Monday, September 29, 2008

I heart alliteration.

Apparently, I love alliteration. My last blogs are titled, "Fading Fire and Future Fury," and, "Fashionistas or Fascists?" I must really love the letter "F."

Maybe my blog can be brought to you by the letter "F," kind of like Sesame Street. The letter could be a friendly, green, F-Shaped Muppet that teaches you all about the greatness of sounds. Hmmm.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fading Fire and Future Fury

My grandparents, all four of them, lived through some of the most difficult and trying years in American history.

My Papa Hulsey heard the Gainesville tornado from his rural North Hall farm - he ran (yes, ran) into town to help those who needed help that day, and he watched a town in ruin slowly recover. My Granny Hulsey lived in South Georgia during some of the darkest days of the depression - her past is shrouded in mystery, but we do know that she moved very quickly with her family to Hall County. Was her father escaping debt? What happened to make her family leave so quickly? My Grandpaw Cain never forgot the Great Depression - he was always grateful to Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats for helping him out. He was so grateful, in fact, that he voted for Democrats in every major election since Roosevelt. The fact that he voted for Jimmy Carter speaks for itself.

But it is my Grandmother Cain, more affectionately known as "Memama," whose stories of the Great Depression resonate the most with me. She lost her father to cancer at eight years old. Her mother was placed in a sanatorium for tuberculosis a few years later. At a young age, she was left with no one but her older brothers and sisters to take care of her. Her brother Don worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps (the CCC) and her brother Fred worked for the Merchant Marines; both of her brothers would send their unfortunate siblings money when they needed it. Her family relied mostly on the charity of others to survive the dark, terrible years of depression.

All of this being said, I have a deep and heartfelt respect for those who lived through some of the most trying times in American history. The resilience of such a generation was displayed by the way they dealt with a terrible economic crisis coupled with the horrors of World War II.

And I watch as the stocks rise and fall, as President Bush makes his predictions, as the gas prices exponentially rise, and finally, I watch as those in the House and Senate debate on a 700 billion-dollar recovery plan to rescue our desperately failing economy.

Those who suffered through the worst are slowing dwindling away. Both my grandfathers are gone. My Grandpaw's life especially encompassed the meaning of work and sacrifice. I described the end of his life as a "fading fire" in his obituary. The Greatest Generation is leaving us.

Let me be honest - I am a part of a generation that is often self-absorbed, comfort-centered, and patience-lacking. I readily admit that I possess all of these traits.

My generation is spoiled by the America built by our forefathers. If the time comes where we must be more sacrificial, will we be ready? We are now the adults of this world. Can our generation handle the loss that may or may not come in our futures? Empires rise and fall - as a historian, I know this is true. Can my generation handle the day where America is no longer the lone superpower of the world?

I hope we can. I pray that God gives us the strength that He gave my ancestors. Until then, I watch with trepidation, thankful that my Grandpaw will not have to live through future fury that may come.

(Sorry I am so depressing...I will try to lighten the next one up a little.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fashionistas or Fascists?

In the past, I liked to peruse the pages of the lovely In Style Magazine. I found it fun to look through, colorful, and it often provided some great insight into my wardrobe.

I haven't always followed the newest fashion trends, and there are many, many that I have avoided (thank goodness - I'm sorry, skinny jeans don't look good on curvy women - they are called "skinny" for a reason). In high school and college, when t-shirts and jeans made up a majority of my wardrobe, I wasn't very fashionable.

When I became a working girl, I realized that I needed to up the pizazz factor a little bit, so I started looking for classic, sometimes slightly trendy pieces to accent my wardrobe. I made a few fashion faux pas, but for the most part I had fun trying to be a little trendy.

Until now.
I picked up my sister-in-law's copy of In Style on Saturday, and I found the five new pants styles for Autumn. I was and still am absolutely appalled.
I am listing them, along with some fake In Style commentary. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Cropped pants - "Now you too can look like Steve Urkel in these sexy cropped pants! People will wonder - do your pants fit, or are you just wearing them that high? Add an aura of mystery to your wardrobe!"

2. Skinny pants - "Yes, curvy girls - it's your worst nightmare come true! We let you have a few years with flared jeans - now the size zeros want to rule the world! These only look good on 1% of the population, and that includes all three Jonas Brothers!"
3. Pleated pants - "Girls, you can really go and raid your Mom's closet with this one. Remember those pants she wore in the 80's that you swear you'd ever wear again? Get 'em out, dust 'em off, and get ready to be stylish!"

4. High-waisted pants - "No more booties and muffins! With these pants, your belly will look like a million bucks (okay, everyone in Georgia will notice when you are bloated, but they look great on Victoria Beckham!). Grandma knew what she was thinking when she wore these!"
And, finally -

(oh, I dread it...)

5. HAREM PANTS. "We laughed when we watched M.C. Hammer dance around in his Hammer Pants, but who knew that he could be so fashionable? Add a cute Chanel Jacket, a few pieces of Prada jewelry, and you've got the cutest ensemble since Hammertime!"

I'm sorry. Harem Pants? Really?? These are the new Fall Fashion Trends??? Can someone shoot me now? I think I'm going to do like Audrey Hepburn did in the 80s and wear black, white, and classic pieces until this phase passes.

Those t-shirts and jeans are looking mighty nice right now...