Remember when Clinton was asked, “Boxers or briefs?”
Why do I ask?
Because yesterday, after meeting for worship, as I was walking down Brattle Street towards Harvard Square, a group of college-aged Mormon women passed me on the sidewalk. (There is a Mormon church directly across the Longfellow green from Friends Meeting at Cambridge— so Quakers and LDS-ers often find ourselves in the same place at the same time.) Struggling, as I do these days, with super-anxiety about the election, their high-heels, lots of make-up, bouncy-curled ‘dos and Sunday-best clothes depressed me.
Tagging along behind them, smelling their perfume, I found myself thinking some very dark, very weird stuff. (Because that’s how anxiety works.) “Oh, dear!” I thought, “getting all gussied up like that looks like fun. Appealing.” ( I suspect part of me was just plain jealous they were tripping down Cambridge’s notoriously treacherous sidewalk in heels, no problem!)
And, in that weird, crazy place I immediately connected that appeal, such a precious commodity these days, with the presidential race and wondered: “Is this how Romney wins? He taps into this let’s play dress-up for real thing?”
Crazy, right? But it gets worse. Because I live in this wonderful Somerville/Cambridge Bubble where most people don’t dress like they’re going to the most fancy wedding in their whole lives just to go to church, I couldn’t even trust myself to say: C’mon, Patricia! Because I KNOW I don’t really understand what going on in, say, Ohio. (Just to mention a critically important, must-win-to-win state.) I really don’t know how the sight of that gaggle of gussied-up women would play in Cincinnati or Cleveland.
But just as I was, once again, sinking into “Oh, God, we’re doomed and I have to move to Canada,” a tattooed guy on a bike whisked past. A tattooed angel. Because at the sight of him I remembered: Oh, right! Under those fancy clothes those women are wearing Mormon underwear!
Now I have no intention of getting all snarky about “temple garments.” I have no intention of making fun of Mormons. What I want to do is this: Remind myself, as I was reminded, yesterday, remind YOU that, yes, women have come a long way, baby. We can wear our underwear on the outside if we so choose (thanks, Madonna!).
That verb “choose”? It’s ours.
So I’m trusting that on November 6th, a significant percentage women of this country, with or without make-up or high heels, will make the right choice.