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?

11 comments on “The Wig Over My Eyes

  1. Zeecy Yemini on

    I can relate very much to this piece. I’ve received many compliments on my “hair” and have not always been brave enough to answer it’s a wig… and begin that conversation.

  2. Rebecca Adelman on

    Beautifully written. Very introspective. Really reminds you to be true to yourself as well as others.

  3. Boreparker on

    Beautifully written – I can feel your pride. You’re an inspiration and a shining light. Keep on inspiring.

  4. Grateful613 on

    Devory, your honesty touched me and I cried. We all have a need for a persona to protect our deepest self. Is it easier for you to share “loss and soul and faith in Gd” than to express the inner joy and pride in how you choose to live? Is this joy the secret of your strength? (It is in the genes. Your grandfather a”h had it and Yossi a”h had it, too.) I am in awe at how you balance your life. I am very proud of you!

  5. Amy on

    Beautifully written, as others before me have said. And it certainly explains to me, on a very personal and understandable level, why Orthodox women choose to wear wigs. It also explains to me why I do not, though. That a woman’s hair is considered “suggestive,” as is a woman’s voice in shul; these suggest to me that men have no self-control and that it is my job to help them. I prefer to believe that men are not children and can (learn to) control their impulses.
    As to being spoken for, I believe my wedding band says that loud and clear. My husband’s wedding band, same as mine, says the same thing.
    Thank you for a thought-provoking piece.

  6. Karen Singer Avrech on

    Beautifully written. As always, your pieces are universal. We all struggle with the push and pull of self revelation and our fear of being “different”

  7. laurie on

    In my humble opinion….as Amy expressed…..there is no reason our men should not be as carefully schooled in appropriate behavior,and appropriate dress. If the fathers spent as much time inculcating in their sons proper self control – controlling their thoughts – as they do drilling their daughters on appropriate dress, appropriate behavior and appropriate thoughts – the twisted idea that SHE is responsible for HIS mind, ideas and thoughts wing erestould be unnecessary.
    So while the women are relegated to being responsible for HIS thoughts…it is interesting that there is no reciprocal expectation…..seeing good looking guys with their turn on hairy arms, or tight pants leaving nothing to the imagination, dancing, jumping, wearing tee shirts on a hot day…..or …….
    The gold standard of female – we have no thoughts and are made of stone. Or is it we have been from birth – conditioned, trained, instructed, and inculcated with what is appropriate……..Yoo hoo, it can work both ways. By the way..,.while HER wedding she band alerts she is married and spoken for…where is HIS???

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