July 19, 2024
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July 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Many years ago I was visited by a client in my Montreal office, and after we exchanged niceties she gushed in excitement, “Nina, you are wearing the Dior shoes.” I looked down at my feet as I couldn’t remember from the morning to the afternoon which shoes I was wearing, and I responded, “Faigie, I bought these in Boro Park on Christmas Day at a shoe store and paid $9.99 for them.”

A few things are funny about this. The first is that we never normally went to Boro Park. Coming in from Montreal and visiting my parents, we tried to find a place where we could take our children that would be open on Christmas Day. Aha, let’s go to Boro Park. Secondly, I had no idea that there was even such a thing as the Dior shoe. And last but not least, it would not have impressed me at all if it were.

When relating this story to a friend, she told me that I was very wrong because, according to her, I should have pretended that my feet were adorned with Dior. She said I should never tell anyone how much I pay for anything and let them think whatever they wish. I’m afraid that I have not learned that lesson well.

I began to think about other instances where people think the “real thing” is really important.

It brought me back to the day where after leaving our daughter Naama at HASC to begin another amazing summer, we treated ourselves to two days at Grossinger’s (may it rest in peace). It happens that HASC was a mere mile or so from Grossinger’s. After checking in, we realized that a lovely couple from our shul in Montreal were also guests at the hotel. They insisted we sit with them in the dining room (a rabbi’s worst nightmare when he is aching to go away alone with his wife for a few days). During breakfast the following day my friend showed me her diamond ring that was the size of a grapefruit and kept asking me to try it on. In my life I had absolutely no desire to try on or to ever own a diamond ring. I actually at the time did not own one.

Finally she literally took the ring and forced it on my finger and proclaimed, “Isn’t it amazing? Would you believe it’s cubic?” I felt like an idiot for even allowing her to put it on my finger. She then explained that she leaves the real one at home when they travel and this way she is free to take off her “cubic” and leave it in the room on the dresser or anywhere else and she never has to worry about losing it.

When we left them I told my Mordechai, who was oblivious to such “narishkeit,” that if anyone would ever see me wearing that ring they would automatically know it was not real, while on this lady’s finger it would be assumed that it is real.

During COVID, with nothing to do and plenty to worry about, I suddenly decided to buy a new wig from Paula Young. For those not familiar with Paula Young’s wigs, they are extremely inexpensive and most are not human hair. You do have to remember not to put your head into the oven when you are wearing it! The wig cost $34.99. All is done through her catalogue.

The wig arrived and I skeptically put it on my head and have worn it practically every day, since I decided that COVID isolation didn’t mean never getting dressed. I have met tons of people who have complimented me on my hair, telling me how much they like it.

Because you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, I always tell them what it is and how much I paid for it. I am sure that some walk away suddenly finding something wrong with it, or others claim that such a wig would not work well on their head, but for me with my more expensive wigs sitting in my closet, I am extremely pleased with my purchase.

For some, wearing name brands or designer merchandise is really important. For me it actually means nothing. I would be just as happy with a dress that I purchased in H & M as a dress bought from Saks 5th Avenue, assuming that they both fit well and look nice.

Actually, what caused me to delve into this topic was something I thought of while we were sitting at our kitchen table this evening having supper. I looked at the wall facing me as I sat and couldn’t stop smiling at the beauty of the original art hanging on it. There were many pictures drawn by some of our great-grandchildren during their last visit to our home. We could walk just a few feet away into our dining room or living room and see originals of professional artists, some of them done by my great uncle Hermann Struck, who was a well-known German Jewish artist. However, it is the originals that I see every day in the kitchen that make me smile and feel fuzzy inside. They are the real thing!

By Nina Glick

 

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