You knew it had to come some time: the blog entry about garments. As of the writing of this blog, I haven't been wearing garments for about half the day now.
For a long time now, I've sensed that taking off the garments would be the next logical step in my gradual extrication from the church and its culture. (The previous steps I've completed were to stop paying tithing and to start building a social network outside of the church.) This weekend I was thinking about the garments and wondering what was keeping me from taking them off. I certainly don't believe that the garments have any special protective power. And my temple covenants are meaningless to me. Furthermore, I never stopped wearing bras and underwear (I just wore them on top of the garments), so it's not like it was an issue of buying new clothing. What was really keeping me from doing it? When I would ask myself that question, I couldn't really think of an answer.
I guess I've just been waiting for a reason to take them off. I suppose that I imagined some negative event at church would make me upset enough to take off my garments (rend my garments?) in protest. After all, I put them on for the first time as part of a religious ritual, maybe I should take them off as part of a de-religious ritual?
But I've been entering a new phase in my relationship to the church. I guess you could call it apathy or just a general decrease in my personal interest in the church. Lately it feels like I haven't been as obsessed with the church and the level of emotion I've been less offended by my church meetings so much as I've been bored by them. I'm starting to adopt the attitude that the church as something that I used to do once, but my life is changing now. And I'm developing new interests and I'm starting to find new things to occupy my time and thoughts. I guess I'm just gradually starting to let go.
Today I was changing from my work attire to more comfortable attire at home. The garment bottoms were riding up inside of my jeans as I was putting them on and it occurred to me that I should just take them off rather than bother to do the same old readjustments where I try to pull them down to make them comfortable again. So, off they went. And then I took the top off too, for the sake of completeness.
And it was just like that. No ceremony. No emotions. Just the mundane act of putting on underwear. It reminds me of a line from T.S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men": "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper."