Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Chassidic Clothing

These are certainly exciting times. We went out tonight again and she was distant because she had a few things on her mind, generally religious issues. These issues include, but are not necessarily limited to 1) she feels that she sticks out in a crowd when she is with me, 2) it is difficult to get used to a man with a long beard, and 3) my black and white dress is very uncolorful. I could do nothing except to be understanding regarding the first two issues because she is right - people straighten up when they see me because they see a tall sophisticated religious man with a neatly tied-up beard in good clothing. In a world of ripped jeans and casual attire I am like olive oil in water.

As for the third issue of black and white clothing, how do I not give in when the arguments she is giving me are the same as my own? It is clear that a when a chassidic man is wearing a colorful shirt, it is likely that either 1) he has a creative wife, or 2) he is somehow lacking in his religiousness. These aren't my dogmas, but sincerely, this is the way it seems to be. She asked me with feeling whether I would be willing to wear more casual clothing, and I couldn't say no because I could feel that it was very important to her. My rabbi once told me that when dealing with a woman, it is important to choose one's battles, and that there are some things are simply are not worth causing resistance over. With the strides on her path to become religious, she still has her secular eyes. Something as silly as a colored shirt shouldn't be a big deal. I could tell you, however, I would die if one of my religious friends or my rabbi saw me in secular clothing.

Nevertheless, I did say that I would bring a sweater with me. I also told her that I was ready to get end our meetings and to get engaged. She told me that she needed a few more meetings before she made her decision. There is something she still wants to tell me. I am frightened about this because I thought that I knew all there was to know which is why we decided that we no longer needed an intermediary (shadchan) to arrange our meetings for us. Suddenly everything has gotten a lot more personal and sensitive and I wonder with anxiety what could be so important (or what could be such a secret) that she is not comfortable moving forward with an engagement until we discuss it.


Rowan said...

Try not to dwell on it too much, que sera sera. But, I AM excited for you too. This is so romantic!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing "secular" about wearing colored clothing. Wearing black and white is not a requirement whatsoever. It is mere convention among some. To allay your fears, I know many respectable and frum Lubavitchers that wear nice (not wild, just nice/conservative) shirts. Speak to your rabbis. I'm sure they'll agree.

Good luck!!


Karl said...

I'm new here - looks interesting.
Good luck with the shidduch, it is not something to rush into. You may feel you are ready, but its not fixed until both agree its time. The fact you feel its right, doesnt mean she does, and the fact that you both are trying to please each other, will detract from the true personality coming through.
Does she know you blog? Perhaps getting her to read it will give her a better insight. (or perhaps what she is hiding, is that she is a blogger!

As for the colored clothes - its all meaningless, its whats inside that counts, but most people don't know whats on the inside, so just judge by what they see. As a famous Rabbi always says, "it cuts both ways".

Daphnewood said...

I am kind of like you, I knew after the second date with my husband that he was the one. That was over 15 years ago and I love it when I am right.