Sunday, April 3, 2011

Situational Ethics

I don't want to buy a suit. My dad left me all these fine suits and I think I just gave the last one to my future son-in-law. They didn't fit. My dad was 20 fewer pounds that I. And they all had stains. My dad got a little sloppy and hard of seeing in his old age (though never sloppy in his thinking).

So Tuesday I'll go get a suit, I guess... My daughter is pretty certain she wants a nice suit walking her down the aisle. It is against my principles to buy clothes other than t-shirts and jeans.

But the situation demands.

Every time my mom and I would walk past some fancy clothes store she'd say, "let me buy you a suit." And I'd say, "no, mom, I don't need it."

Then the situation changed. We had a memorial service for my mom. So I went to Brooks Brothers and bought a jacket. It still works... but it is for cold weather. And it is starting to look a little worn, given that I wore it many many times.

I find that principles are prone to keep me from being alive... from responding to the needs of the moment. We ask people, as a criticism, "don't you have any principles?" Wouldn't it be a good answer, "no, I'm not attached to my preferences?"

1 comment:

Kate Freeman said...

I bugged Mel for a while to get a suit. My grandmother was dying and his aunt was looking pretty bad then too. Plus we both had friends sending us wedding invitations. Mel never really argues back with me. Just looks at me and says nothing. I never know if he is agreeing with me or ignoring my nagging.

Then one random day I came home from work and he was wearing a suit. My first reaction was panic. I thought surly someone must have died.