The grownups were sitting around the bonfire chatting enjoying the conversation in the beautiful night air. Topics ranged from their favorite carry in dish of the night to who would conduct the stair lecture in an upcoming degree.
Pudge was sitting by himself at the picnic table. Even though he seemed to be in a good mood it appeared he had something on his mind.
The 50 year member was dressed in his casual attire. Khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It was the perfect outfit for such a beautiful summer evening. “Hey Pudge!” The 50 year said “Did you get enough to eat?” Oh yeah, I’m stuffed” Pudge said “Some of these people are awesome cooks.” The old man was smiling “We will have to do this more often. Everyone is having a great time.” Pudge tried to smile “They sure are. It’s nice to see everyone dressed casually for a change. I don’t feel so out of place.” The old man frowned. “I don’t understand Pudge. Everyone dresses casually for a cookout.” Pudge put down his drink and said “I know. I don’t mean here I mean like at lodge. I have over heard some members talking about how me and some of the other younger guys don’t wear suits to lodge.” Pudge continued “I’m a T shirt and jeans kind of guy. I wear nice clothes when I go to lodge but it seems like unless I am wearing a suit some will think I am not serious about Masonry or that I am being disrespectful. I thought they said in Masonry it was the internal, not the external that counted.”
The old man leaned back into his chair. He himself had thought the same thing when the younger guys started coming to lodge. All these younger guys he sees on a daily basis are covered in tattoos and piercings. He had worried about the future of the country because all these kids dress so crazy. But after getting to know many of them, especially Pudge he had seem how serious they were about the craft. They are constantly asking questions and having discussions about Masonry his opinion of the younger generation had changed. “Most of them were just kids trying to be themselves” he thought.
“I understand what you are saying Pudge” The old man replied “But you have to remember our generation were raised to dress up for every occasion. Back in my day we dressed for every event. We even wore a suit to go to the movies!” The 50 year member continued “In my day it was considered disrespectful not to wear a suit to lodge. I imagine until recently it has always been that way.” “I understand that Pudge said “But like it says the internal, not the external.”The old man explained “That is true it is the internal not the external and I guess really there isn’t anything wrong with wearing casual attire while at lodge. Many of the smaller lodges in the country towns do it all the time But I say the internal is exactly the reason while you should dress up to attend lodge.”
“I’m not saying you have wear formal attire all the time. A T-shirt and jeans is fine when you are with your friends or going out to a casual gathering but I will warn you. That confident feeling gets addictive and you will find yourself dressing up more often or wearing dressier casual clothes.” The old man said smiling “And the ladies like it to.”
Pudge laughed. “Like ZZ Top said every girls crazy about a sharp dressed man.” The old man looked puzzled “Who is ZZ top?” both men started laughing “I’ll explain later” Pudge said “Let’s get another drink and roast some marshmallows.”