“Well, you see,” the man on the bus said turning to me, “I’m a 3D person.”
He said it they way someone might inform you that they’re a banker, hippie, or Republican, as if it would somehow explain why they like this or do that. But the fact that he identified as being three dimensional only brought with it more questions. Perhaps he was just saying he fancies 3D movies?
“They are trying to discourage me,” he continued in a low voice. “The one-dimensional people, they’re trying to bring me down!”
Or perhaps he was just being haunted by one-dimensional beings.
Recently, a gentleman on the bus informed me that he’d singlehandedly solved the age old question that’s been irritating oh so many of us—why do some people push their carts directly down the middle the grocery store aisle?
“It’s because their houses are too square,” he said simply. “They’re used to lots of room on either side of them when they walk around, so they really can’t help it.” Apparently shoppers are like goldfish—they take up space based on the size of their home aquarium.
Despite their annoying behavior, he seemed to pity them. And he theorized that the only way to fix their quirk was to change the shape of their homes (rectangular being the obvious ideal shape since it closest resembles a grocery store aisle). He also worried that if houses continued to be built so boxy it could have more dangerous social repercussions like people driving right down the middle of the road.
I guess, all things considered, maybe the shopping cart phenomenon isn’t as bad as it could be since the poor little shoppers really can’t help that they live in little boxes.
“Fashion can say a lot of things,” Elisabeth Piedmont-Marton states in her essay Reading and Writing About Fashion. “It cannot, however, say nothing.”
Whether we like the fact our personal daily fashion choices communicate to the world around us or not, everything from the Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt we pull out of the dryer to the classic little black cocktail dress and matching stilettos we slip into for a night on the town is a text just waiting to be read. Regardless of the time we spend planning our “text” for the day, our clothing is not-so-silently whispering something to each person who comes across our path. The only question, therefore, is will they read the intended message?
Goal: Breach an American cultural norm.
Method: Fashion (Converse© shoes, specifically).
Reason: For fun! And also to get a good grade on my sociology paper.
Social theory: Symbolic interaction—a micro sociological theory that examines the symbolism in daily life, what things mean to us.
I’m on campus. One of my classmates has just been telling me how she was raised Protestant, the non-denominational variety. She’d sat through flannelgraph Jesus stories in elementary school and purity pledges in high school. And after graduating she attended a Christian college where R rated movies and spaghetti straps were strictly banned. That’s when she decided the whole business wasn’t for her, transferred schools, and gave up on the whole stupid thing.