Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mir Ken Nisht Tanzten Oif Tzvay Chasunos...

What can I do... My brother's vort is scheduled for the same night as a close (one of the very last) friend's wedding. Uh Oh.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Why Can't This Be A Little Simpler?

It's always interesting when an inter-blog conversation takes place. In this case, a comment on this post (on halfshared's blog) prompted me to write a post about the 'red light' concept. When I sat down at my computer this afternoon I was surprised to see that halfshared had done a post on the same topic - giving the point of view of the older sister.

I had originally meant for that post to be an objective question, however I quickly realized that it is impossible to be objective in such a situation. Either you are the older sister or the younger sister. If you are neither - have no one stopping you and aren't stopping anyone, then you can't even relate, so how can you give a proper opinion?

I guess it is pretty obvious in my previous post that I am leaning more towards the position of the younger sister. I had not originally planned on giving any kind of personal information about this topic on this blog but to clarify my point I will.

I understand the pain an older sister must go through knowing that her younger sister is being held back by her, however just like I cannot know the extent of older sister's feelings on the topic, she cannot know mine. The last thing I would want is for my sister to get the feeling that I resent her in any way. In fact, I care so much about her that in the past 4 years since finishing seminary I have never ever even mentioned the idea of my getting married to her. She's the older sister, that right belongs to her until she reaches that point right? She's the oldest, she's the one everyone dreamed about being first, we have planned her wedding together hundreds of times.

However, it's time to share my side of the story. My sister is not 22 and I am not 19 or 20. If being 22 is old enough to allow a younger sister to skip, then why, if the younger sister herself is already 22 is she still sitting and waiting! My sister is more than five years older than I am. She entered shidduchim when I entered high school. I have spent the past four years dancing at more weddings I can keep count of. There are those who may say that they enjoy these years of being single without the stress of being on the market, but let me ask you - how long is that so much fun? How many years can a single girl sit around? I am no longer dancing at weddings because now I am busy attending brissin and visiting friends while the baby naps.

My sister knows good and well that I have watched every single one of my friends get married, she knows good and well that I am reaching the point where I am starting to be considered 'older' in the shidduch world. Still, the idea of me, her little sister, getting married before her seems unthinkable. I want to stress and stress over and over again - I do not resent my sister at all. The fact that she isn't married is due to circumstances beyond her control. She is a normal,bright, healthy, pretty, thin woman and she deserves the very best.

It was a very difficult decision for me to make, to get up the courage and ask my sister for permission to date, and probably even harder on her part to give me that permission. She gave it reluctantly and she still has reservations about it. I don't think that she will ever be the same if I get married before her and the thought terrifies me, but how much longer can I wait? How many times do I have to bite back tears when, once again, it isn't me?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Road Test

What do you think of the "red light" concept? Do you think it's fair to a girl of 22 to say no to an offer because her sister of 24 is still around? I can understand why a girl of 19 or 20 would wait for a sister who's 20, 21, 22, but I have a hard time agreeing with the concept of waiting around for an older sister until you become that 'older' girl...

I know a girl, very nice girl, excellent middos, etc. who waited for her sister. Older sister finally got married at 26 and younger sister was by then almost 24. That was 2 years ago, now younger sister is almost 26. It's hard enough for those of us that enter the shidduch parsha at 19, imagine first entering at 24?

What do you guys think?

Not that I'm so close-minded as to think that life is over at 24 if you're not married, but the fact remains that if you're trying to swim in the shidduch world you have to play by certain rules. Unless there is some major drastic change in the system, we're all in the same boat, and as much as we may dislike it that's the way it is...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thanks Mates!

Thanks for the advice - knew I could count on you! I ended up shlepping a BY friend to my house to approve the outfit before heading out. I wore a black skirt (the only one I own but I didn't want to stick out like a sore thumb) and a nice sweater that was NOT black, ran an iron through my hair (something I rarely do - I usually wear my hair wavy/curly), put on a full face of makeup, and off I went hoping all was fine. Turns out my attire was perfect, except (gasp) for the fact that I did not wear heels. Oh well, can't win em all right?

As far as the vort - is a nice Shabbos suit okay or do I have to be more weddingy? (Based on the lechaim which was in her house I'm assuming the vort is going to be quite a fancy affair). My sister, who lives out of town and never has to dress up to the 'New York standards' wanted to know if she should go shopping for some new clothes.

I guess I shouldn't be so focused on what I'm gonna wear but what can I do, everyone's gonna be looking at me! (Just wait till they hear I'm Lubavitch, I can almost hear the sighs - "Too bad, I had such a nice boy in mind for her"). Can I dare to ask how you can have such a nice boy in mind for me when you have no idea what I'm like and you don't know my name? Maybe I should hand out business cards or something.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Mazel Tov! My brother became a chosson!

Now, fellow bloggers, I am in dire need of some advice - something I know people are always willing to give.

My brother (who lives in Flatbush) is engaged to a Monsey girl. I have a severe aversion to labeling fellow Jews but for the sake of clarity here I will. I grew up Lubavitch - (sad as it sounds, I sincerely hope that stating this outright doesn't attach a negative feeling toward my name or my blog...), and she is from a very Yeshivish family. The chosson and kallah, both wonderful people, are pretty modern - leaning toward the Yeshivish rather than Chassidish way of life. In short, this simcha is a gathering a Jews from all walks and talks of life.

Now for the question. What should I wear to the 1) Lechaim and 2) Vort?? Do I have to dress up? How dressy? Do I have to look like I'm going to a wedding? In Lubavitch the 'vort' is actually called a lechaim and many times an official 'lechaim' separate from the vort does not take place. When it does it is usually only for family and very close friends and no one dresses up or anything like that. As far as the vort, I have been told that Yeshivish vorts are more elaborate and people get more dressed up than Lubavitch vorts but that is just plain old generalizing and there's no way to prove that as fact.

Basically what should I wear? Any advice?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ksiva Vachasima Tova

A gut gebentched yar to all. May the new year bring us a peace, joy, and an end to our sorrow with the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu speedily in our days.

ויהי רצון שתהיה שנה זו שנת סימן חיים חן וחסד
ובעיקר סימן חירותנו בגאולה האמיתית והשלמה

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Everyone Must've Been Staring

I broke a rule. Not just any rule - a cardinal rule.

My apartment took a direct hit from the construction that has been going on in this house, leaving us without hot water for a full week. By the time I finally got used to taking freezing cold showers the water stopped working all together. So, in good cheer I set about searching for a shower. I called a friend of mine who I knew had a family simcha, and wouldn't be home for a few hours, and I asked her if I could please use her shower. She was happy to help and off I went to enjoy a nice, hot shower for the first time in a week.

On the way back home I broke a rule. The rule that says "If thou is 'of age' thou shall not dare ever be seen in public looking anything but perfect. Thou must always be immaculately dressed with perfect hair and flawless makeup, regardless of the time of day or year (especially if it's the third day of a three day yom tov). Disregard to the strict adherence of this rule may result in the ruination of thy next shidduch, and possible all shidduchim thereafter."

It was 10:00 pm, and I had just taken a shower. I wasn't about to pull out the blow dryer and hair iron and proceed to spend 45 minutes on my hair, and then walk home all smiles because every shadchan would see me and whisper to her neighbor "now that looks like a good catch - 10 at night and she looks like she's dressed for a wedding... oh good point, maybe she is going to a wedding. Who's getting married tonight? But she's walking in the wrong direction, the wedding hall is that way... well maybe she's going somewhere else, a lechaim maybe? Did anyone get engaged recently? Yes, yes, so and so's daughter to so and so's son. It's a wonder that girl managed to find a shidduch, I mean look at her parents, which proper bochur would want to marry into a family like that..."

Anyway, I broke the rule. I pulled my long, wet hair into a ponytail, put on a long skirt, and a zip up sweatshirt and proceeded to walk the five blocks back home. Sue me.

I found this funny. My friend's nieces and nephews were being babysat in her apartment during the time I was there. When my friend came home she told me the following "When I got home the house was a bit upside down, shoes everywhere, dirty dishes, papers, etc. and I saw a tichel on the kitchen floor. I figured they must have found my tichel and were playing with it. I asked the kids if anyone came over to use the shower, and they told me yes, and she left something here. I asked them what she left and they pointed to the tichel and told me that she left her tichel here!" We all got a good laugh. And no, I'm not leaving tichels anywhere just yet.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Whole Body Is Aching

This person got married. Need I say more?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I went to school today for a general teachers' meeting and to complete some final things in preparation for the first day of school - tomorrow. Unfortunately, I came home nervous and aggravated instead of excited for the year to begin.

School begins tomorrow. I have not yet received a class list. I asked for a list today and I was told "we can't release the lists until the day before classes begin." A little confused, I asked if that was not today, don't classes begin tomorrow? The answer I got was: So many students are not yet registered for school that they don't know if they are going to be able to start on time. I fail to understand. Tuition crisis aside, that's not what I'm discussing here, I'd like to ask every single parent of an unregistered child - Why isn't your child registered for school??? Last week I had a conversation with a mother who has a child in the school I teach. She was complaining that she's trying to register her child but she can't afford tuition and it's impossible to get through to anyone who can discuss and negotiate with her. I asked her when she called for the first time and how long she has been waiting to hear back from the school. She answered me in all seriousness "I called yesterday and I'm still waiting." I was in shock. This was one week before the first day of school and she's blaming that school for the fact that she didn't bother registering her child early enough to discuss tuition options!

So that's that for now. I don't have a list and I'm waiting for a phone call from the school to let me know if we are or aren't starting school tomorrow.

While in school today I was standing in the office going over some last minute curriculum details with the vice principal and I overheard the following conversation between a teacher (of an older grade) and the principal of my department.

Teacher: Mrs. Principal, did you put my daughter in xxx's class?

Principal: Yes. She's in that class.

Teacher: And who's the morning teacher for that class?

Principal: Morah xxx

Teacher: lower's her voice a drop Is she married?

Principal: No, she's single

Teacher: dissapointed look on her face oooh.

Principal: But she's teaching for a few years already and she's very good.

Teacher: Oh, she's teaching for a few years already...

I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. The truth is I don't know why I was surprised. Isn't it obvious that a girl who walked out of seminary three days ago and got married yesterday is more suitable of a teacher for anyone's daughter than a mere girl who has been teaching since before Mrs. Glittery Diamond Ring was even in high school? I mean, hello, it's not experience that makes you a good teacher, it's a sheitel, a ring, and someone else's last name. What was I thinking?

Monday, September 3, 2007

In Colors?

I went what I call 'frum store shopping' for sheva brachos outfts with a friend. As soon as we walked in a very pleasant young woman came over to us and asked if we needed any help. My friend gave the store a quick once over and answered that she was looking for sheva brachos outfits - "but I don't want anything black or gray." Well. You should have seen the horrified look she was given. First came "well I think you're in the wrong store." Then, "Don't you know that black and gray are the 'in colors' this fall?? Needless to say we walked right out.

In colors? Who are you basing your idea of 'in colors' on? If you want to say that you sell the 'in colors' then sell the in colors! If you want to say that you have no interest in succumbing to the worldly desire to dress to the taste of some lonely male designer in Paris, then say so! Don't claim to have the latest styles and trends when you don't and you won't.

Just for the record: black and gray are not the in colors this fall anywhere besides for the frum stores. I found them on one color pallatte for the winter but they were surrounded by about 20 other beautiful, vibrant colors.

Just one question - why do frum girls insist on wearing black all the time? Why is it that if a frum girl wears a vibrant color she gets looks? I'm not talking about loud or other obviously not aidel colors - I'm talking about vibrant, alive. What's wrong with wearing something that compliments your natural coloring, that's flattering on you, and that makes you look alive?

When I started teaching I made a decision that I would never wear black in my classroom. While I can't say that I never ever wear a black skirt, I can say that I have other skirts in my closet that are not black that I wear on a regular basis. I am a strong believer in the fact that a young child absorbs everything that surrounds him/her in the classroom, and it's no secret that color has an affect on someone's mood and attitude. Well, if they're staring at me all day I don't want them staring at a black glob, I want them staring at something vibrant and alive!