You DO Have A Shape, And It’s Not Rectangular

PeaceBang’s mind is just REELING from a week in St. Louis with her colleagues and co-religionists.

There was an abundance of tie-dye, and at one event every single woman was wearing the same exact ugly sandals. Hot investing tip: As the Boomers age, you all might want to buy stock in Clarke shoes, which specializes in comfortable sandals that have the dubious virtue of being one step up, attractiveness-wise, from actual orthopedics.

There is indeed an unspoken dress code for religious liberals, and it’s ain’t pretty.

When I get home from Chicago I’ll treat you to loads of photos.

I shared a shuttle to the airport with two ministerial colleagues and I must admit that the moment I laid eyes on them I thought, “Well, they’re earnest Save The Whales types and I’m a snarky Gen X-er, so I’m not sure I should even strike up a conversation.”
Also, I was just so tired.
But as it turns out, we had a hilarious talk in the actual airport and they were totally Cute People with a great sense of joie de vivre and affectionate humor. And even though they described themselves as “old hippies,” I don’t think they’ve saved any actual whales for awhile.

As we chatted, she revealed that she is an appreciative reader of this blog so I gave them both some tips — the man has a really cool hairline that right now is being obscured by the presence of a long ponytail, which I think he should cut off so he can feature that wonderful kind of widow’s peak he’s got. I encouraged him to go to a great stylist and get a wonderful cut and some pomade (maybe by Crew?) that will shine up his gorgeous dark brown hair and keep it in place.
He was wearing a nice denim shirt and chinos and since we had just been at GA, I’ll give him a pass on the chalice baseball cap. He made reference to some “colorful ties” he wears with his shirts. If that means a closetful of UNICEF children’s art ties, dear M., we’ll have to talk.

In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I myself looked like a half- deranged sloppy mess by that point, having just slapped on whatever was vaguely clean for my trip to Chicago.

My female colleague is as cute as can be, but was dressed in a Guatamalan cotton striped shirt that was rather boxy, with a buttoned stand-up collar, short sleeves and no shape to it. Fearing, as most of us do, that she has “no waist,” she had left it untucked, and it was long.

She was also wearing a boxy, slightly too big and too long purple front-buttoned cotton skirt with no real shape to it, either. As a result of this outfit, she looked like a cute little rectangle, and I was utterly unable to discern her female curves. I advised her to find a skirt with some shape to it — perhaps one of the little cotton items at Old Navy with the nipped in waist. And I think she might either belt that Guatamalen shirt, or better yet, wear it as a jacket with a fitted t-shirt underneath and some chunky beads. She’s a very sweet Earth Mother type who wears her hair in a long braid, so she might want to try a low chignon. Maybe Rali, who knows how to do the fastest and prettiest low chignon I’ve ever seen, could reach out? I’ll get them together.

We decided together that fashion for ministers is all about looking like yourself, but not like a cliched version of yourself. I thank my male colleague for that quote, because I think it’s just perfect. I also agree with him that a slight element of surprise is good. As he said, “Keep them guessing.”

It was great to meet them, and I wish them every happiness in their new settlement.

9 Replies to “You DO Have A Shape, And It’s Not Rectangular”

  1. Due to constraints of energy and professional expenses, I skipped GA this year…. so I had two simultaneous reactions, Sister PeaceBang, to your promise to post photos of our colleagues and parishioners who have strayed – oh so publicly – from the path of Sartorial Salvation.

    My first reaction was: yes! photos! Just like the back page that Glamour magazine used to have with its “fashion don’ts”! Dish ’em up so we can dish it out!

    My other reaction, I share with you in love, dear Sister, was: ouch! Even if you put a black bar in front of my face to render me anonymous, I would be mortified to see myself as a “fashion/hair don’t” on this site. Your blog, you fabulous woman, is quickly reaching interfaith cult status across our nation. Uh-huh, that’s right: you are a cult figure, like Judy Garland or Jim Jones. And I mean that in the most loving, nurturing way possible.

    So even though I’m dying to see just how much tie-dye I missed in St. Louis, right relationship might just call for lots of discretion in posting embarrassing photos of our brothers and sisters in faith (and I will just try to swallow that bitter disappointment).

  2. Don’t freak, Glory, everyone has given permission to photograph them for this site. And the offenders are taken from a distance and from the back.

    Give me some credit, man!

  3. I’m with Glory. I know exactly who you are talking about, and even if they gave you full permission, I’m not sure I would like to be referred to as “a cute rectangle” even with permission.

    This is tender territory. I know and love you, too, my friend, so I will have to trust your tact and discretion.

    But oh my…

  4. Also, every single thing I say in posts about specific friends is the exact same stuff we talk about in person. Which I hope means that those who love this blog are happy to see in print to share with others who might be wondering about whether or not they should tuck in their own cotton striped shirts.

    P.S. Don’t tuck it in if you don’t want to! Belt it or wear it open! But I already said that!

  5. Okay, Dearie, I hereby withhold judgement and offense because I do trust you, tremendously, and know you to be a Person of Great Integrity.

    (It’s just, you know, the saying is LOVE, not “mock” the sinner, hate the sin.)

    In faith and trust,

  6. I must admitt I am a tiny bit relieved that my stockingless legs weren’t mentioned and my frizzy humid hot summer day hair was overlooked.. but at the same time I want to fully support your right and responsiblity to say what you say to our faces.. and when you blog things like the boxiness of our shape to one it helps us all. I for one will now check more closely in the mirror what shape I am leaving the house in. I have great appreciation for the humor in which you share your thoughts.. so in short– you can dish on me anytime… and in the meantime I would be happy to give my twisty chigon lessons to whomever you please.. I learned the do from my 17 year old niece and it should be shared. Blessings to you my fashionable friend.

  7. I’m the cute rectangle to whom PeaceBang refers and I sure like being so named much better than being called square.

    I’m delighted with PeaceBang – she sees you and sees your beauty. She says outloud what we so often shy away from and this is a relief – primates to the core who want to be loved no matter what they look like, but once you love me, well, go ahead tell me what you see.

    She makes a safe space in which we can laugh and giggle about we primates who add to our skins symbols of what we wish to say.

    My spouse and I have been thinking so much more about our looks since reading and now meeting PeaceBang – not that I’m sure we’ll do too much about it as we are aweful busy saving whales – but it’s great to have something new to think about in the world of beauty and communication.

    Yesterday I was packing up clothes for moving to our new settelement and although I didn’t lose the Guatemalan shirts or the boxy skirts, I did toss out some other doubtful combinations and keep some things that could be used as belts. Thanks for those tips PeaceBang.

    And thanks in general. It was so good to meet you – and we’ll send pictures of our “makeover” when and if it comes. And thanks also for the new name of my memoir – “I have a shape and it’s not rectangular.”

  8. {{{Clapping and making happy chimp noises!!!}}}}

    We ARE primates! I know because I went to the zoo in St. Louis and spent an hour laughing my head off in the monkey house! Because they all reminded me of myself, with their little fussy hair-dos and nit-picking!

    Thanks for your sweet comment, my whale-saving friend. I hope you’ve put to rest all the fears expressed by some of the other PeaceBangers.

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