Well That Was… Uncomfortable! *UPDATED

Before I start, you all got the memo that I’m still fat, right?  Ok.  Just checkin’.

The RS Prez just called.  We revisited a conversation we had last year.  It seems I’m a bit controversial since I wear slacks to church.  “They” were wondering if it was an economic reason (could I not afford a skirt?).  Nope.  It had to do with shaving.  In the colder “winter” months of California, I don’t shave my legs, I shave my goosebumps.  It’s horrid.  I come away looking like I had a date with Freddy Kruger, and it’s pretty painful to boot.  That was ok, they just wanted me to know they would be happy to help if it was a financial reason.  Now let’s fast-forward to the rest of the year where it’s hotter than blue blazes.  Again, with the fat thing, my legs are a bit close together, nigh unseperable when it comes to walking.  When wearing a skirt, the G’s roll up and it gets ugly.  Painful rashes for days afterwards, so I continued to wear nice slacks to church.  To make up for being skirt-less, I wear shirts that I don’t wear during the week and make sure to put on makeup so I look much better than I do on a day-to-day basis, thus putting forth an effort to still have a “Sunday dress” code.

Except now I’m a bad example.

Those weren’t the words used, but it seems I have started a trend that is not looked kindly upon.  There are now six sisters (that are also being called) who wear slacks to church.  At least one of them is doing it for a similar reason to mine, but there are some new sisters who are “perfectly able” to wear “proper Sunday dress” and do not because when they see the other heathens they think it’s an option for everyone.   And also, they don’t want the youth to think it’s ok, or that when you get to RS you can choose what to wear.  The Bishop didn’t want to offend any sisters, so he made the RS Pres. do it instead.  She asked if I was able to wear a skirt to the temple and I said I was, but it wasn’t as bad because there’s not a lot of walking around there.  Also (unfortunately I forgot to mention this part), I wear pants for the drive, I change into my skirt when I get out of the car, and I change right back into pants when I get back to the car after the session.

I really feel for her.  This cannot be a comfortable situation.  And let me emphasize, I don’t do this because it’s uncomfortable and I can’t bear to be uncomfortable for the the 3 hours I worship Lord once a week, I’m doing it because it freaking hurts and not just for 3 1/2 hours (travel time, you know).  I’m thinking Heavenly Father is cool with that.  He’d much rather I be there in pants than not at all, right?

I’ve tried different materials of garments.  I’ve tried wearing a larger size in the hopes that they wouldn’t roll up.  No such luck.  I considered wearing shorts underneath, but that just adds bulk and the shorts roll up too (which would be why I don’t wear shorts).

What do I do now?  She said she’d see me Sunday, but I’m thinking “Like hell you will.”  I’m seriously not offended, I totally get where the Bishop is coming from, but I don’t know what to do…

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ UPDATE ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

*I wish I could make that asterisk bigger… at any rate, for those of you who didn’t see it, I was not offended by the phone call.  I sympathize with the position the caller was in, and I totally understand the big picture, etc. etc.  I agree that we should wear dresses and skirts, etc. rather than slacks.  I was just saying, I’ve tried other things and so far, nothing has worked.  Nylons actually add to the problem, the new lycra G’s don’t come in my size, and there are Spanx (which also doesn’t come in my size) and girdles galore out there, but nothing I’ve seen so far comes in the size of my rawther large behind.  So yeah, I should lose weight so I wouldn’t even have this problem, and I want to and I’m trying to, but it didn’t come on overnight and it’s not coming off overnight.  And I know you all love me and your advice comes from the heart so I’m not offended by it either, and we had the flip-flop situation in our ward, too.  Ok.  The end.

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32 thoughts on “Well That Was… Uncomfortable! *UPDATED

  1. Wow, this is tough. My friend/coworker texted me one Sunday that her roommate wore pants to church, for no apparent reason, and we were dumbfounded.

    I can completely see your reasoning behind it, and I think you could probably be OK with it, and I don’t blame you at all.

    But, I do feel that a skirt or dress is more appropriate for church, in general. I think it’s basically an unspoken rule that women wear dresses.

  2. Have you tried the new G’s with the lycra blend? They are awesome! The first ones I’ve ever had that don’t roll up. Plus, they suck you in a little. I’m a big fan.

    I don’t know what to tell you about the dress situation. In a friend’s ward, the bishop told the women that they were not allowed to wear denim skirts or dresses to church anymore. This sparked a huge debate between my husband and I over what is considered “Sunday Best”. In rebellion, I wore a denim skirt to church for the next month straight. I’ve never actually seen anyone wear pants to church. If it were me, I’d probably quit going, at least for awhile. (not that you should do that…you shouldn’t…I’m just crazy like that!)

    Oooo Ooooo…how about that new trend….leggings under dresses! That’ll get em! 😛 Or gaucho’s!! Yeah…get you some gaucho’s!!!

  3. Tough question, Sally. I’m going to answer with my honest opinion as long as you know I still totally love you (even if we disagree on this one).

    First, if you can wear a skirt to walk into the temple, why can’t you do the same thing for church on Sunday (even if it means changing in the car while B takes in the boys)? The amount of walking we do at church is minimal. If however, that is still too uncomfortable, there are always ways to make a skirt more comfortable. There are things like nylons and girdles. After my c-section, I tried several different kinds of girdles to help my stomach muscles (is that TMI?). There are kinds that are a lot like bike shorts that are actually extremely comfortable – even in hot weather. And they don’t ride up. My main point is: You could wear a skirt if it was important enough to you.

    Second, whether we agree with it or not, the way we dress does affect others. When we insist on our own dress code, it can be distracting for others. I’m not saying it SHOULD distract them, it just does. Since our main purpose for attending church is to worship God, we probably should minimize distractions – and no, I don’t think avoiding church altogether is your best way to minimize the distraction 🙂

    Third, in my own experience, I’ve noticed that when women begin altering their dress code for Sunday meetings pretty soon other standards get altered (In particular, I’m thinking of a very sad and very recent example in my ward). How we dress to worship the Lord is an outward expression of an inward commitment. My guess is that your RS President and bishop are concerned more about you than your dress code.

  4. Because I know everything, haha, and you are dying for my two cents. Man that sucks.
    When we lived in Washington we had 5ish people who wore less than Sunday Best every week. I believed then and still believe now that at least you are there and that’s what counts. Ask yourself if when you make it to heaven if your answer to God will be an excuse or understood and that is your answer.
    When I was in YW the girls were wearing flip flops to church. Our Stake President asked us YW leaders to set the example in modest attire (remember, I had not been through the temple yet) and in shoe attire. I still to this day do not believe it is appropriate for flip flops at church (not to be confused w/ DRESS sandals).
    Two similar situations with two very different opinions. In the end it’s up to you, but it is not worth staying offended. They are just looking out for the best of your ward. No ill intent was meant for you. Love you.

  5. I guess I’m confused. Why would your G’s ride up when you’re wearing a skirt, but not when you’re wearing pants? Is it the having something in between your legs that helps?

    I see your dilemma, and I see hers. If it really is having something between your legs that helps, there are pants that look like skirts. I used to wear some to the temple, and nobody knew the difference. (they were long, and seriously, you would NOT KNOW unless I spread my legs, which of course I did not do.)

    Of course, that was a while ago and styles have changed since then, but they can’t be totally impossible to find, right? I’m going to go look, because I haven’t wasted enough time on the computer today………….

  6. I agree with Melanie, I’m afraid. I know for absolute certainty, from personal experience, that if you’re willing to alter your standards on one thing, it follows as the night the day, you’ll be willing to alter your stance on other things.

    I truly do believe that our dress code (and there is one) is an outward expression of our respect for the Lord and His house. It’s sucky, but there it is.

    I would put Neosporin on the parts that rub together to keep them from chaffing. Also, I would pray considerably for help with it. Tell Him what happens to you and be willing to wear the skirt if He will help you with the problems associated with it. If none of that works, think of a couple of hours spent in a garden where the pain was so great that blood was sweat so we could make choices like this.

    Oh, honey, I’m with you on this. I have to wear “Sunday dress” every stinkin’ day to work here at Church HQ, because it sets a standard and sets us apart as people who are serious about what we believe in. All the other businesses in town have casual dress or casual Fridays. Not us. Here we represent the Lord to the world. When you attend your ward, you represent the Lord to those of a different faith or of little faith who may be watching.

    Oh, your name just went on the GA’s prayer roll. Do the prayer thing. I will, too. Don’t let this keep you from your blessings and blessings for your family.

  7. drama mama, that’s interesting.

    I’ve always struggled with wearing a denim skirt to church, and ultimately, choose against it, as I feel it’s too casual.

    I have to second the lycra/nylon garments. I’m wearing a dress right now, and I love them. They are called Carinessa. I always have a problem with the other garment bottoms riding up, but these always stay put, and my two thighs are siamese twins.

  8. The G’s do roll up a little bit, but just like an inch or so, while I wear pants. They generally don’t because my pants are not loose-fitting and so they hold everything in place.

  9. http://www.orvis.com/store/productchoice.aspx?pf_id=51GY

    http://clothing.blair.com/clothing/Split%20Skirt

    http://www.thecowboycloset.com/site/1518953/product/CK-LRS18

    http://clothing.pricegrabber.com/womens-skirts/split/p/1196/

    And OK, I KNOW some of them are butt-ugly, but that last clip had some possibilities. If you get a basic denim or basic black, you can continue to wear your nice shirts, and this might be a compromise that your bishop and RS pres can live with.

  10. I am going to give my 5 cents worth…Beware though, I am Catholic…..When I first read your entry, Sal, I was dumbfounded in the fact that it is ridiculous that someone from your church finds this matter so pressing. Sure, I believe that some less than stellar behaviors can lead to worse behaviors. Yes, Pot is the gateway to other drugs..Yada, Yada, Yada..But come on….I don’t mean to state the obvious…but it is clear IF you could wear a skirt, you would. It is more important that you are there and giving thanks to the Lord for your week that you just had and thank Him for all the things you have in life than it is to wear a skirt. There are worse attire you could wear…like say….a itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot bikini….Okay, say you wore that…THAT would be inappropriate. If this RS president spoke to you a year ago, doesn’t she notice that you haven’t changed in apperance? I am not trying to “down your dress code” or what not. But sometimes you have to look at the big picture.
    Thank you and Goodnight.

  11. Can I be the only Mormon girl siding with Shana?

    Flick ’em all off and wear what works for you. Seriously. If the leadership has a problem maybe they could tell people that Sunday Best should include a dress unless you have a physical problem that precludes it.

    Seriously though. I find it ridiculous. It’s not doctrinal. It’s tradition. There are plenty of pants just as nice or nicer than many dresses.

    Going back to the unorthodox bench now. It’s in the back of the chapel. We write notes and chew gum. Come on down!

  12. I like the leggins idea, under the skirt. Surely you could find some? Or the pants that look like a skirt, my mom just bought some. Good luck and keep the faith!

  13. Sally,
    I love you, pants, skirt, yellow bikini, and I’m sure that God loves you too! Just be comfortable to tell RS Pres. that you are there to worship our Lord just like everyone, and if you find yourself questioning whether or not you should go worship because of clothes then there is a bigger problem than clothes. It’s about the love, not the look.
    Love,
    Kate

  14. Ya, you should probably wear a skirt, even if it means that your chafing gets so severe that it cracks, bleeds, and turns into gangrene. I mean, you don’t really need your legs do you? The church is actually pretty handicap friendly. And the Elder’s quorum always needs more stuff to do, so they could assign different people to wheel you around to your church meetings each week when you are in a wheel chair. Or better yet, get the deacons, teachers or priests to do it (but please, please don’t let them unless they are wearing a white shirt, because as we all know, different colored shirts distract too much from the spirit too).

    Please don’t even think about wearing slacks. If you do, you will be drinking coffee every morning, then it will turn into needing alcohol, then it will ultimately progress to crack, then you will have to find a job at a strip club to support your habits, assuming you have legs at that point in time. Be very, very careful. Doing anything outside of what your bishop or RSP says you should do will definiately damn you to outer darkness.

    There is a reason women should wear dresses to church! Aterall, slacks are more form fitting, and because us mormon men are so sexually repressed we won’t be able to feel the spirit on Sundays, when we try to ignore the form under the slacks.

    My advice is to bundle up with about 4 pairs of leggings before you put the skirt on, after you slather neosporin and vaseline all over yourself. That should do the trick!

  15. Well, as we all know, Jesus took time out during his sermons to scold those women in the audience so as to make sure they were dressed properly, right ? What ? He didn’t ?

    Go figure.

  16. Oh, and I would like to add that you guys should notice how cultlike all this obsessing about Sunday attire is, I mean seriously. She was still dressed modestly, what the heck !

  17. You should probably know that your post was picked up by another widely read blog, and has been repeated other places.

    On a personal level, I realize that is probably embarrassing, as you are talking about your weight and your underwear and all. You have my sympathy.

    On a larger level… well, it certainly does not put the church in a good light. A while back, I saw one of those sites that takes pictures and puts funny captions with them. This one was a picture of comedian Steven Colbert doing his fake news report, inset next to him was a picture of Gordon B. Hinckley The caption read: “God spoke to a Prophet today,and in this time of War and Economic Upheaval, the Almighty is mostly concerned that women are wearing two sets of earrings…”

    This is the same kind of thing.

    They aren’t concerned about what kind of person you are or how you treat your neighbor, or your actual relationship with God… they are worred that you are wearing pants to church.

    And further, they aren’t concerned about the gossip and judgment and backbiting among the members of your ward, they are focused on ONE of the subjects about which they are gossiping.

    And, to add injury to insult they claim that their concern is about the “example” you are setting for the young women. It is a valid concern. First, the YW will see you wearing a pants for health reasons. And that might lead them to think and to question the double standards and the guilt and the manipulative control excercised by the Church. Next thing you know, they start digging into Church history and finding out what past leaders have said and done, and that path leads to the exit door. Far better for them to stay compliant and obedient and unthinking.

    Meanwhile your very honest and innocent blog entry – and the comments that followed, of which several were really horrid – gets circulated on the internet and people see another level of what the Mormon church really is, and how petty leaders mistreat local followers, and how focused the whole thing is on image over substance.

    They have no authority over you, because they have no authority.

  18. I’m proud of you for even wearing pants the first time. Since it is an ‘unspoken rule’ it shows guts that you followed what you needed to do – in a respectful spirit. Isn’t it cool, too, that you started a trend?? There are so many of us bursting to get out of this straight jacket uniform. It would be awesome if you could challenge the status quo and lead the way. Unfortunately it looks like it’s not to be. Many good wishes your way for finding a solution.

  19. Forget the Neosporin idea. That’s just a stupid suggestion. Neosporin could stain some fabrics and end up being a sticky gooey mess, which you then have to figure out some way to get out of your nylons and your garments. Ew. Does Shout cut the grease in Neosporin? We don’t know.

    If you insist on conforming, then try corn starch. Works much much better.

    Better yet, find a church that doesn’t care so much about what you wear and focuses, instead of on conformity to some random, arbitrary standard, on spirituality. I wonder, if Jesus walked into a LDS ward house… would he be booted out for having long hair, being unshaven, wearing flip flips and a robe instead of the white shirt, tie, jacket and little black name tag?

    Finally, I suggest that, the next time some RS mother hen decides to chastise you about what you are wearing, that you suddenly recall the last time someone picked on your about your clothes was around seventh grade. Then I would dare her to report me to the bishop and have me excommunicated for wearing pants.

    This is nonsense and these ladies obviously live perfect little lives and have no personal goals at all or they would be focused on their own personal and spiritual growth, not nitpicking other people’s behavior.

    To any LDS ladies reading this comment: Grow up already. You aren’t 13 anymore. Keep your eyes on your own paper and let this lovely woman worry about her own issues. MYOB.

  20. The funny thing about this blog post, especially after it was picked up by thestranger.com and postmormon.org, is that it is giving a very objective, straightforward view of Mormons today.

    Mean-spirited “Lies” such as “oh, all mormons are polygamists” or “the church owns Pepsi” are easy for apologists to disprove and label as having an anti-Mormon agenda.

    Ugly histories such as exclusion of blacks, polygamy, or blood atonement are easy to disavow as well; “oh, we don’t teach that anymore.”

    However, how do you disavow comments such as those by “Your Mama” or “Melanie” that not only reflect current church standards, but OBJECTIVELY show the rest of the world how truly petty and disfunctional this religion is?

    Anyone want to take any bets on when the first “members’ comments do not reflect the true gospel” post will come in?

  21. Your Mama said: Oh, honey, I’m with you on this. I have to wear “Sunday dress” every stinkin’ day to work here at Church HQ, because it sets a standard and sets us apart as people who are serious about what we believe in.
    >>>>>

    I agree. I never took Mother Teresa serious. She wasn’t in “Sunday Dress” in those slums as she gave comfort to the dying.

    And Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) – he wears leather jackets and jeans as he goes into war zones and slums and delivers food and medicine and water distillers, so how could anyone take him seriously.

    And Rick Warren gives 90% tithe on his writing income, and he has mobilized tens of thousands of Christians and non-christians all over the US to really get behind giving money and time to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa… but I don’t see him setting the real and important standard when he runs around in Hawaiian shirts instead of Sunday Dress.

    Sally – these people have no authority, moral or otherwise. Don’t let them have authority over you.

  22. Here’s what you should do, Sally girl, put on a white shirt and tie to go with those slacks. Then maybe they’ll get off your back, cause at least you’re conforming to another arbitrary Boyd K Packer approved church standard that has less to do with Christ-like behavior that it does some guy’s absurd need to control others.

    This is the reason I always wore pink, purple and blue shirts to church. I was unable to conform, and now you know the real reason I fell away from the church. I also had a beard and shaved my head… while I was the ward chorister.

  23. Oh ya, I forgot to also give you another tip. You might want to use Bag Balm too. That stuff works wonders. You can get it at the local feed store. It is actually used for cows tits when they get chafed from milking, but man I swear by that stuff in my nether regions! I think you will find you will like it. It seems to wash out too.

  24. Wow. Thanks you guys. I feel… honored and weirded out altogether!

    I continue to wear slacks to church, and we even moved into a new ward where I’m sure the topic will come up again in the future!

  25. You go girl! How many other women do you think will be wearing pants before the inevitable phone call? What was your old record? Six? Heavens, if those priesthood leaders can’t keep the women in skirts, who knows what else those women are capable of? Outright rebellion is not too far distant. Those men better duck and cover. Hail to the pants!

  26. Sally, I personally never saw a problem with women wearing pants to church. It depended on what ward I was in but the last one had tons of women wearing pants instead of skirts to church. The Bishop was more concerned about numbers in the pews than he was about what women or even men wore.

    I don’t agree with the fact that those not in “Sunday Best” distract from the spirit of any church setting. If one is too distracted by what others are wearing, or doing then that person has far deeper problems to deal with. They’ve become far to involved with judging everyone around them rather than focusing on the true reason of church which is to learn and grow spiritually. I agree with you Sally that God is much more interested in you going to church and worshipping Him than he is with you honoring some arbitrary dress code that even He himself wouldn’t dress for. He’s happy in his white dress-like robe and sandels rather than a stiff suit and tie ensamble.

    I’ve noticed far too many members who are more concerned about following arbitrary stupid rules such as dress code, than they are about following more Golden Rules like “Love one another”.

    Like you I’ve had those chaffing leg days and THAT really detracts from the spirit of church. No one can concentrate on the loving spirit if all they can think about is the constant pain they are in and if walking to another room will cause more damage.

    I am so much more happy to be in a new church that allows jeans to be worn as well as anything else. I am not distracted by what others are wearing or even HOW OTHERS ARE JUDGING ME BASED ON WHAT I AM WEARING! I can focus all of my attention on the lessons and the Spirit. It is million times better than I ever thought possible. Leaving that Mormon pressure cooker of perfectism, even in dress, was really nice! I never realized how much pressure there was until I left it.

    Dress codes are just a way to control you and to manipulate you and you are much to nice of a person to bully. I am glad you moved and are still wearing your Sunday Best Pants and Shirt. You do what is BEST for you and not some one else who is pre-occupied in rule following.

    Kudos Sally, Kudos!

  27. The fact is, if Christ were to walk into a LDS building, he would be kicked out for having long hair, a full beard, and wearing flip flops. As you mentioned that there was a flip-flop incident in your ward, that’s another thing to keep in mind. Personally, I don’t think God cares what you wear to church, just that you’re there to worship. I wear mostly slacks unless I’m going to a wedding or a formal event. I even wore slacks and a matching vest under a white blouse for my infant niece’s Catholic baptism.

    If someone is too distracted by what others are wearing, they’re the ones with the problem, not the person wearing slacks, a non-white shirt, or jeans. As long as someone’s not showing too much skin, it’s fine for someone to wear whatever they feel comfortable in church.

  28. Wear what you’re comfortable in. You won’t feel the spirit if all you feel is discomfort and pain.

    Wearing dresses to church is a North American thing – I’ve served all over and know that Utah dress standards are not universal. It’s important to be modest but really that’s where it stops.

    Wearing pants is not the start of the slippery slope to apostacy.

  29. I was investigating the Mormon church, and found the missionaries and the lessons to have quite a spirit about them. But if this is the kind of thing they worry about in worship meetings, I’m thru. I’m calling tomorrow to cancel the next missionary lesson. Ridiculios. So glad I stumbled on this now.

  30. What a ridiculous, American way to look at things when someone feels that what a person wears to worship God is or isn’t appropriate. I served an LDS mission in Portugal and we would have accepted ANYONE into church no matter what they were wearing. It is arrogance and silliness to assume that what a person wears makes them better than someone else. I commend you, SallyGirl, for wearing what you want and being at peace with yourself and your God.

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