Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shavuos 2009 - a Love-Hate affair

I caress them. Perfection. They have eluded me for years. The vision of dreams. Found, after months of searching in the malls of the holy land.
I slip them on. The shoes I've always wanted. I admire my reflection in front of the narrow pine mirror. There is something about a good pair of heels that can make even a covers-the-knee-when-sitting-down-skirt look hot (or so I'm hoping, at least)
I teeter off to shul.

After davening I practice my chatting-up skills. Standing by the bulletin board, pretending to scan the shiurim schedule, I strike up a conversation. By the end of it we've arranged to meet at the first shiur of the night.
(For those who think aidel bais yaacov girls have no opportunity for flirting, let me correct the misconception. We flirt just as much, but with stout middle aged women, instead of young cute guys. We dress the look, talk the talk, walk the walk. Learn how to make eye contact, smile, joke, exchange telephone numbers. Every woman is a potential mother of/aunt of/neighbor of a "boy", and must be treated with due interest.)

Supper is spent in bright pink crocs. It's just family, so who cares. Only when it's time for my night of shtark learning do I force my feet back into patent leather, which is beginning to look (well mainly feel) distinctly less appealing, and return to the bais medrash, this time clenching my teeth as I walk. Beauty is pain, or so I was told countless times in camp, when my amateur-hairdresser friends did their best to yank or singe my hair into submission.

After a couple of those modern orthodox type shiurim, the ones with the perpetual source sheets that everyone tries to foist back onto the speaker as soon as he closes his mouth, I see that the rest of the night, despite being billed for "All", has a list of topics starting with "Bava", and followed by Aramaic. The Women's sections remains closed off. Apparently the shul isn't quite that modern, and we are expected to return home, to recuperate from the cheese cake making perhaps.
I step outside, into the darkness. Bid farewells and begin the trek home.

The road is deserted, aside for a shaggy white dog, who thankfully can’t speak well enough to report back to society on what he's about to witness.
I slip off my shoes. I dangle the straps in my hand, my stockinged feet now lying against the cool and rough cement. Blisters and agonising self inflicted torture are forgotten. It feels like heaven. I tread back, in the moonlight, through a path strewn with blossoms. Freedom. For one night at least.


  1. Ah, the joys of being male and able to wear sensible shoes... Truth be told, I got blisters from walking back and forth from yeshiva to shul and home over yom tov, so it's a female-only risk.

  2. *not a female-only risk.

    [word omitted]

  3. I love your writing style. Reminds me of Jane Austen!