Tuesday, December 19, 2006

How do I look?

I’ve been obsessively looking at pictures of women in “modest feminine dress”. You can find them through the Ladies Against Feminism site linked on the side. In principle I’m very much for both modesty and femininity. However, I find, in practice that it just doesn’t work out for me personally.

For two reasons.
One, I’m sinfully vain and Two, I love clothes.

This stems, and I’ve examined myself thoroughly on this point, from having every furlough to, after stepping off the airplane, go straight to the Burlingame Baptist Church Missionary Barrel. It wasn’t actually a Barrel. It was a whole room filled with all kinds of things missionaries would need—sheets, towels, pots, pans, toys, AND, you guest it, clothes, but not clothes that had been worn recently, or were being worn. They were all at least 10 or 15 years old which means that any female child aged between 10 and 20 would be mortified to have to wear any of them in public, especially an unknown public which was everywhere—school, church, the grocery store, anyone’s house, even, frankly, the privacy of one’s own room. I remember the acute horror of arriving for the first day of sixth grade in clothes from this very Missionary Barrel. Not only were they modest and ‘feminine’, as in bright purple, they were not at all what anyone else was wearing. Alpha girl, named providentially, ‘Charity’, looked me over with disdain and sniffed her nose. It was just down hill from there with her.

But I survived. And part of surviving has been developing a real appreciation of nice clothes—a really well cut suit, a beautiful pale blue wool skirt (A Line), with fabulous boots, or (for vacuuming and baking bread) a plunging neckline, pearls, and stiletto heals (I don’t actually wear my house work attire out, for those of you who might worry).

I know I’m sacrificing holiness for vanity. I do it every morning when I spend a full half an hour hot rollering my hair and being very careful about the even application of mascara. But I have a hard time concentrating on real life when I look cruddy. I don’t enjoy church, for instance. I spend time worrying that my shoes are the wrong shape instead of confessing my sins. Or I forget things on my grocery list when I know that my hair is wrong and my hand bag is wrong. Better to take the time to make sure that the bag and hair are right and come away with a full week of groceries.

May God have mercy in my weakness, but I hope and pray that in the coming kingdom, when Jesus comes back and the whole of creation will know and confess him, I will look fabulous, and so will everyone else.


ruth said...

Aahhh, I do hope God forgives us for our vanity. I've often wondered if slapping wrinkle cream on my almost 30 year old face because I don't even want to see a wrinkle appear is a sin worth including in my silent confession every Sunday.

I so enjoy your blog. Here's hoping that Christmas finds your family joyful and looking fabulous.

Anne Kennedy said...

Thank you so much. Can you believe life would be so busy that I could go two whole days without even logging on?
I'm glad I'm not alone in this. I haven't sucuumed to wrinkle cream (yet) but I do spend 3 and a half minutes every morning carefully concealing my one gray hair. I've tried pulling it out but it seems to get greyer each time.