From the mailbox:
I was at a Canadian indoor water park and saw a number of frum families where dads and sons were shirtless and in shorts frolicking while mom and daughters were in long sleeves, ankle length skirts, etc roasting and just wading their feet with shoes on. Shouldn’t modesty be for the entire family? The one family where the girls got wet, they were toddlers and fully dressed down to thick tights.
I fully agree with you that modesty should apply to everyone in the family. This scenario is one I have come across myself a few times too. I cannot adequately explain what appears to be a double standard here – perhaps one of my learned readers can.
We just crossed paths at an office building not too far from me. My husband had some business to take care of, and I was waiting for him in the lobby. There was one chair there, occupied by your ridiculously young self. I leaned against the wall for 5 minutes, while you were sprawled all over the easy chair answering your email and BBMs. You looked up, saw me leaning against the wall. Did you offer me your seat? No. Did it even occur to you that it might be the chivalrous thing to do? No.
In fact, you finally got up to talk to the receptionist, and I immediately sat down in the seat you vacated. Within a few seconds you turned around and saw that I was sitting in “your” seat. I could see the frustration on your face that you had lost your seat. I busied myself with MY blackberry.
I know I am not an old woman by any means, but I have at least 15 years on you. I was brought up that if a lady is standing, then no men are sitting. My husband would have given up his seat for any woman – young or old, it is immaterial. But then he was brought up in a time where men were gentlemen and knew what chivalry was.
It’s a shame that it didn’t bother you to see me standing for minutes on end. It’s a shame that you were not brought up with the right values. Would I have taken the seat if you offered it? Maybe, maybe not. But it would have been the correct thing for you to do to offer.
I think I will stop before I start wagging my index finger at you and call you a young whippersnapper.
A very disgruntled HSM
The following is a letter from a reader, the subject – a friend’s weight loss and the reader’s difficulty in spending time with her since the weight loss. Our reader wonders why she is having this trouble hanging out with her friend.
Dear Mama H,
Recently a close friend of mine lost a lot of weight and looks great. She’s not an overly gorgeous girl, but definitely looks better now. Plus her newfound confidence shines out of her.
I haven’t really seen her lately due to our schedules – ok, let’s be honest – I admit I have made up excuses not to see her or hang out because of her recent weight loss.
I’ve been struggling with my weight for a very long time, most of it genetic and nothing I can really do other than be as careful and healthy as I can. I eat right and I work out. I do what I can.
However this is something I know she feels amazing about, and for some reason we’ve always had a bit of a competition- but mentally, nothing that is really publicly known or acknowledged between us or anyone else.
I’m not jealous of her loss, however until I lose a little, and until I feel even better about myself and my looks, which is something I’m working on at the moment, I don’t want to really hang out with her alone or in a group.
We also have had a lot of drama over the years during our friendship. However I’m curious if me not wanting to see her in person and spend time with her due to her weight loss was something I am being weird and crazy about or if it’s just a woman thing.
So readers, what do you think? Does the reader’s reluctance to spend time with her friend make sense to you? Is she jealous, even though she says she isn’t? Can you identify with the way she is feeling? If her own self-image was better, would she be able to just be happy for her friend?
1. Well, this one is disturbing. I was at the local Walmart doing what one does – spending money on things you were so sure you hadn’t needed before you walked through those doors. I was browsing the lingerie section (such as it is in Walmart) and happened upon a mother and son in the same department. I would say the son was about 40, his mom around 65. My boys would rather stand in the middle of traffic than go with me into the ladies underwear section. Oh the horror! But this son, in the midst of the ladies dept, calls out “Hey, Ma, they have this Triumph bra in a DD. Should fit you nicely”. I think I threw up a little in my mouth. Just too…….weird. Mind you after reading this article, nothing surprises me any more.
2. I had to be on the bus this morning to go to a meeting. Usually the bus drivers are surly and unresponsive here – well that has been my experience anyway. The 535 bus driver this morning was the opposite. Every person that got on to ride his bus was given a cheery Bonjour! or Good Morning. And then a Merci or Thank You once they paid their fare. He greeted everyone enthusiastically. It totally makes a difference to the morning commute. I am sure people are stressed when they get on the bus – having the driver be welcoming helps. I thanked him as I got off the bus, -he smiled, and wished me a good day!