On Thursdays, I power down. Thursdays, for me, mark that place in the week that paves the way for Fridays. Fridays introduce Sabbath.
On Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, I am a crazy woman. I create texts, I rewrite them, and then, after oodles more of revisions, I submit them for publications. During those days, as well, I read manuscripts for three venues and send out pitches for my yet unpublished books. Midweek, I catch up on my blogs and on other serialized work, too.
By Wednesdays, I transition. I have fewer hours at home on Wednesdays since I teach a workshop on that day. Wednesdays are when I compare available beds to anticipated Sabbath guests. On Wednesdays, I defrost the meat I am going to cook on Thursdays.
Thursdays seem innocent. I wake. I wash. I pray.
Thereafter, I check my email and answer those inbox items that can’t wait until after Sabbath for my attention. Next, I get busy in the kitchen.
Main dishes and soups get prepared on Thursdays. Fridays are reserved for highly perishable items like fish and salads. More than a decade ago, I committed to completing the greater portion of my Sabbath arrangements on Thursdays so that, even during winter months, I could approach Sabbath as a mensch. It’s hard to greet royalty if one’s worried about catering duties or dirty floors.
Accordingly, since I know I am not going to leave my house on Thursdays, during that span of the week, I take “fashion risks.” Whereas my children, if surveyed, would protest that I am no less frumpy in my couture on Thursdays, than I am any other day, they would be mistaken.
During the last few weeks, alone, on respective Thursdays, I wore: a navy blue jumper (my “go to” color tends to be black), a sky blue skirt, and an atypically woven, albeit jet-colored, sarong-like thing. I wore green or grey shirts instead of back or brown ones. Additionally, I wore my “sexy” snoods, the ones that are most in danger of slipping or sliding on my head and, as a result, of revealing a sprig of my hair. In short, on Thursdays, I dress wild.
Sometimes my strategy backfires. Two weeks ago, my husband suggested that we take a walk in our neighborhood after I attended my online Thursday night Torah study class. While my class ends at eleven o’clock at night, our community, vibrant as it is, b’ayin tova, is only getting warmed up at that hour on Thursdays.
I was stuck. If I acquiesced, I would be leaving my house in a navy skirt and a grey shirt! If I didn’t agree to go along, I’d miss precious time with my companionable spouse as well as an exercise opportunity.
I couldn’t excuse myself to change; my partner already considers my ways and means of dressing a bit foolish. So, if I was to embrace his luminous offer of an opportunity to stroll, I would have to parade around, in an area where I might actually meet people I know, in riotous colors.
I did the deed. Fortunately, we ran into no one.
During another recent Thursday, when I wrapped my head in questionable fabric and left my feet unsheathed, my married daughter surprised me with a visit. Her showing up was no problem; she’s seen me in my bathrobe, she’s seen me in my workout duds, and she’s even seen me in my swimsuit.
The challenge was her husband. He’s not afraid of our mound of clean laundry, that pile of whites and darks that is an evergreen presence in our salon. Likewise, that young man has no dread of the dishes that morph into skyscrapers, on Thursdays, in our kitchen sink; he even offers to wash them. Rather, it’s the case that he’s never seen my toes and that I intent to maintain that status quo.
I go on record as saying that when it’s only my nuclear family or when it’s only women traipsing around my home, I (gasp) wear flip flops. On Thursdays, especially, during that portion of the week when I embrace unrestrained manners of dress, I let my naked, wiggy pinky toes, and all of their compadres, escape from the restrictions of socks.
So, when my daughter walked in and announced that her husband, too, has arrived, I dove for my office, shut the door, and then called, via my cell phone, for one of my other children to fetch me a pair of feet wrappers. Sigh.
Finally, there was the Thursday of the Ben Bayit. My family has been blessed to have various young people attach themselves to us. When those youths get “adopted,” they do so with all of the accoutrements of that distinction. Among the trappings such a status yields are: the right to help clear the sink when visiting, the right to help one’s self to snackies when visiting, and the right to visit unannounced.
On the Thursday night in question, a certain adopted son, en route home from teaching in a nearby neighborhood, dropped over. Prior to hearing our doorbell ring, I was jazzing on my keyboard. My soups and meats were cooked. Mt. Laundry had been reduced to half of its ordinary size. I had designs on finishing an essay and there were still two hours to go before my weekly study session.
When our chime sounded, though, I got tripped up. It’s not that I lacked socks; after the son-in-law incident, I’ve taken to keeping a fresh pair in my office. It’s not that I was wearing navy or grey, either; that morning, feeling unusually peaked, I had resorted to black and black. Instead, it was that I had tried to compensate for my dark clothing (it was Thursday, after all) with an almost neon-colored scarf.
That type of head wrap, however, remains consistently less reliable at keeping me modest that do my elastic-rimmed head covers. Consequently, when the ben bayit buzzed, I had to choose between bolting for my bedroom, thus being rude to him, or I tucking in the tendrils that had escaped the length of fabric wrapped around my noggin. I did the latter, greeted our extended family member with a smile, and immediately served him a heaping plate of Sabbath food. I was hoping that the taste of those yummies would prove sufficiently distracting to prevent him from noticing my weird gear. It worked.
Ironically, it’s not the case that I’m invested in image management. Quite the opposite is true to the extent that my daughter printed out a list of the structured clothing she wanted me to wear, in addition to my wig, which is a head covering that spends most of its life in my closet, to her wedding. To boot, the professional photographer, who shoots my book covers, often employs his wife to encourage me to apply makeup. “Fashionable” is not an adjective readily associated with me.
It’s just that Thursdays are my no holds barred time for style. Also, my experimenting is meant to be engaged in privately. After all, only on such days do I chance my Thursday skirts.