Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pajama Man

   Apparently, I have not been keeping up with the fashion police. Out shopping for groceries, a guy begins to notice odd things. Excuse me, but when did it become "okay" to go out in public (in the middle of the day) wearing pajamas? And, those little "scuffies", (or bedroom slippers), those now qualify as "shoes"? Since when? Has it been two years since we spotted our first adult so garbed? Little kids; well, we could (perhaps) make an exception there...I suppose.
   I'm curious now. Is it just "too hard" to put on clothes before the noon hour? What cultural dynamic is behind me getting up, and finding it too great a challenge to put on pants before going out? Sure, it would be one thing to see a housewife in her nightgown step outdoors to pick the newspaper off the lawn. It would not be utterly bizarre to see a guy come out in the EARLY morning,wearing pj's, open the car door, find something, and go back in. Call me "narrow," but I would consider it peculiar to see the same guy; twelve hours later, wearing the same duds at the PTA meeting...I'm funny that way.
   So, what is going on here? I'm making this up as fast as I can, but we do notice that there is an age bias here. These are the late-twenty-somethings, up to the mid thirties? I am not seeing teenagers so attired, nor the AARP crowd. I believe the cultural marker is "the slacker generation"? It's that same bunch of folks who appear (at least) to believe that tattoos actually enhance one's appearance? Hey, you got a tat on your face! (You look so much better now?)...I mean, do you even know of somebody between 27 and 38 who is NOT tattooed? There may be a few...somewhere.
   Next item to note is that, to my knowledge, the pajama theory is a lower-half issue. Pajamas; (last time I checked) are a two piece affair. A "shirt" and "pants" are the norm. For kids, a one piece thing (with "feet"!) likely still exists, but that is a moot point in this discussion. So, do the work here, and imagine with me. I got up, decided to go shopping, and thought briefly about how to dress today. It was "too much" to change out the pj pants, way too complex to ditch the scuffies; but it did make sense to put on a normal (human style)
shirt, and over that, a jacket? Why did this prove true?
    The final point of inference I draw here, is that the "Mom" quotient appears to be receding here. If a news reporter rushed up to our shopper, and said (with cameras rolling) "Excuse me, but is your mother aware that you are in the produce department dressed for bed?." We might expect the microphone shoved in the face, plus the bright lights, the big camera, etc., would yield a "death by embarrassment". But with this group, I have my doubts. This is the same committee which "failed to launch" on the whole mom/dad schmeer in the first place. These are the ones who bring their own children back to their (childhood) home, and have the nerve to ask their own parents to raise their own children! Apparently, what Mom thinks of my attire, child-rearing "skills", and amount of embedded ink in my skin isn't exactly "crash priority" with this crowd.
   Do I speak in grotesque caricature? Of course. Am I prejudiced-against a whole swath of human-kind? Sure, why not? Hey, I can afford to, it's what old guys do!
   Here then, is my quasi-philosophical spin on the huge societal "issue" of "slackers" unwilling to dress in public. The gospel places a "value" upon "modesty", and (run for the hills!) "chastity". This content has failed to launch, the next-gen did NOT "get" these values. The ethic of (impersonal?) "hooking-up", the wearing of provocative (sexually) clothes, this stuff appears to (at least) nullify Mom's teachings. Those are "old school", those are dated, old (and thereby untrue?) thus to be ignored. What is never admitted here is that chastity and modesty as virtues, are fruits of the Spirit, and it is also (and incidentally) true that Moms (historically) have bought into same. Newsflash to slackers! Your mother did NOT invent decency...but if she was any good at "mom-ism", she likely voted for it.
   What then is the gospel of modesty? The young gals I note, are wearing absurdly tight jeans. From their testimony, they are worn for "comfort". If I object, and venture the idea that wearing something "looser" would be a kind-hearted thing to do, they are mystified. See? If you hang up raw meat in front of a hungry dog, he can be trained not to go after it, but to do so, for the fun of watching the dog's discomfort, would be cruel. And instead of admitting my point, I am accused of being the one with a "dirty mind." Gee, thanks little sis, I needed that!". What an excellent reason to avoid you like the plague!
   I see in the warmer months, girls wearing shorts so short, that if they were shorter, she would be wearing a necktie! But when I tell them to put on some clothes, (or ask it), I'm the one who is wrong? As a guy, you will never "win". Deal with it. Yet what is forgotten is modesty. From the gospel view, modesty is akin to kindness, and understanding of other's weaknesses.
   If you KNEW somebody had barely escaped drunkenness as a life style, would it be okay to tempt them with vodka and scotch, just to watch them squirm? And if that one has battled suicide for decades, do you ask them to "store" your handgun? If likewise, they escaped by the skin of the teeth becoming a sexual predator, do you wag your girl-parts in his face...just for fun? Modesty says; "I know you, and your weaknesses. I refuse to shun you, and LIKEWISE promise not to try to trip you." Is being friendly just too much work? Modesty is the neighborly thing, the human thing to do.
   Far deeper than all this chaos, the God (the Son) of scripture, also "covers" Himself. Our human modesty, is based upon the reality. To "disclose" to "show" the self is a kind of privilege, based upon oaths sworn to the death! Reality is covenantal. He "shows" Himself, and He hides Himself. The gift of modesty can begin to make guesses as to why He is doing that. The "opposite" of hiding is revealing. But the revealing we are interested in, is PRIOR to that day. The eternal love between the Father and the Son, NOBODY has "a right" to enjoy...unless they are called-into such an extravagant "banquet". Modesty signals the most powerful thing in the universe... love, mixed with respect for "Another". It is the welcome to the one not-like me, the treasuring of the un-likeness!
   He is not like us. He is holy! Yet He valued us enough, to not cause us to stumble! If it would be easy to seduce a man into sexual error, by a mere woman, it ought be infinitely easier, if the high King had so desired. He, on purpose, did not do so. The Modest God!

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