[Raising my eyes to heaven even as I grope for that third rail with my outstretched toe.]
From a readerette:
I’m having a bit of a conflict with my bride-to-be best friend, who has gone Bridezilla on me. She asked me to be her Maid of Honour, and she agreed on the conditions (I could only witness her marriage, nothing else because I’m a student with no time or money to plan or pay for her bridal shower and stagette, and no immodest dress). When it came time for dress shopping and only being able to find strapless dresses, we agreed that I could wear a matching bolero. [Dunno "bolero" ... ummm ... really big hat? Some sort of bull-fighting cape? Okay.. I have no idea what a bolero is, but I assume it will make you look less of a tart while wearing it.]
That was eight months ago, and now that the wedding is almost here, she has decided she wants all of her bridal party to having matching necklines. [Lord, strengthen me to the end of this...] She is strongly convinced “it will look funny” if we don’t all wear strapless dresses and won’t let me wear the bolero in the church or for pictures.
Things are getting ugly and I’m trying to be patient with her because I know these are stressful times. [I know what you mean.] I know strapless dresses are inappropriate, especially in a Catholic Church.
This brings me to the other problem. [There's more?] When the dress was undergoing alterations, the seamstress and I didn’t make a big fuss that the huge bra support-band [?!?!?] was visible in the back because it was going to be fully covered by the bolero. It really should not be worn without the bolero. [The ... ummm... right... ]
I want to make one last attempt to try to make her to understand why it’s important to wear modest clothing in the church, but I don’t know what to tell her, or how to tell her. Her priest doesn’t want to get involved with this either, [NO! Really? How come? Actually, I'd be more concerned if he wanted to get into this.] so I’m on my own. What would you recommend? [Who... me?]
If that doesn’t work, given the situation, would it still be inappropriate for me to participate in the wedding party in a strapless dress with the bra visible in the back, [I am guessing that the strapless dress and no bra sort of defeats the aim of modesty.] or should I stick to what I know to be appropriate and quietly bow out of the wedding party?
Okay… I have the perfect solution. King Solomon himself could not do better, and it doesn’t involve threatening to cut anything in half, especially straps of any kind or … purpose.
Switch to the groom’s party and wear a tux.
Seriously, if the bride wants you to wear what you consider immodest clothing in church, and you don’t want to wear immodest clothing in church, then don’t.
Graciously bow out.
Still on the serious note … I am sorry that this is causing strain in your friendship. You want to be part of this happy event, but you are in a bind. You have to chose if your friend won’t budge.
Thanks for wanting to be modest.
Part of situations like this is the incessant imposition on women and girls that they have to look like tarts. Another part of situations like this is that the Catholic Church has in so many places abandoned decorum and a true sense of liturgical worship, has neglected to instruct people what sacraments are, that women and girls think they can and even should tart-it-up in church.
No tarts in church, please. Well… let me rephrase that. Tarts are welcome. We are all sinners, after all, and sinners are welcome in their Father’s house. BUT, for any tarts reading this… if you are a tart, please don’t dress like a tart for weddings. Please?
And then there are the funerals.