The 80’s are back and although there are many things about the 80’s I love – Madonna, wrap around belts, bright colors, and baggy shirts – there are also things I am hoping never come back – leg warmers, big hair, and mullets. I’m not even sure I ever fully appreciated the mullet even in the 80’s, but the philosophy behind the mullet really resonates with me – business in the front and party in the back. I like this idea of having one style that is versatile for different occasions.
As a woman, it is always a challenge to find the appropriate attire – one that is professional, yet comfortable; attractive, yet not too revealing. As a female pastor, I have gotten used to being scrutinized over what I wear, whether it is a compliment or a critique. The challenge came when I become a mother as well. If I wore something that needed dry cleaning, I was always concerned that my children’s sticky hands would get all over it. I couldn’t wear heels that were too high, just in case I needed to go into a full out sprint when my daughter darted out the front church doors. I tried to wear separates so that if I didn’t escape the chocolate stained hands at least I wouldn’t have to wash the whole outfit. And don’t get me started on the hair.
As my children got older, the challenges of my choice in attire reached a whole new level. Living in a city where church attendance is less than 10% means that most events take place on Sundays: marathons, festivals, birthday parties, and school events. This means that my parishioners often have to choose between going to church or a school function and birthday party. This is particularly difficult for me because it is not a choice for me. On days such as those, I try and dart away as soon as church is over so that my son can at least show up in time for the main event or the birthday cake.
Today was no different. My son had a birthday party to go to – at the beach no less. With no time to spare, I had to figure out what to wear to church today. That’s when it hit me – business in the front and party in the back or in my case, business on top and casual on the bottom. Do I do the suit jacket with jeans? The urban hip look. Do I do a blouse with a casual skirt? That’s beachy cool.
In the end, it didn’t matter. The San Francisco fog rolled in and I had to go home anyway to change into a sweater and scarf.