Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mamesh tsnies

I wasn't going to dress up for Purim. I was just gonna wear a sweat shirt and dance a lot. But I was on the phone with Mich asking her to remind me the name of the Orthodox video comedienne we like (Chaya Suri) and she asked me if I was going to be Chaya Suri for Purim. Brilliant. Yes. In fact I realized in that moment, I WAS going to be Chaya Suri for Purim.  I went up to my closet to see what I had to wear, and realized right away that I was foiled—especially when it came to the head covering. So I modified a little bit, and decided to be a Crown Heights Orthodox woman, with a long black skirt, black tights, and a long-sleeved black shirt with a tight white t-shirt over it. I got as far as all the black, but found that my only white T-shirt is flouncy, and just didn't look right. But I had a green t-shirt, and that looked pretty good if once again I was OK heading in a different cultural direction: I was thinking hipster orthodox, and went down to find a knit cap. But my knit cap didn't look very good, so I tried on a striped scarf, to see how that looked, and all of a sudden I realized I was a settler. Scarily, freakily a settler.

And so off I went to the best Purim party ever, to work the door and welcome people to the party, as a settler. Except that people didn't exactly know what I was, other than I was clearly Orthodox, so Sarah Gordon and Avi Fox Rosen helped me come up with what I should write on a sign.

My face was completely unobscured, and yet people I have known for years walked right past me, or looked me over as if I was somehow not connected to them. It was fascinating to be hiding so visibly, and to actually get to discover what it means to embody the opposite of my own beliefs on a holiday that encourages that. 

Eventually I settled in with my friends and danced, and it turned out that Orthodox women are on to something, because my outfit was extremely comfortable—down to the practical shoes.

Aside from my own costume, I was just filled with gratitude and appreciation for everyone who worked so hard to create the party this year. I did very little this year—pretty much just a financial donation and a 2-hour volunteer slot. And as I danced to Yiddish Princess and DJA-Rara, hung out with costumed friends, and watched the stunning horse puppets dance through the space, I smiled to be part of such a rich community.  And from my place as a deep member of this community, joy comes from within.

No comments:

Post a Comment