Monkeys, Typewriters, and Shakespeare
Pool Alarms and Parkinson's Law

Clamdiggers - Didn't Prostitutes Wear Those?

In the early 1960's, if you wanted to be cool, you wore clamdiggers. A blip in the adolescent fashion world - did they last more than a season or two?  They were, nevertheless, a necessary item. See, they weren't shorts. And they weren't full pants. Neither were they jeans. No, they were sort of cotton, light green or blue, if I remember, with a stripe down the side. They reached to the shin and were secured by a rope, not a belt.

I had a pair or two, so everyone thought I was cool, an opinion I could not elicit otherwise. I returned the favor to other clamdigger kids. But then summer vacation came and the family went down to the farm. The dairy farm, where my Pop's "roots" were, way out in God knows where, where they knew nothing of being cool and cared less. My hillbilly uncle takes one look at my clamdiggers and says: "Hey, how come you’re wearing pedal pushers?! Those are girls pants!"

They weren't pedal pushers, for Pete's sake! He couldn't see that? They were cool clamdiggers!

Of course, the fashion/ fad world, relatively speaking, left kids alone back then. Nothing like today where youngsters are targeted by every stylistic hustler.  So parents, as parents have always done, as I did when I was a parent, dig their heels in. No kid of mine going to dress like......whatever the offending style is! And some of them really are offending,  sordid in origin. The really low hanging pants, for example, the pants that hang so low that if you do a crime, the cops will instantly catch you, since you cannot run with these pants, find their inspiration from the prison world, were some guys are frequently called upon to drop their pants for unsavory reasons.

So parents take their stand. And probably over-take it, in some cases. And the young people chafe, as they always have. Like this one, who, after noting a respected sister in another congregation has a body-piercing wants to know:

"could i rightly get pierced? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY NOT. god, i can't even wear an anklet without someone going... 'you know, prostitutes wore those.'"

HA! Yeah, it is sorta that way. Don't “look just like the world,” and  don‘t “stumble people,” and "he who is faithful in small things is faithful in large," but you don‘t want to cross this line into an  area where people learn to judge by outward appearance. .

I've been there and I've got kids who've been there. There may be some mild hypocrisy to it, at least in its extremes.

I suppose, if absolutely necessary, a person can always do one or two of those small things and then, if people cluck about it, say yes, they admit it, they‘re not all that great of an example, rather than try to "out-righteous" everyone. People will probably move on. (but, alas, maybe they won't) There is a difference between what is important and what is relatively trivial. Of course, I'm not recommending this, but it's an option, and it beats chafing to such an extent that one leaves the congregation,which has happened, as may happen in this case: “Life is just not worth living under restrictions we all just need to break free!!!!!!!!!!”

Unless you're living with your parents - in that case I guess you really can't, or shouldn't, but that time will pass soon enough, and then you can do it if you want. You may not even care about it by then.

Or maybe you can view things like that woman did in "The Scarlet Letter," Hester Prynne. "Letter" is the story of a woman who’d borne a child out of wedlock, fathered by someone she would not name. Those Puritans made her wear a scarlet letter “A” (standing for adulteress) for the rest of her life. We all had to read that book in high school. Nobody liked it at the time, as with anything that is rammed down your throat. Later, though, some of us came to think it was pretty powerful. Nathanial Hawthorne’s short stories read like the “Twilight Zone” of his time

Said Hawthorne about his heroine Hester Prynne: "People who think the most bold of thoughts have no difficulty conforming to outward norms of society." It fits. (the reverse is also true) Jehovah's Witnesses think some very bold thoughts, decidedly different from that of the pack. Conforming to outward norms is not a big deal for many of them.

Still, older ones know that a lot of things they once insisted upon but which their parents opposed eventually entered (not necessarily for the better) the mainstream. Like rock and roll.

I know it’s only rock and roll
but I like it.
                        
Rolling Stones

*******************************

Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

 

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Comments

Screech

I'm glad you wrote about this, Tom. Very good observation. I've seen instances where congregation members were shied away from because of something that, in another congregation, people wouldn't think twice about.

We're all imperfect people, and we do our best to look beyond our differences. We must remember, however, that our brothers and sisters ARE our brothers and sisters. As with genetically-related family, we don't have to always agree with them, but we should strive to love them.

I mention this because, with my personal experience, I have always attempted to keep in mind that in many (if not most) situations, the brothers have our best interest at heart. If something really isn't a big deal, then I'd compromise.

It gets difficult when a person feels that it doesn't matter how much they compromise, they will be in the wrong and still face problems. Consider: if someone is in a position where no matter how hard they try, all they effectively hear is, "you're not quite there," at what point do they give out? When does it begin to feel like we are incapable of service God? At what point should we seek the support of a mature brother or sister? When we start to feel that we need to seek support, how many of us shy away from it because we feel unworthy and are afraid of getting more counsel, not the building up that we need?

The compromise argument can be considered on both sides of the argument. At what point is it necessary to make a comment? Are we doing more harm than good? Are we applying the scripture about making our brother aware he's about to stumble before he's aware of it too liberally? Should we also remember Jesus' comment about the rafter in our own eye?

I'm not stating that we shouldn't look out for one another. That's a cornerstone of the Christian faith. We do, however, want to do our best to remember the description of Love in the Bible as well. If we feel we must make a comment to someone, perhaps take a moment to reflect on how they may feel about it. A little more consideration can make a big difference.

tomsheepandgoats

Alas, there is sometimes a tendency to focus on the petty.

Screech

Much more concise than my comment...

tomsheepandgoats

Well....didn't cover all bases though, as did yours.

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