Friday, August 22, 2014

The Wrong Time to be Batman

I know what you are thinking. How can there be a wrong time to be Batman? This is an analogy, so just go with it.

I've read a few articles this summer on modesty in churches, and I have come to an illustration that I hope will better explain it to both sides.
You get a birthday party invitation. It is dated October 30th, the day before Halloween. You've hung out with these friends before at other events, and you know that they go big for Halloween. They are a fun loving group, and so naturally you assume that a party on the 30th means it is a costume party. The perfect time to wear that awesome Batman costume you bought on clearance last year, and have been dying to show off. The day of the party comes, you go all out to look extra cool, you get to the party, and it is not a costume party. In fact, everyone is dressed in the exact opposite of costumes. You couldn't stand out more if you tried. It is too late to sneak out, you have been seen. You'll just have to own it.
Here is what I take from looking at it this way.

  • I would remember nothing from that night beyond it being the night I was Batman when I really shouldn't have been. Most of the people there would only remember that someone showed up dressed as Batman.
  • I would be really embarrassed knowing I was that sort of distraction from my friend's celebration.
  • I do not need someone coming up to me to tell me that this wasn't a costume party. I noticed. I'm ashamed without it being pointed to openly. 
  • I do need a few friendly faces who don't treat me like a total idiot, and talk to me in spite of how I look. 
  • I am not going to get mad at the people who look at me sideways. They are trying to figure out if I am mentally stable. After all, I am kind of a sight. Sure it makes me uncomfortable, and yes people should try not to wear their shock on their face, but being uncomfortable is not always a bad thing. It teaches us not to be Batman when it isn't appropriate. 
  • I will not let this happen again. I will make sure to ask and double check before I show up as Batman again. This one is key. If I continue to show up to events dressed as Batman, people are not going to take me seriously. Great Aunt Sophie dies, and I am Batman. A wedding comes along, and Batman. Job interview? Batman. No. 
Is it your friend's fault for the party not being a costume party? No. Should they have forced everyone to go home and change into a costume to make you feel better? No. Should your friend kick you out for wearing a costume? No.
There are two things I hope people take away from this. First, always check to see what is considered appropriate dress for things you don't regularly attend. Second, don't comment on what people are wearing unless it is to compliment them. It is rude. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is ruder than showing up to church dressed as Batman. Neither are socially acceptable. Really this advice applies outside of just church. It is a lesson for life. We need to stop focusing on if we look attractive, and focus more on if we look appropriate, because like it or not we live in a civilized society that has rules for such things. If that is too much for you, I can recommend a nice nudist camp nearby where no one is judged on their clothes. 

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