Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life as a Clergy Wife: Choking on the Collar

In the beginning, seeing my husband in clericals was a challenge. My years in the Roman Catholic church has had an impact and knowing full well he's an Episcopal priest never quite offset the jolt of seeing him collared up.

This was especially true if he wore a notched collar instead of the "dog collar" typically worn by Protestant clergy which, in my rarely humble opinion, is a terrific look. I tried one on once and looked totally fabulous, especially because it hid a generous expanse of my aging neck.

But enough about me and back to me.

I also had to cope with the utter weirdness of seeing collars and tab inserts piled on his dresser or left on the kitchen counter at the end of a long day.

"So, hon, how was Christendom today?"

[Insert sound of collar being removed with a deep sigh of faith-filled surrender.]

Eventually the collar -- on him -- became normative. I no longer found myself exclaiming, "Whoa! Is it Halloween?" whenever he dressed for work. At some point I might stop making snarky comments about the "party dress" when he's decked out in canon garb. (FYI Catholics: canon = msgr.)

I hadn't realized just now normative clericals had become until my husband recently came home from a so-called normal day at the diocesan center wearing a shirt and tie.
"What the . . . does your bishop know?!?"
"Oh yes. He even said 'nice tie.'"
Thought but not uttered, "Now is it Halloween?!?"