Sunday, November 8, 2009

Too Close for Comfort

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but try fooling all of your neighbors, all of the time. Let's say I decided my Perfect-Shidduch-Image could use some damage control.

An open letter to my neighbors:

Following what has come to my ears of the Vaad Habayit meeting on October 25th, I would like to clarify a few points:

1. I do possess more than one set of clothing. I'll be happy to provide receipts, from weekly mall forays, or give you a guided tour of my closet. I am aware of the fact that, whenever I open the door to you, I'm attired in the same faded jeans skirt, and stretched stripy T-Shirt, both of which have seen better days (think 9th grade). This is due to the fact that on the rare occasions I'm home for the day, and as such available for opening the door, I make full use of the "Yay! I'm not going anywhere! No-one (but the neigbours) is going to see me!" opportunity to crash in my most comfortable and don't-give-a-hell attire. I would further like to reassure you that I certainly would never step outside the front door in jeans skirts, as I am well aware of the ban placed on this sinful fabric by our Rabbonim, which runs the risk of confusing men into thinking I'm wearing an actual pair of jeans. The jeans skirt in question was purchased for a long ago sleep-away camp, since then I have gone to Seminary and flipped out and taken an oath to wear solely black for the rest of my life.

2. I wouldn't dream of listening to Goyishe music. The music pounding out of my bedroom is certified Jewish. It may bear a strong resemblance to rap music, but that is coincidental. Matisyahu is not only Jewish, he's Chasidic! You can't get better than that.

3. There is a simple explanation for why my mother was spotted going through the garbage cans outside. My family's financial straits are not quite so dire. She simply was looking for a library book. Yes I'm conscious of the fact that library books are not usually found in garbage cans, but she was worried she'd thrown it away, together with a pile of out of date newspapers. I can guarantee that this won't happen again. (e.g. "You what?! I don't care if you threw away your wedding ring! I'm in Shidduchim! Garbage can forays are out!")

4. The whirlwind you see in the mornings, taking steps three at a time, that is due to certain time constraints. I would love to stop and schmooze with you, but I have a bus to catch. I do admit to having a certain tendency to crawl out of bed 5 minutes before the bus is due, and the sight I present to the world at the early hours of the morning may be a tad unapealing, but don't worry, I have a hairbrush, toothbrush, and change of clothing in my purse, and as soon as I get to work I'll fix myself up. Post-coffee I do begin to look presentable. No, those were not pyjama pants and bunny slippers that you saw peeping out from under my skirt the other day. It’s a dastardly rumor.

5. About those times that a car hoots outside, and I hop in besides a bare headed ponytailed guy. It's not what it looks like. I can explain. He's a colleague who lives nearby and often gives me rides when there are conferences we both attend. I spend the drive listening to Rav Pinkus Shiurim on my MP3, when not saying Tehillim for a Zivug Hagun.

Thank you so much for your understanding.

Oh, why am I telling you all this now? Well you may be getting a phone call. A phone call about me, that would be. They wanted to speak to the neighbors. Get an up close perspective. I'd appreciate it if you can share with them how frum, elegant, put together, calm, aidel and tzanua I always am.

Thanks again!
Frum N' Flipping

PS. I'll be hanging this up in the elevator, as well as sliding a copy under every door. Please let me know if you'd like duplicate copies for your spouses.


  1. can I get such a wonderfully positive-inclined letter for my neighbors? You do a great job smoothing over the "negative wrinkles" :-)

  2. Awesome! makes me happy to live in a secular town, where my neighbors hardly know I exist. The mere thought of somebody calling them to check me out is hilarious: "which girl? this Hardei girl? isn't she married? or maybe it's her sister? never talked to any of them, anyway. They usually run away whenever they see me with my poor old dog"

    Clarification: I am NOT anti-dogs. Only anti -psychotic-poodles.

  3. Cracking up.

    You should meet my neighbors sometime. They'd put yours to shame hands down.

  4. lol :) cute, I can imagine the neighbors being suspicious after awhile

    btw, I thought the jean thing is because it's not nice enough for a Jewish girl to wear. maybe I heard different

  5. You must have great neighbors. I wonder what mine thinks of the lights going on and off on Shabbat. I think I'll write about it.

  6. I know how you feel. I stayed home for years with my children and didn't pursue a career. Many of my neighbors thought that I was um... basically lacking in the brain department. Then I started writing a weekly column in the community newsletter, in Hebrew.
    Concerning the jeans skirt, a haridei friend told me that her rabbi told her that denim is not suitable material for a "bas Yisroel" because it is too casual to be worn outside of the house. A nice Jewish girl is too precious to be seen in something so base. IMHO, and more importantly that of rabbis in my community, denim comes in a huge variety of styles and qualities.
    Anyone worth marrying is going to take the trouble to discover who you really are. B'hatzlaha!

  7. wow! You could've been (or maybe you are!) one of my precious daughters!