Monday, June 22, 2009

A Working Girl

Career girl and Shidduch Maidel- two diametric opposites.

After a day at the office, getting dressed up for a date isn't enough. A major personality switch is needed too.
I lock the screen, pull off my ID card, breathe in, breathe out, and shift gears. Body language, tone of voice, that changes automatically. Next comes the attitude.

Work: Get across that you’re wrong, and I'm right, without actually saying so. It should be obvious that my idea is the one we should use, how could you ever suggest otherwise.
Date: Give the impression I think you're amazing and brilliant. I totally agree with everything you say. In fact you're what I've been looking for my whole life.

Work: Be assertive, without raising my voice. Sound firm and uncompromising.
Date: Be soft, pliant and feminine. Flutter eyelashes occasionally. I don't know how I ever managed without you, opening doors is just so hard on my own.

Work: Sell myself. Do nothing without proper recognition and reward. Rattle off past years achievements and accomplishments to management.
Date: Be modest. Nothing I do can compare to your Torah learning. I think it's incredible that you've been in Yeshiva your whole life, while all lowly women like I can do is have kids, housekeep and make a living.

Work: Take control. Get stuff ticking. Don't wait for problems to solve themselves.
Date: Be laid back, easy going, chilled. Whatever happens, happens. I know I can trust you to take care of things.

Work: Show off technical know-how at every opportunity. Litter conversation with technical terms and the latest buzz words.
Date: Don't admit to knowledge or interest in any technical or scientific field. It's not feminine.

Work: Be brief and to the point.
Date: Milk a story for all it's worth, I've got another couple of hours to burn here with you.

Work: Try to sound brainy. The smarter the better.
Date: Don't want to sound nerdy. Smart is not cool.

Work: Avoid mentioning religion, it's controversial and not politically correct.
Date: Do pepper conversation with declarations of faith in the Lord (Baruch Hashem! Beezrat Hashem!) and the latest in Yeshivish slang. Make it clear how frum you are.

It's a Jekyll and Hyde thing. No wonder the frum world doesn't want women to have careers. Pity they also want us to support our husbands in learning. You can't have it both ways.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Guide to Frum Women in Israel

See men are pretty simple. Easy to snap into neat little categories according to their head coverings. Check out their kippah (if there isn't one you already know all you'll need to know), and you're set.

Women, as usual, have to be more complicated.

Feminist - Baggy pants with a hat over long hair. The hat shows she's religious, so no need for a skirt any longer.

National Religious (A.K.A Mizrachistiyot) – Skirt over pants. It started off with the bohemian look. Long skirts with white cotton pants peeping out underneath. The skirts got shorter, until now a scarf wrapped at the waist will do. The pants got tighter. Jeans will do too. The main thing is there's something over the pants. Ready sewn skirt-pants sets can be purchased at Lord Kitsch on Rechov Yaffo.

Ulpanistiyot - Long straight jean skirts and baggy t shirt– the idealogical settler type who go to the best national religious girls boarding schools, like Rav Baharan and Kfar Pinus (no I'm not kidding about the name).

Tichonistiyot- Short tight jean skirts, glittery T shirt, and bomber jackets- they go to regular religious girls high schools, and not to ulpanot.

Yerushalmiyot- Pleated skirt in beige/black with pastel polo shirt (Tommy or Ralph Lauren) and flats. Born to American parents, and raised in Har Nof/ Bayit Vegan/ Ramat Beit Shemesh, the Yerushalmiyot are a breed unto themselves. Basically wannabe NYers, every fashion that captures the hearts and purses of Boro Park will hit the streets of Jerusalem a couple of months later. A V-neck sweater substitutes the polo shirt in winter.

Bnai Brakiyot- 10 centimetres past knees A-Line skirt with button down polyester shirt and heels- these are the true charedi women. Carbon copies of the dummies in the windows of Rabbi Akiva street in Bnei Brak and Malchei Yisroel in Geulah.

Chasidiyot- Long dark skirt reaching to 5 centimetres above ankles, so as not to be confused hevaen forbid with the Mizrachistiyot who wear floor length skirts. Paired with matching dark vest over wide button down shirt. Sometimes interchangeable fused with Baalei Teshuva who've jumped in the deep end.

The Sect- Shawl that covers EVERYTHING, possibly even the face. I guess they decided the Chasidic look (see above) is too seductive.

PS. This post is dedicated to Frum Satire, Frum Punk, and all the other bloggers out there who’ve decided to visit Israel this summer. Yes, including those of you who've sworn to steer clear of girls. Even from afar it’s good to know what you're dealing with!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My (not) perfect family

A new reason not to date me: My father is dead.

It seems chareidi boys are looking for picture perfect families.

Or is it that losing a parent is something put together girls simply don’t do (the same way they would never be caught without makeup) so it makes me a nebach type?

I've got it, maybe it shows I'm not frum enough? Yeah that must be it. If I was really frum, and I davened, obviously God would have listened to me and left him alive.

You'd think, with all the in-law jokes circling, and after all the M.Amitz horror stories in Mishpacha magazine, people would be glad to have one less parent-in-law. Seems not.

Basically- if you're in shidduchim, ask your relatives to kindly refrain from dying until you're safely married off.

Ps. The ironic thing is (not that I advocate killing off all parents), losing someone definitely makes you more mature, thoughtful, wiser, and well- better. At least in my books.