Deuteronomy and Naked and Afraid

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord by God.” Deuteronomy 22:5

Gunn TI didn’t know this before I sat down in a doctor’s office yesterday. I was there for a skin thing not worth mentioning, and I picked up a September 2012 issue of Marie Claire to catch up on my fashion sense (yes, 2012). Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible was featured with a page devoted to why women close buttons right on left and men do the opposite. Deuteronomy was cited.

This is important trivia for a writer. You never know when reading articles, attending events not in your usual interest, or seeing television shows you’ve never heard of will spark an interest or give important information. It’s important to keep abreast. Which reminds me, have you seen the television show Naked and Afraid on the Discovery Channel about surviving in the wilderness? I happened on it a few weeks ago and watched it for half an hour. Then I lifted my chin to close my mouth.

The show has not worked itself into my writing (except for now, of course), but it was a society update. Much of the conversation wasn’t that different than people in rayon and polyester yelling at each other from their cubicles, which are a wilderness many of us know well.

Three hours after the doctor visit that introduced me to button history and resulted in free skin care samples, I was sitting in a physical therapist’s office for a first visit to torture my right foot. Nothing big. It’s been aging and has reached a crankiness that is currently benefited by icing and pounding into shape on a daily basis.

Back to interesting stuff. I looked at the Oprah magazine and

J Monae

J Monae

learned lots. Singer J Monae has a hairdo so unique that a writer would be challenged to describe it. “Kid President” Robby Novak has a Ted Talk I’ll try listening to. I wish I could go to the Harvard (My son’s undergraduate alma mater.) November Project. Anyone and everyone is invited on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. to walk up and down the stadium stairs. It looks fun to be part of it

And last, before I was called in to meet the therapist who worked my foot like no one ever has, I read about a hotel I want to visit called Fogo Island on Newfoundland. Writers need to use moments like waiting for doctors to rediscover what’s going on “out there.”

I can see this as occasionally be valuable to wear today.

I can see this as occasionally be valuable to wear today.

For a wrap-up conclusion, there were other theories about why men and women button differently. One had to do with knights of the Middle Ages wearing mail for protection. If it is left over right there is more resistance to oncoming swords. Another idea is the Hasidic belief it symbolizes victory of good over evil.

Inspiration swells from anywhere. Perhaps there is an article or book to be written including button history. Or someday a character of mine will find herself stranded on Newfoundland with no place to stay but Fogo Island Inn and they are so taken with her they waive the $550 to thousands per night charge. Hurrah for spare, entertaining, educational moments!

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4 Responses to Deuteronomy and Naked and Afraid

  1. Bumba says:

    Very confusing. Is mail armor buttoned right to left, or left to right like male armor should be?

  2. Oh, should have made that clearer. The idea was armor was originally buttoned right (buttonhole) over left (button) as women do today, but that made the knight’s chest more vulnerable to a right-handed opponent. Since most people are right-handed, buttoning was changed so men’s wear became left (buttonhole) over right (button). Though I know little about buttons, I don’t think they made a real appearance until some time in the Middle Ages.

  3. Such a fact-filled post. I had to take notes to keep everything straight. Was that right, or maybe it was left. I’m so tired my brain is leaking.
    Never mind. Lovely post.

    • Yes, it seems I rushed a bit on the telling of buttons and noticing hairdos and kid wonders on YouTube, but ah, you know, you and I must keep up and for me, it’s getting harder all the time. My brain also often leaks.

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