Monday, March 26, 2012

Clothing Rant

So...what's with the clothing adaptation?

I just got a bunch of Spring/Summer clothes for work and shul.

Then someone, a guy, told me that I may have to follow my community's norms. Which don't have much wiggle room, since there are the 60 plusers, all in sheitels, in older-lady clothing, and then you have the school-age girls (middle and high school), who are always in long-sleeves and long skirts when I see them on Shabbos, and then me.

I should add to this that there are no girls my age in my community. I mean, they *were* there a few months back, but I haven't seen any of them for about a month. Which brings me to my next thing: Can I be friends with the guys at shul I talk to on a regular basis? (Regular basis being at Shala Shoedas). #1 is engaged, #2 is Single, #3 likes one of the girls I haven't seen in a month, and I haven't seen #4 in about a month.

I mean, I spoke to 1 and 2 motzei Shabbos, but I'm fairly certain I can't randomly call them up to say, "Hey, let's grab a coffee!" or just hang out. And I'm fine with that. It's better to hang out with people in groups.

I'm kinda' stuck! I mean, all of the ladies I've met, and told I'm converting, have been wonderful. Fantastic even! But there's a *huge* gap between them (all of whom have children between 3 and 21, collectively) and their school-age girls, the 60+-ers, the young marrieds (of which there are only a few), and me. At least clothing wise.

The youngest married ladies are early-mid 20s to 30s, but they're married. And/or expecting. All of us have different jobs-slash-careers, so our clothing is different. And that everyone is not on the same place on the Orthodoxy spectrum.

How can I be expected to somewhat...what's the word...adhere to community standards if all of the above-mentioned women (women in their 40s, over 60s, 20s+30s, rabbi's wife, scientists, interpreters, me) dress differently (different skirt lengths, different sleeve lengths, different sheitel lengths, [if they wear a sheitel], different stockings, and if they wear skirts, even.

What am I supposed to do?

A few weeks back, when I met with the Gadol Hador, he told me what the Halacha is. So now, how do I spot the difference between Halacha, Minchag, and Chumra, in the community I'm in? I don't want to re-Frum-out only for shul. That wouldn't be me. And that would be a complete waste of my tax refund money. Since I spent it on Spring/Summer clothes as I have none.

Ugh, what a mess!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mamish Pesach drama!

But is currently getting sorted, Baruch Hashem!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reactions Take 1

So, since my LOR wanted me to tell families in the community that I'm converting, I've started, slowly, begrudgingly, to do just that.

Although, since the few I've told so far, they didn't seem fazed by it. And all were fine with it.

I figured that my real 'test' was to be this past Shabbos. See, before - well, over the past few weeks - when I've told the first bunch, who are those who invited me to meals first, they've been fine with it.

So this Shabbos, my plan was to tell this family (whom I was over to once, a few weeks ago, after lunch, to just hang out and chit chat), and have it be nonchalantly, should it (more often than not) come up over the course of conversation.

It didn't quite happen like that.

The head of the household said Kiddush, then proceeds to hand out the cups. Yeah...I know about the wine thing, even though I don't drink, but I wasn't sure if I could touch the K. cups...I pass them along, and then wait for conversations to die out, so the husband can go wash.

Note: I know I refer to the husband twice in the above sentences, but of the one time I was previously over, I spoke with him more than his wife.

Anyhow, I asked him if I could speak to him for a sec before washing, and he says sure (of course, a bit more formally since I don't really know him that well).

So, since I have no other option here, I just sorta' say, y'know, "I was hoping to have this come up in conversation, but I just wanted to tell you that I'm converting with the Gadol Hador."

Him, with amused look on his face: Okay. I know.

Me, completely bewildered-doing-a-double-take: You *know*? [Inside this is my reaction: :-o :-o]. Did Mrs. X tell you?

Him: No. She knows?

Me: Yes, I told her a couple weeks ago.

Him: So, when will you be finished?

Me: I don't know. Everyone's different.

Then we washed, and all of us had lunch, but I didn't see him again. HOW DID HE KNOW?


I *so* wanted to talk to him about it!

I mean, hey, I was calm, I didn't get upset. I was proud of myself for that.

But how did he know?

I'm stymied...

The next people I told live next to Mrs. X. They asked me, "Why are you converting? Do you know Hebrew? When will you be done?"

We had a nice conversation/dialogue about it. Which had more questions for me to ask the GH.

Now, had I been more comfortable talking about this 2 weeks ago, and not so freaking out so much about it, I would have done the following for a Purim costume:
Made a sign or something that says, "NO, I DON'T KNOW WHEN I'LL BE DONE. CALL GH WITH YOUR QUESTIONS.!!"

Maybe not all in caps, but you get the idea

PS: When I first arrived for lunch, a group of us were sitting around the kitchen table, and somehow -- oh, that's right, it was one of the ladies' birthday -- and so, we went around telling when our birthday's are. My turn. I said I should have been born around Thanksgiving. And then the whole preemi story came out. Came out before I told the husband I'm converting. So I'm sure his head is spinning with all he learned about me in the first hour I was over at his house.

2 quotes came to mind just before the weekend: "Resist is futile" and "Be aggressive, be be aggressive [a teeny bit]"

So, I have no idea what's gonna happen next with all of this. But I'll be prepared for it.