Betty Duffy

(Amateur)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Massbottoms

I am plagued by vanity at Mass. When I don’t dress up or wear make-up, I feel plain and ugly. I want to hide in the back so no one will see me. Today I was dressed and had on make-up and still wanted to hide because I was afraid I looked too “done.” But hopefully, and most likely, no one was looking at me at all. That’s the irony. No one was thinking about what I had on.

But I noticed that the lady in the front of me, not a small lady, wore her pants too tight, jeans—and she had to adjust them when she stood up, doing a partial bend and straddle to release them from her crack. Her bottom was twice the size of her husband’s, which is why I try to wear black skirts to Mass. I remember notable bottoms in the pews before me—they have captured my attention during the Transubstantiation. Might as well consider tight pants the work of the devil because time and again they’ve drawn me away from the great Holiness at hand. I’ve tossed so many graces up the cracks of distracting rear ends.

So maybe people are looking, actually, because I certainly am.




...And Happy Mother's Day!

17 comments:

'becca said...

i am laughing SO hard that I'm crying. I had to read this out loud to Jonathan. I could hardly read the "bend and straddle" line to him. I LOVE YOU Duffy. Happy Mother's Day to one of the most incredible mothers I know.

*oh and I'm putting a link to this on my blog b/c it needs to be shared.

Anonymous said...

The solution to your problem is to arrive early and sit in the front row.

And post a notice in your parish bulletin as to why you must sit there.

There, solved that one. Now to the world economy, which, conversely, needs to find a bottom...


Otepoti

TheSeeker said...

Sometimes I get distracted by weird butts too...I thought it was just me LOL

Pentimento said...

Gasping . . . for . . . air . . .

On the other hand, we went to the Latin Mass yesterday, where the priest berated women for wearing necklines that ended more than two fingers (breadth, not length) from "the pit of the throat." I checked mine, and it was three fingers down, so I was sure he meant me, because everyone else was covered up to the hilt, and also because I'm sure I always have the big arrow pointing at me wherever I go that alerts everyone else that I'm doing something wrong. The priest also said that if men went to hell because they fell into sin after looking at scantily clad dames, it was upon the shoulders of said dames that they would be standing.

Oh.

Betty Duffy said...

The weird thing is that no where else in my life am I in a position to look at other people's behinds for extended periods of time except at MAss. And if I try to guard my eyes and bow my head, what do I see? The bottom right in front of me. Church almost seems designed for bottom watching.

I think Otepoti is right.

megan said...

LOL! I thought I was the only one too.

Sharon Kieffer Steele said...

OK, I have to ask the question: Have you read "Dressing with Dignity"? I would love to know your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Pentimento, dear, I hope you were VERY CAREFUL about how you raised two fingers in church.

I do love the idea that your officiating priest was announcing to the world his personal flash point.

However, I feel, very seriously, that modesty MUST be an internally applied standard.

A set of rules designed to avoid the least twitch of male interest is doomed to the law of diminishing returns: the more we cover, the more intense the focus on the remaining areas -

So, the Japanese find the nape of the neck unbearably erotic, the Hasidic Jew, the crook of the arm. That way lies a burqa without eye-slits.

Yes, women should take all care not to dishonour the Lord and the church by what we wear. But beyond that, it's not our problem. Really.


Cheers,

Otepoti

Kate said...

Otepoti - well said!

Betty Duffy said...

Thinking about what P's priest said: I don't think I have a shirt that's only two fingers. But I think a scoop neck or a v-neck can actually draw the eye upward and frame the face.

On dressing with dignity, I feel more strongly about whether people are dressing appropriately for their shape. Stand a flat chested woman and a busty woman side by side in the same style shirt and it can be obcene on one and dowdy on the other. Self awareness helps.

Also, wal-mart lycra fabric tends not to flatter any figure. Quality of fabric and linings can make a big difference in how much is revealed (especially on bottoms).

I wear jeans (not to MAss). I wear skirts. I don't really wear shorts any more unless I'm less than a certain weight. Same with sleeveless. I don't like bare skin to touch the pew except for my hands--so backs and legs covered. It's not really my style, but tailored clothes I think look best on most people.

When I was about 22, I had a middle-agish woman send me a letter telling me that I tempted her husband at MAss because of the slit in my skirt. I was a co-worker with Regnum Christi at the time, so I had on a suit with a long skirt and a slit about up to my knee. It might have been higher when I sat down, but it was not an outfit I would have thought of as sexy. I was dressed according to the standards set for modesty by a religious community and someone still had a problem with it. Otepoti is right.

Emily said...

Bottoms don't distract me as much as watching cute flipflops on the way up to Communion. It crossed my mind to tell my First Communion kids it would be okay to look around after saying a prayer of thanksgiving as long as you pray for whomever you look at: God bless Mr. Loafers, God bless Ms. Slingbacks, God bless Skechers kid...

Anonymous said...

Why, thank you, dear Betty and Kate.

Of course, Otepoti covers up as a kindness to others.

When she read Pentimento's comment, she measured three fingers down from the base of the throat, went to the mirror and blenched. She is now looking for a good poultry farm to live on.

Cheers

Otepoti

Betty Duffy said...

Emily,
I remember sitting on the edge of the pew looking at all the footwear that passed by. It seems my eye is slowly moving upwards with age. Perhaps by the time I'm 80, I'll actually be focused on the altar.

Sharon Kieffer Steele said...

Otepoti - Love it. I may borrow some of your words next time I have this conversation.

TS said...

I wonder if those of a writerly bent are more visually attuned to things like that.

Betty Duffy said...

You do train yourself to think about the things you see, good, bad or ugly.

Lisa said...

Yikes. Definitely a good reason for dress codes, I'm thinkin. (as I giggle...)