Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

I bought some new clothes this week -- for myself. And yes, that is a monumental enough event to write home about.

But actually, I only mention it in passing while I get to Pam Lapke. She's my neighbor next door who owns "The Jewelry Lady." Purses, jewelry, watches, scarves, bling-bling belts -- she's got it all and at a good price. Her motto on the wall: "The older you get, the more you need to accessorize . . . or is that exercise?"

We've discussed a few times how I needed to take in some outfits and have her fit me out with appropriate accessories since I am so fashion-impaired myself. So I did that. She had a wonderful time playing around with different necklaces and all. And I was happy to have somebody else dress me.

I don't like the fact that I am no good at the necessary feminine skills of beautifying myself. And not because I'm vain and want to look good (although I probably am and do). But mainly because I feel inadequate to teach these skills to my daughters, and I believe they are important skills to be taught. Some of you may think that sounds odd, but I am very serious about that. I remember meeting friends in college who owned one ugly little skirt that they wore only on necessary occasions and they looked ridiculous wearing it. I thought that was terribly sad.

I want my girls to be able to put on and wear pantyhose without destroying them. I want them to be able to walk in heels. I want them to be able to sit gracefully in a skirt or dress. I want them to be able to look and feel girly when the occasion calls for it, because there are occasions that do.

Femininity is a lost value. I have no problem with girls being strong or athletic or aggressive when appropriate. But they also need to be gentle and delicate and submissive when appropriate. As I recall, the goal of the Feminist Movement was to increase the options open to women, not narrow them -- or exchange one set for another.

This is why I still insist on my girls dressing up for church, at least every other week. When else are they going to do it? As old-fashioned and sexist as it may sound, I really believe that one of God's special callings on women is to beautify the world -- through the acts of their hands, the words from their mouths, and, yes, even the flutter of their eyes. So there.

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