411 Focus

Back in the day, men wouldn't be caught dead without a belt... Things have changed. Belt? Surely you jest!

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils maslivend@sbcglobal.net

The belt, the power

If you are old enough to be a grandparent, and/or you’ve been around “grand-eligible” folks, you’ve probably heard the expression, “…before you get your _- -_oomers in a knot…” The missing letters – b and l make it an almost sacred word, referencing the “now generation,” or “Generation X.”

If you go back really, really far, you’ll find yourself surrounded by guys in suspenders, wide ones with perhaps dingy gray or blue and white straps, with a metal catch that fastened onto the top of some work pants, like Levis… back when they weren’t considered cool – and they weren’t! They were mud-worthy work pants, britches for men pulled and jerked in the field by a pair of ol’ stubborn mules with blinders to keep them “in line!”

At the end of the day, the scuffed boots – or brogans – would be tossed toward a spot designated by the “missus,” who would not stand for red clay dirt messing up the floor she’d just mopped!

Where was I? Oh, yeah… Back in the day, men wouldn’t be caught dead without a belt... except plumbers, and they were only found in the city. Folks that worked in the field didn’t have running water… at least the folks I knew didn’t.

Men, and those practicing to be, wouldn’t leave the house ‘til they were decked out: Stetson hat tipped down a taste in front and leaning seductively to the side, a razor sharp crease in the pants that crept up a fraction of an inch past the navel to play peekaboo with every step on the dance floor, that little sliver of light hurting the eyes every time it bounced off those “spit-shined” Stacy Adams… A girl could be mesmerized by those fine, chocolate-coated men! They. Looked. Good! Have this dance? Are you kidding? This one… and all the rest – for the next hundred years!

Things have changed. Belt? Surely you jest! Today’s guys – a bunch of’ em, anyway – wouldn’t be caught dead with a belt. Now, on the other hand, the belt, absent, is often why they get caught – or dead!

For many of today’s boys the “low-slung” style’s origin was shame. It was an effort at camouflage: “If I put my belt, when I wear one, below my waist, people will be duped.They won’t notice that I indeed have a derriere,” French for buttocks or behind. It was as if the derriere indicated femininity, and what man wants to seem feminine?

Now, take a few minutes to look at the physical structure of your ancestors. Notice the difference in build between them and others. Consider the different body types, how they matched the environment where people lived; and how, as people migrated to other places, the body structure changed from generation to generation.

I am a bit worried about what damage today’s habits will inflict on future generations. Will this generation’s progeny be A-shaped, with short legs, and tripodish feet twenty or thirty inches apart, feet that cannot touch each other?

No one knows what we’re doing to future generations, if humanity lasts that long… and most folks don’t give a damn. Nonetheless, just as we came from a long line of people, if the world survives, our habits will determine every future generation.

John Donne wrote, “No man is an Island…” Everything we do – or don’t – impacts humanity… for as long as there is humanity

Story Posted:06/23/2018

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