A Genteel Gentile in Need of Gs

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a married woman in possession of a large quantity of her husband’s deteriorated undergarments, must be in want of purchasing him new ones.

Such was the predicament I found myself in a few weeks ago as I knelt on our living room floor, folding the whites I had just laundered like the dutiful and submissive member of the fairer sex that everyone knows me to be. As I neatly and lovingly folded those ethereal fabrics that are so oft found caressing my lord’s abundant manhood, I could not help but take note of a few . . . problems. The sort of problems I could put my fist or a sideways hand through, gashed into undergarment after undergarment. It appeared that my beloved had grown somewhat careless in disposing of his unmentionables once they had run their proper course, continuing to wear them in even a derelict state. By the end of my session, I found myself with no fewer than half a dozen undershirts and an identical number of bottoms in need of swift disposal. And if so many sets of his undergarments were to go, we would have to marshal more to replace them, lest he be driven to go commando.

There was just one problem. Baali* happens to be an endowed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I am but an evangelical heathen, “Gentile” being the old-fashioned internal designation for someone who is not a member of the Church. Under ordinary circumstances, Gentiles are not permitted to look upon the temple garments that Mormons must wear in place of underwear at all times after receiving their endowments. However, as the spouse of a member, I’m permitted to see my husband’s garments—mostly because the Church can’t do a damned thing to stop us. When the urge for sexual spontaneity hits, it’s not like I’m going to say, “Baby, I am so hot for you right now! Could you please go into the other room, change into some normal underwear, then come back here so that I can proceed with ripping your clothes off?” No sirree, those clothes are getting ripped off where he stands, garments and all.

Some number of years ago, it was non-scandalous for the spouse of a member to purchase garments. Distribution Centers, where temple garments are sold, did not request to see temple recommends upon purchase, so as long as I dressed like a nice, modest Mormon girl, the employees at the DCs would assume that I was a nice, modest Mormon girl buying garments for her endowed husband and let me have them without question.

However, at a General Conference in 2004, there was an altercation with some street preachers at Temple Square who were waving garments at Mormons, taunting them. After this, the Church decided it was a bad idea to let anyone walk in off the street and buy garments, thus the policy of asking for temple recommends upon purchase was born. Not that the security is foolproof . . .

Flash forward to today. Fact is, garments or no-garments, when my husband needs undapants, if I’m not the one who purchases them, they probably aren’t getting purchased.

A few years ago, I was talking to one of my husband’s bishops on the phone and I mentioned that I needed my husband’s membership number so that I could order him more garments via the online Distribution Center. He said very pointedly, “You mean so that he can order garments. You aren’t supposed to order his garments!” I frowned, and gave him an answer to the effect of “sure, whatever.” I simply don’t see why it’s a big deal that my husband be the one to sit at a computer and punch in numbers instead of me. Then again, I also don’t see why it’s a big deal to make sure Daddy is the one who chooses who to pray at the dinner table, nor do I see how oral sex between married people could ever be sinful, so I guess there’s a lot of things about Mormonism that I still just don’t understand. When I run into these bizarre rules and interjections, I tend to just politely nod along and then continue to quietly do things my way.

The bottom line is, here I am today, and with apologies to my husband’s former bishop, I continue to have no problem taking my husband’s temple recommend out of his wallet, logging onto the Church Web site, and ordering his garments for him. Sorry, bish.

I grabbed the scissors and an empty aluminum can and spent some time sitting amidst the deteriorated garments, snipping symbols out of them like my husband taught me to. I dropped the symbols into the tin can and eventually sent the remainder of the garments into the trash. When my husband came home, I handed him a book of matches and sent him out to the back porch to complete his ritual burnings. We discovered that nylon mesh doesn’t burn very well, but we managed to get the job done just the same.

Looking at the pile of garments in the trash, my husband pointed to the only pair of cottons—grayed, stretched, sweat-stained, and nasty—and remarked, “Good-bye, first garments.” I did a double take. “You got endowed in 2000. You’re telling me that underwear is over 10 years old?” Well, yeah, he admitted. Shaking my head, eye maybe twitching just a little bit, I left to log onto store.lds.org to order new ones.

Problem: the site was having issues and was not letting me add the desired garment quantities and sizes to my cart. With a sigh, I picked up the phone and called the Distribution Center directly.

The nice lady on the phone asked me how she could help me. I explained that I needed to order new garments for my husband, and that the Web site was not allowing me to do this. After checking to make sure the sizes I wanted were available, she asked for my temple recommend number. Here we go, I thought.

“Oh, I’m not a member of the Church. But my husband is, and I have his temple recommend number right here with me.”

“No, no,” she said quickly, “I need to talk to him. I can only sell garments to an endowed member of the Church.”

“Alright, let me get him,” I said, and then yelled as loudly as I could in a pleasant sing-song voice, “Oh honey, would you come order your garments? They won’t talk to me because I’m a filthy Gentile.”

There was silence on the other end of the line. I repressed my giggles, handed the phone to my husband, and walked off.

There are only so many things in life that I’m certain of, but one of those things is definitely this: ordering your husband’s undapants should not be anywhere near this complicated.

* The Hebrew word for “my husband.” Literally means “master” or “god.”

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About Bridget Jack Jeffries

Bridget Jack Jeffries is a human resources professional living in Chicago. She holds a BA in classics from Brigham Young University with a minor in Hebrew and an MA in American religious history from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church and a single mother of two. You can read more of her writings at www.Weighted-Glory.com.
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22 Responses to A Genteel Gentile in Need of Gs

  1. IdahoG-ma says:

    As usual, hilariously right on.

  2. Jessica says:

    Hahahahahaha! Oh, lordy, Jack, if only you lived near me, I would go to the Distrib. Center with you and we could both buy our hubbies their not-so-tighty whities. Amazing what people will get their holy britches in a twist about, isn’t it?

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    You should just buy him boxer briefs, and then if he fails to buy his own garments, he’ll have no choice (other than that commando thing, I guess), but to wear the BBs. I’m guessing that as a filthy gentile you might find those at least marginally hotter than Gs.

  4. philomytha says:

    Well, this raises a question. What if you are endowed, but don’t have a temple recommend? Would they still refuse to sell you any?

  5. Ms. Jack says:

    IdahoG-ma ~ Thanks, and nice to see you at one of my blogs! 🙂

    Jessica ~ I’d be down for it. BTW, “not-so-tighty-whities” . . . awesome.

    Kevin ~ I bought him a pair of silky blue boxer briefs for Christmas. He’s holding them up in the picture in the last link of this post.

    philomytha ~ The person can still buy them with their membership record number, which will show that they’re endowed. The church expects you to continue wearing garments even if you’ve let your TR lapse or had it taken away for some reason, so it has to provide another way to buy them.

  6. BrianJ says:

    “No sirree, those clothes are getting ripped off where he stands, garments and all.”

    And you blame him for all the holes in the underwear!

  7. Katie L. says:

    BrianJ FTW!

    I LOVE that you said that “filthy gentile” comment on the phone so that the old woman could hear you. Hilarious! 🙂

  8. madhousewife says:

    I agree that it’s ridiculous (and I also enjoyed the stories), but I agree with KB. As his wife, you have a reasonable expectation that he wear clean and in-good-repair underwear. You also have a reasonable expectation that getting him new underwear shouldn’t be that complicated. If he won’t buy his own, buy him the kind that you’re “legally” allowed to buy him. I mean, the church will never change to accommodate you “filthy Gentiles.” Mormon men married-to-Gentile-women-and-too-lazy-to-buy-new-underwear are the ones who will bring the revolution. 🙂

  9. Ezra and Nehemiah were pretty down on good Jewish boys marrying “filthy gentiles” even without the complication of the wives trying to buy authorized undies for their menfolk. The world is a difficult place!

  10. And now I have another blog with which to occupy my not-so-abundant free time. (Although, now that I think about it, I will this week, since I am scheduled for jury duty, which will keep me from being able to substitute at all. Sigh.)

    Anyway, I understand the desire to keep people from buying garments simply to use them as a form of mockery, but still… the lady at the DC totally had it coming to her.

  11. Chandelle says:

    I am loving this blog. That is all.

  12. Bookslinger says:

    “… You’re telling me that underwear is over 10 years old?” Well, yeah, he admitted. Shaking my head, eye maybe twitching just a little bit, …

    It’s a guy thing.

  13. BrianJ says:

    “It’s a guy thing.”

    No. It’s not.

  14. Definitely not a thing done by all guys. Nor is it something that it is unique to guys.

    * shakes head *

  15. Jessica says:

    Uhhhh, in *my* family, it is totally a guy thing. I’ve seen the condition of some of my brothers’ G’s (which condition improved after they married and had a spouse to prompt them on when it was time to buy new ones).

    “ ‘You got endowed in 2000. You’re telling me that underwear is over 10 years old?’ Well, yeah, he admitted.”

    I had nearly the same conversation with my hubby about a decade ago, only he also sighed heavily and made like he might just cry, if he were to sort of guy to do that kind of thing. I strongly suspect there is a competition among some Mormon men to see just how long they can keep their first pair of Gs. But if it missed Alex and BrianJ, I am very glad to hear it.

  16. BrianJ says:

    It’s just that when you spend all your time wrestling grizzlies, tracking tigers through dense jungles, scaling jagged Andean peaks, fighting terrorists, slaying pirates, subduing ninjas, and rescuing babies from burning buildings—like I do—your lucky if your underwear lasts more than a week, let alone 10 years.

    But I can see how a less…involved “man” would get longer life out of them.

  17. Jessica says:

    @BrianJ- HAhahahaha! Yeah, my husband mostly just wrestles troublesome spreadsheets. And he usually handles his own, ehm, “disrobing”. So those Gs just last and last…

  18. William says:

    Nothing says cult better than a wife not being able to buy her hubby undies.

  19. Kullervo says:

    Nothing says cult better than a wife not being able to buy her hubby undies.

    Really? That’s the ultimate rubric?

  20. Ms. Jack says:

    Really? That’s the ultimate rubric?

    Kullervo beat me to it.

  21. Maureen says:

    There was at least one point in this post where I wondered how the hell you and Mr___ manage to cohabit! but then I figured you both must have amazing senses of humour. I love that the religion that he loves gives you opportunities to really make people think (as in the lady on the phone at the distribution centre… man she must have been reeling from that!) but in a relatively harmless way which hopefully encourages everyone who is paying attention to chill out a bit and laugh at life. Love your work Ms. Jack!

  22. Mike H. says:

    We discovered that nylon mesh doesn’t burn very well, but we managed to get the job done just the same.

    I’ve been known to use “accelerants” for those tough to ignite nylon markings!

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