What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

On who first decided

I am not sure when in my life I first noticed that women’s shirts/blouses, generally, have the buttons on the left side while men’s shirts have the buttons on the right. I would guess that it was some time after puberty.

I do remember embarking on a research mission to find out why. I found a number of possible explanations, but the one that seemed to be most prevalent pointed to the dressmakers of the late 18th /early 19th centuries. Woman of refinement (rich) had maids who helped them dress and it was easier for the right-handed maids if the buttons were on the left. Woman’s clothing manufacturers who wanted their products to be seen as high class (expensive) used the left button signature to give their products and those who wore them a certain status. This became the status (pardon the pun) quo and so, for two centuries now, right-handed women who do not have maids still have to button clothing that is designed for their non-existent right-handed maids. I suppose that left-handed women get a bit of a break here.

Whenever I run across these little items, I always start to wonder about who the first person was that made the fateful decision that started the trend. I usually find that their name is lost to history. They started a trend that has had an effect on millions of people’s daily lives, but we have no idea who they were or what thoughts went into their decision.

There are several trend setting “Adams/Eves” that I am still very curious about.

For example, who first decided…

that tofu was edible (only marginally so, in my opinion)

that “dee”, “duh”, “lah”, “dah”, “nah”, or “dut” were acceptable as lyrics in a song’s chorus

to name their children after a letter of the alphabet

that clocks should run clockwise

to lump a number of unsavory food combinations under the same label “casserole”

that celebrities should have opinions on the issues of the day that anyone should bother to listen to

that putting a fuzzy cover on the toilet seat and tank would enhance the bathroom experience

that North was up and South was down when, in planetary terms, it doesn’t make the slightest difference

that on automobiles, we use (R) Reverse instead of (B) Backwards

that computer operating systems have to be unreliable, inflexible, and awkward.
Oh, wait, I already know this one.
(Sorry, Bill.)


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