Last night I had a nightmare that a pair of Crocs shoes were being nailed to my feet, Jesus-on-the-cross style. I woke up just in time to save myself from becoming a human sacrifice to bad footwear. The dream made me think of other times when someone's terrible choice in fashion ruined a restful night's sleep or a good meal.
Crocs were originally made as a boating shoe because of their slip-resistant soles. I see them in a multi-colored abundance at CSU, and yet there doesn't appear to be any boats in sight. Many of us don't even have enough money to afford a boat, but we are willing to slap down $30 to buy a pair of foam shoes that make us feel like we own a boat. Or maybe they are just that comfortable.
There is another fashion phenomenon I was hoping I wouldn't see this year. Just a week ago, I almost lost my appetite when I spied a popped collar in the dining hall. Surely I thought our guys would be smart enough to figure out that this trend was over before it started. But then I stopped to realize that it is sunny in Colorado, and sometimes it can get windy. These boys are wearing their collars popped to protect the backs of their delicate necks! Or to hide last night's hickey. My mind draws a blank when I try to think of a better reason to pop your collar.
Halfway through this column, I realized that I was pondering why people dress the way they do. I've been thinking about something so petty and insignificant when there are people in parts of our country who have lost all of their possessions and don't even have the choice whether to pop their collars or not. Then I wanted to kick myself when I remembered that just a week ago, I bought over $200 worth of clothes. I already have a closet full of clothes! I haven't even taken the time to say a prayer for the victims of Hurricane Katrina because I have been so caught up in my own life.
From time to time, my life is jeopardized by an alarming disease. This disease is called consumerism and because of it, I need instant gratification and material possessions to satisfy me. I know I'm not the only one who suffers from this, or else the advertising industry would be out of business. While I am busy thinking of myself, there are people all over the world who have nothing.
It seems that for every 15 commercials on MTV, only one of them is a public service announcement urging us to help the Red Cross or a similar organization. This is probably true for many other television channels as well. We have a one in 15 chance of being affected by something positive. And yet the messages in these commercials aren't even something that we should have to be told. It should be instinctive to help others, especially when they cannot help themselves.
Now I have succeeded in putting myself on a serious guilt trip. I guess what I'm trying to learn here is that maybe I don't have to give up clothes, TV and other trivial things as long as I remember that there is a bigger picture outside of my own little world that needs to be recognized. And even if I don't do something to help others in a direct way, I can better myself by setting aside some of my thoughts for those less fortunate. Bad fashion may be unsettling, but there are plenty of others things that are worse.
Megan Schulz is a sophomore technical journalism major. Her column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.