Taking Our Lives for Granted

Jennifer Fulwiler wonders, why don’t people dress up anymore?

It finally clicked one day when I was sitting on an airplane, watching everyone board, and remembered a picture I’d seen of my grandparents getting ready to board a flight in the 1940s. I and the other passengers were dressed about five degrees more casually than my grandparents and the other folks around them in that old black-and-white photo. As I thought through what motivated the two different cultures, it occurred to me: Air travel used to be a privilege. People dressed up for it out of a sense of respect and gratitude, because not everyone got to do something like that. Today, most people take flights at least occasionally. It’s not a big deal anymore. We don’t feel particularly grateful to be able to do it. And thus, we don’t dress up.

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