Confessions of an Anonymous Coward

Monday, November 20, 2006

Losing My Cover

Well, I'm trying to update more often than I have been, but for most of the last week I've been out of town without internet access. Part III of the "Callings" post--the part where I finally get to the point--should be coming soon. But in the meantime, there's something else I wanted to make a brief post about.

Like I said, for most of the last week I've been out of town without internet access. More specifically, I've been at a convention. Now, the convention was relatively close to where I live, but not close enough to make it really feasible to go back and forth daily between the convention and my apartment--about thirty miles, which given that I live in a big city with heavy traffic means a fairly long trip. So I got a motel room (the cheapest I could find near the convention center, which is why no internet access). I also thought it would be handy to have a laptop computer at the convention--which, unfortunately, I don't. My parents do, however, have a couple of laptops, and I figured they'd probably be willing to loan me one.

Now, as it happens, although the convention isn't all that close to where I live, it's much closer to my parents' house. It's also fairly close to where I work, which is near my parents' house. So, on hearing about the convention, my parents (well, mostly my mother, who's still trying to get me to move "back home") wanted me to stay at their place during the convention and, failing that (since their place was much closer to the convention than mine but still not exactly within walking distance), they at least wanted to pick me up from work on Wednesday and drive me to the convention center--and to pick me up after the convention and drive me back to work and then home today. I assented to this; it was a bit more convenient for me than taking the bus, anyway.

Now, one of the things that's fairly common knowledge about Mormons is their "magic underwear". That, of course, is a disdainful term used to mock the concept; faithful members of the church never call them that. To them, they're sacred temple garments--generally called just "garments" for short. But the idea is that there are special undergarments which have been blessed and which members are supposed to wear constantly (excepting of course when showering or swimming or engaging in other activities during which it would clearly be inappropriate). I've mentioned the garments before in another post, and as I said then, even before I'd finally accepted atheism I hated wearing the things, and found rationalizations not to. Now, the only time I wear my garments is when I expect to be around Mormons I know who know I'm (nominally) a member of the church and who might notice their absence. Yes, they're underwear, but it's sometimes possible to see their contours through one's outer clothing (I've heard the neckline of the upper garment called the "Mormon smile"), and it's far from inconceivable that someone might notice if I'm not wearing them.

Well, if my parents were going to pick me up and drive me to and from the convention, I figured I'd better make sure I was wearing my garments at the time; if they noticed I wasn't wearing them, it would be kind of hard to explain it away. To make a long story short, though, there was somewhere I thought I had a pair of garments stored that it turned out I didn't, and I ended up being at work with my bags for the convention sans garments after all.

As it turned out, my parents, despite spending several hours with me (mostly after the convention; it was late enough I stayed at their place overnight before heading back home), never noticed my lack of garments. So I guess I dodged that bullet. Still, I'm not ready yet to let them know I don't believe in the church, and that's the closest I've come so far to blowing my cover--due, appropriately, to a lack of a certain covering.

Of course, there will come a day when I'm ready to come out as an atheist, and then things like this won't matter. Until then, though, I guess I've got to be a little more careful...


At 11/24/2006 3:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mean to sound rude, but it sounds like a crazy spy movie, being undercover and all. Of course, I can understand how difficult it would be for you, and I sympathise. Good luck!

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