In my last post I described how I went from being completely oblivious to the issue of modesty to completely awestruck with how significant of a principle it is. I was "awestruck" for a number of reasons.
QUOTATION MARKS ARE NOT DECORATIONS.
First of all, I wondered how I could have lived 21 years of my life without once considering whether or not there was a right and wrong when it came to dress.
No, you did not. I imagine you knew that some items of clothing are considered appropriate to some situations where others are not. Stop lying.
Secondly, I was amazed by the beauty of it all.
Can we say "fetish", children?
As you may recall, in my last post I recounted my first encounter with my future wife and her sister sitting across the room from me at a scripture study and what my initial reaction was to their appearance. In my ignorance, I could not conceive of any rational reason that would drive two young ladies to show up to a college scripture study in ankle length, floral pattern jumpers.
Neither can I. There are so many ways to be modest without resorting to something that hideous, if the Muslim women in my area are any guide.
Not only had I never seen anyone don such apparel,
or "wear jumpers"
I honestly didn't know if I ever cared to see it again - not because it was displeasing to my eye, but because it was displeasing to my heart. Why you ask?
I just assumed it was because jumpers are tragic.
Look, I went to Catholic schools growing up. I wore jumpers in blue plaid, jumpers in grey plaid, jumpers in brown plaid and jumpers in green plaid. They're horrid items of clothing, uncomfortable and unflattering. If there is a dress code in hell (assuming hell exists, of course) it involves jumpers.
Seeing them "set apart" in their dress made me uncomfortable - more uncomfortable that I cared to admit at the time. I was used to the short shorts, the tight tops, and the form fitting everything else. I had become much too well acquainted with this sort of revealing dress and if I would have been honest with myself, I would have confessed that it had done nothing but aid in the development of many of the vile affections that then abided in my heart.
Bitches always tempting me! I am a man, I should not be held responsible for my thoughts, feelings and actions, damnit!
Scanning the room that night, my eyes came into contact with something that absolutely shook the foundations of my pitiable understanding concerning the issue of dress.
I can just imagine that moment. Don't you feel like this is what happens when Tim Gunn sees the perfect dress made of garbage bags and dead sewer rats? ("This week, you'll be making a business suit using only broken dreams and empty promises.")
As it was, however, I quickly took shelter in counsel of my heart (not the safest place to be) and reemerged from this cellar like nothing had ever happened.
Dude, you know, I love me some clothes, but wtf is wrong with you? I've seen less overwrought descriptions of visions of Hell.
To be sure, I could not deny that there had been an earthquake, but it hadn't phased me. Strange that it even shook me at all. And so, I settled myself by allowing a single word to characterize what I had seen - weird. Case closed. Back to the real world.
It was strange that an earthquake shook you?
Fast forward almost a year later and I was to discover that this earthquake had aftershocks like you wouldn't believe. Passing through the room of this same scripture study, I spotted one of these young ladies (Caroline in this instance) sitting meekly in the corner and the words came to my mind so clearly, "That is the sort of woman you ought to marry."
I had come a looooong way - from "weird" to to wedlock. Now, what I would have you to understand is that I wasn't contemplating marriage on account of what Caroline was wearing, but how she wore it. Her clothing was modest, yes, but more importantly, she was modest. This was what I had but dimly apprehended at the first. My wife was not wearing jumpers because she liked them (she didn't and still does not)
That is so sad. I can understand having standards of dress. I can understand having difficulty finding clothes you like, or that fit or that you can afford. But to where clothes you hate when you could be wearing clothes that make you happy- it's like eating only cream of wheat and never anything with flavor, on purpose.
or because she believed them to be particularly fashionable (they passed out of vogue, oh, some 30 years ago), but because she felt that they were accessory to a modest spirit (that, and they were all her mother could sew at the time, it being very difficult to find anything in the department store agreeable to modest deportment.)
Couldn't she or her mother find another pattern, or visit another store? I see plenty of modestly dressed women during my day and not a one of them is dressed in a jumper. There's no reason for that other than to mark yourself out as being loudly modest.
Here follows a very long, very ignorant discourse on why jumpers are good, but hijab and plain are bad. If you can make heads or tails of it (other than "things I like are good, things I don't like are bad") please let me know.
Then comes this:
After meeting Caroline and her family, I was introduced to quite a few other ladies who were careful and considerate of their appearance - not too be revealing with the clothing they wore. Not all of them were modest. The one's that were the most modest in their dress were, in many instances, the least modest, if you follow me.
It's not enough to put on a jumper and assume you're good enough for me! You're going to have to work harder than that!
I could go on and on about why I think this is, but I shan't, for the Modest Mom says I should draw this post to a close.
When the meekly meekest meek woman tells you to shut the fuck up, you really need to shut the fuck up.
I hope you will not take my comments as license to dress like everyone else for they are in no way intended to encourage such a course, for although it is possible to be truly immodest while modestly dressed, it is impossible to be immodestly dressed and truly modest.
I think they may require some sort of chart to follow.
No, my post is intended to encourage the cultivation of a modest spirit and all that it implies - and yes, this process involves taking a good hard look at your standards of dress and adjusting them if necessary (whether you dress modestly or not).
So . . . if I'm dressing modestly, I need to adjust my manner of dress until I am modest? lolwut?
In the end, modest clothing does not the Modest Mom make, but they are an appendage unto her.
What kind of appendage? An arm, a leg, oooh! Is it a tail? Wing? Are wings appendages?
If it were merely modest clothing that adorned my wife when first I met her, I would have dismissed her taste in clothes as sadly misinformed by some obscure, puritanical interpretation of scripture. As it was, however, she wore a meek and quiet spirit which was, and is, of great price in the sight of God, and it had the blessed effect of drawing me nearer to my Savior.
Ugh. I would hope you found your wife special. You did marry her, after all.