Wednesday, July 1, 2015

   I use to wear dresses and skirts. Exclusively. I love dresses. I have since I was little I am pretty sure but since my mother is not here to tell me whether my suspicions are correct, I have to assume that all the pictures of me in dresses indicate I didn't fight her not to wear dresses.

  My mother made most of my clothes. I wonder if that contributed to my love of dresses? Knowing that she spent hours on the sewing machine in the kitchen making something for me. I wish she had taught me to sew. But my stubbornness was usually victorious in my spoiled only girl life and Mama didn't make me learn. Also there was that 70's mindset that women didn't need to know the old fashioned arts of cooking and sewing. We never talked about what I would be when I grew up but we especially never talked about me being married and having children. Or worse, being a stay at home, homeschooling mother. I guess that really would have gone against the times. But I still loved dresses.

  I dont' wear them anymore except to church or special occasions. I really miss them. But there are several reasons that I don't wear dresses. One is that I am fat and my daughters say that I look huge in a skirt. Hmmm. They are probably right. Now don't think they are mean children, they just want me to look nice and most of the time I am ok with that mindset. But not because I want to look good for others, or even for myself. I want to look good for my children. Whom I homeschool. And take to church. Which takes me to one of my points.

   I don't wear dresses because I am a "Godly Homeschooling Mother of Children". It is not my uniform that proves that I am "Part of the Redeemed". I remember when I was with my son on one of his campaigns and a mother asked my son if there was going to be any "unsaved" youth participating in the door to door event. My son said he was pretty sure it would all be kids from similar backgrounds. She heaved in relief "Good. Because we don't associate with anyone but the Redeemed!".  Oh my. My son could have spat sparks!

    You may have guessed by now that this woman wore a skirt, had longish hair, and no make up. She drove a 10 passenger van and had 7 kids. All miserable looking and noses pointed firmly in the air. That was a long campaign. Really long.

   I realized that people were associating my wearing skirts with a religious view and statement about homeschooling about 4 or so years ago. And I started noticing that in the homeschool group, all of the sudden, women were wearing skirts. Jean skirts. And you know what that means right? Yeah. Christian Homeschool Uniform.

    I wore them all the time because I could wear them a few days at time without stains showing because I had 2 little kids and a teen son who was in Boy Scouts. Mud city all the time. Or spilled juice, wiped mouth prints, you name it, it was on the jeans skirt. And I liked them long. To my feet. You know why? Because I read romance novels when I was young and YEARNED, to wear those fancy dresses with layers of underskirts that twirled. So I compromised because Sears only sold different colored jean skirts or khaki and being a shrimper's wife I couldn't afford more than a few of those $15.99 jeans skirts. So I bought one in every color and two in denim. They lasted me for 5 years. I didn't realize during this time I was making a statement. Because I wasn't. I really wanted to wear skirts, have a lot of kids and homeschool. I didn't need to do any of it to project a "Godly Woman" image. Because I wasn't. I struggled with infertility, an unsaved husband, bad marriage and interfering people telling me that my teen was not my little girls Daddy and he "needed" to have friends and not stay with me so much helping raise the girls. I am so glad I ignored them, because I had a living to make, and couldn't afford a hairdresser, my preacher's wife streaked my hair to keep it from looking like dishwater.

 But secretly she was judging me too. Sad, that you were judged to be inadequate because of your marital status. I left that church, I left that homeschool group and I left those people. And have never looked back except in sadness, when I see the messes their kids have become. I still don't wear dresses. But I am not making a statement.  My butt just looks big in skirts.