Happy, Happy Official Springtime, bunnies and chicks!
It's 33 degrees here just south of Boston but we're not complaining because the sun is shining at 4:30 in the afternoon
, which would be high tea time if we were British but we're not, so instead of having a nice pot of Earl Tea and some biscuits, we're just typing away all parched and kind of tired.
It's time to call on our Imaginary Housekeeper, Mrs. Frubbles, who makes all our tea, takes out all our recycling, does all our laundry and tidies up!
Here she comes with a lovely cup of decaf chai. We just love Mrs. F. She's the maiden sister-in-law of our much-loved and notoriously creative Unitarian foremother, Lavonia Crittendon-Smythe, who used to preach in nothing but leotards and a crown of peonies. It was a daring
era, darlings. Mrs. F. loves to regale me with stories, but just now she's picking up the dry-cleaning and getting dinner started. We're having something that you have to set on fire on the way to the table; it should be just divine. Then I'll get to work on Sunday's sermon which should be an easy one, really, because what else can you say about "Thou shalt not kill" except, "Yes, please don't?"
Well, now that we're back in reality, let us address a fascinating question we got last week; the kind of question that makes you think, "Gee, ministers and priests really DO have swellegant, glamorous lives!"
The inquiry came from an Episcopal priest of the female variety who was invited to a BLACK TIE EVENT.
Black tie, everyone! Isn't this amazing? When was the last time you were invited to a black tie event? PeaceBang has only been to one or two in her life and certainly not since she was ordained. No one does black tie weddings anymore, so that is one brand of fiesta that PeaceBang has most definitely not had to worry about dressing for. Sheesh, what a relief!
Our priest wrote in to say that not only did she have to attend a black tie event, she had to wear her clericals, which certainly presents a challenge. PeaceBang is pretty sure that evening gowns and clerical collars don't go very well together, so she had to put on her little thinking cap very tight and come up with this response to Inquiring Priest:
"There is no way to do clericals and black tie, really. I mean, we can't very well wear a collar and an evening gown or a tux. It just isn't done. But yet you want to look drop-dead elegant and appropriate.
I would say get an absolutely classic black suit with impeccable trousers and wear them with a pair of gorgeous sling-back pumps. That will be your only concession to feminine party dress. Keep everything starkly elegant, make sure your hair and make-up are one step away from GLAM (if you send me a photo I can advise), and wear an amazing, jewelry-like wristwatch. Simple diamonds [or "diamonds"] or something similarly perfect in your ears, and a very, very simple clutch bag. Manicured nails, neutral color (OPI Bubble Bath is great -- or if you want to do short and glam, Essie "Wicked" -- an elegant dark, dark wine color). In fact, the more I think about it, I sort of love the idea of killer chic nail polish as almost the only ornament.
The idea here is not trying to compete with the fapitzed
ladies and not to be a guy: be a drop-dead elegant priest who just slightly intimidates* all the tuxes and evening gowns.
What do you think?"
* Maybe "intimidate" isn't the best word for what I mean. What I mean here is, Priests don't have to do black tie. Priests represent a spiritual teacher who reminded us not to store up treasures on earth, and who appreciated his wealthy disciples but who did not try to be as they were.