Friday, October 2, 2009

#69- The last night of camp/convention being the Apostolic version of Prom (A study in sociology)

So there are 3 layers of attire formality that exist in Pentecost:

  1. Sunday Best
  2. Special Sunday Service Best (e.g. Easter)
  3. Last night of Camp/Convention Best
And it's for good reason...

The last night of camp is our best opportunity to dress to's the service where even people who were not present at camp/convention show up to see what the whole hub-bub is about.

The Sociology of it all
Basically, in mating and courting rituals, we all emanate signals for the opposite gender to identify us as potential mates. When I wear a shirt with a cliche anecdote from the movie Napolean Dynamite, I am signaling to other Napoleon Dynamite fans of the female gender that we have the same sense of humor so therefore I would be a good future husband. Of course at the same time I risk alienating other females who have not seen the movie or did not like the movie. With that said, I am simplifying my mating preferences to have the highest appeal to Napolean Dynamite fans.

With the above understanding in mind, we as Apostolics choose certain events that best represent the time to focus our attention on potential mates with signals of our apparel, appearance, and overall attractiveness. The last night of camp is the pinnacle of such an event where all our pursuits and signals are contained within just one service.

Just like we do not anticipate the moment when we first wake up from sleep as a moment to be judged amount our signaling and appearance and therefore do not focus our energy on looking good the moment we wake up nor at an average Wednesday night service where possible mates will not be in attendance, the last night of camp is the on the complete opposite end of the spectrum where we do hours styling our hair and wearing the most expensive outfit we have.

The Competition of It all
As mentioned in the title, this is also an opportunity for Apostolics to compete against the world in how to operate in a formal setting...this is our prom...and to be honest, as a participator of both events (prom and last night of camp), the Apostolics win at being formal hands down....And I would chalk it up to us being so comfortable in suits and ties and long dresses and what not...

Of course a word must be said in that one of the most characteristic occurrences of the last night of camp is the complements abound...mostly between they chalk their competition up, they tell each other how pretty their friends/enemies are, but deep inside loath their appearance as possible barrier to landing that special someone.

Which brings us to the next point...girls do not get dressed up for the guys (as much as they may think so), simply because most Apostolic guys don't notice this stuff. We could care less about what girl is wearing what outfit. Which kind of puts a hamper on the last night of camp being a "signal" to the opposite gender. While this may be true for males dressing to impress females, the reality is the females dress to compete with each other for bragging rights. The girl who is the most stylish/looks the least like they picked their clothes out of their own mother's closet are the females to fear for competition for mates. Essentially females signal in their dress to other females to determine whose in charge.

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