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Apr. 30th, 2008 at 7:02 pm
I rode the bus from one city to another. When we boarded in the capital, one young woman got on in extremely â€œliberatedâ€ attire for that country: she wore tight pants, a revealing tank top, and had long extensions braided into her hair.
As soon as the bus got going, she started her transformation: the biggest project was her hairâ€”she unbraided it and removed her extensions. This took many hours. At each rest stop, she returned to the bus with her outfit a bit adjusted: first a less-conspicuous top, then a long flowy skirt. Just as we entered our destination city 8 hours later, she dawned a bui bui that covered her from head to toe, except her face.
She had gone from one self in the city to another self for, I imagined, her family. I wondered if both of these â€œselvesâ€ could be â€œreal.â€ Which one was real? Which one was fake? At what point along the journey did her metamorphosis reflect her true self? Was she 33% modern city girl and 67% conservative family girl? Or was it more like 50/50? Was it a shame on her that she was faking it to so many people, or a shame on us that we could not accept her as a mix?
Have you ever been guilty of faking it? I have. Sometimes in a new ward, I pretend to be more orthodox than I amâ€”I do this by not commenting. On occasion, someone makes an outrageous statement about the state of the world, and I don’t add my two bits developed as I have traveled the world. There are times someone talks about the President and I don’t out myself as a liberal. There are other times I know people for years and never once try to give them a Book of Mormon. I generally think of these omissions as peace-keeping. I just don’t want to start a fight, so I let something slide, or allow someone to believe that I agree with them. Is it possible my bui bui-wearing friend was just placating other people by dressing as they expected her to? I don’t know. Does faking it make me bad?