When Mr. Fitzpatrick taught perspective in our art classes, he always drew a horizontal line across the board and marked the vanishing points on the line, representing where we no longer see something, usually because the earth is round and there is a horizon into which things disappear. Our perspective hinges on the vanishing points.
There’s the concept of perspective I used in drawing, and then there’s the concept I learned in real life.
Eight months pregnant, I was dealing with severely swollen feet, so the doctor had prescribed support hose. I shimmied my big ole’ legs into those thick nylon tights and slipped on the only jumper that fit over my huge belly. I gathered my materials, walked down to the church on the corner and somewhat nervously set up my materials. I was just a kid, really, and these were real women, with knowledge and experience. I whispered a little prayer and then put my shoulders back, trying my darndest to muster some confidence. The ladies arrived, we sang a song and they introduced me. I stood to teach, and when I did I could feel the ribbed waist of my support hose slip under the orb of my belly. My silky undergarments created a sort of slippery slide for the tight weaved elastic and down they went, stopping when the waistline hit my thighs. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, teaching my gospel concept, moving slowly and deliberately as I talked, because each time I moved I could feel the nylons slipping further and further down my legs. As time progressed, I kept looking down, discreetly, of course, to see if my nylons were gathered at my ankles yet. They looked fine to me. By the time I finished my lesson the panty part of my support hose was sitting like a rubber band around my knees. I ended up being able to only shift my feet a few inches because I was bound at the knees. I covered it well, trying to fake grace and poise under the tent I was wearing. The sisters were gracious and complimentary and I stayed right there in the room till every last one of them left, the whole time wishing I could just grab those panty hose and yank them back up to my waist. Finally, when I was by myself in the room, I shuffled into the ladies’ room to pull them up. There, on the wall of the rest room, was a full-length mirror. I stood in front of it, and to my horror, I saw the crotch of my support hose clearly visible just below my knees. Apparently, every time I bent over to check if the dress covered my problem, my jumper shifted down and changed the view. From my perspective I was covering it well. From theirs it was full-on visible. I stood there analyzing myself, and the ladies who were my neighbors who didn’t know me – or at least hadn’t before that night. I wondered why no one said anything. Likely it was the kindness of their hearts. But now that I’m older I think I might have spoken up and just said, “Oh honey, we have all been where you are, and why don’t you just shuffle into the ladies’ room and take those things off?”
I never did get to know the ladies in that ward. I remained in Young Women’s until Dave graduated from law school six months later and we moved to New York.