Friday, August 7


Technically Permissible but Inappropriate Substitutes for the Mantilla

Tonight at a late-ish dinner with some new Milwaukee friends (a bunch of us had been out playing, believe it or not, kickball), a female acquaintence piped up to mention she was going with some others to a Tridentine mass to see what it was like, and was trying to decide whether to wear a veil. I told her some Trads wear it, others don't, and usually there isn't too much of a fuss over such choices (okay, well, maybe in le meilleur des mondes possibles), though, of course, it can be a beautiful expression of piety if one is comfortable with it. Mantillas are, though, one must remember, not strictly speaking traditional, but rather a substitute offered when hats went out of fashion in the fifties and sixties. And they're not the only substitute, as anyone who has heard tales of girls bobby-pinning Kleenex to their heads (presumably after, when in a frenzy of excitement at a Tallis Scholars concert, they lost control and threw their mantillas onto the stage). Some others spring to mind:

1. Doily
2. Baseball cap with "I (Heart) Hans Kung" on it
3. Black bandanna with skulls and crossbones (unless it's November 2)
4. Wig (unsuccessful marketing campaign: "The Stealth Mantilla.")
5. Balloon animal hat
6. Cardinal's galero
7. Hard hat with beer cans strapped to the sides.
8. Phrygian cap (1789 was a bad year)
9. Rubber Nixon mask (JFK might be permissible in some circles)
10. Spiked helmet (unless you are a girl Hohenzollern, and if so, my apologies.)
11. Lampshade
12. Ninja facemask
13. Urban Sombrero
14. Souvenir Statue of Liberty crown
15. Whatever that thing Subcommandante Marcos is always wearing
16. Man's toupee
17. Inverted tupperware container
18. Plastic shopping bag
19. Full-body gorilla costume.
20. Deep-sea diving bell

Also, if you have no hair, a mantilla is unnecessary: so please, no using double-sided tape to stick it to your baby's head.

Anything I missed?

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