Saturday, October 10, 2009

Been a While

It's been too long since I've written here, and I have a silly reason to write tonight. Today Michele was browsing in a store and I felt the need to wait outside, as the lone employee's casual attitude toward cashiering was becoming tiresome--to me and, I'm sure, to the other six people in line.

So while I was outside, I looked at the stores to either side of the one Michele was in. On the left was a women's clothing store called the Dress Barn. I can't imagine how that ever seemed like a good idea to anyone involved in the naming of that store.

For one thing, when one thinks of desirable fashion, one rarely thinks of farm life, or a barnyard context. This alone would keep most people away, I would think. Overalls, straw hats, checkered shirts, gingham dresses, clunky brown boots--at WalMart, sure, but not outside of goonville.

For another thing, the "barn" concept applied to people in general isn't flattering. When you call someone a pig, that person is generally going to be displeased. The same with "chicken" or "sheep." And that's just when you're talking about people in general. The farm-animal references to women specifically are even less flattering: chick, mother hen, hen-pecked, sow, cow, heifer, mare. These are just not ideas one attaches to a woman with whom one wishes to maintain good relations.

So, I'm back. How relieved are you?


dchmielewski said...

Do you find Dress Barn, more or less objectional then Gas stations with names like Pump N Munch or Kum N Go?

Jason said...

I don't really see Dress Barn as objectionable--just ill advised. But your point is taken. Sometimes the wrong people get put in charge of naming things.

Baritonality said...

Beck worked at the 'Kato Dress Barn our last year. I still giggle at that moniker.

Jason said...

I had forgotten she worked there. Seems to me the name didn't strike me as odd in that context, but it probably never became concrete in my mind, either.