Friday, January 06, 2006

Another Shoe Story

Thanks to all of you for your good fashion advice. I'm now the proud owner of a new pair of black pumps.

This whole episode reminded me of another shoe epiphany in an earlier job search. I was fresh out of seminary and interviewing at a church in a gracious southern city. After preaching in a neutral pulpit, the nominating committee and I met the Senior Pastor and Interim Associate of the church for which I was interviewing for lunch at a nearby restaurant. The Interim Associate was enduring paroxysms of mortification and embarrassment. Turns out that during the service, she looked down at her feet and discovered to her horror that she had forgotten to switch from her blue pumps, (which matched her outfit), to her black pumps, (which matched her pulpit robe), before worship started.
"There I was up in front of everybody with a black robe and blue pumps!," she wailed.

I sat very quietly nibbling my salad. Just weeks before I had looked down at my feet during church and realized that I had somehow managed to leave the house that morning wearing one blue pump AND one black pump. I thought this was so funny I pointed it out to everyone during coffee hour.

"If this is the kind of place where you have to go through multiple costume changes on Sunday morning to make sure your shoes match your top layer of clothing, I wouldn't last a week," I thought to myself.

Later that week I got a call from my committee letting me know they had chosen another candidate. I wasn't all that sad.


Gord said...

This may just be me but isn't this whole discussion rather disturbing?

Is there the same sense that men in the pulpit take, or need to take, the same amount of time planning a wardrobe?

A friend of mine once said that she decided to wear an alb when someone on her internship commented how nice it was that she chose a dress that matched the chairs up at the front.

Preacher Mom said...

Was the church that shallow, or just the individual? This kind of stuff drives me nuts! As a small-town, small-church, mother of preschoolers, I would never survive in such an environment.

cheesehead said...

Boy, you dodged a bullet with that earlier church!

I find that people are more likely here to comment on my hair than my clothes. Which is still wierd.

LutheranChik said...

Oh, I had a two-shoes-of-different-colors day one Sunday when I was helping lead the service. Moral of story: Never buy two pairs of shoes in the same color, or buy a pair of shoes that look almost like another pair of shoes. Especially if you're inclined to dress in the dark and/or in a hurry.:-/

Sophia said...

I have a great shoe story for you - this is not about me but about a priest I know.

She really likes clogs, and used to wear almost nothing else.

Her home congregation was a monastery (there are Episcopal religious orders and some have congregations open to the community).

She had been accepted to one of the more prestigious seminaries in the country, and would later be in one of the first groups of women to be permitted to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church.

One day before she left for seminary she received a call from the abbott's office. He wanted to meet with her at noon; he would pick her up.

At noon the abbott pulled up in his car, dressed as always in a full monk's habit. When she got into the car he said "I will not have you clomping around the altar at such and such seminary in those shoes you wear. We are going shoe shopping."

And so she spent the afternoon in various department stores with a monk, shopping for "appropriate" closed back shoes.

Becky Ardell Downs said...

I just realized last night that the heel on one of the black dress shoes I regularly wear on Sundays has been completely chewed up by some dog or other in my house. Honestly, I don't know when this happened, or how many people have noticed it, or if it is even noticeable. Do I get to get new shoes? Can a shoe repair person fix something like this? While the idea of just going out and getting new shoes is appealing, . . . and I'll need to do it eventually . . . how long can I/must I wait until doing this? Does it matter that, according to my husband, we're broke and need to save every last penny? I don't know exactly how true this is, btw.

Songbird said...

Becky, you need an old-fashioned shoe repairman.
Rebel, I wouldn't last in a place like that either.

St. Casserole said...

Here in the South, you better believe that your appearance matters to a search comm. If you don't look like you'll fit in, you don't have a chance. For a woman, looking sloppy or hard or too crunchy will not work.
If Southern churches wonder why the talent goes elsewhere, this may be a clue.