I had three incidents this week regarding my hair. Since every aspect of a woman's appearance is scrutinized here in Flatbush to ensure she is "up to standard" for tznius purposes, I thought it might be useful to contemplate these happenings. I should stress that all three episodes happened within a 48 hour period, so I guess hair really is important after all.
I was most relieved when my ride came to pick me up and mentioned that she hadn't recognized me for a moment without my sheitel. I was even happier to hear her rave about the colour of my hair, as she used to be in the beauty business, i.e. her opinion counts for something. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that her enthusiasm helped pave the way for a rousing evening, because one always enjoys oneself more when they know their appearance passes muster.
Then yesterday I was at the BPL to pick up my hold, and decided since I had the time to get my new card. When I produced my driver's license, the librarian was thrilled by my picture: "You look so pretty with blonde hair!", she exclaimed, and even called over the other librarian behind the desk to review and concur. Since the blonde hair was in fact a sheitel, I didn't bother to elucidate the disparity between my now dark locks and the fair halo in the picture. I just went with it. I personally also like myself as a blonde, because it reminds me of when I was younger and a perfect example of German colouring. Makes me think of my Daddy too, olev hashalom.
So, two thumbs up in the hair department, and I was feeling really good. And then the third incident happened, which was downright hilarious for its predictability. You may recall my previous mention of the two "standards" ladies in the neighbourhood, one who deems nail polish heinous and gave me a glare when she saw my uncovered head a few weeks ago? The other is equally notorious for her comments on both the sewed up slit in my skirt and my lipstick. In any event, I of course ran into the latter female within a couple of hours of the library incident. Her immediate refrain (after "Hello", to be fair), was "What's with the uncovered hair?". Her response to my explanation? "But don't you have to still cover your hair?".
Now, yes, one could give her the benefit of the doubt, and say that she was truly ignorant for why I might be able to uncover my hair and asked the question out of curiosity. But believe me people, such was not the case. And in my mind, as par for the course with her personality, such questions are necessary to communicate that my choices are unacceptable.
To which I respond, thanks for acting as the tznius police and trying to ensure that I don't wind up in Gehinnom. But you could try to say with more tact, to say the least. Or even better, to wait until you're a true tzeddeket before weighing in with your lofty level of tznius. Because, as we all know from Pirke Avot, until you've walked in someone else's shoes, keep your big pie-hole shut!