Thursday, July 29, 2010

It…It was the trousers, really.

We get weird about clothing in our church. Consider, for example, the one i’ve run across more than once that holds that women must wear skirts to go into the chapel. Why?

Weirdest instance of this i’ve ever run across: Some years ago, Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever youth activity night, and a handful of women huddled outside the entrance to the chapel, trying to figure out how to get the child of one of them who was running around in the chapel. The problem? All of the women were wearing trousers. I walked by with a (male) friend, and they asked us to go fetch the child, which was then done.

The weirdness? We were wearing jeans. At least some of the women were wearing dress slacks. So what was up with it being okay for us to go in the chapel but not them?

p.s. Ten bonus points for whoever gets the obscure film reference in the title of today’s post.


Heather the Mama Duk said...

Darn. I thought this was going to be about jeans aka fornication pants.

While wearing a dress/skirt would be ideal, wouldn't it make much more sense for a woman in slacks to go into the chapel to retrieve the child than to just let him run amuck? I mean surely he was being less than reverent in there... Sometimes you gotta go with the lesser of two evils (though I wouldn't categorize a little kid running amuck OR going into the chapel in slacks to retrieve him evil).

Fornication pants on the other hand...

David B said...

Fornication pants?!?

I sense a story—do tell.

For my part, i’m not even certain a dress or skirt would be “ideal”—we get weirdly hung up on clothing details in this church, and that’s one i seriously don’t get.

(Stuff like ties and such, i get that even though i don’t like them at all, but hangups about dresses versus pants on women, that i completely don’t understand.)

Heather the Mama Duk said...

I know for myself at least I sit much more quietly and nicely if I'm wearing a skirt or dress. It's the attitude.

And you've seriously never heard the fornication pants story? Apparently Brigham Young (BEFORE he joined the church, btw) was so appalled by those new-fangled jeans that he referred to them as fornication pants. See, at the time, trousers didn't have flies/buttons on the front. They were generally held up with suspenders making access to the private parts (and, presumably, peeing) a bit difficult. Jeans had flies/buttons and so access was much easier, hence BY calling them fornication pants. The longer version of the story is in the book called Jeans.

David B said...

Okay—i’d forgotten about the fornication pants thing. I’d assumed it was something you’d heard someone say at church or somesuch.

And i’m still not sold on one’s clothing having an effect on one’s attitudes, except that we’re trained to associate certain types of clothing with certain situations. I don’t see how there’s anything inherently different about different sorts of clothing in that way.

(I mean, consider all the Polynesians up here who wear lava-lavas—skirts on guys, basically, from a Western set of assumptions—to church, and it’s not a problem at all.)