The Meeting Clothes I Left Behind

by dobby 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • dobby

    This past weekend my husband and son and I went to stay with my JW in-laws.

    It was a pleasant weekend. They were a little subdued this weekend, I think the assembly got to them and they seemed less open to discussing our feelings about the WT.

    A very interesting thing happened as we packed to go on Sunday morning. I was in the guest room folding clothes into our suitcase when my father-in-law tapped on the door.

    "Hey hon, " he said, "I have been meaning to give you these clothes, I think you left them almost a year ago when you came to visit."

    He handed me three pieces of little boy clothing, a pair of dress khakis, plaid dress shirt and argyle sweater vest.

    "Thanks, " I said. I took the clothes and looked at them with astonishment. I had completely forgotten them. I remember buying them last fall as the weather started to turn so that my son would have something to wear to the meeting. The clothes had never been worn, they are in pristine condition, I half expected to see tags hanging from the sleeves.

    I do remember bringing them to my in-laws, for some reason we didn't go the meeting that visit, well at the time we were irregular at best. The funny thing is that not long after leaving these clothes behind we stopped going all together.

    The clothes gave me such an odd feeling, as if they belonged to another life, some kind of "Bizarro" world. There was a time when I would have frantically called my mother-in-law if I had left such clothes behind, I would have asked her to mail them quickly. Meeting clothes are a real expense, and I used to only buy "just enough" for each meeting and one day of service per week. 4 outfits to rotate.

    I put the clothes in the suitcase, who knows? They are now too small for my son, but maybe one day he will have a brother who can wear them. Although they really have no place in our life anymore...except maybe a family photo. One of those formal pictures with everyone in Cosby-like color-coordinated sweaters. Two little boys in the front row, hair parted and slicked down.

    The picture begins to evolve in my mind, there is a bit of red in the argyle sweater. Red, sweaters, white snowflakes and green trees and our picture suddenly appears as a card - "Season's Greetings."

    Well, as Dr. Evil might say, why have a family photo when you can have ummm ahhhh Xmas Card?

    HAAHAAHAAHAA (evil laugh and pinky turned to my face).

  • Swan

    Dear Dobby

    My husband recently dug out a box while cleaning the garage and low and behold they were old Watchtower books. I thought they were all discarded long ago!

    It sure is an eye opener, huh?


  • BadJerry

    My dear wife has been eyeing all the room she is going to gain in the walkin when she sends my "meeting" clothes to the basement. Thought my work clothes might be promoted from the laundry room, but bet that ain't gonna happen...can I bet now??????????????

  • Beck_Melbourne


    The clothes gave me such an odd feeling, as if they belonged to another life

    I know this feeling...I usually get this feeling when I look at photos of my kids when they were little....we were either on our way to a meeting or assembly and I would often get the camera out and 'click' away I was a dressmaker and I used make my girls matching outfits for every assembly. So when I look at the photos I have a lot of nice memories....but as you say...another lifetime ago.

    Because of my current job I still have to keep up the jw appearance....but my kids have passed theirs on to goodwill with no regrets.


  • patio34

    Hi Dobby,

    This is an interesting aspect that I've often thought about. Where I work is conservative in dress. When I was a dub, I would always buy something that could be worn both at meetings and at work. But since I "escaped," never has a dress or skirt been bought. It's nice slacks! Some of the dresses I still wear just because of inc'g my wardrobe, but it'll be a long time before shelling out $$ for dresses.

    A related point is that don't you think that JWs dress overly formally? I saw a couple at work today (from the public) dressed as the dubs do for meetings and they were so out of place at my conservative place of work. All the men take off their jackets unless they're going to a formal business meeting.

    The rationale the WTS gave for the attire is that it should be what the business community wears, but the business community isn't as formal (unless they're going to court or something) as the JWs. They stick out like a sore thumb, imo.


  • dobby

    Patio - interesting point about the business community, especially since so many companies are now "business casual" and it is TOTALLY acceptable for women to wear slacks even in formal dress codes.

    It really is funny how witnesses do stick out at times. the men are really discouraged from removing their jacket or wearing a sport jacket that is not part of a suit. sometimes they really look hokey, espcially if the suit is outdated.

    It's just all about stripping individuality again. The "uniform" without a uniform.

  • SPAZnik

    I can totally relate to this thread.

    Still have quite a few "meeting" clothes in my closet. I too used to "live" in conservative wear too, between work and meetin's.

    Some still works for work, but Funny just the other day i was looking at some of it and thinking, "i can't believe i used to wear that".

    Itz nice to not hafta wear dresses all the time now. I'm lovin' the slacks thing. must be a true aposta-chick now. what a rebel. i surely deserve death at armageddon for wearing slacks.


  • qwerty

    Hello Dobby

    It's amazine how we great minds are having the same thoughts at the same time! LOL

    I have only stopped attending meetings in the last 6 month, I look in my wardrobe and see JW all over,!

    Just looking for a casual type shirt yesterday (dress code at work is smart casual) , I realised I have hardly any non witnessy type cloths in my wardrobe. I can hardly get any new shirts in, for formal wear!

    Looks like I am going to after have a clear out, most of the suits don't fit me anymore anyway (need to l get rid of some flab). Charity shop here I come. New me here I come.

    qwerty ......... (with shivers running up my spine as I peer into my wardrobe)

  • imanaliento

    dobby, i hang on to my receipts, I had 3 dresses from Sears bought last year that I was able to take back with tags still on. though, it depends on where you get them. they could also be donated or brought to a consignment shop.

  • nita6368

    I look at pictures of my boys when they were all dressed up for meetings , ties and all when they were so young, just babes and I think about how utterly ridiculous we must have looked walking around in the Walmart on a hot summer day after meeting. Usually those pictures make me feel sad because it is so unnatural to see a little boy all confined in a suit and tie. I am so thankful that they don't have to do it anymore. My heart goes out to all witness kids.

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