Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I work at a bookstore. I won’t disclose which one, but I do work at a bookstore. At this bookstore I literally get paid to surf the web for stuff I can’t afford and give customers intimidating looks so they avoid asking me for help. There were a lot of young elementary aged kids in the bookstore on this particular day, so I had to turn up my customer repellent a few notches. Seeing kids in the bookstore really makes me uneasy. Let’s be honest, kids steal. I stole when I was a kid, was exceptional at it too. It doesn’t bother me so much that they supposedly steal from the bookstore, just don’t steal while I’m there. It’s the principle of the matter; do not steal from me!

Unfortunately I had to open my register and ring the kids up. Many of the young boys were “locc-ed out.” They had there oversized baseball caps adjusted at just the precise angle and tilt, tall tee’s with images of 2pac and 50 cent and some Nikes covered by their older brother’s baggy jeans. In their defense, I was immediately taken back by their polite manner and mastery of English grammar and sentence structures. That is beside the point, has style and fashion changed so much since my time? I’ll admit when I was younger my folks use to dress me for school. Nowadays it seems these kids are wearing their folks’ clothes to school.

Fashion and style is erratic and waits for no one; they have and will continue to change over time (Eileen Chang). School uniforms were instituted to curb violence away from schools and to keep the students focused. It appears school uniforms have been lax since my tenure. Maybe violence was never the issue as these little Bone Thugs N Harmony showed me they know their “A-B-Cs.

Clothing has a function of utility whereas fashion functions as a determiner of status (Yuniya Kawamura). I suppose by dressing the way they do, these kids are elevating their status as the rebellious, cool, gangsters they are. No one wants to be the nerdy kid with the “highwater” pants. All the young men position themselves to be the alpha male, the tough guy of the bunch, the captain of the crunch. The only way to be king is to show it, with grills in your mouth and baggy clothing.

Maybe I’m old and senile? Maybe I’m just a hater? Whatever the case may be, pick up your pants, turn off that rap music, and don’t bother me at work young people.

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