Sunday, June 21, 2009

That Was Easy!

Today I was standing in a dressing room in a non-jewish store. I was trying to help my friend make up her mind between two skirts, when I heard an obviously non-Jewish woman ask my opinion on a skirt she was wearing. Now, as I've mentioned before, my mode of dress is as conservative as they come, so I had a hard time telling her that I liked the purple and white polka dotted skirt she had on.
I found something nice to say about it, and returned my attention to my friend's dilemma: two pleats or four? Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that the general consensus in the dressing room was that the purple skirt just didn't do the trick.
The lady was obviously distressed. "It's such a shame. I have such a hard time finding nice skirts these days." My ears perked up. Why skirts? I didn't have to ask, the answer was forthcoming.
"I only wear long skirts you know." I wasn't sure who that was directed at, but I knew I could help. A lighted sign went on in my brain that said "Easy Mitzvah!" I grabbed it.
"Would you like me to tell you where you can find some nice long skirts?" She looked at me in surprise. "Oh, would you please?" So I told her to look in Orthodox Jewish stores. I discovered that she doesn't live too far from my house, and then gave her the name of two Frum stores in my neighborhood, both of which sell lots of skirts. She wrote them down, complete with directions how to get there, her smile increasing by the minute. When we were finished, she looked at me. "I can't believe how nice you are. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me." And so, as my friend headed to the front of the store to pay for both skirts, the lady continued. "I feel like I want to give you a huge hug right now."
The scene was surreal. This strange woman was giving me a hug in the dressing room of some store someplace in New Jersey.
I was thrilled though. Sometimes you think you made someone happy with orthodox Jews, sometimes you know you did. After explaining clearly that I am an orthodox Jew, and she needs to shop in our stores, I can proudly say: today, I know I made someone happy to have met an orthodox Jew.


Altie said...

awww thats so nice. she wasn't jewish? it is good of you to do that, and not just brush her off.

frum single female said...


EsPes said...

great story! :-)

MusingMaidel said...

a similar thing happened to me once. I was in a bank in Manhattan with my mother while I was going through my down-to-the-floor-denim-skirt days. One of the shvartze bank tellers commented to my mother on my skirt, saying she liked it so much, where can she get one? My mother and I told her about 13th ave, but then I asked her why she wanted that kind of skirt. Turns out she was a Jewish Christian (I didn't know what she meant, so I did a little research, but the meaning of it escapes me now). She wasn't Jewish, but she did try to follow some of the laws of tznius. I went home that day with the same kind of feeling you had.

Thanks for sharing it!

tembow said...

kol hakavod. that probably feels great!

similar thing happened to me once, though not with the hug (!). i was in an electronics store and i was wearing a below-the-knee length skirt. an older woman came up to me and asked me where i bought it. i told her it was from brooklyn but i gave her the name of a store to buy it in. she kept going on and on about how hard it is to buy modest clothing these days, and all the skirts are too short, etc etc.

Something Different said...

Altie- no. She was most definilately not Jewish. Religious, definately, but not Jewish. And I couldn't believe what a kiddush Hashem I'd made. :-)

FSF- are you making fun?

EP- well, it is if you learned from it! :-p

MM- our high school teachers weren't making it up, huh? ;-)

TB- yeah the hug was definately odd. I'm a very un-huggy person. And think about it- if she was complementing you on your modesty that's a double mitzvah! :-)

Inspired said...

What a kiddush Hashem!

Bas~Melech said...

Probably a seventh day adventist or somesuch. They have very similar dress codes to the orthodox Jewish.

Now which non-jewish store has pleated skirts, though?!

nmf #7 said...

Nice! Good going!

Interesting captcha: juden!
Jews! Yay!

MusingMaidel said...

b~m - that's what my mother said. It happened about two years ago, but I remember specifically that it was some combination of jew and christian. wikipedia has an article ( ) on it, but I'm not sure that it's what the lady was talking about. she didn't look jewish in any way.

Something Different said...

Insp- Yep! B"H. :-)

B~M- I was assuming she was a seventh day adventist, but I didn't ask....
And if you REALLY wanna know...forget it. :-D

NMF- Thanks! :-)

MM- interesting link. :-)

Chana said...

That's a great story! I enjoyed reading it.

Something Different said...

Chana- thanks! Glad you enjoyed. :-)

Mikeinmidwood said...

This is no fare I never get to make that kiddush hashem.

harry-er than them all said...

great story

MM- shvartze?- really?

Something Different said...

MIM- oh, so should we get into a feminist discussion here?

HTTA- Thanks. :-)