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!

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