In class today I was stricken with a disconcerting thought speaking volumes to our society's rampant secularization. But first, some background.
As the 'church' statistically becomes irrelevant, profound social liberalism (or a mosque, temple or L Ron Hubbard-penned science fiction novel) has gradually taken its place. From the 60's onward, progressive alternatives have gradually filled the influence vacuum. Children have since been growing up faster, harder and more willing to experiment, free from the confines of institutionalized dogma and frocked fear-mongering. Large swaths of time, particularly Sunday mornings, have been increasingly open for youth to explore. Philandering and pot smoking, or so I hear, have largely ensued.
Compared with 50 years ago the youth - me included - were, and still are, wildly out of control. Ideas are flowing; both information and filth are profoundly, excitingly accessible to impressionable minds. The altar boy has thus emphatically dropped the scriptures for BET, although my last post proves this is certainly not a bad thing (if you work as a Congressional Page this is especially true, but again, that's beside the point).
Back to today's revelation, though. My colleague passingly spoke of a fashion designer who creates not only lingerie, but "wedding night lingerie." I was shocked. Wedding night lingerie? Do you simply throw it out afterward? Might one get it starched like flowers and put into a scrap book? Burn it ritualistically? Smell it when times get rough five years and three kids down the road? Remember the good times at the airport Hyatt, hunny? I guess it makes a convoluted sense.
Given the near-universality of premarital sex in Western society, is the significance of the wedding night being drastically depleted? And if not depleted, is the emphasis not in the least way altered? The 1920's are obviously over - no one really misses being labelled a Bolshevik and no one actually understood Ulysses anyhow. But today people have sex for years, engaging in common law relationships long before taking the nuptial leap. Said plunge is often a formality with no identifiable lifestyle change; seems almost like an inevitable letdown in a sad way, does it not?
So, is there really the market for "wedding night lingerie" any more? And, beside, would those lucky few abstinence adherents really be the type to buy vinyl underwear in the first place? Who, exactly, are they pandering to? Monika could already very well sue for copyright infringement.
I leave you with those questions.
For now, though, I look back fondly to the time of hand-holding, drive-in movies and 'waiting.' The days when wedding night lingerie was akin to the wedding dress itself, original and denotative, not merely a new coat of paint on the old wagon.
Oh, to live in the age of our grandparents, or Kuwait. The puritan ideal of one's wedding night being symbolic of emotional AND physical advancement is certainly endearing. In any era.
A $500 pair of single-use underwear and a lifetime condemnation of missionary sex is less appealing, mind you. So take your pick.