By Carolina S. Ruiz Austria

The word "Heresy"

was used by Irenaeus in Contra Haereses to discredit his opponents in the early Christian Church. It has no purely objective meaning without an authoritative system of dogma.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My Philosophy of Underwear

As a write this down, I note (with regret) how the past month has left me little choice but to neglect this blog. Apart from not having an entry in the entire month of August, I hesitated most of the time about writing on my daily obsession for the past month: higher education.

Today is the day of reckoning of course, It has been a month since I submitted my student visa application to the Canadian Embassy. It has been a little over six months since I received an offer for a fully funded LLM scholarship (which I graciously accepted). My e-ticket says I'm supposed to leave by Monday and the semester actually officially opened this week. But the catch is the passport and the visa. They haven't arrived yet.

I came across this article on Slate about monastic life (the cartoon is from there too) and while it may have very little to do with my petty problem right now, it got me to think: I can sure use the patience of a monk on this one, at this time.

Surely this nerve wracking waiting is all in my mind. I have actually told a couple of friends that I can probably survive the embarrassment (e.g. going on leave at the university where I teach, announcing to one and all about my full fellowship) but the expenses side of it (getting to this point in the application/visa processing also cost me a quite a lot considering a state university lecturer's wages) will probably be a little bit more difficult. :-)

I want to think I haven't lost my humor in the midst of this very thrilling, (hellish is more accurate but I'm Catholic so I still hesitate)roller coaster ride of an experience so far.

I have packed my winter clothes but not yet my underwear. Packing underwear seems to me more definite than a couple of unfamiliarly bulgy set of clothes I have never needed to wear before. The coldest weather I have survived is New York winter leaning towards spring. Americans were shedding their winter wear when a glimpse of the coming spring came in in mid-March and I was still numb from cold in a borrowed trench coat.

I don't know where this thing I have for underwear began but even my Mom tells me when I used to threaten (as a four and five year old) that I would leave home (you know in those childish tantrums when i didn't get what I wanted), I usually as a gesture, started packing a small bag, which my Mom said only contained a set of underwear.

The way I figure, where my underwear is, is where I live. It makes sense, especially if your underwear embarrasses you.

My friends/colleagues feminists who were in league with my husband, even conspired to give me as a sending away present a fresh set of nice undies. It was a nice gesture which I (of all people appreciated) of course. I realized again undies are all at the same time intimate and a necessity. (Its something like the way family/friends are.)

Now there may be others who will still debate me about the "necessity" part of it but either way, it is also a great comfort to have good ones.

Now if all these plans about higher education get shot within the next few hours, (literally speaking if the courier doesn't arrive today, I need a plan B) and the next few days, I'll have a fresh set of new undies for my trouble and the comfort of family and friends to pat me on the back.


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