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Funeral v. Weather

The unfortunate fact is, I have few clothes that are funereal, but in spring, summer, and autumn I can get by. In winter, however, my wardrobe is so limited that I cannot even come close to dressing both for winter weather and a funeral at the same time. I must attend a funeral, billed as a party, today, when we are twelve hours shy on either side of significant snowstorms and on the back end of a bitter cold snap. So this morning I had two options: go out in the subzero temperatures in thin pants and trudging through four inches of snow in good shoes, or take the “party” to heart and dress for the weather? On the one hand, temporary discomfort is a small price to pay for showing respect; on the other, what does respect mean? Is it simply or even primarily concerned with maintaining the social mores of wearing even a dark, not necessarily a black suit and tie to a funeral? I do not have good answers for these questions, especially because I dressed for the weather, but I feel rather guilty about it.

 

Comments

I wore a dark grey suit to a funeral once, because it was all I had. I felt like an ass then, and everytime I remember it I feel like an ass again.

No one ever remembers that time they were cold, but no one ever forgets that time they were an ass.

A dark gray suit is the best I have ever had—and I can’t even do that now, not being the owner of any suit whatsoever. I have never felt bad about doing what I can.

But in this case, the partylike atmosphere of this funeral has been emphasized in every communication I have received about it, and the deceased was not one for anything less… Is it still being an ass if one treats it as such?

The funeral I was speaking of was – in keeping with the deceased’s personality – super, super formal, and that is primarily why I felt like an ass.

What you describe seems like a more relaxed affair.

I didn’t mean to get super defensive. I am still debating whether I ought to go home and change clothes before go-time. I am genuinely conflicted about all manner of funerals, both formal and informal, primarily because regardless of the type, I just have never owned any kind of good funeral couture.

I didn’t take it as defensive at all.

It really just depends on the level of suffering the cold can bring. My experience is that sticking out at a funeral is really unpleasant, fwiw.

In these temperatures, it’s frostbite in 20 minutes. This funeral won’t be outside, however.

Piss on me, that’s cold.

If you were here and I did, it would freeze—fast!

It’s not a funeral; it’s a “luncheon.” Are all of your co-workers looking funereal?

Remember that what you lack in appropriate attire, you make up in good looks. :)

They were more gussied up than usual but not funereal, no.

But all my worry was for naught, since while we were on our way there, the car tires caught the edge of the on ramp to the Interstate, causing the car to fishtail on the snow and ultimately stop cold in the ditch. We waited about 30 minutes for the tow truck to show, and it took him another 30 minutes to get the car back on the street. We never made it to the funeral luncheon. But I was glad to have dressed for the cold, which is more than K can say!

I just appreciate that you said “the car tires caught the edge of the on ramp” rather than “K put us in the ditch.” What an afternoon.

sounds like a fun afternoon was had by all

Yes, we picked a very frigid day to end up in the ditch. Ugh.

On the other hand, we got to experience the back seat of a police cruiser—a first for both of us. We even had to have the cop open the doors for us to get out when the tow truck driver was finished pulling the car up to the road.

Whew. I worried about what to wear to the first few funerals I went to here, but most people just wear whatever they were going to wear anyway. I’ve literally seen people at funerals in shorts and t-shirts.

Also, I am so sorry about the car/ditch situation! (the car/ditch sitch?). Glad you are all okay.

Sounds like you chose wisely.

Here’s my best funeral story. We (spouse, child, and me) had to travel about three hours for a family funeral. It was to be in the morning, so we decided to get a hotel the night before in a town a short drive away. We left after work the night before the funeral, drove two-and-a-half hours to arrive at the hotel around 10:00 that night.

After we got checked in and got the pack-n-play set up for the night, we began unpacking to get ourselves ready for bed only to realize that we had left all of our funeral clothes hanging on the door to the closet in our bedroom. After a lot of cussing, we decided not to drive back home for our clothes and instead buy some in the morning. Of course, the only thing open early enough for us to get to the funeral was a Wal-mart.

A few sleepless hours and $100 later, we had clothes to wear which was a minor achievement since it’s difficult to find things on any wrack for someone my size.

We did manage to keep the car out of the ditch, though.

I did a buying-the-day-before thing last year before the funeral of my father-in-law. Fortunately, we had a little more time and could make it to Macy’s in time to buy a good shirt.