The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Born to Be Old

Posted in philosophizing, synagogue life by Juliet on November 9, 2010

[Missed Part I? Check it out here.]

The other day I had time to kill between appointments so I popped into Starbucks. (And yes, I am aware that for someone who claims to “not even like Starbucks very much,” I seem to go there an awful lot. Ubiquity.)

I sat facing the room and soon noticed an older gent in a cowboy hat. He was probably in his late 70s or possibly even early 80s. He caught my eye because of his order: oatmeal and an ice water.

But what kept me watching was that it soon became clear we were separated at birth twins.

He pulled a crossword out of his pocket and started working it. I was doing the exact same crossword (Wednesday New York Times syndicated) in the exact same paper (The Californian) with the exact same type of pen (retractable Sharpie.)

NOBODY does a crossword puzzle with a Sharpie. Separated at birth is obviously the only explanation.

Then he pulled out a book and began to read, and it was the exact same new release I’d just picked up from the library and was excited about (the latest M.C. Beaton Agatha Raisin mystery.)

Eerie, no?

So at heart I am 80 years old, which is probably why I’m having such a hard time dressing for events these days. And why I want to wear pantyhose to everything. (In my defense, sheer black pantyhose! Not suntan! Not taupe! Sheer black only. But yes, I know, the argument is a dead one. It’s 2010.)

What better for an 80 year old to wear to a daytime wedding, funeral, baptism, christening, baby naming, graduation, or other formal event than a St John suit, right?

I can’t explain my fascination with St John. And hey, by the time I can actually afford one, I’ll probably be old enough for it to look okay, actually. But even St John is changing. (Mostly) gone are the knits and signature buttons. (Mostly) gone are the Chanel-style suits with boucle jackets. They are trying to youth it up.

I floated the St John idea to the same group of women friends with whom I have the ongoing Great Pantyhose Debate, and opinions ran the gamut from: no; to NO; to HELL NOOOOOO!!!!!

So I can’t wear a St John knit suit with oversized gold buttons and panythose and cap-toed pumps. What can I wear?

That led me to research: WHAT DO WOMEN WEAR TO CHURCH OR SYNAGOGUE NOWADAYS?

Frustratingly, there is no answer. None. Absolutely none. I live in the land of the megachurch. And yet, I can’t get an answer. Everyone seems to be going casual. There are churches where you can wear shorts and flip flops. Churches where women have tattoos peeking out from their tank tops. My Catholic friends mostly wear dresses or skirts and sweaters with tops (but NO pantyhose.)

And synagogue? It’s an absolute mixed bag. A grab bag.

So I am back to NO RULES.

I am making it my mission to find my Bat Mitzvah outfit this week. It will be:

* dressy daytime-appropriate
* dress or skirt (no pants)
* in a color or colors but no patterns, and not a boring color like black, grey, or navy
* youthful and flattering

If I find this holy grail, you will be the first to hear all about it. Or rather, the second. I need to tell the Pantyhose Mafia first.

Next time: (un)scientifically selected experts weigh in

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2 Responses

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  1. Mom said, on November 10, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Count me in as another who doesn’t like Starbucks, but seems to go there a lot!

  2. […] What Do YOU Wear to Church or Synagogue? Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on November 12, 2010 [First, catch up here and here.] […]


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