Monday, October 30, 2006

Clothes...Not what they used to be.

Certainly, one of the most memorable sermons I have ever heard was by our good friend and Prof in college, Ted, who started his message with this sentence...

"Who told you you were naked?"

There is an unbelievable amount of theology in that sentence, but the most obvious effect of that little conversation between God and Man was people wearing clothes.

When I was in high school, I loved clothes. I had a closet jammed crammed full of things that looked good on me no matter how I turned in the mirror. I spent all my babysitting money on them...usually at the Salvation Army, though, even then.

Since having kids, though, clothes are not nearly as much fun. Things don't fit the same way. And I can't seem to figure out how to wear the clothes that are out there anyway. Everything looks like a series of raggedy pieces layered over more pieces of raggedy stuff.

Yesterday, I went shopping, all by myself, to try some of the new styles on and get an idea of what looks right. I found myself studying the manequins like one of those 3D computer pictures, hoping to see the REAL picture emmerge.

Here's what I discovered....ultra-low-rise jeans are NOT for me.

I did end up buying a few things...but I realized something.

I grew up attending Christian school, where we were required to wear dresses everyday. We also dressed up for church...I actually remember being told that it was inappropriate to come to Wednesday night service in pants....or rather "slacks." (Ugh, there's a word I hate, Tammi.) As a result of all those modesty talks over the years, I am ultra-conscious of being "too sexy" and I have a tendency to dress like Bea Arthur by default.

Anyway, so that's why I had so many clothes. I had dressy clothes, clothes for basketball and cheerleading, and play clothes for the 4 hours a day at home where I could wear jeans. And I had these separate wardrobes for years...during college, where we had to wear dresses, while teaching the first two years we were married and while working as the church secretary, except then I had to get new clothes becuase I my clothes were too dressy for work, but we still dressed up for church. Then I got pregnant and had to get another wardrobe. Then when we moved to Michigan, I was "just a housewife" so I didn't need my work clothes as much, but we still dressed up for church. I guess it was somewhere in the last few years that I have completely lost the need for dress up clothes, other than an occasioanal event. I've never EVER spent money on clothes I "just wear around the house." Which basically means that other than getting dressed to go to the grocery store or the Vintage, I wear rags, but not the fashionable kind of rags.

I've gone from needing three wardrobes to needing just one small one...and it's taken me this long to realize it!

Clothes are a big hairy deal. They really are. They give people a first impression of us and reveal our "status" in life. They reveal our hidden longing to stay young and thin, or to be taken very seriously. They can be modest or immodest. They are expensive, which means we have to find balance in our spending. Little kids in Guatamala make them for us, which means clothes are political. They keep the spark in our marriages and show our respect for one another, not to mention keeping us warm and comfy. And don't even get me started on dressing my kids because I'm probably living vicariously through them.

So, just in case you didn't have anything to ponder today, just think about clothes.

22 comments:

gerbmom said...

It's amazing how simplified my wardrobe has become. Jeans, jeans and jeans. The other night we had to go to a dressy banquet and I had nothing to wear - since I even wear jeans to church now. And for my job - computer tech. But I do remember the days of dressing up for church, school, college - no "slacks" allowed til after 5:00 - and then no jeans. And then I worked and needed professional/dress clothes.
I laugh - now that I am in jeans, my 17 year old has about 5 wardrobes....
Wanna talk about shoes?

courtney said...

you forgot to mention the wardrobe you had from stealing from your sisters :) For those of you who didn't know Ness during highschool or college, let me just say "holy clothes horse!" We used to have to check her bags before she returned to college after weekends home--she'd kief everything that wasn't on your body at the time!!! You're much better now, Sis....now you just take furniture ha hahahhhaa

Elizabeth said...

my sis, being the fashion-concious one, passes everything (new) off to me so she has the excuse to buy new stuff because she doesn't have any clothes (because she gave them to me...huh). does anyone else see the amazing cycle here? needless to say...i don't buy many clothes.

Robb said...

Who Told Bea Arthur She Was Naked?

ness said...

DON"T CLICK ON ROBB'S LINK! IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE AT ALL....I REPEAT....DON'T CLICK IT.

If your curious, we saw this painting in the Museum of Modern Art in Chicago and have never really recovered.

It's art, but it ain't pretty folks.

Andrew said...

I have to jump in on this - the mention of Ted's "Who told you you were naked?" sermon warrants a response.

The are so many events/experiences about college life that I have forgotten (or maybe repressed.) The other day when we were talking with Tim and Heidi I had to work super hard to recall a memory that we had shared - it was like when your computer gets bogged down trying to pull up a file or open a program that has not been used in quite some time. I have a lot of good memories from college, but a lot that are gone forever.

All that to say: we probably had to sit through hundreds of chapel messages, right? And I can't remember much about very many of them. Sure, everyone remembers Dr. Thompson speaking about worldliness - but that is only because he spoke on the same topic every Monday for an entire school year. I can name some of the other men that I heard, but to remember the subject of their message? Not so much.

Ted on the other hand, I can remember like it was yesterday. That, my friends, was a fine sermon.

akr said...

There are a few catchy sermons from college I remember...especially wendell calder..."have you lost the wonder of it all"

Andrew said...

There was this other guy who spoke – seems like it was my sophomore year. Must have been the spring of 1996. (10 years ago? I am OLD.) Anyway, he was a senior in the homiletics class – spoke from Proverbs and contrasted Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly. I vaguely remember him talking about the chiastic structure of the text – like the reflection of pine trees on a calm lake – was it Proverbs 9?

Anybody remember that guy?

ness said...

I remember him...I think he became obsessed with Bea Arthur, but he's still my very favorite preacher.

that really is one of his good ones.

ness said...

My other chapel memory, of course, is R & A singing the "Kenosis" song as the Crash Test Dummies.

Robb said...

Lady Folly

Robb said...

I bet Lady Wisdom smells good.

ness said...

not anymore....i think she died.

Mom Mattocks said...

Hmmmm...just for the record, Lady Folly seems to have a mustache, which would lead one to question the term "Lady", and Lady Wisdom just has a bad case of dementia, and is not dead yet.

courtney said...

all this does is prove my point to dad that I don't want to be a lady.

Mom Mattocks said...

Oh yes....and whether she smells or not is not in the realm of my "wisdom"........

courtney said...

ewww! wisdom smells funny...probably like grandpa's ears

Mom Mattocks said...

Oh yes....and whether she smells, or not, is outside the realm of my "wisdom".

Heidi said...

Ted's sermon is one of the few that I remember from college. (I also remember Bixby speaking and insulting all of the students who went to Summit, which I did at the time) Anyway, after Ted's sermon I went back to my dorm and a bunch of the girls were mad because they thought it was totally inappropriate. HUH?!

ness said...

Wow...I feel bad for their husbands.

: )

The other sermon I remember was a guy who preached on depression. Anybody remember that one?

courtney said...

Did he use a big blown-up picture of me? ha ha sorry. I really only remember the Milo Mondays with that drone that could cure insomnia and the one student chapel where one of the guys asked for the best pick up lines and a kid in my class said "stop the grinnin' and drop the linen." Basically that was a chapel about admitting you weren't a virgin---about the GUYS admitting they weren't virgins because God forgave them; he definately wasn't talking to the girls there.

The Fowler Family said...

I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard-- my kids are asking me what it wrong mommy"

Who doesn't remember the "Who told you you were naked?" sermon? If you don't remember it--you were't there. Does that make it the antithesis of Woodstock?

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