The Wig Over My Eyes

It was a sliver of a moment, one that slipped away before I realized how much it mattered.

It was 9:30 at night. My writing workshop had just ended. I’d read bits from my memoir about loss and soul and faith in God. I was slipping my laptop back into its case, when a few of the women in the group came up to me.

“Are you Hassidic?” “Yes.” I said.

“Don’t Hassidic women cover their hair?” 

And all I had to do was say, “Yes. I cover my hair. I’m wearing a wig.”

Instead I smiled without saying anything. The moment passed. We all went home.

It niggled at me — the question and the blank space before my non-answer. I’d let the opportunity go. I’d let the woman who asked the question assume that while I was Hassidic, I didn’t cover my hair. I thought about it all the way home, and then for days afterwards. Why hadn’t I told her that I was wearing a wig?