Good morning! I’m serving baked custards this morning as a sneaky means of giving my children nutritious egg and dairy under the guise of “special dessert for breakfast.” But I’ll be having toast with coffee — Dunkin Donuts brand which is now available in the grocery aisle. We are a spoiled nation of caffeine consumers.
Pour yourself a cup and let’s chat. What’s on your minds today?
Regarding Spiritual Direction:
I have had two different spiritual directions, both were nuns. Both experiences were wonderful.
I was in a program to train to be a spiritual director (it is not something just anyone can train for, it is something I believe I am called to do) and as part of the program had to be meeting with my own spiritual director to further discern that calling.
Spiritual direction is not counseling, at all. Many people have the idea that it has to do with problems and talking over issues regarding mental health–but it is not. A trained spiritual director is given very clear guidelines on what they can and cannot do or “direct” on.
I always viewed my spiritual director as someone who helped me connect my spiritual dots. Sometimes because of situations we’ve been in or the way we grew up, we aren’t always able to see ourselves very objectively. Sometimes it was hard for me to see how things were connected–in a God way.
Carmen, I’m so glad that your daughter made her college decision and that you are at peace with it. It’s such a hard decision and I wish you the best.
I find today’s modesty topic very interesting. I have also read Dressing with Dignity, but found it a little upsetting. It’s nice to hear from others who have also read it. I second the recommendation for the It’s So You book by Mary Sheehan. It was a fun read and has helped me a lot in picking out my clothes.
My question is, what is anyone’s opinion on appropriate skirt length? My 12 year old daughter wants to wear a skirt that is about six inches above her knees. I think this is too short, but she says that “everyone” wears skirts like that these days and that I am out of it. I would appreciate anyone’s input. God bless!
Samantha, I second the mention of Scott Hahn. He helped me fall in love with my faith all over again!
Alice, you are a genius! Thank you for the cotton bike short idea. The funny thing is, I already have my two daughters wear them when they wear skirts (for modesty) and yet the thought never crossed my mind to wear them myself. I’m so glad we have this forum to learn from.
A good place for girls to check out is http://www.purefashion.com If you are concerned about modesty…this has some good guidlines…
Thank you to all who recommended spiritual reading books, now if I can just get someone to watch the kids while I peruse the Catholic bookstore…heehee! I guess I’ll have to settle for perusing Amazon. I am especially interested in the books by/ based on St. Therese. Again, Thank you.
Spiritual directors- I don’t have one, but have been thinking about it. I have a friend who was going to a laywoman. She charged $40 per hour. He now goes to a priest for free.
Budget cooking- I suppose it depends where you live on what is economical or not. I buy yeast in bulk and 50 lb. bags of flour, and make 8 loaves of bread at a time. It is WAY cheaper than buying at the thrift bakery store (which is 12 miles each way, and gas is over $4 a gallon). It doesn’t take that much time, maybe a half hour to mix it and knead it, and I have bread for a few days, and put half of it in the freezer. I have read about bulk cooking, but so far I mainly just do it for breakfast things. I make 12 loaves of banana bread at a time, or 10 dozen muffins, and put extras in the freezer. The thing that saves me the most money is having a limit that I don’t go over. If meat is over $2 a pound, I don’t buy it. Which means I usually have about 2 or 3 meats that I can buy each time I’m at the store. I buy a ton if something is on sale, and put it in the freezer. If things are over my self-imposed limit, I don’t buy it. I wait for sales. Living within your means can be very freeing.
Dana, thanks for joining our discussion, even though you’re not catholic. Isn’t Danielle’s blog great?!
I would not allow my daughter to wear a skirt 6 inches above her knees. I think that it is possible to look fashionable and modest, without resorting to the “amish” look people have mentioned. Target tends to have fashionable, inexpensive clothes, and I have found many comfortable, cute, A-lined skirts there that hit right below my knee. With a pretty T-shirt and some cute sandals, I’m set! I’ve also read Dressing with Dignity. The best thing that came out of that for me is realizing that I like to wear skirts as much as possible, simply because I find them more comfortable and flattering than pants. I’ve got Irish birthing hips, baby! Skirts are more forgiving of my rear. I don’t buy everything she has written, and I do think that one can go a bit loopy and over zealous about the whole thing. But, I do like dressing in a more womanly, pretty way these days.
On the spiritual direction discussion, our parish preist spoke to our mothers’ group last week and was asked about if having a spiritual director was important or not. He said they can be helpful during certain times of life (big decision, emotional or spiritual crisis) but that they should be used with some thought. In fact, he said overuse of a SD can sometimes harm a marriage if one of spouses relies more upon the SD for advice and spiritual sharing than their spouse. He told us that as wives our first SD should be our husband and we should be our husband’s SD.
I love anything Archbishop Fulton Sheen has written!
The modesty discussion rubs me the wrong way also…is has an eerie resemblance to the Popcek discussion on parenting…where some lay person is trying to impose something that is not moral law on all Catholics. Converts seem more attracted to these types of books as they are usually eager to learn about the faith and run to the bookstore looking for all the guidelines. My well intentioned (convert) aunt gave me the Hammond book but I only skimmed it because it reminded me so much of the parenting philosophies I had also received from my relatives. I knew the more I read the more confused I’d feel about the whole issue! Discussing dress is putting the cart before the horse. If we have any kind of spiritual life our dress will take care of itself. Let’s focus first on evangelization of the truest kind…interior transformation! Spending 20 minutes talking with my spiritual director over the phone is worth more than reading 20 “how to” books on the faith. So as far as that discussion goes, I’d definitely urge any woman to find a solid priest willing to give of his time. I can only meet with mine every few months because of distance but I fill in the gaps with phone appointments and just go to frequent Confession at my parish. Don’t wait- just go find a priest and start somewhere!
Since you’re going to be shopping at Amazon and have a love for Theresian spirituality, I have to recommend “Two Sisters in the Spirit” by Von Balthasar. The book focuses on the spirituality of Therese and Elizabeth of the Trinity. A majority of the book is a synthesis of The Little Flower’s spirituality. It is my favorite book on Therese.
Thank you to everyone who took on my question about having a spiritual director. Though Snowshoe’s mention of $40/hr made me flinch – lol. Call me naive, but I just think of cost associated with spiritual direction. Yes, everyone’s time is worth something, I just didn’t think of it. Good thing to ask about – before the first meeting.
Oh, about the girl who wants to wear skirts 6 inches above the knee: I’d ask her to make a list with me of words that people apply to others wearing that look – even the judgmental, less than charitable words associated with the look. Once a fully “fleshed out” (excuse the pun) list was composed, we’d then discuss if that list reflected who she is, who she wants to be. I’d mention, pehaps unfairly, people treat others based upon their perceptions – perceptions often arrived at by appearances. This is a great opportunity to discuss purity.
TO MARIE ON LAW SCHOOL:
About 2 weeks after my husband and I got married we moved to a different state so that he could attend law school. Our intent was that I work (which I did for a short time) and wait until school was done to have kids. Well, in a nut shell, we had our first baby at the end of May in the first school year and I had to quit working (bad situation) in November. So, left with no health insurance, we applied for state assistance. Obviously since no one had a job we qualified (or at least I did while pregnant and the baby did) and we also qualified for food stamps. This was one of the greatest blessings for us.
I would say that going to law school has the potential to bring in a lot of money but certainly not initially and depending on where he wants to go to school, could indeed rack up a lot of debt. If you have to move, and you don’t work and he has to pay for school, you could easily have up to $40,000/yr accumulated. If you were able to work a bit and save on childcare by rearranging schedules, it would eliminate some of the potential debt. In our situation, my husband was lucky enough to have a full tuition scholarship so our only debt (which is still enough) was for our living expenses. We rented as cheaply as we could find in Ann Arbor, which is a very expensive place to live, in my opinion. And we did our best to limit things. It’s still a lot of debt.
My struggle with all of it is that so many people think that if you’re a lawyer you make oodles of $$. Not exactly true. My husband makes enough for us to get by on. We don’t have a fancy house. We have an old house that we bought after he started working. It’s really old and we drive vehicles that are older (1999). By the time we pay utilities, mortgage, student loans, there really isn’t a lot left over at this point. Yes, the earning potential is great but certainly not initially. Depending on where your husband gets a job, it could be a significant number of years before he makes partner and as an associate, you are expected to work a lot of hours, long hours. Currently, my husband goes to work by 8 am and comes home at 6 but he works his tail off all day so that he can come home then and sometimes he still needs to work late and put in extra hours. I know of attorneys who go in at 8 and don’t leave until 8 or even later and are there on the weekends. Sometimes I wonder if they see their kids at all. Even though finances may be better, there are definite sacrifices to consider. I’m not trying to be a downer on the legal profession but these are definitely things that I wish I had known before going in so I knew what to expect instead of resenting some it (I’m past that now). If you would like more information, I’d be happy to share with you. You can just leave a note on here and we can get in contact. Best of luck with your decision!
Thanks for the responses… sometimes i need some friendly guidance
Thank you for the advice regarding my daughter who wants to wear a skirt well above her knees, everyone. I do think I teach her well about purity and modesty, and she goes to a small, catholic school where there’s a uniform, but she still succumbs to worldly thinking. Thank you for confirming what I felt within me, that it isn’t right for her to wear something so short. She almost convinced me that I’m the one with the messed up thinking. I guess I just needed some support in remaining firm with her.
Maria, I found your comment about spouses giving each other spiritual guidance very interesting. I do this with my husband a lot, so it’s nice to know that that’s a good thing. Thanks for sharing!
Plastic Alternative: Corelle dishes. They are made in the USA too! You can get them open stock at Shopko or Walmart or a Corelle outlet store. And they have great sizes for little kids, tiny snack bowls, smaller dinner plates.
We use tiny glass juice cups from Ikea that have been good so far. They have lots of sides (bumpy) and not smooth so less breakable. I do use a few plastic straw cups for my baby, she hates the stainless cups we’ve tried.
Red Cardigan says
Stacy, you may want to be careful with the Corelle dishes:
Michelle Reitemeyer says
Sarah L – generally, the more work you do at home, the less your food will cost. Generally, blocks of cheese are cheaper than bags of shredded cheese. Generally, raw ground meat is cheaper than preformed meatballs. Generally, a dozen spice jars will last longer than a package containing a salad dressing mix or a taco meat mix.
Of course, sales and coupons make a difference too. Learn what day the meat is on its “sell by” date, shop then, and stock your freezer. If your favorite brand of peanut butter is on sale this week, don’t just buy an extra jar, buy 4 extra jars. Avoid snacks and juice boxes and cereal and frozen waffles. Bake muffins and pancakes.
GB with the 2 1/2 year old boy who grabs things from his little sister and then gets angry when he’s disciplined: God love you for “patiently explaining” the error of his ways! A few other tricks: redirect him quickly to another activity or item or toy (this probably won’t work very well, but it’s always good to try!), teach him the art of substitution where he offers his little sister another toy for the one she has (although she’s probably getting old enough to not be interested in what he has to offer), and finally, accept the idea that he just may throw a fit because he’s not getting his way. It’s ok. I get a bit grumpy too when I don’t get what I want! Keep being patient, and don’t get frustrated by his lack of cooperation – he’ll be better in a year or two!
Mom of 3 says
I believe in your original post one of your main questions was whether women who wear only skirts find a need to wear pants often.
I must say that as a daily “skirt wearer” I seldom, if ever, wish I had a pair of pants to put on. (And I did grow up wearing pretty much only pants). I have climbed fences, ridden bikes (ever wonder why women’s bikes have slanted bars that attach the handlebars to the seats instead of the straight ones that men’s bikes do?) gardened, etc. in skirts. I also have 3 kids 2 and under and am frequently on the floor with them, all in perfect modesty. As long as your skirt has some length (usually mid-calf) this isn’t a modesty issue. The skirts I wear are modest, feminine, very practical for everyday wear, and usually “fashionable”, too. (I love to shop!)
Gee, my family has used Corelle dishes for as long as I can remember and we’ve never had any explode… Is that guy for real? We’ve always liked them and they hold up really well.
Elizabeth B. says
About Corelle dishes: my family used them when I was growing up (and they still do) and we never had a problem with them exploding. In fact, they were extremely sturdy, and survived lots of falls to the floor (even in the kitchen where there was no carpeting).
Currently, I use Pfaltzgraff stoneware, and when one of those babies shatter, well–depending on how it happens, I can find shards for days. So, that’s not unique to Corelle.
We’ve used Corelle dishes for our whole marriage just short of 22 yrs. We’ve never had one explode. We didn’t even lose many to breakage. I got a new set a few years ago since I loved them so much and the other was 20 yrs old. My new set is white which I love. Make sure you like the pattern because they last so long and also get a few extra if they have open stock since patterns change over the years.
RE: Glasses from IKEA
Stacy, I have the larger glasses from IKEA. They remind of soda fountain glasses. THey have the ridges too and are very thick. THey have dropped numerous times since I bought them, and only one has broken. (Because some smarty pants (ummm, me) put it in the sink rather clumsily and it hit a stainless steel pot) I believe they were under a dollar each. They are the greatest things going.
As far as Corelle goes. When I was growing up I had those. I despise the clinking sound they made. I hate them LOL. Never had them in my married life.
Mary B says
I laughed Red Cardigan-!!– It certainly would be disrespect except he usually calls too often and his Boss is a dear, and a mom to 4 sons. I had forgotten they had a meeting in town.
Moinca— Exactly! If we still look feminine and attractive for our husband’s sake, (or the one we hope God is sending) but do not make it hard for other men to guard their eyes — then we’ve found the balance.
One last skirt thought– my sister/BFF wears mostly skirts and prefers midcalf. She’s expecting #10 (God love her!) Because she tends to have a boyish shape she sticks to pencil or A line skirts. With the pencil skirt and a van be sure you have a kick pleat and/or a step to get into the van.
Her husband loves the skirts so he’s upgraded every van to help her get in easily.
Michelle Reitemeyer, thank you for your advice! I’ve tried those things, too, but as you say, they don’t always work: if I manage to interest him in a different book or toy, he’ll still go back and scream for his sister’s. It is *very* frustrating, and I’m not always that patient 🙁 Usually they’re the best friends, they can play and laugh together, too, but then… I just wonder if there’s a different issue at work here, I mean, maybe he does it to grab (no pun intended 😉 ) my attention, or something… Anyway, it’s not Tuesday anymore, so no more Coffee Talk for me 🙂
Gina, I would say that it really does depend as I do think – shock! – there are times when it’s OK to wear a skirt above the knee. And, to me, it varies.
My 2 daughters go to dance class a few times a week. They have to wear shorts. They do not wear the shortest ones that all the other girls wear. Theirs are a little longer, maybe just shy of half-thigh length? They also wear skorts, but they are minis, no two ways about it. And this is a requirement: the teacher must see most of their legs. And for dance class, that’s fine. Just like a bathing suit without legs is fine for the beach or pool. If your kids swim on a team, you wear the team bathing suit, period. If you run, same thing: you can’t do it in Bermuda shorts, if you’re a serious runner. Shorts – which usually end up a good 6″ over the knee – are just not a problem or issue for us.
But they do go to Catholic school. And while there is a length requirement (no shorter than about 3″ above the knee), my girls wear them just below or just above the kneecap. It looks good, proportionately, and they still wear short shorts underneath, because they play on the playground. This is their choice, by the way, so yes, even girls that have no taboos about showing their legs can understand there’s a time and a place.
I’d say that there should be room for compromise. You don’t have to have her be the only one among her friends wearing below the knee. So say, instead of 6″ why not 4″ above the knee, the length of fairly modest shorts? That’s just not sexualized, to me; there’s no longer anything “hot” about that or titillating or immodest. But if she’s young and running around, it’s just easier to make it a skort or wear short shorts underneath.
For anyone who wants to bake their own bread and doesn’t have a lot of time might I recommend the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. With this technique you mix up a batch of dough (about 3 minutes with a heavy duty mixer), let it sit on the counter for a couple of hours then refrigerate it. When you want to bake you take some dough out of the fridge, shape it and put it on a pizza peel (or in some recipes in a non-stick loaf pan) for a period of time. When the rest period is up you put it into a pre-heated oven on a baking stone (or in the loaf pan) and if you want a crispy crust pour a cup of hot water into a broiler pan which was in the oven while it was pre-heating. It honestly takes almost longer to tell about it than to do it. It produces wonderful artisan loaves. I made the best rye bread I ever tasted last week using this technique. You can store the dough in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks and bake as needed. I wish I’d had this technique when I was a young mom. I would have baked my own bread more than I did (and I baked my own bread a lot). It’s a great technique for someone new to bread baking and the book has lots of pictures to show you what to do.
Oh, and another tip for saving money on food. Some items are actually cheaper at the natural foods store for example spices, vanilla, honey and yeast. The other day I bought caraway seeds for making rye bread at the natural foods store they were $9 a pound (I bought around half a pound) at the super market they were almost $49 a pound and the little 1.5 oz jar cost over a dollar more than what I had paid for what I bought. Yeast at the grocery store costs at least 3 or 4 times what it does in the natural foods store (and that’s if you buy it in the jar not the packets).
Of course sometimes you can get even better buys on spices in the dollar store, but it tends to be a hit or miss thing (they don’t always have what you’re looking for) while the natural foods store usually carries a good variety of spices all the time. Beware though the pre-packaged processed stuff at the health food store (granola bars, candy, snacks, canned goods) will be costlier than at the grocery store. The bottom line is you have to be a smart shopper, and do your own processing as much as possible, and grow your own food as much as possible, and find local sources for things like eggs as much as possible (free range eggs at the grocery store are over $3 a dozen, but I can get locally grown free range eggs from a neighbor for $2.50 or under a dozen).
A guy says
The modest talk is interesting. If my wife wore skirts and long dresses every day I would have a HUGE problem with it. I love when I walk in the house after a long days work and see my wife in some great looking yoga pants, a sporty shirt, and her hair up. What she wears is not “revealing” but she looks great and everyday I long for her more and more for she is such a great woman, mom and absolutely beautiful!!
I work in corporate America where I run into sharp dressed woman all day long, I believe it is VERY important for husbands to come home to their wives looking good and of course this will not happen daily for many times I come home to a completely frazzled wife and love that as well and expect it. I just hear these stories of guys walking in to their wives everyday who haven’t showered, are wearing oversized clothes and are simply a wreak. I know this happens at times but it shouldn’t happen daily. Don’t take this the wrong way, for I am not being superficial and love my wife and all of her great attributes and flaws unconditionally I just love the fact that she dresses stylish, at times “sexy” when the kids are in bed and she really cares about how she looks.
Wow! So many great topics this week!
Sarah L.- breadmaking…really not that hard. I use my kitchenaid mixer to make two loaves at a time. My family actually eats LESS bread when I bake (it’s more filling than the store bought kind). It takes me less than 30 mins of hands on time, and I bake bread about 1 1/2 times a week. If we lived near a bakery thrift shop (the nearest one is 1 1/2 HOURS away) I’d probably go that route instead.
Gina – 12 year old and the skirt. A compromise that I’ve seen on some of the young ladies at our church (if you trust her to stick with this rule) is to wear leggings underneath the skirt. Basically, the look is capri length leggings, shorter than I’d approve of alone jean skirt, and layered tops (like a white cami with a shorter colored shirt over it.)
Marie- law school…make sure your hubby really WANTS to be a lawyer…and make sure that he is interested in an area of law that pays well if you are going to take out loans to support a family through law school. Hubby went to law school for 1 1/2 years before we had kids. The first year he had a full tuition scholarship…the school apparently has a philosophy of giving full tuition scholarships to first year students and then not renewing them. We had close to $10,000 in loans from his year and a half. His area of interest was natural resource law (of course, not on the corporate side…), but he got really burnt out on the legal profession. In the end, we decided to cut our losses while we were ahead. We moved to a rural area, and hubby now works for the post office, where he makes really good money for the cost of living here, and has a lot of time off to spend with me and the girls.
Dressing with Dignity – I’ve read the book 2 or 3 times now, and some of you ladies were able to articulate what bothered me about it. I have started wearing more skirts since reading it…but I don’t know that I’ll ever be a skirt only kinda woman. I’ll probably give it a try next pregnancy, as in my maternity stash, I have several skirts and dresses, but have managed to destroy all my maternity pants.
Great coffee talk!
I wonder, in the wake of this modesty discussion, whether activities that are difficult to do in a skirt are thereby also considered immodest? Maybe girls and women and mothers should not be running or jumping or doing other highly active motions, lest a feminine part jiggle or attract the wrong kind of attention??
I struggle with my own sarcasm here– especially since I know the comments are made in earnest, but it seems we are balancing on a slippery slope, here.
I like the comment from the person best who indicated that we must show common sense in the clothes we choose but that modesty is as much a state of mind. (I’m paraphrasing)
(Please don’t bar me from Coffee Talk, Danielle…I’ll be nice. I promise.)
My brother used to do the same thing to me that your son does to your daughter (when we were 3 and 1). Before I was walking, he would come up, take a toy from me, walk a few steps away, and start playing with it. My first independent steps were to go over and hit him one time. That stopped him from doing it (for the most part). While I wouldn’t suggest coaching your daughter to retaliate, I do think that it might take time for them to work things out themselves.
Anon and Majellamom, thanks for your input on the skirt issue. You have given me some food for thought!
Thank you, “a guy”, for jumping in here. What you said was exactly the advice that was given to me at a “mom talk”, sponsored by (gasp) Opus Dei. The experienced woman said to please, don’t let your husband come in the door to find you in the same sweats he saw you in when he left for work. Yes, somedays you will get busy, or have vomiting kids, or whatever, but in general, spiff up for your husband. Remember (she said) he’s been around made-up, perfumed, career-types all day.
(This is not to denigrate those who work outside the home. This means that if you have been at work, and have on some make-up and nice clothes, chances are nobody that you gave birth to barfed on you that day. I can’t say that that is always true for me at home.)
I have to say that I am amazed at how civil the discussion on Modesty ( I personally think it has become more of a discussion on wether to wear only skirts and dresses or if wearing pants can be modest too ) has remained. I have personally never read Dressing with Dignity nor do I think I ever will. I love my jeans and will probably always wear them. I feel that there is a time for dresses and skirts and that wearing them every day takes away from how nice they can look on those special occasions. For example if my husband seen me every day that we were dating in a wedding gown, would I have taken his breath away as he seen me walking down the isle to him ? By the same token, since my husband is a Tradesman and goes to work daily in Jeans , When he does put on a suit I find him breathtaking. My question to some of these skirt only women is ; Do you also wear the heels ( or at least dress shoes suitable for a dress) everyday ? I have seen women ( some being friends who only wear skirts and dresses) with skirts and athletic shoes, moccasins, casual sandals, flip flops, snow boots, and other shoes that we pants wearers would never pair with a dressy outfit. I personally don’t think that dresses or pants matter where true modesty is concerned. I think that it is all what you and your partner are comfortable with and finding good fitting clothing that covers you.
I am also not sold on where it is my fault if someone else’s husband has impure thoughts. As long as I am dressed morally, I should be proud of the body which God has given me.
Another question that I have is ;out of you women who chose not to wear pants ( Now please I am just asking I am not attempting to put you down ) How do you all feel about public breastfeeding? I know that even though I wear pants I would have never breast fed in public without a blanket/ sweater/something covering me. Again I mean no disrespect and understand that babies need to eat when they need to eat but to me it is more of an issue of modesty to have a man other than my husband see my breast ( even with a baby attached ) than the shape of my legs , butt ,or whatever through my jeans. I would be interested in others opinions on this one. Maybe I am simply abnormal or missing the point but I am just trying to understand and truely mean no disrespect.
I live in Colleen Hammond world down here (meaning… my friends and I know her personally), and the Catholic homeschooling group I (sort of) belong to is rampant with the “skirts only” mentality. I say “sort of” because I find myself very much an outcast by the majority of that crowd because I will not wear skirts to their functions. Yes, I am SUCH a rebel.
My thinking is that it would hypocritical for me to do so, since I don’t normally wear skirts at home. I do, however, leave my tank tops at home (it’s so hot here in TX) and opt for a modest shirt or sweater with culottes and sandals. I LOVE culottes. They are feminine and flowy and won’t fly up or “reveal” anything when you’re on the floor with your kiddos.
Melissa, I totally agree with your “slippery slope” concern, b/c that is exactly where Colleen goes with the argument. “If you can’t do it in a skirt, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it… because it’s not feminine.” (btw: that’s not a direct quote, just to be clear…..) And then we proceed to judge other’s actions as well…. yikes.
I agree with the commenter who said something along the lines of… [boy, I’m on a roll with all of this paraphrasing, eh? :)]we have enough on our plates as moms and even homeschoolers, we don’t need to make this a divisive moral issue.
amy v says
How do you do cartwheels with your girls in skirts? Also, my kids and I love to swim!!
May God help us discern what is truly worth worrying about!
My dd read this discussion and had had a discussion with her fiance and his brother on the subject. They say that specific clothes are not really the problem and that men need to be willing to practice custody of the eyes. As a matter of fact one of them said that a woman dressed in a garbage bag that covered her whole body would attract more attention because of the fact that something totally draped is more intriguing because you have to guess at what’s underneath, which gets you thinking about what’s underneath I guess. I do know that I read somewhere that a shapely ankle used to be very provocative in an era where women wore floor length dresses. I do think that modesty is as much an attitude as anything else. You can be provocative in a floor length jumper or you can be modest in a swimsuit. I’ve certainly seen the young girls who while not dressed particularly inappropriately throw themselves at guys in a fashion that is designed to attract them sexually. Ironically the people around here who are most apt to dress in long skirts are either fundamentalist Protestants or crunchy pot smoking types. They probably disagree with each other on nearly every issue, but they dress pretty much alike. The crunchy long skirt wearers don’t do it so much for modesty’s sake as for their image as earth mothers.
My pastor’s wife (back when I was a Protestant teen) was one of the most attractively dressed women I knew. She always carried herself with great modesty and no one would ever have considered her provocative, but she wore pants when the activity was appropriate for pants (like taking the youth group on a cookout, or sledding), she wore dresses when it was appropriate (like for church or for going out to dinner with her husband), she wore reasonable swim suits. I never saw her when she didn’t look fantastic, except for one time when she was sick in bed. She was a great role model to all of us partly because she did this on an extremely limited budget. I was fortunate to have a number of adult female friends like that. My own mom was not into fashion at all. I try not to be too hung up on having the very latest style, or even brand new clothes every season, but I do try to dress in a fashion appropriate to the activity I’m engaged in.
As far as what activities are feminine, well, if my husband is at work and the wood needs to be brought in, or the house will be cold, I bring it in. If the lawn needs mowing and my husband is rototilling the garden, I mow the lawn. In the same way if I was nursing the baby he was perfectly capable of starting dinner, and he actually did a superior job ironing little girl dresses to me. Jobs don’t necessarily come with a masculine or feminine label on them. Some jobs (like nursing the baby) are outside of a male’s ability and some like toting heavy fence posts are outside of the ability of most females. Other jobs (like loading the dishwasher or mowing the lawn) are within the ability of either sex. In that case the person with the time to do it does it and hopefully dresses appropriately to do so.
City Mom says
I’m finding this talk about Colleen Hammond’s book so fascinating that even though I do not homeschool I just may have to read her book.
Have you looked at good ol’ Correlle dishes? I personally just use my Pfaltzgraff stoneware dishes but it does chip & crack. My mom always used Correll dishes for years. They are lighter weight than stoneware & sturdier. You might try checking them out next time you make it to WalMart, etc.
I have somewhat of a contrarian streak in me. When our children attended Catholic school, I found it really difficult to find a place for myself and my family with the other moms and their kids. They seemed either a little too phoney baloney or a little too competitive. Then we moved and I couldn’t enroll my children in Catholic school so we put them in public. It’s an excellent school but a tad more diverse than what I was used to (approx 20% of the student body is Asian -mostly Korean and Japanese and about 20% is Jewish). It was so strange but I felt more at home there than I ever did at my childrens’ former parochial school. I also felt like I could be myself and strangely enough, because the Jewish women were so in your face about their faith, I found it very liberating to be Catholic. And I found that the more I spoke about my faith and our Catholic traditions, the more respect they showed me. One of them told me that she never met a Catholic who actually knew anything about their faith until she met me. Go figure. Sometimes we are called to be in the world.
Jennifer (Et Tu?) says
This might be off-topic (even for a post about off-topic topics 🙂 ) but I just wanted to thank you for linking to the “Gateway porn” article in your shared items. That is one of the most powerful, compelling articles I’ve read in a while. It articulated all my scattered thoughts about the Miley Cyrus photos. Thanks!
I agree whole wholeheartedly with you Dina on the modesty issue.I think you should dress appropriately for the occasion . Where I go to mass several of the women dress in what my husband calls Christian women style and he tends to make fun of. By Christian women he means Amish or what some of you Americans call prairie muffin with long skirts and long sleeves in summer. One even has her little girls in long drab clothing in the summer with long sleeves. Here where I live in Australia it gets very hot so it must be a real torment for them. This style does not suit me but then I tend to be very conservative as I am a librarian anfd I do wear the almost librarian uniform of skirt, blouse and jacket so I suppose I am not that different.
On the pants issue, Muslim women in Pakistani and Afghanistan were the shalmar chemise , a sort of long tunic top over loose fitting pants along with the hejab. In those countries women have to be covered up and modest for their own personal safety to prevent male attentions . So pants can be very modest.
I think women should dress to suit themselves and as you get older you tend to be more modest as let face you get the faults that go with aging. You no longer have the legs of a 20 year old to show off as it is. However if you have daughters you cannot be telling them to be modest if you let everything hang out yourself. I still think of a woman of my age at work who wears very short skirts and she not longer has the physical attributes to carry it off. So been modest makes more sense.