Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Blue Shirt

This was a big day for Boruch. A really big day. Today was the first day he was going to be wearing a colored shirt since 8th grade. It’s been 4 years since he left Yeshiva and he’d been building up the courage for about a year now. The final decision finally came during breakfast last Sunday. He was spacing out while eating his sunny side up noting how its shape looked just like the State of Minnesota when he just decided to go for it and headed out to the store.

After shaving extra carefully he slowly opened the starched cotton blue shirt letting the white packaging fall to the floor, sliding the cool fabric over his arms and shoulders and buttoning up. He gingerly looked into the mirror. Its remarkable how different the color of your shirt can make you look. He found a tie that matched and tightly fastened it around his broad neck pulling down the crisp collars.

Walking out the front door was terrifying, yet thrilling at the same time. He hoped he wouldn’t meet anyone he knew and walked briskly head erect, trying not let the invisible pollin tickle his throat.
A few minutes later he was standing on the train holding his Wall Street Journal and looking around. He felt confident and good. He felt handsome. He felt eyes looking his way and that made him feel good. Turning his head slightly he caught a beautiful brunette looking his way. After smiling slightly he turned to the left only to see a smartly dressed redhead staring at him. He was flying now. So this is what its like....

Breezing into his office he was greeted by the ever present warm smile on the face of Lisa the beautiful new receptionist from Minneapolis.

"Good morning Barry"
"Good morning Lisa..notice anything different..?"
“psst Barry..come closer”..she said, looking around furtively
He leaned closer and watched her lips mouth softly..
“You’ve got a tissue hanging from your nose..”




Blogger The Dreamer said...


Is that what it's like for you post-yeshivah guys to switch to blue?

June 10, 2007 11:21 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

dunno..Havent made the switch...

June 10, 2007 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Allie said...

Personally not a fan of the white shirt only society - but great post! And the music is beautiful.

June 10, 2007 1:03 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

This post s really not about white shirts..I couldve chosen a host of other things.. But in a way it is about...
Thanks..and I'm crazy about Philip Glass's music..

June 10, 2007 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Allie said...

I know you could have chosen something else .. but you did choose the white shirt! Like you said - in a way it is about...

June 10, 2007 1:25 PM  
Blogger chav said...


I have a mirror in every conceivable place for just that reason.

Plus, when I'm with my daughter or husband, about to make any kind of entrance, I ask them, "Quick - am I boogering?"

Nice one.

June 10, 2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

its about anyone in any culture taking a step away from shelterdness..the way its perceived in his mind vs the world at large..
in our culture this is one way it manifests itself.
I once did a post on Why I wear a white shirt..

I dont think its ever happened to me..thank goodness..

June 10, 2007 2:19 PM  
Anonymous chana said...

this is what it is
what it's about
in the mind
in the world... or not.

music's awesome

June 10, 2007 5:11 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

lol, great ending

June 10, 2007 5:52 PM  
Blogger anonym00kie said...

brilliant :) i love it
imagine how much more in in touch with Reality we would be if we werent so self absorbed, living in our own little many fears would disapear, how many wounded egos would heal, how much of our own selfimposed/selfcreated/selfexisting realities would just crumble away, if we took the time to step out of ourselves and get some perspective..
if we found our noses
or lost our noses
(i still dont get that one, but i know it connects somehow :)
anyway.. love it :)

oh and of course.. pretty music :)

June 10, 2007 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Allie said...

You keep referring back to past posts.. I am going to have to go back and read all of them.. See you all in about a month!

June 10, 2007 10:49 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

it wasnt on this blog..
I'll dig it up and paste it here tomorrow..

June 10, 2007 10:54 PM  
Blogger Sara with NO H said...

I think the white shirts are sexy...don't make the switch.

At least the tissue wasn't hanging from the top of his pants or his shoe. I think I prefer the nose. I walked out of a public restroom once with my skirt tucked into the back of my tights and no one told me.

June 11, 2007 1:16 AM  
Blogger jewmaican20 said...

Never really understood why the color of your shirt makes a statement. I happen to be in a yeshiva where everybody wears white shirts, but that's just a uniform thing. Outside yeshiva I don't think our Rosh would care...

June 11, 2007 1:25 AM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

plus being on wall street i can tell you that white shirts and long black coats are sexy just look out on the street 4 15 pm everyday it looks like boys just left yeshiva

June 11, 2007 10:51 AM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

on wall street that is

June 11, 2007 10:52 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

its an illusion that so many are consumed with..
and is awesome..(wish i could take credit for


exactly...Imagine how calm everyone would be...
well in this case the tissue found the nose..but it took the tissue to alert him that he even had a yes they are somehow connected..

ok...I dont plan on it..
Thats so embaressing..I dont know if I'd have the courage to say anything either..

I dont think anyone says theres anything sacred about the color of your shirt..But by changing the color in certain communities..youre definitely making a statement of sorts..
Just like if someone from your yeshiva were to suddenly wear a red hat..I dont think there woud be anything wrong per se..but people will wonder..what is this guy trying to say..and they wouldnt be wrong for wondering..

I've noticed that too.
In the corporate/secular be white the ultimate..

June 11, 2007 11:12 AM  
Blogger Open Up! said...

what about a pink shirt? i heard they're very in style now....white with blue stripes?

June 11, 2007 3:25 PM  
Blogger Bas~Melech said...

Very cute. Point well made, it's one that I've thought of blogging but my version would have been much less classy...and more boring.

The nose was too on this blog, by the way.

June 12, 2007 2:02 AM  
Anonymous Limey said...

um when i made the "big move" it was just another shirt no big deal

wait, i dont think my wife agrees....

June 12, 2007 11:54 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...


thanks..i'm sure urs would be just fine..
and yes special guest appearance by the nose

uh oh...what does she say?

June 12, 2007 4:43 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Here are a few reasons why I wear a white shirt.

1. There's no question that when you do something different people will wonder.
This is not something new. In every community in every age if you do something out of the norm people will wonder...
So while there might not be something inheritely wrong with a non white shirt, where I live..its just different..shirts.

2. Wearing a white shirt says..yes, I have to work but where do I want to feel most comfortable?
In the halls of the Yeshiva/Beis Midrash or...?

3. I feel different enough inside that I don't feel the need for an article of clothing to make me feel that way.

4. To quote Bill Blass "The classiest item of down..the starched white shirt.."

5. It matches everything.

June 12, 2007 11:22 PM  
Blogger exsemgirl said...

What about the guys who wear coloured shirts while in yeshiva? I know some serious guys who do it. Yeah they are looked down upon but they dont really care they just dont like to conform.

June 13, 2007 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Allie said...

Interesting.. I like #4 :)
I don't mind if people wear white shirts, I just don't like that is has become such a "thing". People think it defines who you are when in reality, it so doesn't. For so many people, all it is, is something that they erroneously focus on.. That's what type it represents to me.. Dunno.. Maybe it's just me..

June 13, 2007 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Allie said...

PS - sounds so familiar.. I think I read it somewhere. Where did you originally post this?

June 13, 2007 8:31 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

well i guess it would depend on where this desire stems from. If the whole yeshiva does something and they decide not is kinda odd and suspect..

ye..i know what u mean...
I guess its just understated..simple..
Its never good when people focus on the cultural opposed to the religious parts of our way of life..but thats the dager involved with creating a culture to support a religion..
was on my old blog..

June 13, 2007 8:48 PM  
Blogger megapixel said...

a guy in a clean starched white shirt just looks awesome cool. and when the bochurim go out and play basketball and it gets untucked... they look so cute!

June 13, 2007 10:58 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

there ya go..
another reason to wear a white shirt..

June 14, 2007 1:15 PM  
Blogger Bas~Melech said...

Well, I was thinking earlier today... I passed by a goy wearing a white shirt and KNEW he was on his way to some special occasion. The white shirt is something that is worn to show extra dignity, extra "chashivus."

What could possibly warrant a white shirt more than a Yid going around the day serving his Creator? Especially for davening -- for a meeting with the King, only the most formal will be great enough.

And the externality has an impact on the inner person, as chaza"l say, so if you might have been about to go through your day by rote, not giving enough appreciation for the mitzvot you do, then when you wake up in the morning and put on the clean, crisp white shirt you should be standing up straighter and prouder, with more energy than a casual shirt would evoke.

Just some thoughts... I never really understood the uniform white-and-blackness before.

June 15, 2007 12:54 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Good point..although If you'd see some of the stained, wrinkled shirts u see around..I dont know if you'd say the same...

June 16, 2007 11:26 PM  
Blogger Bas~Melech said...

That is not the kind of white-shirt feeling I am talking about, and you know it! :P

June 17, 2007 3:53 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

I know..I

June 17, 2007 11:43 AM  

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