Sunday, October 15, 2006

 

CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION

It's almost the end of Succot - for some people it already ended - for others it ends tonight. Don't ask - I really don't understand it myself. A custom has sprung up here among the (mostly) American Jews - mostly religious - all kinds of religious - black hat religious - kippa sruga (knitted yarmulkas) religious - Conservadox religious (sort of a compromise between Orthodox and Conservative) - Flexidox religious (flexible in their practices - for instance, they don't drive on Shabbat but they watch television) - any kind of religious you can think of - that custom being that they come to visit for Hol HaMoed Succot (the intervening days of the Holiday). The ones with children of marriageable age come to make shidduchim (matches) for their offspring. Certain of the hotels have become very popular for this shidduch visit...especially the Inbal and the Citadel. These hotels are very pricey - so you know that the people you meet there have money - same as you have. There are also people who have young kids - they just come to have fun.

This morning I went to the Inbal to have breakfast with the daughter of very old friends of mine - my friends aren't so old, they're friends of long-standing...about twenty-five years or so and I was at their daughter's wedding twenty-one years ago. (In case you are interested I even remember what I wore to the wedding!!) Before I continue - my friend's daughter does not fit into the category I'm going to tell you about - far from it. They are a family of six - so you know they have to have the means to stay at the hotel - and they are buildng a holiday flat here so they don't have to stay at a hotel when they visit. OK - money. But they're very unpretentions and down-to-earth people - educated, interesting and fun to be with.

So why am I telling you about this? Because I'm still in shock. ( I'm not going to use names this time as I don't want to embarrass anyone.) Where was I? Oh yes. So I got to the hotel at 9:45 in the morning. I was dressed very nicely - I thought. Slacks and a top, nice shoes and bag, relatively modest jewelry (for me anyway as I don't go out of the house without, at least, earrings, rings, a bracelet or two, a nice watch - you know, my everyday jewelry). Was I in for a shock. The women I met were decked out in full glory - enormous diamond stud earrings (to tell the truth I'd kill for a pair of 3 carat each stud earrings), big big big diamond engagement rings, diamond wedding rings, dressy dresses and high-heeled shoes. And that was for breakfast. And the young girls were also all decked out - fancy dresses, little heels - although sans diamonds.

Am I moving in the wrong circles? We mostly don't even get dressed like that to go to a wedding. You're lucky if the groom is even wearing a tie!!! The only time I saw women dressed like that in the morning was a fashion show Devora and I went to in Tel Aviv. We thought we looked pretty terrific - instead we looked like someone's poor relations. And it's not that we don't have knockout jewels and great clothes - we just don't wear all our finery to breakfast. But I'm going to a weddng tomorrow night - I'm going to get all fapitzed (dressed to the nines) and knock 'em dead.

Stay Safe.

Rena



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