Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Homey G's

Hahahahahaa. Okay, bad title? Anyone get it?
Anyone?

GARMENTS.

Calm down. I'm not going to desecrate anything or give away meanings of things. This is strictly...well, hell. I guess cultural AND doctrinal. We need to make up a term for this stuff, there's so much of it. It's difficult to combine two words that end the same way, though. Ideas?

To begin, I'm so glad the washing and anointing ceremony changed. I remember my mom asking me if we were bathed in the temple, and I totally knew where she was coming from on that but I had to tell her "not exactly."

See, I had little problem going back to the temple for the endowment ceremony (though I totally preferred the baptisms) or even sealings, but I could *not* go back to do washing and anointing for anyone. I hated that ordinance. Whatever happened to modesty? I get that we're all girls here and whatnot, but after so much talk about modesty, well...it shocked me. Shortly after it changed I went back no problem.

So there's issue #1, but it's been resolved. I do have to admit I'm happy to have been through at least one change in the temple. I imagine it will be the last change I ever experience, but there you go. You hear rumors and stories about past changes in the temple, but it's difficult to know who's exaggerating and who's not. This one I know from memory. I have read stories about what it was like back in the 1800s and 1900s, and I'd love to speak with anyone whose experienced it because...eek.

Anyway.

The garments themselves shocked me because I thought (remember: ex-Molly here) they were a bit more immodest than they should be. Hell, I could show a little cleavage. It might be a pain, but I could. The bottoms always seemed a little nuts to me, going down to my knees and all but perhaps that's due to my short stature ;) Not much leg left. I appear even shorter in long skirts. It's wonderful, really.

With the possible exception of the washing and anointing ceremony none of this...none of his got to me as much as the bra situation. Girls, you hear me right? Guys, if you're married (or do moms run around the house like this?) you probably know what I'm talking about.

It's like Robo-woman. I know the garment is intended to stay as close to our skin as possible but for us *cough*well-endowed*cough* girls, the bra works much better beneath the top. I used nursing as an excuse forever, but after that I just said screw it. I couldn't take myself seriously like that and besides, hello turnoff.

It's no wonder some take this whole thing to an extreme. I worried about periods, could I wear underwear beneath my bottoms? I could? Oh good. *wipes forehead*

Let's not even get into the subject of sex and garments. I've already been there and everyone had hilarious and unbelievable stories to tell - members who reject lingerie (or wear their garments beneath them - I'll admit I thought the same at first) even about those who are scared to bathe with their garments off as if something might happen while showering (you hear the stories of people who die in car accidents and the parts of them covered with the garments are untouched while the accident mangled the rest of the person). What if you die in the shower?! Will we be judged on how diligent we are in our garment wearing? Talk about labor intensive.

(again, of whom? Joseph Smith or President Monson/Hinckley/Hunter...who?!? I thought it was supposed to be Christ. I've been taught both - another entry? okay)

"President, I'm so righteous I even make love to my wife with my garments on. Sex is so holy." (ahahaha, pun!)

Speaking of holy, what the crap is up with the mesh garments? They're cooler in warm weather regions? Yes, I've heard that. But my husband, who served in the midwest of the US, related a story to me about a mission companion who would strut around their apartment in mesh garments.

Ewwwwww is right, folks.

Got a lot of fathers who wear the mesh garments.

Ewwwwww is right, folks.

I don't care how studly, hot, or ripped you are, mesh garments are not sexy. I understand the purpose of the garment is more than just promoting modesty, it's there to also help us remember covenants we've made in the temple, but promotion of modesty IS a large part of it. We're told that if we have to adjust our garments to accommodate our clothing than we need to choose more modest clothing.

So what's up with mesh garments?

As for the necessity for something cooler, hell I know this. Here in July we're graced with 110 degree weather and it is no time for an extra layer of cotton-polys. Winter it's fine, I welcome it, but I've known people who ditch them in the summer 'lest they melt into a puddle. My very obedient friend ditched them during her pregnancy in the summer for her tank tops. Her bishop wasn't impressed, but she got her recommend anyway.

My idea back then was that if we're righteous enough we suffer through it. After all, Christ suffered all things - so we should shut up about a little heat, right? Maybe, I can't say, but are we missing the idea here? Are we worried about things we oughtn't worry so much about?

Seriously.

I wonder if our garment fetishes have much to do with our messed up attitudes toward sex and sexuality and perhaps our bodies. I understand it's good to have a reminder of sacred things, but it's a lot like when I had a CTR ring my friend gave me. Sure it serves as a reminder for a while, but in time it's just another article of clothing even if you do attend the temple. Am I wrong? I can see how I could be wrong, but the thought has crossed my mind.

30 comments:

Amanda said...

I have to disagree about the bra thing. That's one of the two things I miss about garments. My skin gets much more chaffed in the bra area, and I, once again, can't wear skirts. They're just too uncomfortable without garments protecting the skin of my legs.

Then again, due to the heat in TX, when I moved here, I had the lightest garments possible and still I started to get skin infections because of the buildups of sweat. Yeah. Garments don't mix with TX heat so well. They also ruined a bunch of my shirts due to the heat. I've never been through clothes as fast as I did during that time.

Steve M. said...

Hahaha, great post.

Before I went to the temple, I had heard enough bits and pieces to know that something involving washing and partial nudity was involved, and I gotta admit that I was scared to death. I had this image in my mind of myself sitting, completely naked, in the middle of a large shower-type room, with old men "washing" me in some manner. So I was actually relieved when I got there and realized that it wasn't as traumatizing as I had imagined.

I'm regretting that I missed your earlier post on sex. In the Church, our ideas about sex are so messed up that I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Before my wife and I were married, we decided to take a BYU religion class together called "Marriage and Family Relations" or something like that. There was a lot of anticipation about the day on which we were to discuss "intimacy" (i.e., S-E-X). I remember being totally shocked when the professor mentioned that some couples had sex in their garments. Although I had been raised in the Church, it had never occurred to me that church members would not remove their garments when "being intimate." To this day, I'm not sure how that would even work. Even if you can figure out how to make it work logistically, sex in garments still sounds like . . . well, about the least appealing way to have sex that has ever existed since the beginning of time.

Katie said...

I really love my garments. From the second that I went through the Initiatory session of the endowment, they just felt right and good on/to me. I've only recently discovered the mesh garments, and they were heaven last summer in the Philly humidity.

Yeah, sometimes I'd prefer to wear a tank-top in the heat, but (I think) this is where Steve's earlier comments about being a "peculiar people" come into play. I doubt that they will ever make the garments so they don't cover the shoulders, if for no other reason than that it does make us look different.

Lisa said...

Ah just so we understand, I'm not suggesting we all ditch the garments in the heat nor am I saying they're uncomfortable. They can be rather inconvenient, but that's me speaking and I suppose everyone should remember where I am as opposed to where most active members stand.

Just giving voice to thoughts I've had over the years.

The mesh thing is a personal "eeeeek" for me. I don't think I'd be very comfortable in them. That said, different strokes for different folks.

:)

The Faithful Dissident said...

Wow, they must have changed the anointing thing before I got my endowments. Now you got me really curious. :D I just remember having to put on this really really huge... how do I describe it... almost like a poncho. They obviously weren't made for petites like me.

You have heard that it's OK to wear your bra under your garments now, right? As long as it's white. Same with underwear, as long as it's white, which I was glad about because I just HAVE to wear underwear. I'm one of those strange ones, though, who actually prefers the bra under the garments, but probably only because I live in a cold climate and usually only wear the cotton kind. The mesh ones suck. Yeah, it helps on a really hot day, but they just have no form and just "hang" there. I'm disappointed, though, that there are no mesh bottoms. Those would be really nice on a hot day!

Sex with garments... so ridiculous it's not even worth commenting on! LOL.

Katie said...

Faithful, I have mesh bottoms, in petite bottoms sized, too. Perhaps they are just out of them when you were there? I bought them maybe 6 months ago.

Lisa said...

FD: Really? Interesting. That said, I don't have any white bras. (pssst! Victoria's Secret isn't all it's cracked up to be). My white bra kicked the bucket along with my black ones. Dammit.

I dunno. It's good to hear about that, though because I did resent being Robo-woman.

As for the ceremony pre-2005 (was it? 2006?), lets just say you didn't wear...anything. The privacy factor was small. For the record, it also weirded out my husband, something he didn't tell me until after they changed the ordinance. His sigh of relief surprised me and was only the tip of the iceberg of things he's had issue with.

glad it's different now though.

I just can't figure out how they'd have sex with garments on! It's obvious enough that the guy could, but the girl...I mean, hell, people. Gotta martyr yourselves, huh? lol. We aren't meant to suffer in ALL things.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Oh wow, mesh bottoms exist!! Thanks for letting me know, Katie! I will not rest until I find them. :D

Lisa, the bra under the garments had just been OK'ed around the time I got my endowments. The temple matron told us it was a personal decision and to pray about it. Although I've never been able to understand why God would tell one sister it's OK and another that it's not.

From what I understand, garments used to be one piece with a hole in the crotch area, which I guess is how some people had sex with them on. But now with the two-piece style, I just don't get how it's possible.

Steve M. said...

I really tried to prepare my wife (then-fiancee) for the weirdness (for lack of a better word) of the initiatory. Then, as luck would have it, they ended up changing it a few weeks before she went through the temple. Oh well.

You have heard that it's OK to wear your bra under your garments now, right? As long as it's white. Same with underwear, as long as it's white, which I was glad about because I just HAVE to wear underwear.

Is this an "official" policy, or is it just a temple matron's personal opinion? We haven't heard about this.

Lisa said...

"From what I understand, garments used to be one piece with a hole in the crotch area, which I guess is how some people had sex with them on. But now with the two-piece style, I just don't get how it's possible."

Perhaps with righteousness comes creativity? ;D

I haven't heard anything either; that said do we ever hear of temple changes of this nature over the pulpit? That would be interesting.

Soxy Pirate said...

Is this an "official" policy, or is it just a temple matron's personal opinion? We haven't heard about this.

My "personal opinion" is that almost any "official policy" regarding garments boils down to "personal opinion."

Anybody that wants to tell me when, where, or how to wear my underwear can kiss my ass...through my garments, of course.

Steve M. said...

As for lingerie . . .

My wife's sister got married a little over a year ago. Shortly before the wedding, some of her friends threw her a "lingerie party." My mother-in-law commented to my wife that it was completely pointless, since the bride-to-be would only use lingerie once (presumably on the wedding night).

My wife and I both thought this was a funny comment. So lingerie is OK on the wedding night, but not after that?

Whatever.

belledame2 said...

I found that the mesh garments were great in the Florida summers while I worked outside at Walt Disney World in Attractions. Now that I live in the upper Midwest, I wear the cotton/polyester ones year round. I also like wearing the thermax ones in winter when it gets really cold.

As for wearing the bra over or under the top garment, I've always worn it over the garment and have no problem with that.

Just my spin on this subject.

Grégoire said...

I do have to admit I'm happy to have been through at least one change in the temple...

The temple ceremony DOES NOT and HAS NEVER changed, Lisa. NEVER!

If you feel otherwise, then YOU remember WRONG!

Remember, the Prophet RESTORED these plain and precious truths which had been CORRUPTED by the Satan-inspired Christians of yesteryear. God DOES NOT change.

In the name of Joseph Smith, AMEN!

The Faithful Dissident said...

Steve M., it was confirmed by an Area Authority who was a member of my old ward. Apparently President Hinckley decided on a policy change to accommodate the sisters. It's strange, though, that it's not common knowledge all over the Church, especially in a place with so many members like California. I'm surprised you guys have never heard of it.

Lisa said...

Soxy: Of course, and agreed.

Gregoire: You do like to shake things up, eh? hahahahaha. Yeah, I know. They say the fundamental core of the ordinances remain pure and the same. *shrug*

FD: Honestly, maybe they have announced it. I might've not been at church that day :P

Still, though, I would think I would've heard family talk about it. Hm. I'll have to ask around.

Steve: Oh man, just one time huh? The girls I've spoken with say things like "Eh it's just going to come off anyway, so what's the point?"

Uhm...

Perhaps we take our value of modesty just a smidge too far when it intrudes in on our sex life? Methinks so.

*reading*

belle: Huh. Woulda thought more girls didn't dig the bra over the garment thing. (Not a jab, btw). I'm suprised and very curious for more reactions to this idea.

Dan Knudsen said...

Before about 1978, when garments changed to two-piece, women’s were in two basic types: Snug-leg (also called open-crotch) and I forget the name of the second type--it was kind of like a slip on each leg coming together in the crotch. The really old-style men’s garments were long-legged, long-sleeved and also open-crotch (my dad said that they covered everything but your nakedness) and they were also quite uncomfortable to wear.

As a temple worker I was glad for the change in Initiatory, as previously it had caused some embarrassment at times. Also, many years ago there was an awful lot of water used, and you had to have a towel to get dry.

Time is required to get the bugs out of certain things, as the Lord didn’t explain everything and waited for us to ask about some things--for instance, how the brother of Jared got a source of light in the eight vessels. Some of us don’t think to ask, but just complain.

TFD--The shields come in various sizes, so someone goofed with you.

SP--You are free to wear your underwear when, where, or how you want to do so; but, just be aware that there will likely be a penalty for making your own rules, when they conflict with how it’s supposed to be done, since it’s not something to joke about. You either accept it, or you don’t accept it; and then you get, or don’t get, the promised blessings. There is no argument about it, as it’s that simple and easy to understand.

Gregoire’s sacrilegious comments are not worth commenting on, since no one knows exactly what it is he’s trying to prove; however, his ignorance doesn’t seem to prevent him from plowing ahead at full speed.

Lisa said...

Ah Dan, you know just as well as I do that you just engaged Gregoire by addressing him at all and I wish you wouldn't. It's immature at best.

Gregoire, I really hope you won't entertain the man with any more arguments. It won't change a damn thing for anyone but serve to annoy. Please be the bigger man here.

"Some of us don’t think to ask, but just complain."

If you don't like it, I suggest you find some other blog to read. I complain, they complain, we all complain. We get it out of our system, see it from a better and less pissed off perspective, and move on.

And how do you know if we haven't asked?

A perfect example of baiting with blessings. Sorry, that just doesn't work for me anymore. Not like it used to, at least.

Grégoire said...

Dear Lisa,

Gregoire, I really hope you won't entertain the man with any more arguments. It won't change a damn thing for anyone but serve to annoy. Please be the bigger man here.

You mean you don't want me to make kooky, passive-aggressive, thinly veiled insults to some third party in a slightly raised voice, so that Dan here can overhear it and supposedly feel shamed?

I remember his behaviour, but only when I passed the relief society room. LOL!

Seriously, I think the church has changed a bit since I was a kid. Twenty years ago you would have been excommunicated simply for asking these questions, so perhaps we should see the glass as half-full.

Lisa said...

Gregoire: Twenty years ago you would have been excommunicated simply for asking these questions, so perhaps we should see the glass as half-full.

Agreed, but why do you say this here?

And if that were the case, twenty years ago I would've left a hell of a lot faster. It does give me pause for how the church will change *gasp* in the next twenty years.

Then again...

Grégoire said...

Does it surprise you that I'd say this here? I haven't read your articles in a week or two, so I'm a bit surprised to hear that you're leaving. I got the impression that you were trying to find a way to reconcile modernity with the desires of the brethren.

Either way: Your way isn't my way, but I don't pretend to have the one-true-way (if I wanted to play that game, I'd have stayed active too).

I don't know how much the church will change in 20 years. I think in 200 years, if there are still Mormons, they will be practicing something totally different than we do/did in our generation. (I'm a full ten years older than you are, so perhaps I should say generations).

I think our descendants will look back on our brand of Mormonism in the same way we study people who sacrificed their conquered enemies to Wotan and Thor. They'll see us as quaint, primitive and superstitious. We'll be interesting, but not enviable; dedicated, but not particularly enlightened.

Soxy Pirate said...

Dan,
You said:

just be aware that there will likely be a penalty for making your own rules, when they conflict with how it’s supposed to be done...

That was my point though...there is no "supposed to be done" here. How I wear my garments is up to me. End of story.

You either accept it, or you don’t accept it; and then you get, or don’t get, the promised blessings.

There is no "it" to accept. There are no "promised blessings" to get. I'm asked to wear the garments "properly" and "at all times"...and what "properly" and "at all times" exactly means is up to me. Somebody may think of "at all times" as meaning during sex and while you're in the shower. I don't.

That's it.

If I wear 32S instead of 32 because I like how the short cuts only go half way down my leg, that's my business and nobody can say a damn thing about it.

Nobody.

Amanda said...

Regarding the year, Lisa - I got my endowments in 2005 and didn't have to go through any sort of nakedness, which would really have felt at odds with the modesty thing for me. I mean, I was a swimmer, and there were something like 14 showerheads (with no divisions between them) in the girls locker room for 60+ girls, so I had to learn quickly to shower in front of other girls, and that no longer bothers me, but in the temple? that would have been weird.

Dan Knudsen said...

Lisa--You have taken offense where none was intended: "Some of us don’t think to ask, but just complain." That was a general statement covering the history of the church, as it’s taken a long time to get some things clarified and made better for us (hence, the reference to the brother of Jared’s solution to the lack of light problem in the eight vessels). I’ve been guilty of doing the latter most of my life. The brethren do listen when there is a valid complaint/question submitted, and changes have been made, including the following: When the garment was changed to two-piece, it was primarily to help handicapped people, and also helped everyone else; recent changes at the temple were made to help handicapped people; about 30 years ago, a problem was brought to their attention and another question was added to the temple recommend interview.

If there are not blessings to be received for compliance with the commandments and other requirements, then what’s the purpose of the church, and why should we waste our time with it?

“Sorry, that just doesn't work for me anymore.” Who has moved, or changed, and does that make any difference in the eternal scheme of things?

I am not aware of anyone being excommunicated 20 years ago, “simply for asking these questions”--it has always taken a lot more than that.

SP--“...that's my business and nobody can say a damn thing about it.” Except that Someone has said something about it--whether you accept it or not.

Katie said...

Dan - I think the point Soxy was trying to make was that all shas has been told re: how to wear her garments was to wear them "properly" and "at all times". Since we were discussing that we had heard at various times and by sundry people that you could/could not wear underwear underneathe, had to wear them having sex/bathing, she was indicating that she had not heard either way on this issues - only to wear them "properly".

Although Someone (aka God) may have a right way for her to wear them, obviously if she is in ignorance of this, she is not held accountable.

Soxy Pirate said...

Dan,

There is no "it".

Queue the Matrix: "There is no spoon."

Katie,
I'm a "he" but I forgive you;)

And I wasn't saying that I haven't "heard" either way, I'm saying that there is no way. I determine how I want to wear my underwear. It should be noted that I wear them no different than anyone else, I imagine...right side out,left arm in appropriate hole, right arm...so on and so forth.

I'm just saying that the only questions I have to answer re: my garments is whether I wear them "at all times" and "properly." Beyond that, there is no "it."

This isn't like the word of wisdom where I know specifically whether or not I'm following x,y, or z.

Asking me how high or low or often or in what situations I do or do not wear my garments is as inappropriate as asking a married couple whether they engage in oral sex before or after their nightly anal escapades.

People may "think" that they have a right to ask, and they don't, and like questions of intimacy between a married couple there is no prescribed "it" for me to follow in regards to my garments, beyond wearing them "properly" and "at all times."

Katie said...

Soxy - lol. Just saw "soxy" and my head thinks "foxy" - hence, the "she".

And, you have a point - no one asks more than that in the temple interview (and HELLO uncomfortable if they did).

Lisa said...

Dan: "If there are not blessings to be received for compliance with the commandments and other requirements, then what’s the purpose of the church, and why should we waste our time with it?"

Purpose of the Church:

Proclaim the Gospel
Perfect the Saints
Redeem the Dead

Why should we waste our time with it?

Because we've other people to care for. Because there's work to be done.

Because the things God requires/asks of us is right, because God loves us and only wants the best for us...?

Really, the (as Chedner so aptly named it) Celestial Carrot shouldn't matter so much to us.

It's like my kid bringing home a letter regarding a school fundraiser for the Lukemia/Lymphoma foundation. Granted she's young, but she's more concerned about the ice cream party she'll get rather than the fact that we're helping the less fortunate. She heard "ice cream party" and doesn't care beyond that.

Shouldn't we care beyond the carrot we're offered? At least try? Acknowledge that we should?

megan said...

I hope you won't mind me chiming in, Lisa. As someone really struggling with a lot of aspects of the gospel and church, I appreciate your candour.
I went thru the Provo Temple in 1990 and the matron told us that we were not to physically alter the garment in any way, and that included pinning/tucking them up/in, etc. She also said that beyond that, when and how we wore our garments was between us and the Lord, and that no one else had the right to tell us how or when to wear them. (She did say it was okay to wear white bras and panties on the inside of the garment.)

Lisa said...

Megan: For real? I was told TO tuck my garments in (as to replicate the one piece garment suit).

Weeeeird.

Oy, for all this talk about consistency...I wish church leaders could just be consistent for once. I know we're all human and all, but with all the talk my head just kills.

I dunno. I have other color bras. Is this really going to screw up my purity? Are my garments now null and void?

*head pounding*

But anyway, and I do mean this sincerely, you're welcome here anytime. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :D