By Rachel, on December 10, 2009

NOLA

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A quick post while Sir sleeps.

It occurred to me the other day that modesty could possibly be luxurious. As in it is a luxury that is indulged and those who have not cannot indulge in it. What do I mean? Well, here’s where I embarrass myself.

While watching Chef Academy or was it Real Housewives of Atlanta…?…anyhow, (note my flushing cheeks) while watching one of those shows and multi-tasking house chores…Lazaro woke up with a howl. After rushing in and soothing tears and installing my 22lb lovely in his highchair for lunch….a show called Say Yes to the Dress came on. A terrible show concerning wedding gowns and wedding gown consultants which just happens to take place not far from where I used to work as a barista in midtown. So I guess I could say nostalgia kicked in???

Anyhow on this particular episode, Michelle Duggar, the woman from 18 Kids and Counting or 19 or something, was renewing her wedding vows with her husband and needed a dress. So, the TLC channel decided to join two of their shows and send Mrs. Duggar to the Yes to Dress shop.

After the 18 or 19 kids and the husband piled into the showing room, Michelle was asked what type of dress she was looking for. She repeatedly mentioned the necessity for a dress that was both modern but most importantly modest. Also when she was presented with choices to try on she politely asked the consultant to wait outside the dressing room while she undressed and stepped into the dress, saying she would like help only at the end when she was properly covered. She explained that she was much too modest to disrobe in front of the consultant.

So while the question that popped into my head does not concern Michelle Duggar or her individual modesty (though my little brain does loops and loops around the 19 births !!) she was the catalyst.

Modesty, in this instance, meant more time spent or wasted, depending on your point of view, dressing and undressing and all for the sake of blocking unwanted eyes on the body. Time, as we all know in our society, equates with money…or so they have us believe.

So if modesty takes more time – is it then a luxury?

I then began to think of situations where modesty is thrown out of the window. Extreme emergencies like fires may prompt someone to exit his or her home in sleepwear or less. Military forces all over the world, I have heard though I do not know from experience, eradicate privacy, modesty, and individuality in order to create a beehive of clockwork like drones. ( I do mean that in the best sense possible) Offices have done away with walls and implemented cubicles and in some instances not even cubicles. Of course, this saves money and space but there is also something about the lack of ability to hide, to always be on in a way, to always be in the public eye. More clothes to cover the skin means more fabric and more cost….And then there is the Easy Pickins dressing room.

I know Easy Pickins seems to find its way into my posts lately but so be it. In West New York, NJ, on the fabled Bergenline Avenue, there is/was? an Easy Pickins store. And in that store the dressing room was communal- meaning there were no individual stalls or rooms- just one large carpeted room with a ceiling to floor mirror covering the entirety of one wall. The women would all pile in with their dresses and sweaters and pants to try on. I always felt it was a bit of a cattle room. Clothes strewn everywhere, dingy bras and worn panties and c-sections scar and cellulite all with no choice but to be on display under one long flourescent bulb and one sour looking dressing room guard. It was a bit humiliating but there was no choice, no option for modesty.

Fast forward to 2006 and I found myself in the Anthropologie dressing room in Edgewater, NJ. Here the dressing rooms are a sumptuous affair. Your name is written on the small chalkboard outside your door. The lighting is soft, the air is scented with peonies or irises or baltic amber or whatever retro chic fragrance is popular now. Inside your room you find a cushioned bench and no dust bunnies and some more of the soft soft lighting that gallantly smooths out your flaws.

I know this all does not relate strictly to modesty but still the question arose….is modesty a luxury? What do you think?

Alas….the Lazaro has awoken and my musings get shelved for another day.

On another note tonight we get to go to Christmas in the Oaks! Yay!



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