This Christmas I hardly made a fuss- I ate frugally and spent a lot of time lying in bed- mostly because I had a terrible cold/flu and didn't have much energy. On Christmas Day I dragged myself to mass and was amazed to see how some parishioners had chosen to dress: leggings and a tight jumper stopping helpfully at the waist so that the gaze rested on a country-sized derriere. Mini skirts, fishnet tights and diving decolletages replete with overflowing embonpoint- if you fancied a bit of South Pole exploration, some of those necklines were certainly headed in the right direction. I always feel sorry for the priest when he gives communion to ...a pair of breasts. It used to be that attending mass on big occasions like Christmas, Easter, Advent etc which are all profound events in the christian calender, one would be sure to look demure and dignified. The thought of flashing skin and flesh was completely frowned upon. Nowadays anything goes in the way of dressing and behaving- a couple flirted madly last Sunday in church; they arrived separately and left that way too but the temptation of making doe eyes at each other while clutching a rosary clearly proved too much.
Tackiness is so widespread and prevalent in all walks of life from the lower working class all the way up to the highest echelons in society. I blame Charles and Diana who famously went public with their very personal problems. Since then the Great British Resolve to 'never complain and never explain' and to maintain a very stiff upper lip at all times seem to have all but disappeared from our daily lives. It is now completely acceptable to whinge ad nauseum, be rude and obnoxious and to show a complete lack of disrespect and consideration- cue to dressing like one is going to a nightclub when attending mass or worse yet, looking like one has literally rolled out of bed.
The mantra of so-called busy people who in fact are too rude and selfish to find time for others has become the norm. We all have that so-called friend who hasn't bothered to be in touch for months but rings up blithely on Christmas Eve, oblivious to the fact that their behaviour is wrong. I have now gotten to the point in my life where there are no words- once I fall silent the relationship is stone, cold dead. No amount of coaxing will bring it back to life. All we have is the present moment and if we allow others to treat us as if they can make up for their roughshod disregard in some distant future and one that most certainly will only suit them, then we should not complain about our hurt emotions.
Tackiness is not just the way you dress, it's also the way you think. Over Christmas I decided to watch TV- something I never, ever do but the house where I was staying had a gigantic TV in the living room and I thought I would vegetate in front of it. Now you have to understand that I never sit idly still as I am always doing something: writing, reading, walking, cooking, working, housework (which I enjoy). The instances in my life where I do nothing at all are few and far between and usually occur like this holiday season when I was too ill to do much else. I don't own a TV having thrown it out many years ago. This Christmas I remembered why I had: television is a mind fuck. The quality of the programmes is such low level nonsense designed for cretins. Listening to mindless, dumbed-down drivel aimed at those who clearly are grammatically and phonetically challenged filled me with such revulsion that afterwards my head actually ached. I can think of no worse torture than to be forced to watch television day in, day out. To see these so-called celebrities who do not have any real talent now passing themselves off as role models who teenage girls all want to emulate, fills me with a terrible dread. Would a show on philosophy or the meaning of life have an audience at all? Does anyone ask themselves BIG questions anymore?
We should all be concerned when we live in an age of mind-blowing stupidity and ignorance. Despite our wealth and the convenience which fools us into believing anything is possible, the soul life is what makes us want to become better people- kinder, more thoughtful, more concerned for our fellow human beings and most importantly, more interested in the world.
Britain used to be great- in a sense it was austerity, deprivation and simplicity that spawned great minds and made us masters of ingenuity and innovation. Could it be that we have too much now to see those glory days again?