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Saturday, January 19, 2013

When did the shift happen?

Yesterday, while grocery shopping, I ran into a friend of mine at the local Wal-Mart.  He's worked there for well over 8 years, and used to work with my husband for awhile.  He's watched me get pregnant, have the boys and watch the boys grow up over the years.

Somehow we started talking about the website "People of Walmart," and I had joked that once I stalked this woman around the store trying to get a picture of her to send into the website.  It was then I realized the huge shift that society, and even myself, has taken in the last 10 years.

Before the boys were born, I was known to go grocery shopping at 2AM just because there were no crowds and I could get in and out quickly.  While there, I'd see people wandering in in their pajamas and slippers and a jacket on.  I would roll my eyes and think, "Who the hell goes out in public dressed like that?!"  It's also where the true hilarity of the picture floating around on the web where the woman was being interviewed and said she loved Walmart because she didn't have to get all dressed up to go there hits home.

I live 5 minutes from Walmart.  Right behind it. I could walk there, if I believed in walking. :)  

Most mornings, I'm so busy getting the boys up and dressed, lunches packed, arguing over turning DS' off and getting a book and getting out the door to go to the bus that I don't even bother getting dressed.  I just put on a jacket and go to the bus stop.  Hey, don't judge me.

And some mornings, after I drop the boys off, I find myself wandering into Walmart to pick up water, medicine, something the boys need, in my jammies.  At 8am, usually everyone is all dressed up for work, but there are a few people in jammies with me.

When did the shift happen?  When did we as a society decide it's okay to go out in public in our pajamas?  When did I decide it was okay to wander around in my pajamas?

Is it that we just don't care what people think of us anymore?  Is it that we've gotten older, so we don't care what teenagers think of us anymore?  Is it that we just don't expect much from people anymore?

It's generational, but it's more than that.  My great aunt never leaves the house unless she's nicely dressed, has her hair done, makeup on, perfume on.  I see her in the store, and I feel like a slob.  But I'm not so sure it's the 70+ group has more respect for themselves than we do, I think it's society as a whole.  

Back when my grandmother and great-aunt were growing up, they never left the house without being "done up." They dressed up for church, they never wore clothes with holes in them, they bought their grandchildren pretty dresses for church on Easter Morning.

Now we have people who wear holey jeans to church on Sunday, who think a pair of dockers and a polo shirt are suitable wedding guest attire, and people (like me) who wander into Walmart in their pajamas at all times of day.

What do you think?  Is this change a generational or a societal shift?

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