Now that I have all of you singing in your heads to the tune of the late great Aretha Franklin's iconic song, ponder your own take on self respect.
After a recent flight, my brother was lamenting on the lack of wardrobe decorum most people follow when flying on commercial airlines. Joe often flies out of town for business and frequently has to travel in a suit and tie to attend meetings shortly upon arrival. He always remarks how astonished he is at what people think are acceptable clothing choices.
Our mother would say "those people look like they just crawled out from under the bed!"…her words ring true more often, than not, these days. Have you looked around a big box store or waiting room lately? See what I mean?
Certain standards were always upheld in our household when it came to how we dressed. Back in the day, a trip to town was considered a special treat or a luxury. A doctor's appointment or the like, was also met with a dress code and a bathing regimine. Mother and Gran insisted we wear our "good clothes" whenever we left the home place. "Junk clothes", as they called them, had their places only at work in the field, playing in the yard or doing a chore.
I realize life is hectic and seemingly always busy. Retail businesses and restaurants stay open 24/7 these days and Sunday is no longer considered a day of rest. The world speeds along at a never ceasing rate. So why can't we keep pace with a little dignity and self-worth now and then?
Granted, there are plenty of times in my single parent life that I have run to the store in sweatpants, sans makeup, regretfully, sometimes lacking deodorant. Inevitably, there will be days when you're not quite up to par and can barely drive the commute to work, let alone look runway ready. We've all done it. Single parents or not. Warning, do be prepared to see everyone and their brother when you're in the store if you choose to take the risk! Never fails…darn law of averages! Believe me, other people understand, because they're guilty too.
All I'm trying to say is be presentable, keep your shoes clean, your pant hems untattered, your nails trimmed and your clothes unwrinkled. Look like you care about yourself. The only people that get a bye from me on this are the ones who have manual labor jobs, and jobs that require you to get dirty.
It might surprise you what a bit of self respect will do for your life. You might even earn a little from others in return.