Where is the Saturday Night Bath?

By Marcia Tabram Philips

Over the years I have observed the increase of pant wearing women, play clothes on children, and casual tie-less men. Going to recent weddings, I’ve spied folks dressed in shorts and even jeans, and, believe it or not, bib overalls which shocked me. Some of these outrageous outfits needed washing and pressing. Even worse, at the formal wedding, the adult son of the bride walked his mother down the isle wearing an untucked sport shirt and sandals.

Add to this, children and even adults have been seen climbing over the pews to get in or out of their seat. I even witnessed one youngster fumble over the pew almost crashing into the treasured antique stain glass window.

Another annoyance, folks disrespectfully chatting during the sacred Sunday service. And, I don’t mean politely whispering with hand around mouth directing the voice away for other’s ears. I mean loudly so that the clergy takes a turn in their direction.

When growing up, the Saturday night bath ruled as the ritual in preparation of Sunday’s church events. Family preparations included washing the car, washing and pressing the Sunday-go-to-meeting finery, cleaning the house for, perhaps, unexpected guests, and preparing Sunday-after-church dinner. There was great expectations of Sunday’s church services and children were to be on their best behavior on the Lord’s day.

What happened to those great Sunday expectations?

It seems informality rules todays church events as well as those of the fine art performances, dinners at upscale linen clothed restaurants, parties, galas, including black tie invitations and other social events. Guests seem to arrive with sloppy, I don’t care dressing, and let me see how much I can get away with or how many people notice me attitudes.

When questioning my Marketing students about going to the Nutcracker ballet at Christmas, I asked them what did they remember. Every time they answered, getting dressed up, the excited anticipation, having good manners. I remember one girl going into great detail about her pink ruffled dress with all the petticoats and how special and grown up she felt.

After their remembrances, I inquired about what it was like going now. The students rapidly fired comments about the “pigs,” making disparaging remarks about their dress and bad behavior, lack of manners and social graces; moreover, how much they missed seeing the audience dressed in their finery. Then, to my surprise, they began to compare the attitudes and behaviors and how they longed the theatergoers would dress up once more making the event the coveted one. To them it seemed politeness and good manners disappeared with what seemed to be contests to see who could be the most outrageous and obnoxious.

If you want your children to aspire to climb to the top of the ladder of success, its important to teach them to dress and act the part at an early age. We adults, the wise elders they look up to, need to show by example as our kids are watching our every move.

Make events memorable, treasured and sacred. Believe it or not, clothes do make the man or woman or child. So dress for success now! Your kids will benefit from your leadership!

[author image=”http://kidzedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Marcia_PR-e1372869199343.jpg” ]Marcia Tabram Philips is recognized as an authority and expert on parenting, child rearing, and quality of life issues. Marcia traveled alongside the St. Charles Corps of Discovery as they reenacted the historic 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark. In an answer to the national child obesity crisis, she is the creator of The Law of Attractiveness for Life DVD series.[/author]

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