May 5, 2010

The trials of being a female pastor

Memo to other young women clergy out there:  don't wear a skirt to a graveside service.

I have this amazing, comfortable, beautiful a-line skirt that I wear for many many many important and solemn events.  It works perfectly with a black sweater or jacket and has a wonderful touch of femininity and reverence.  But it has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion as I stand at the graveside to say the committal.

Last fall, it was bean harvesting season in Iowa, and I wore the skirt to a cemetary on top of a hill.  Now, I didn't quite understand what bean harvesting season meant at the time, but I do now.  All of the commotion in the fields had stirred up the millions of japanese beetles that had been hiding there feasting all summer.  There were beetles everywhere.  Around town, you noticed them, but it wasn't quite the same as being in this country cemetary surrounded by fields. 

I got out of the caravan vehicle and made my way to the graveside.  And instantly the bugs started attacking.  They landed on my legs, crawled up my legs, bit everywhere, and it was all I could do to keep from screaming!  While I was not alone in my trials, I seemed to be getting the worst of the attention because of my bare legs.  During the prayers (when I hoped people's eyes were closed) I would brush and wiggle and squirm and try to get some of those bugs out from the folds of my beautiful and wonderful and now dreaded skirt. We all laughed about it afterwards, but it wasn't a pretty sight!

Then yesterday, I had another inopportune wearing of said skirt.  It was a warm and sunshiny day out, so I donned the skirt for a graveside service at our local cemetary.  Not once in the morning did I notice the wind.  But when we stepped outside of the vehicle, the gusts immediately fell upon us and before I had a chance to think, my skirt flew up into the air like Marilyn Monroe's.  Luckily, we were meeting the family there and not many had arrived.  Which meant that there were still a few there.  I pray no one caught a glimpse of my latest Victoria's Secret find... but I cannot be too sure. Throughout the service, I carefully tried to hold my legs together with a fold of the skirt between them in order to prevent another one of said Monroe-like incidents during the middle of the service.

I think I may have to retire the skirt for outdoor services... or at least check the weather first!

1 comment:

  1. I had the same thing happen at a funeral...I was wearing a dress and a gust of wind blew in, although I think (hope) I caught it in time before anyone saw my Victoria's Secret find because I was in the middle of the graveside service! The second time I wore the dress, it was also breezy, but we were having our outdoor service under the gazeebo, so I though I would be safe...Nope, not there either. Trying to serve communion while also trying to make sure your dress doesn't fly up is not a comfortable experience!