I’m a bit of an anachronism. Some of my personal philosophies don’t match up with those of my modern American counterparts, even within Christendom. Beyond counting are the times people have responded with surprise—even disdain—at one of my oddball habits, of which there are many:
Guarding against physical contact
Keeping covered, even the ankles
Addressing someone as Sir or Ma’am
Exiting a room when only one man and myself remain
Speaking only after addressed
Putting my feet together for prayer
Not contradicting my husband
Avoiding eye contact
There are more, but I’m afraid you’d report me.
I have been questioned, instructed, even ridiculed for my provincial ways. Take, for instance, my habit of avoiding eye contact. Much of Western civilization interprets the demure as being socially undeveloped; some even believe it indicates being shifty-eyed. Ironically, however, most of the world’s population is more like me, and even the West used to have these practices. It appears I would fit in better a couple of centuries ago. (That last sentence is for those who didn’t know the meaning of anachronism.)
It hasn’t escaped my observation that some may perceive my tenets as contrived or hypocritical—especially since these ways may appear incongruous with other aspects of my life, which are clearly less conservative than the extreme right wing. But believe me, that’s not the case: even before I became Christian it was my custom to address co-workers as Mr. or Mrs. These mannerisms go to the core of me.
At my mature age, there is still this tendency to defer to almost anybody with whom I share company. In fact, I find caring for my mother-in-law somewhat awkward: she’s always been simple, and now she behaves like a toddler; but she’s my husband’s mother, and she’s got 30 years on me; she deserves my honor.
Now: if you are shocked by this blog and concerned for my welfare, before you type a comment suggesting I seek professional help, I ask that you consider: though these philosophies may not be yours, that doesn’t make them inordinate for me …Sir or Ma’am.