Whenever I am out in public, I try conducting myself with the greatest of care knowing that people are watching. The thing that bothers me the most is that many people have never mastered the fine art of how to dress in public.
Some people have never been taught how to dress, let alone how to dress in public. Whenever I go to the mall, and believe me it is as seldom as possible, I cannot help noticing some of these people.
What I cannot understand is why young men wear pants too big for them and young women wear pants too small for them. Perhaps we ought to get a little group together and try to reverse this trend. Somebody got the wrong information.
I was in the mall the other day and noticed several young men in front of me with trousers several sizes too big and were constantly falling down. One hand was grabbing their trousers while the other hand was hanging onto a cell phone.
I wanted to go up and tell them that there is this marvelous new invention called “The Belt” that would solve the problem that they were having. Once they have “The Belt,” they can put it on and forget about their trousers falling down to their ankles. If there is anything I do not want to see it is somebody’s trouser falling down to their ankles.
Criticize me if you want to, but I simply cannot not follow these young men walking down the mall. By the time I go the space of three stores, I am a nervous wreck wondering when those trousers are actually going to fall.
Young women are no different. It seems to me that most young women purchase their entire wardrobe when they are in the first grade. At that time, the clothing fits very nicely. By the time these young women hit the 10th grade, their first-grade clothing are not only out of style, but fit no more. Where are their mothers?
I know the economy is bad, but really, is it so bad that people cannot afford to upgrade their wardrobe, as they get older and consequently bigger? Shouldn’t there be some sale on mirrors these days?
If I were a congressman in Washington, I would work very hard to pass a bill that would make it illegal to walk out of your house on any given morning without first looking into the mirror to see if everything is covered. That is the kind of change I can believe in.
As I get older, it gets more difficult to conduct myself as a gentleman because there is so much I do not want to see.
Last week I had to return an item to a store and was unprepared for what I was to encounter. I assumed I was well prepared for the day. I went through the normal routine of exercising my eyes to look upward. I try my best when I am out in public to look into the eyes of people, especially those of the other sex. This particular day I had really met my match.
Eventually, it was my turn to go to the counter and return the item. I walked up and was aghast. I said to myself, “Look at the eyes, look at the eyes, look at the eyes.” For some reason my eyes were not paying any attention whatsoever. All those years of training seem to have gone out the window.
My eyes were in a staring mode and I did not know how to break it.
It really is not my fault; I think people should take personal responsibility for their person when they go out in public. They should make sure that everything is prim and proper because you never know what you are going to run into in any given day.
For a moment, I had forgotten what I was at the counter for, I tried to shift my eyes into a higher level and it was all I could do to communicate what I needed to communicate at the time.
But my eyes, oh, my eyes. They certainly were not helping me in this regard.
I might as well come clean and confess.
As I walked up to the counter to return my item I could not help but notice that the woman behind the counter was wearing, and you will not believe me, a beard. Yes, I said a beard, whiskers and all. I could not believe it at first. I thought maybe my eyes were trying to get back at me for being so harsh on them the last few months.
But no, there in full view of everybody, including my pair of eyes, was a woman with a beard any man would have been proud to wear.
All I could think of at the time was what Job said. “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1 KJV).
My motto: be careful little eyes where you stare.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, Fla. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at (352) 687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.