Whatever!

This is scary. The journal I kept, the one I got the notes for the Florida Tan Story from, is still out from its secret hiding place (note to self: put that thing AWAY) and I was looking through it last night for something in particular. The entries were made between 1978 and the early part of 1981 and its fascinating the things I found important to write about. Believe it or not, I had the same rather sarcastic outlook on things as I do now. One such entry I read last night was about a particular laundry detergent claiming to be the first to incorporate fabric softener in its formula, when another one claimed the very same thing a few months before.

I found what I was looking for, a list of designer jeans. Back in the late 70’s, we were overrun with an outburst of designer jeans, one right after the other. You know, the ones that had the look and fit similar to denim colored spray paint, the ones that accentuated every curve of your lower torso. I had no use for them mainly because I couldn’t get into them. They were meant, I think, for very tall and very slender people. It was all I could do, even to get into a pair of Levi 501 buttonfly jeans, simply because of the cut and Levi’s was about as designer as I would get. I hate labels. I only have this new Tommy Hilfiger button down shirt I wore to dinner in Philly because it has no insignia on it. But, I’m getting off the track. This onslaught of designer jeans gave me fodder for a journal entry and between October and December of whichever year it was, ‘78 or ‘79, I had a list of 12: Gloria Vanderbilt, Jordache, Sassoon, Studio 54, Clouds, Jou Jou, Steven Burrows, Zena, Charlie’s Angels (honest!), Bonjour, Gitano and Kasper.  And they all look so good with a pair of Candies high heels. Especially if they were peek-a-boo toed.

In my romp through the pages of my past I also found two particular items that have anniversaries coming up, so I’m saving those for when they hit. One is at the end of this month and the other is in November and both will be 31 years old.

A poll of 938 U.S. adults was conducted in August about the most annoying overused words or phrases and the results were released yesterday. “Whatever” topped the list with 47% of the votes. “You know” got 25% of the votes; “it is what it is”- 11%; “anyway” – 7%; “at the end of the day” eked in at 2%. Well, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know my vote would have to go to “amazing” simply because of it’s overuse. I complain about that word all the time. “That’s an amazing movie”; “that’s an amazing song”; “you look amazing”; “dinner was amazing”. The parting of the Red Sea so Moses could lead the Israelites to freedom….THAT’s ‘amazing’. A dress is pretty, or fashionable. Gag me with a spoon.

Personally, I find “at the end of the day” more annoying than “whatever”, but, whatever. Michael Adams, author of Slang: The People’s Poetry” says that ‘whatever’ can be used in place of neutral phrases that have lost popularity like ‘six of one, half a dozen of the other’. I use that one all the time; it’s more colorful than a deadpan dismissive ‘whatever’.

This is eerie. Last night, I was watching  the Las Vegas preliminary eliminations on So You Think You Can Dance and one kid got whacked in the nose with his partner’s elbow as she was spinning herself around and around like a corkscrew and he was thusly covered with blood. In an instant, MY nose began to bleed. WTF?

The last thing I have for you today is that my old alma mater, Edison High School, is apparently failing in academic standards and has been for two years in a row. As of three days ago, 50 EHS students have asked for a transfer to J.P. Stevens on the other “upper crustic” side of town. The issue is that the school missed in the state testing criteria for language arts for special education students, which state education officials say is a common area to fail. But, because Edison is the largest district in Middlesex County (14,000 students) and is unique in that it has two high schools, EHS missed the state standards. I wonder if anyone has thought that maybe using some stimulus money to build another facility to avoid overcrowding–14,000 sounds like a LOT of students crammed into two schools–might provide a better education to these kids and they can grow up and figure out how to get us all out of this mess we’re in. Heaven knows we don’t need another strip mall or condo complex in that area. Come on, don’t make me ashamed that I went to that school. Whatever!

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One Response to “Whatever!”

  1. Melissa Says:

    I do find that when I go back to read things that I have written in the past, it is truly “amazing” how much the SAME I am as I used to be! Huh?

    14,000 kids in 2 schools? 7,000 per school? That is a staggering number. The school I went to (pre-k thru 12th, comprised of less than 400 students) was in a town of only 1,000. I find it difficult to get my mind to wrap around 7 times the people of my hometown fitting into one high school!?!?!?!? No WONDER they are not meeting any standards! They are probably too busy figuring out how to breathe, move around, and protect themselves from the swine flu. (I know it’s not politically correct to say “swine flu” anymore, but guess what – I said it! At the end of the day, it still swine flu! Whatever ….)

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