Saturday, October 9, 2010

Can't Relate

I was in the mall last week to watch my pre school kid's class stage a teacher's day show. For some reason, my little girl was left out of the program along with a couple of other seemingly irreverent classmates. She sat ogling the stage with envy and I thought, "Okay. I'll teach her to aggressively seek inclusion next time."

Then I saw the whole show. The core part of it featured kids in superhero costumes sashaying down the ramp like models. Two kids wearing the colored underwear that constitute female hero costumes were among them and I remember turning to my husband saying, "No, no, never will she ever set foot on that stage ever."

I wouldn't consider myself a rigid conservative (and there is nothing wrong with super hero costumes). I probably won't wrap my daughter up in ankle length tablecloth when she becomes a teen or tape an alarm clock around her neck so she'll know exactly when I want her to be home. It's something else. Probably my sense of purpose.

For the first time, I came to appreciate how the nuns in my old school "raised" us. We had to go to school in a rigid color scheme uniform from head to foot. Any article of clothing or fashion that was in excess of what was prescribed earned us tickets to the amazingly frightening office of the guardian of morality.

On special days when there were school shows or presentations, when we were permitted to sport clothing outside of our dull, blue world, sleeveless shirts, short skirts and colored nails were still banned and costumes for shows had to cost less than a burger's price tag or cost nothing at all. The shows themselves had to be so visually minimalistic that watching them felt like watching a fish in a round fishbowl that didn't even have the courtesy of sand to adorn it.

We thought the nuns had a pretty devious recruitment process in place and we rebelled on the weekends with ostentatious displays of bad clothing. Apparently though, the nuns had more in mind than trying to recruit us to wear penguin suits. Now I see that part of what they wanted to teach us was to have a sense of purpose.

They may have been too extreme but their methods drove home a point. Most of what you do must be relevant and must have a pretty damn good reason behind it that adds value to your life or someone else's. Stripping the frivolity that surrounds you is part of finding out if who you are and what you're doing can stand solid enough to justify itself.

Going back to the Batcave and my girl's super hero friends... Where was the purpose in all that? What was that for? Other than having put those kids up on stage so we could all appreciate their cuteness, there was nothing minimally relevant about it. To me, that day probably marked the birth of a handful of minds on shallow waters.

*Image by Crystaljingsr


  1. haha. well i sure hope so :)

  2. anyway wonderwoman wears pants now.
    Maybe you can also teach your kid about superheroes that don't wear their underwear on the outside.
    There's trese, and she's a filipino superhero....
    thaaat's about all the examples I can think of.
    Yeah your kid dodged a bullet there.
    Always nice to read your blogs ma'am grace. It is the rock that gives stability to this chaotic world I live in.

  3. yes, those same nuns have done wonders for my wallet too. i still dress like a penguin on the cheap. say hello to the little girl for me please. -- golda

  4. there could be situations when perhaps a wonder-woman-type lycra outfit may be of some benefit. all bad fashion sense being held equal, my cheap modern-day penguin suit(dollar-a-dozen white t-shirts and black pants) can be a hassle whenever i loiter for longer than a minute near restaurant doorways. athletic red lycra might get me 'enjoyed your run today? would you like an outside table?' instead of 'table 16 needs wiping. now!'. but yes, levity aside, i agree with you. substance before form. -- golda

  5. woi!!! are you the golda i think you are? hahaha. kumusta? napdaan ka ah. someone over at the other island is worried about you. miss you lots... ;)

    Mary, I saw you on that, um, fake animal in Sandy's blog. School driving you nuts lately? Hehe. Ey I love the art on Trese! Haven't had the time to read it though. Busy making moolah... ;)

  6. yep. it's me. finally got your link. your articles are sooo fun to read!

    you mean the C.F. from the other island. haha. i deputized BDA into the role of gate-keeper for me, you see. the C.F. doesn't like gate keepers, and so it goes. but it works, man! bliss at last!--golda

  7. hehehe. oo yung CF... hmmm baka natitisod ka na sa kakaisip niya.

    wish i had more time for this blog (a.k.a. therapy). apparently though the people and topics that make lots of money online walay sense of humor so akong money making counterpart must pretend na mas passionate siya about hair loss, cellulite, hypnosis and all that crap. hehe. kung pwede lang magsulat lagi ng mga ganito and make money, i would've found the perfect career :)


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