer is no. Could I have one if I wanted one? I guess so. Well, maybe, if I told my husband that the purse only cost $40 and I'm not sure what that other charge on the statement is, I'll have to look into it. I may be older now but it just seems to me that everything adult is becoming everything for everyone. Coach (and Louis Vuitton and Gucci and Dooney & Burke) purses used to be only for the ladies who lunched at the country club. Now it will only a matter of time before I see a kindergartener hopping out of her parents' BMW with a Coach pencil case. While it may be true that these folks can afford it, who says these kids NEED it? It's natural for kids to want stuff that everyone else has, but where does the line get drawn between, Yes that's okay for a kid to have and No you need to become an adult to appreciate that.

Another case in point: I used to get acrylic nails for myself. It was the one luxury I afforded myself - I don't get my hair highlighted and usually I even just cut it myself. But when I would substitue teach at the local high school, every girl who came in a plopped her Dooney & Burke purse on the desk had a full set of beautiful nails. And a tan from the tanning beds. And highlighted hair. I'm thinking.... where do these girls get the money to do all this? And how exactly to they justify it to their parents as being a necessity?

And, the icing on the cake, I have a friend whose cousin has gotten a boob job (enhancement). Her 18-year-old cousin. True, I know that not too many teenagers have gotten boob jobs. Okay, I'm talking about kids who get bigger boobs, not the ones who have a real medical concern and need a breast reduction. I guess I'm not questioning the teenagers so much as I am questioning the adults involved. If they are parents, the surgeon, other relatives, friends' parents, whoever they may be, they need to have a finger wagged at them. When I was 17 or 18, my boobs were just coming into existence and, while I dreamed of bigger jugs, I only had to wait a few years for my dream come true. I guess it's natural to always want what ya don't have: Size DD want a C, size B want a D, and so on. But a teenager certainly can't be ready to make that decision yet when they can't even decide to buy beer or gamble in Vegas or even vote for the next President.

Then, I started to think: Why is getting a boob job so different from getting, say, braces on your teeth? In most cases, neither one is medically necessary. In most cases, it is simply done to assist in physical appearance. Some may say that if teeth (or boobs) do not look the way society has deemed as "attractive" that it will impend on that person's future prospects for a job (i.e. future earnings), a spouse, and just all-around social acceptance. As a society we have decided that braces to assist in straightening teeth is acceptable for teenagers but cosmetic surgery is not. Even the expense argument is the same: Braces aren't cheap! What ever happened to loving ourselves the way God made us?

So now I've stumped myself. Whatta ya think?

Oh, but I'm still never buying my kid a Coach purse.

Next week: Ketchup


Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Not that I am justifying it, but these days there are these home parties for purses/etc. and they sell knock off Coach purses that look really real. It could be that the sudden influx of Coach purses in your life (besides your move to a Texas metropolis)is fueled by that.

I remember being so jealous of you in high school because you always had Levi's (I wore Venture (remember Venture) brand) and Guess and stuff like that. Those weren't that extravagent to many teens (like Abercrombie and Hollister isn't too off the top to many now) but it was to me. Extravagant is very relative.


Donna-Michele said...

I have coach classic purses in brown, cream, tan and black. I have had them all since the 90s. They were purchase over a several year period in consignment shops.

Mom showed us how to consign old clothes and buy 'new' ones, and use the consignment shopt to buy stuff we couldnt otherwise afford or didnt want to spend the money on.

Two of the dresses I wore to other's proms were from consignment.

Everyone is different.. I dont think ANY cosmetic surgery should be done before the age of 18 because kids heal differently and are still growing. (That is cosmetic, not medically necessary.)Our way to handle it was.... let them do it after college, if they want to, once they are comfortable in their own skin, with their own money.