As the DarwinVan pulled into its parking space yesterday, another young couple (with one small offspring) emerged from a large, glitteringly hubcapped pickup a few spaces over and headed towards the church.
"Ummmmm. Okay." said Darwin.
"Wow. Clubbing with Jesus," said MrsDarwin.
The source of these cryptic remarks was the dress worn by the female half of aforesaid couple. That it was rather tight, a little low cut, and came down only to mid thigh is perhaps not so unusual these days (even at a suburban Texas parish mass) as to elicit comment -- at least from the DarwinParents whose offspring were already starting to riot in the back of the van. Rather more out of the ordinary, however, was the fact that this particular dress featured a slit up the back of the skirt which went up basically to where the legs themselves divided from what came above. This might have elicited a great deal of attention in a situation where the wearer was going out clubbing, as such things always bring with them a certain curiosity as to whether the wearer is conscious enough of the limitations of her clothing to manage not to move in such a way as to amuse the masses, or not.
However, since the venue was Sunday mass, the outfit -- topped off (or should I say bottomed off?) with high, clear resin heels -- seemed simply to be out of place.
What this reminded me of, however, is the increasing degree to which people seem to have lost the idea of different standards of dress for different places. One's most expensive or exclusive outfit is not necessarily a appropriate for any given venue, even if "dressing up" is appropriate there.
I am reminded of an anecdote I heard somewhere or other in which a priest asked one of his parishoners why he had been so disrespectful as to show up to Sunday mass in a track suit and sneakers. The man replied, "What do you mean, father? This track suit cost me $700. This is the most expensive outfit I own!"
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