Out of Style | Mark’s Remarks


It’s been happening for quite some time; things I talk about, things I wear, ideas I have.  

They all seem to be going out of style.

I noticed it first with my students at school. I’d try to talk about some current TV star or the latest pop idol. Seems I could never come up with one who was current. By the time I started mentioning Justin Bieber and some of the other kids I thought were popular, kids were groaning and saying he was old news.

Trying to be a little “hip” with my three teenagers, I started talking about a neat song I’d heard on the radio. I usually listen to talk radio, and sometimes Christian radio. Rarely do I turn to the music stations, unless it’s the “oldies.” So, after hearing a catchy tune one day, I was humming it and trying to remember the words. 

“Hey, do you know that song that has these lyrics?” I began.  My kid, whoever was with me, listened. I kept on going as if I’d discovered a new tune.

“Yes, that song is called such and such,” began my child.  “It’s been out for about two years now.” 

Story of my life.

I’m getting to the point where I like to hang on to certain pieces of clothing for as long as possible. Since I am a tall, basically ill-proportioned body type, a good pair of pants is something I value highly.  You never know if they are going to be short, or even too long. I recently noticed most of my better pairs of pants are around five years old and the “flare” of the pant leg is not up to today’s standards.  

I bought a couple of good pairs recently, which seem to be up to par, so I’m thinking I’ll go back to the store soon and see if I can get a couple more pairs.  

By the time I have a good wardrobe of stylish pants built up, the trends will change again.  

I don’t think I care, though.  Comfortable clothing is more my goal these days.

I’m at that weird age where technology sort of makes sense.  I’m still amazed when I find out that I can do something cool with my phone or computer. I run around telling my friends, many of whom are younger and much smarter.  They look at me with semi-bemused, semi-pitying faces and try to think of something to say rather than “You’re just finding out about that?”

When I was growing up, country music was a big thing in southern Illinois. I suppose it still is, although I don’t follow it much. Country music isn’t like it used to be. Everyone looks like a model. 

Didn’t Hank Williams Jr. or someone write a song called “I Liked Country When it was Ugly?” Not that the stars of yesterday were ugly. They just had big hair, big collars, and gaudy was in style.

One time, a tour bus pulled through the little town I grew up in, and out popped Tammy Wynette and her band. They walked right into a local eatery and ordered hamburgers. When Tammy finished her burger, she went up to the counter and ordered ice cream, turning around to pose for pictures. The local newspaper had been called the minute the bus pulled in and it was a huge photo op for our little town.

The picture of Tammy hung in that restaurant for many years. 

My son began working fast food a few weeks ago, at the same restaurant I’m talking about, although we are in a different town, of course. His working there brought the memory of Tammy Wynette’s visit back then, and so I told him the story. 

You guessed it:

“Who the heck is Tammy Wynette?”

I even spent time trying to think of a clever way to end this column, using one of Tammy’s song lyrics.

Then I realized many of you wouldn’t get the joke. Out of style, I tell you.

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