The store is a small one, but it's close to my house, conveniant, and just my style. The clothing they sell is expensive, but if you shop at the right times, you can get $80 dollar sweaters for ten dollars. And, while it's not a company who's merchandise any MP would admit ownership of, it is a well known brand. That means the quality is good, which is the factor I care about. See, the better the quality the less frequently I need to shop.
Anyhow, I discovered this store a couple of years ago, and have shopped there for the majority of my warsdrobe ever since. I've also brought a number of friends there. You can therefore imagine that the night time manager knows me pretty well.
The manager in question is a proud, though unaffiliated Jew, and loves to discuss her Jewish background with me. It was probably my second visit to the store when I learned that her grandmother was orthodox, her mother was conservative, and she is just not religious.
We've discussed many things, though theology is not often on the list of topics...until my most recent visit.
I was shopping with my mother, and, in a desperate attempt to find something and be done with it, I walked into the dressing room with a huge pile of sweaters. Almost all of them were black.
I stepped out of the dressing room to display the first sweater, when I heard my friendly manager shmoozing with my mother. "I'm nervous to ask, but I just have to..." My mother nodded, urging her to go ahead. She looked hesitant, but continued. My ears perked up, as she said, "does Judaism have a rule about ladies wearing black?"
My mother looked down at her green sweater and cringed. I looked down at my black sweater and grinned. Our friend wasn't finished though. "I mean," she continued, "I don't know...maybe only the girls have that rule?"
At that point, I couldn't control myself. I burst out laughing. She looked confused, but then again, so is my mother. "Black and black," mom always proclaims "looks awful." But there we are, her very own daughters, looking awful. Day after day after day.
I pointed triumphantly to a sweater I had tried. "Look! Grey!" But then I took pity on her; I attempted to explain. And that is when I really started to sound stupid. After vehemently denying a law about "thou shalt wear black," I started mumbling about styles and conformity, weddings and flattering colors, and I sounded dumber and more confused as the minutes went by.
And the friendly manager still had questions. "But when my grandmother was orthodox, they didn't have this law yet, did they?"