Saturday, July 18, 2009

Smarty Pants

I am guilty. I am one of those people who should probably just 'fess up and accept responsibility for SOME of the hands free laws now being enacted (and enforced).

I have been using a cell phone since they were the size and weight of a cinder block. I once had to buy my purses based on their ability to lug a heavy-weight communication device around without breaking the purse straps. I couldn't leave home then and I can't leave home now without my cell phone. And this is where my guilt plays in; until recently I have always talked on my cell phone while I was driving - not smart, but the truth. And when texting became the new "best" way to communicate, I found myself chastising my kids for texting while they were driving and then hypocritically text on the sly myself - while in motion - which was not only stupid, but dangerous. I am happy to say that I came to my senses on my own with regard to that silliness.

Hands free is a good thing. It's safer. It makes people more feel more secure. It reduces unsafe multitasking in the car while driving as well as a driver's divided attention and focus. It also means there won't be any dropped phones, which can result in accidents when the driver reaches down to grab the fallen item. (In Albuquerque, a very sad accident happened recently; a woman was killed while riding alongside the road on her bike; this happened when the driver that struck her was reaching down to pick something up).

So yes, I am all for hands free (go bluetooth!), but my penchant for hands free doesn't stop at cell phones.

What is it that makes some young men (and young women) feel a need to walk around with their hand clutching the band of their sagging pants? Is it the teenage security blanket? Can they not afford a belt? How can that be comfortable? What happened to hands free pants?

Yesterday I was driving along Central in Albuquerque and a young man was walking toward me with his pants so loose and low that it took me a few minutes to determine that he wasn't wearing a skirt. Once I concluded that he was indeed wearing pants, I had to shake my head at the memory of some others who dress similarly; these "others" have told me that it is so much more comfortable to "sag and hold on" than to wear pants the normal way - hands free.

REALLY? It's more comfortable to shuffle instead of walk (because if you walked normally your pants would slide right off)? REALLY? It's more comfortable to have to hold onto your pants when you stand up (because if you don't they will stay in the chair without you)? REALLY? And it's more comfortable to hold onto the front band of your sagging pants as you meander down the sidewalk on a summer day (because if you let go you could be the new record holder for the quickest arrest on a sidewalk for indecent exposure)? Really? REALLY? Pull 'em up, please!!!

I am now a HUGE proponent of hands free. I am beginning to think that in the absence of our own common sense we need better laws to help us all be safer, to make others more comfortable and to reduce the risk of letting go and showing all. Normally I am not in favor of forced anything, but maybe we need a hands free law regarding pants, possibly a worldwide ban on any pants or skirts that are not hands free: if they can't stay on by themselves, they are banned. It's common sense. It's a safety issue. It's just common courtesy, when you get right down to it. I mean, I won't show you mine if you don't show me yours! But having said that, we all know that the rubber necking factor in these saggy pants cases is very high. I won't even mention the very heavy woman sitting on a bar stool last night...sagging. Words could not describe..................

Virginia tried, and failed, but that doesn't mean we can't try in New Mexico. Florida's working on it. Many states are concerned, schools are taking action, universities are trying to manage an overabundance of sagging pants and exposed cracks. It's affecting classwork: a) kids who are holding their pants do not have two hands free to carry books, etc. and b) the other kids are doing double takes so fast they get dizzy and lose focus on schoolwork. This is not a gender or racial issue, it's not even age related; this is one ban that would cross all boundaries, hopefully with a little slack for the toddler or senior-senior with droopy pants (no explanation needed or offered). Hands free as the better option for saggy pants will preserve everyone's safety and sanity. Cell phones and saggy, droopy pants. Bluetooth and belts or suspenders. Or maybe just pants that fit...what a concept.

I want to be clear that I am not suggesting a need for belt AND suspenders, that's a bit overkill and always makes me think the guy (or gal) is rather insecure, but please, one or the other. For the sanity of all.

Hands free. I am all for it. Besides, if you had to reach for your cell phone instead of holding onto that waist band, or reach down into those low pockets to get ANYTHING, just the bend alone is cause for concern.

Hands free. For safety, for self-preservation, for decency, for your self-esteem and for all the rest of us. Please.

Be smart, just say no to crack.

First Choice "Smarty Pants"

1 comment:

  1. AMEN! But don't get too tight either. The "skinny pants" style is too much as well...especially for guys!
    Yeah, I'm hard to please :)