Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Lifetakes: Walking in My Shoes

Avigail Rubin

A new pair of shoes can change your whole life, I’ve heard, quoting Cinderella, and I tend to agree

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

 Mishpacha image

 

T he sky is slate-gray when I abandon the warmth of my covers.

It’s late Shabbos morning and I’m enjoying a post-shul rest, but conscience calls in the form of a kiddush I need to attend. I sigh as I close the clasp of my bracelet.

It’s my close friend’s brother’s bar mitzvah. My close friend, married with a baby and who has lived in another city for the past two years. We haven’t lost touch so much as simply not having had the time to speak, and I know I’m partially to blame.

A new pair of shoes can change your whole life, I’ve heard, quoting Cinderella, and I tend to agree. I slip on my newest acquisition in the footwear department, and decide that if clothes maketh the man, shoes certainly maketh the girl. I feel more energized already.

The walk to the kiddush is brisk, invigorating. The hall is packed. I’m surprised to see my friend sitting on her own, near the back. I make my way over, we hug and draw two chairs together. There’s a rush of just like the old times and I’m so glad I came. I mentally thank the shoes for their input.

We compare manicures — mine, French; hers, a shine that changes color with every turn of the hand — and I share a story from work. I am one sentence in when her eyes lose their focus. She’s scanning the crowd, and a moment later, with an apologetic wave in my direction, she’s embracing her future sister-in-law.

I know the kallah — she’s a colleague, and older than I am — and I’m so happy that she’s getting married. But when the conversation shifts from wedding dates to wigs and then meanders from Shevy to Irene and shades of blonde, annoyance begins wriggling up inside.

I spy another colleague and stand up, latching on to her gracefully, and moving through the flow of the crowd to make my escape. It doesn’t come fast; I know too many people for that. I paste on a smile for my friend’s younger sister, who is getting married in a few weeks, and wish I could just enjoy someone else’s simchah without being rocketed by so many emotions.

Before I leave, I need to locate my friend and say goodbye. I search her out, expecting her to urge me to stay, eat something, talk. I toy with the fantasy of making a snide remark about not being interested in hearing any more about Irene, and just as quickly quash the idea. Who am I turning into, some bitter ogre full of grudges at perceived slights?

By now, my friend is surrounded by friends and family. I wave, indicating the door. She waves back cheerfully and returns to the crowd around her. I step outside, feeling my way through resentment and relief.

I tell myself to let it go. 

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 577)

Related Stories

Family Diary: Change of Heart: Chapter 4

Leora Hammer

“I feel pretty good,” I lied. “I’m just getting a headache.” A headache was nothing, I hadn’t eaten,...

Tempo: Riding the Waves

Esther Teichtal

Ari followed her hand to the water. His jaw fell. He yanked off his sweatshirt, kicked off his shoes...

Tempo: Seeds, Pits, and Patience

Z. Halberstadt

I don’t have a garden. Or a porch. I have a window ledge. Not ideal for projects of this scale

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"