Sign in to follow this  
Seanachie

Following Orders But Not Happily.....

Recommended Posts

I am from Boston but live in SoCal so it is not every week or even every month I see my family. As a regular kilt wearer for 4 years , (four out of five days I wear p@nt$ to work but celebrate Kilt Fridays) from co workers to neighbors to people I run into Costco but don't even know people understand I wear kilts and now it barely raises an eye brow. I even had the experience of watching my beloved Bruins play the LA Kings in a black SWK kilt with my spoked B sweater. After the game a guy with a few beers in him wanted to start something and my wife overheard his buddy say: "don't start something with that guy, if he has the balls to wear a kilt to the game you don't want to f--k with him." And trust me I do not have the physique to intimidate anyone.

Anyway...next Friday I fly back home to celebrate my Mom's 85th birthday. I have been give explicit instructions for the weekend that I am NOT allowed to wear kilts and got a hard time over it. I was pretty annoyed and said as much. I got a follow up letter, to the effect that kilt wearing is some sort of gross anomaly that I alone participate in and almost analogous to some abhorrent behavior.

The anger has passed...but I am bitterly disappointed and certainly learned another lesson in stereo typing. Just figured I'd share this here as I know the brothers here likely see it as something they enjoy and don't have an agenda or issue to push, it's part of their individual make up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sad reality is that wearing the kilt (or a MUG) outside the boundaries of traditionally appropriate venues will result in your being viewed as "the weird guy in a skirt" to many people, whether or not that opinion is voiced within your hearing. The choices are to be comfortable with that knowledge or to limit your kilt wearing. Public opinion is not something you are likely to be able to control.

Specifically regarding family events, I don't understand why kilt-wearers allow other family members to dictate sartorial choices to them. In my family, it is understood that for any family gathering or event, formal to casual, my brother, my nephew and myself will all be kilted. The same applies to any non-family-centered dressy occasion. None of us even own any Saxon dress clothes. If being kilted is an issue which causes offence to the point of being forbidden, then I don't need to be there.

If someone is uncomfortable with appropriate kilted attire, then it is their problem - not mine.

I sympathize with your angst, but have no solution to offer other than adjusting your own attitudes and behaviors to suit your own comfort. Anything else is beyond your control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel for you. As David so well stated: it's their problem. Of course, one must judge their own situations, regarding "keeping the peace", but my premise, regarding kilt ignorance, is simple: I will gladly educate genuine inquiry, but bigotry will not receive the time of day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own 9 kilts and zero p@nt$. If someone is going to be closed-minded enough to tell me that I cannot wear the kilt, then that person has no place in my life. No one tells me that I can't wear the kilt. The English crown tried that centuries ago (clan proscriptions) and that oppressive behavior isn't going to cut it anymore.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's rough dude. I ran into a similar situation with my mother-in-law (as you may have read). I first thought she was joking, as we have had a great relationship, but she was serious. I tried to tell her that I respected her opinion, it would be nice if she gave me the same consideration. No dice. Because my wife loves her mother and missed her I capitulated, wife wasn't amused either we spent $ 60 on shorts for the week that wasn't needed.

I had to laugh at one point during the visit, because she told my niece that she didn't care what any one else thought, I laughed.

Sadly, she seems to be convinced that she's in the right. The result of this is that we are not planning to visit again unless we go somewhere else that brings us close to them. I hate this because I have always liked her, but I wear what I want. I am far over 21, so I don't see any need to put up with this .

This has probably not been much of a help, but I feel your pain. I don't understand why it matters to anyone what we wear either. I usually go kilted daily, and my work has adjusted, but there are times that I'll wear shorts... sometimes just to screw with people... but the only time I've worn actual p@nt$ in the last year was to a funeral of my wife's co-worker.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just my opinion But if I was able to see my Mother wearing p@nt$ would not Bother Me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I agree with David, I even wear mine to church often enough that most members don't even give it a second thought except on one occasion.

Once when I was with the youth this year for a multi-church CEF function called Good News Across Orange.

I was asked by my pastor not to wear my kilt because other people from the other churches "parents droping & picking up thieir kids" may get offended.

Being that this was the first time any of the churches did this type of activity with other churches I obliged being that the activities were for the kids in the community not for me.

Being that I also agree with FJR1300 in that if it's to see my mom sure I'll tolorate wearing Sh@rts or P@nts

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where I work a kilt is not considered PPE (personal protective equipment). Maintenance people normally wear coveralls because we climb into places that most line workers don't and your body must be covered to keep from getting cut. So I wear mine on the weekends after work. That is when I have the weekends off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments.....certainly felt a lot better after venting here.

FJR 1300, don't want to read anything into your comment because I am not sure I interpreted you correctly, however, I don't think the argument that "kilts are more important than your family" et al.

are really valid. That was laid on me too. Hey I am happy to make the visit, just don't think non conditional ultimatums to family members are very cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway...next Friday I fly back home to celebrate my Mom's 85th birthday. I have been give explicit instructions for the weekend that I am NOT allowed to wear kilts and got a hard time over it. I was pretty annoyed and said as much. I got a follow up letter, to the effect that kilt wearing is some sort of gross anomaly that I alone participate in and almost analogous to some abhorrent behavior.

The anger has passed...but I am bitterly disappointed and certainly learned another lesson in stereo typing. Just figured I'd share this here as I know the brothers here likely see it as something they enjoy and don't have an agenda or issue to push, it's part of their individual make up.

It's your family, but if anyone, friend, family, or acquaintance told me explicitly what to wear or not wear AND then told me it was abhorrent behaviour to wear a kilt, I certainly wouldn't be able to "afford" the airfare for a visit. Instead, I'd go somewhere that was more accepting and tell them that, unfortunately, I'd not be able to make the trip.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe, you know what I'm like... loyalty makes you family, blood merely makes you related. I regret the times I missed with my Ma, but by the same token, she was a stubborn, harsh-tongued proud Highlander, & I dont miss the numerous dressing-downs I received for real or imaginary infractions. The one thing she would NEVER think of doing though was to castigate me for showing my heritage. If she had, I would have worn the kilt regardless, as my bloodline is FAR more than just one member of it. If I can remind you (as a friend):

Listen Men. This is bringing before all the Sons of the Gael, the King and Parliament of Britain have forever abolished the act against the Highland Dress; which came down to the Clans from the beginning of the world to the year 1746. This must bring great joy to every Highland Heart. You are no longer bound down to the unmanly dress of the Lowlander. This is declaring to every Man, young and old, simple and gentle, that they may after this put on and wear the Truis, the Little Kilt, the Coat, and the Striped Hose, as also the Belted Plaid, without fear of the Law of the Realm or the spite of the enemies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Joe my Mother passed over twenty ago and I have missed her very very much. So if I could put on a pair of p@nt$ and see my Mom that would be Awesome. John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 kilts, and counting. Since May I've worn p@nt$ 6 times . . . . twice I was "ordered" by the NRC! Otherwise, I'm kilted . . . everyday, while teaching middle-school. And John, if it would help, I'd wear p@nt$ for that, too!

:KILT:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one live by the adage "you can pick your friends but not your family"

Why do we suffer treatment from family that we would never tolerate from non-family? They way some people feel they can treat family members would get a punch in the nose at a tavern.

I told my mother (for lack of better term) to hit the dusty trail 10 years ago. I do not miss her at all. In fact I'm better off without her.

My wife has recently walked away from her abusive parents. She has had the greatest weight lifted from her shoulders.

Welcome to 2013. Divorcing family has become a reality.

Litmus test: if a person treats you in a way that causes your foot to go up their butt or a serious FU to their face, then that treatment is NOT okay just because they are a family member.

If you tell me I can't come if I dress a certain way, FU, I'm not coming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one do not subscribe to "you can pick your friends but not your family"

Why do we suffer treatment from family that we would never tolerate from non-family? They way some people feel they can treat family members would get a punch in the nose at a tavern.

I told my mother (for lack of better term) to hit the dusty trail 10 years ago. I do not miss her at all. In fact I'm better off without her.

My wife has recently walked away from her abusive parents. She has had the greatest weight lifted from her shoulders.

Welcome to 2013. Divorcing family has become a reality.

Litmus test: if a person treats you in a way that causes your foot to go up their butt or a serious FU to their face, then that treatment is NOT okay just because they are a family member.

If you tell me I can't come if I dress a certain way, FU, I'm not coming.

[[Template core/front/global/commentEditLine is throwing an error. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]]
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just because someone shares the same lineage & DNA, with me, does not automatically make them correct nor to be of desirable advice & company.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Joe,

I am sorry that you have to make your visit under these conditions. I know you to be a strong willed and one who stands for what he believes in at all times. To make the visit to see your mother under these conditions still reflects your strong character and love for your mother.

I hope that your visit goes well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I'm way late coming into this thread, but I just wanted you to know that lots of us have had similar experiences, I sure have.

My Step Dad and I nearly came to blows a few days before the big family gathering for Thanksgiving. He demanded that I put on p@nt$ at his house or don't even show up. On Thanksgiving Day I showed up in a kilt, stayed for the meal, exchanged family pleasantries and left early. The entire family all knew about the ultimatum my Step Dad had given me, most of the family likely agreed with him ... he drew a line in the sand and I chose to cross it and I'm damned glad that I did.

Those were rough times in my kilted life ... but those rough times were cut short when I not only stopped asking for permission to wear my kilts but started to defy demands that I stop. Did I think that kilts were more important than family? No, that wasn't it. I thought that family, of all people, were way, way out of line in their reluctance or refusal to accept me as I am, kilts and all. The First Tenet of the Gittite Way is to be who and what you are without apology and to allow the same for others and it is a sin to a Gittite to let anyone get away with breaching that Tenet whether they agree with it or not.

I don't regret taking a stand for myself that Thanksgiving ... in fact I credit that decision to take my stand before family that day as the reason why I have been able to kilt full time, every day, work and play for nearly 10 years now. Nobody has ever been able to force me into p@nt$ since then, nobody. I proved to myself that I could not be, would not be shamed back into p@nt$, teased back into p@nt$, cajoled back into p@nt$ or forced back into p@nt$ by anyone.

When I coined the term, Kilt ON!, at the Braveheart's Kilt Forum I had just had my picture taken in a kilt with my family for Texas Monthly (October, 2004) ... at that time Kilt ON didn't have the upbeat, encouraging tone that many of us say it with now, it was more along the line of 'd@mn the torpedoes, full speed ahead' or 'onward through the fog'. There were those few that encouraged me, but those that disapproved were vocal, forceful, hateful ... ugly. Particularly some family.

Anyway, I can't tell you what to do, plus it's likely past the event by now, but I can tell you that the issue is not kilts, the issue is acceptance ... your family accepting you for who and what you really are. If you don't force them to accept you many of them likely never will. But if you DO force them to accept you as you are then they will, in time, do exactly that. It can get ugly, it can hurt, but it will heal ... but if you never stand up for yourself then everyone else will be happy but you.

So, in the spirit of 2004 I encourage you to defy your detractors and Kilt ON!

Chris Webb

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this