Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It's Not What You Know...

The expression, "It's not what you know, it's who you know," has become increasingly integral to Jewish life. People in the Jewish community live by who they know.

I know someone who never has to pay full price for anything, never has to wait in line anywhere, and all that, because he has "connections." The guy is a complete loser. He never worked hard in school, because he had "connections" and he'll bother a guy until he gets his way, and refuses to put out any effort, because he knows he'll get what he wants with his connections.

I think the whole concept of having "connections" is really loserish. Ya gotta know this guy and that guy...what's the big deal? Why not do something legit? I think they really feel cool when they tell people, "Yeah, I know the owner of every pizza shop in Brooklyn, so I get the first pie after Pesach...." Yeah, so?

Another thing about who ya know, is that it's a major topic of conversation. People are always trying to find a mutual acquaintance with someone they meet. Who the hell cares if Rivky knows Malkie who knows Leah who knows me? So, okay, now that I know someone you know through someone else, we can be best friends? How does knowing someone create common ground? So then you start talking about her, "Oh, yeah, she's actually not frum anymore, and she's on drugs..." it leads to completely unproductive conversation to say the least.

Why don't you try to see if you come from the same neighborhood? Went to the same school? Read the same book? But people?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Shove it...I Mean, Shut it!

The day before I went back to my Bais Yaakov high school, I was in the uniform store, trying on my hideous uniform blouse. We decided on a size, but she only allowed us to take two home. The others had not yet receieved their "Tznius" buttons, she informed us. "Who needs 'em?" I scoffed. But she said she was under strict orders not to allow any student out that door without a Tznius button.

On the way home, I plotted to cut off my Tznius button. But then I realized that I'd be kicked out in less than a split second if I came within a mile of breaking a rule. So for the first few days, I choked on my Tznius button. In that time, I noticed that many of my classmates did not bother to close it. I couldn't yell at them, but you all know I had no problem yelling atmy own buddies. My favorite excuses are, "I have a low collar bone!" or "I wear my shirts back, so it covers..." or the not-so-creative, "It chokes me!"

Some might say it's none of my business. You're probably right, but if I was gonna suffer, so were they. Anyway, my mussar speeches did not help.

But, I got used to the Tznius button, and even grew to appreciate it. It looks a helluva lot better than a safety pin, and actually did protect me from showing my collar bone. So what's my point? That everyone SHOULD close their Tznius button, because it is a mitzvah right under your nose. As cheesy as it sounds, it's true, and it is ridiculous to it pass up.

I just think that all those kids who don't close their Tznius buttons think they're cool because they don't. They'll look like a "nerd" if they close their Tznius buttons. Well, would you rather be a nerd down here, or up there where it counts? Thought so.

PS. This piece is not self-promotional, it's telling people that if even a lowly bum like me closed her tznius button, so should everybody else!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Is it Sonia Rykiel or DKNY?

The kids I thought of in my previous post brought to mind a conversation I heard between two 5 year olds. No joke. 5 years old.
"MY sneakers are DKNY."
"But my sandals are Sonia Rykiel"
"My dress is Gap!" and they went on like that.
I was appalled, but I just laughed. Then the rage hit me. I told my buddy, who was also upset, but neither of us was shocked.
15 year olds is understandable. 5 year olds? That's a bit much for me.
Then I saw one of the girls on Shabbos, and she informed me that, "_____'s Mommy ironed my hair for me before Shabbos!" and the other kid's hair had also been ironed. 5 years old. Leave some hair for when it matters!
This vanity thing has spread like wildfire. It's only normal for these kids to pick up on the fine examples that their mothers constantly set. They discuss how much this seasnon's custom Sheitel cost, and which fur coat they are looking to buy next, and what they bought in Burberry yesterday. So 5 year-olds compete about their designer couture and make sure their hair is ironed to perfection!