A standard is more ...than just a flagpole

Okay, I’ll admit I am (quickly) becoming an old fogey! I grouch and I grumble about politics, the way kids are dressing and how people on the dole are spending my money. I gripe about the price of everything from ten-cent candy bars costing a dollar to $3,200 cars now costing $32,000!! I beef about drivers young and old and about prices going up while wages and jobs are floundering. I even piss and moan about slobs who wear house slippers and pajama pants in public, young men who wear gym shorts that come down to their ankles and every person who squats down within my line of vision, displaying their “butt crack”! (You’ll never know how many times I want to walk past and drop a “quarter in their piggy bank”!!) What is wrong with people?

I remember that there was dignity when schoolteachers dressed in slacks and sport coats or dresses and heels. Now it’s difficult to determine the adult from the adolescent with the ripped-up jeans and low-slung pants or how about dressing up to go to town or church? Remember when everybody’s Dad wore a hat or when you had to change your school clothes before going out to play? I don’t recall any of these behaviors being written in stone; people inherently knew how to behave and cared about how they were perceived. 

Back in the day (before I became a certifiable fogey) when American women were staking a claim for equality we made a few “social blunders”! Because we were no longer satisfied with being locked into “girl jobs”, we wanted the opportunity to decide the type of profession we’d enter. Women were on the move and unstoppable. We were pushing the proverbial envelope. So what did we do in the 60s to prove we were up to the task? Well, we burned our bras!! (That otta show ‘em!) I’m not sure how that would prove, “I’m as capable as you when it comes to hard work and to prove it I’ll torch my dainties” but, that’s what we did. As I said, there were a few false starts on our journey and some misperceptions before the public, but we persevered and look at the female gender now … we made entry into nearly every type of profession available, some successful and some not so much, but overall we achieved the goal with a measure of dignity.

Lest the guys think I’m ignoring their advances in a variety of professions, I applaud you as well. Times have changed and guys are also unfettered by gender parameters. No one looks askance at male stewards, bakers, chefs, nurses or Mr. Moms. It’s a day and age when we can be comfortable in our own skins without feeling the need to explain ourselves, and we’ve all managed the progress with distinction and self-esteem.

All this being said with an open mind and supportive understanding, I still wrestle with that old school attitude of public propriety; for example this Session a state senator, who is also a new Mom, missed a floor vote when she left to nurse her infant instead of tending to her elected duties. This decision not only upset the voting majority at which time the opposition decided to run amok, but it also caused me to wonder if she really thought that was the best thing to do at the time? Maybe she didn’t even give a thought to the consequence of her action. Is nursing a child when you are “on the clock” right and proper? Wouldn’t it have been better to “pump” and “serve” instead of leaving the floor? What the heck was her baby doing at the Capitol anyway? Is daycare unavailable? While the old age question of which came first, the chicken or the egg has never been answered, the new age question should perhaps be, does fulfilling a “taxpayer” funded position take precedence over breast feeding? Ms. Senator may have been within her “rights” to nurse her child, but there are certain things in life that are proper and appropriate. A time and place for everything. The “old fogey” in me believes everything isn’t okay or acceptable, just because it’s “allowable” to ignore social graces. Maybe it’s an issue of poise, standards or self-regard. It is apparent some people have it; others never will, but I can say with certainty, “standards” are more than just poles upon which we hang flags! 

by / Sherrie Bond

Sherrie Bond serves as Director of the Northwest Log Truckers’ Cooperative. She can be reached via email at BONDTRUCK@aol.com.