Dear Mr PigMansky
On Shabbat (shabbes to you) my sons walked past you on the street and bid you a Good Shabbes. You returned their greeting politely, probably because they were wearing white shirts and dress pants and velvet kippas and looked like they belonged in your neck of the woods, or perhaps you recognized them from a function we all attended recently. I was about ten paces behind them, walking in 4 inch heels slows me down sometimes.
As I passed you I said “Shabbat Shalom”. I saw that you greeted my sons and wanted to be polite. I also recalled being introduced to you and your wife not too long ago. I was brought up to show respect, which is why I wished you Shabbat shalom. You looked at me like you had a very awful taste in your mouth. How dare I, a mere woman (and a divorced one at that), talk to you, a MAN? The way you looked at me was worse than rude, it was disgusting. I do realize that there are men who don’t talk to women not directly related to them, but those men don’t look at other women in the street. They don’t sweep their eyes up and down the non-related woman, mentally cataloguing her clothes and her looks.
All I wanted to do was wish you well, after you were kind enough to greet my sons. In return you looked at me as if I was a piece of meat up for sale. I guess maybe I wouldn’t have minded so much, if while mentally undressing me, you had wished me a good shabbos. I mentally inspected my mode of dress, perhaps I was not tzanua…..but that couldn’t have been the problem. I was wearing a sheitel, my collarbone was covered, as were my elbows and knees. I was even wearing panty hose in this high heat – I had been to shul, and I always dress modestly for shul. It’s the right thing to do. I wasn’t even wearing bright colours. In fact, Pigmansky, I was very modestly dressed, and the way you leered at me was most unmodest of you.
After taking a few more paces, I risked a glance back at you, and you were stopped in the street, staring at my posterior as I walked away. With the same disgusted expression on your face. I had an epiphany. You weren’t disgusted with me, you were disgusted with yourself. You saw a beautiful woman, and you behaved like a pig. The depth of my beauty and inner spirit took your breath away so much so that saying good shabbes was a physical impossibility and you were totally ashamed at your inability to behave like a mensch.
So I guess, Mr Pigmansky, I should be flattered that I rendered you speechless. But somehow I can’t bring myself to really believe that. A little derech eretz would have gone a long long way.