WWYD – hair covering

I just got back from Walmart, the place that sucks money out of one’s wallet. I love seeing all the different people in the store – they run the gamut from Chassidic overdressed to tattooed and pierced and lots of naked flesh.

There was a pretty young mommy there, dressed much like me – denim skirt, tee shirt, flip flops, scarf on her head. She had her headscarf tied in a bun at the back – I tie it that way myself sometimes. But wearing it like that, the weight of the scarf pulls it down, so unless you secure the sides with bobby pins, you run the risk of it falling off or you spend much of the day pulling it forward while pushing back your hair – the “pull and push” maneuver –  a move that most of us haircoverers are used to doing.

We entered the store at the same time. By the time we got to the cash register at the same time, I noticed her scarf had slipped way way way back on her head, almost to the point of no return. I know I would want someone to tell me that my scarf was about to fall off, but I didn’t know how open this woman would be to a stranger mixing in to her business. Maybe she wouldn’t care that her scarf was almost off her head. I couldn’t leave it alone though. I kept thinking if I were her I would want some well meaning person to let me know.

I managed to catch her eye and made a motion with my hand and my scarf and pointed to her head. Her hand went up, searched for her scarf and yanked it all the way forward. She flashed me a smile, blushed to her roots, and turned back to the cashier.

Would you have left it alone, or would you have done the same as me?

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16 responses to “WWYD – hair covering

  1. I think what you did was thoughtful and polite. given you saw the “before” i think it was ok to mention it to her in a polite subtle way as you did once you saw it falling off.

  2. If it was more than a tefach I’d probably say something as it would be more than likely not on purpose, especially if you’d seen her with it all the way forward at the beginning.

    Personally, I’d wish someone would tell me if anything was showing as I’m careful to cover everything past the sideburns.

    My baby carrier used to displace my shirt in untznius ways and I always appreciated a helping hand, mention from another lady!

  3. Those are really existential questions.
    Baruch Hashem, we have nothing else to worry about…

  4. i think absolutely you did the right thing! i have some scarves that i totally can’t feel sliding back, and i am always grateful when some discerning woman lets me know….

  5. unsolicited advise is taken by most people as a sign of hostility.

  6. I think it depends on the way advice is given and the self esteem of the recipient. Nicely worded advice makes me feel appreciative of the caring of strangers rather than feeling criticized or a hostile dump case.

    After giving advice it’s best to move on though. If someone tells me my kids are cold/hungry/hot/messy and I think all is well, I don’t appreciate the advice giver staying to assert their opinion.

  7. batya from NJ

    i think what you did was fine & clearly was not taken in a bad way by the other woman at walmart. i think that as long as you did not say it in an admonishing, finger-wagging way, she would not take it badly. when strangers offer criticism to others, that is usually not accepted graciously but this was not a criticism from you but rather a “heads up” (pun intended ;)!)

  8. I probably would have done the same thing. The important thing is you saw the ‘before’ version; otherwise you never know, she might be wearing the scarf like that on purpose. Also, I think the fact you just motioned rather than verbalized the issue made it more gentle and acceptable.

  9. If someone kindly smiled at me and gently indicated my tichel had slipped way past the bounds of where it should be, I would be very grateful.

    I think for me the issue would not be, “Did someone let me know my tichel had slipped.” but rather, “Did someone treat me kindly and non-judgmentally in that situation.”

  10. Hadass Eviatar

    I agree that you did well, Hadassah. You were kind and helpful and in her place I would certainly sppreciate the quick non-verbal hint between us.

  11. In Israel I see the women covering their hair with tichels attaching them with giant, colorful kippah clips. They are adorable and look like they keep the scarves in place quite well.

  12. it’s like telling someone their slip is showing or something

  13. Kol Hakavod! I would have done the same and I’m sure the lady was grateful. It would have been far more embarassing to have the entire scarf slip off her head.

  14. I think tht it is definitely doing someone a favor, as long as it’s offered in a positive and non-judgemental way.

    I say keep being there for the women around you – it keeps the world a happier place.

  15. i would have done the same exact thing. it’s just nice to let someone know and then they can fix it if they like. just like spinach-in-the-teeth or a skirt-tucked-awry. always good to know about, always good to know about, indeed!

  16. You did the right thing. It’s obvious she wanted her hair well-covered. We’re in the same club, whether or not we know each other, and member help one another.

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