You realize, the moment you step foot outside, that you’ve committed a grievous error
is a truth universally acknowledged that stockings are for summer, black tights for winter. Which is easy to say, but a lot harder to implement than it sounds.
It all begins around Pesach. You feel confident that now is the time to switch to natural. It’s definitely the time. You’re bored with your winter sweaters, and that black skirt you’ve lived in for months has pilled. You eye the summer wardrobe hanging in your closet, all those bright colors and light fabrics, and for a moment you imagine lightly swaying palm trees and sunshine. Yes, it has been sunnier the past few days, and besides, it’s spring. It was just Chag Ha’aviv, right? You reach for the stockings squashed in the back of your drawer.
You realize, the moment you step foot outside, that you’ve committed a grievous error. The sun is shining, true, but it’s 50 degrees, and everyone else is wearing black tights and booties. For the rest of the day, you pull your skirt down as low as possible, trying to un-stocking-ify your stockings. You resolve to do better next time.
For the next week, you’re a good girl, huddled back into your sweaters (but of course, your midweight sweaters; those really cute chunky sweaters are too warm) and black tights. Until you leave the house one day and belatedly realize that it’s about 75 degrees, and all over town women are wearing stockings and bright colors. You look down at your fuzzy old black tights and sigh.
Eventually you get your act straight, or maybe it’s just that the weather becomes solidly warm, but for months you don’t have to worry about switching.
Then fall rolls around, and the cycle begins again. Lovely.
The first sign that all is not right with your complacency regarding your wardrobe is when you feel a chill in the air. Black tights, says your subconscious, but you know better. Best not to rush into things. You learned that the hard way just a few months ago.
Then suddenly, everyone else is wearing black. “But it’s still in the 60s!” you exclaim. They shrug.
Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. So the next day you wear black. Everyone around you is wearing stockings. You scream inwardly.
Early the next morning, you make a conscious decision. You decide to wear stockings, no matter the consequences. You will show them. You will prove to the world that you do not fear their censure! The world will see that you are an individual who will not be cowed by what others do, who will not be shamed by what others say!
The world is wearing black. You are cowed. You are shamed. You decide to check the weather before you get dressed the next day.
In the morning, you double, triple, and quadruple check the weather before you dress. It says 65 degrees. Aha! you think. Lower than yesterday. Black it is! You smile to yourself as you go about your morning routine. Then you leave the house.
Apparently 65 degrees was the low for today, because it’s hot outside. Like, August hot. So everyone else, who evidently checked the other weather website, is wearing stockings.
You contemplate moving to a one-season climate. But, while you’re researching locations like Alaska and California, the weather becomes colder, and you find yourself comfortably ensconced in your black tights and those adorable, chunky, knit sweaters. You quickly forget the existential crisis of switching your clothes, until you look at the calendar come next spring. Then you look at your tights drawer.
My summer clothes are cute, you think.
Apparently, you still have much to learn.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 866)
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