Monday, June 28, 2010

Falling in Love, With Teaneck, New Jersey.

I. Love. Teaneck!

Okay, let me start over. I know, we're new and it's that honeymoon period of newness and awesomeness, and technically we haven't even moved in yet, but we spent last Shabbos in Teaneck and, frankly, I'm in love. The community is young, vibrant, impassioned, and ALIVE. Alive. Yes, I felt alive and active and excited the entire time I was around the other individuals and couples in the apartment community. I mean, we were only there for one Shabbos, and I already feel like I have a new community-family, because they opened us with welcome arms (EDIT: of course I meant "welcomed us with open arms, but I spoonerized that, and it's so funny, I'm leaving it there!), put a roof over our heads, fed and fed and fed us, and took part in conversation and Jewish geography with us. What's more to ask for?

The amazing thing about the community is that the welcoming wagon is a serious one. We're moving in on Thursday/Friday and folks are willing to host us for meals, cook for us for the first week, help us literally move the boxes and furniture, and to help unpack. I mean, wow. I'm not saying other communities aren't so gracious, but it's the proactivity of these folks that astounds and elates me.

I didn't spot a single doily over the weekend, but I did spot some strange and interesting styles of covering ye olde locks, which I may or may not write about depending on how I think the community would react. The interesting thing about moving to Teaneck is that I'm starting to feel an underlying sense of self-censorship, but not actual self-censorship. Like, I shouldn't blog about certain things for fear of people reading them and/or getting their panties in a bunch about my most-of-the-time benign comments, but at the same time knowing that I can't help but blog about them.

So, just to test the waters (like a 3-year-old with a crayon and nice, clean white wall), I have to mention this interesting hair-covering style. I think I'll call it the "Captain Jack Sparrow." It's where you take a scarf and sort of tie it back, pirate-style, but with all your locks still dangling out freely. Like the un-tichel, tichel. What I don't get is how it fits into the whole tefach of hair thing. It's sort of like edging on not covering, while still covering. I did see one woman at a kosher restaurant elsewhere in Jersey recently sporting such a scarf, but she definitely had a fall on underneath. I give mad props to the women who choose to cover like this, I just don't know how the greater Orthodox (modern and otherwise) community approaches that kind of style.

Speaking of, I'd really like to get some knowledgeable source in the arena of the halakot and community standards of hair covering to guest post something for me as far as what is hardcore, what is lenient, and what is necessary and what is not. I want to be a whole heckuva lot more informed than I am right now.

I also am seriously pondering the sheitel or fall, now. I don't know why. I'm very not down with the sheitel, but I'm not sure WHY I am. Some look so chic. But is that the point? I'm also struggling with what to do with my hair -- cut it? Let it grow? It's at this uncomfortable impasse where I can't really leave the back out but it really doesn't want to stay up despite the amount of clippy and rubber things I attempt to keep it in with. It's Hair Wars 2010. Suggestions? I haven't had it long since 2001, so it might be fun to grow it. I wonder how Tuvia feels?

I have a bucketload of posts I'd like to write, many of them based on experiences (all good, by the way) in my new Teaneck community. I got the impression that most of my new friends don't read or keep up with blogs (although they seem to be obsessed with Friends and Seinfeld, so I'm planning on watching EVERY season/episode from start to finish on BOTH of those), so I might just be in the clear. I pride myself on a positive dialogue about any and all of my queries and curiosities when it comes to halakot and community standards, and I don't see that changing. Any baggage brought to this blog by individuals I can't freak out about. After all, it's baggage.

Stay tuned for more exciting and intriguing adventures in the life of Chaviva G. Hrm ... maybe someday kids will call me "Mrs. G." Which, of course, reminds me of one of the greatest shows of all time: The Facts of Life!