Israel Stories

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Wizard

There was a time when going to work without a suit and tie wasn’t an option. You may laugh and looking back it seemed rather pointless to sit there in a tie all day, but the tie represented a formality and sobriety that shaped our work ethic. The point of wearing a tie, I suppose, was if you dress smart your frame of mind becomes more serious (unless you’re at a wedding). So the tie controlled our work ethic, mood and professionalism. I should right a book and I would except I think it’s all a load of rubbish.

I have ties that cost the same as a small flat in Ashkelon. But I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn a tie since aliyah, and never for work. If I wear a casual shirt and jeans people think I off to a wedding.

Its different here isn’t it. Wake up smell the coffee and all that.

The last minute Purim panic was upon us and the kids were discussing what to wear, except the youngest that had no say. Can’t string a sentence together, cant have an opinion, life’s tough at 20 months!

We made a list of possible choices and while I checked to see what we had in our craft boxes, my wife took the kids to buy their costumes. There was a time when a kid could hold his head up high and be proud of his homemade fancy dress, a time when cardboard and balloons were acceptable accessories, but oh no, they have to have the Versace costumes.

So my little Jewish princesses (quite literally) wore their off the peg costumes and paraded their sparkling accessories like Tiffany jewelry.

My wife had sorted out her costume and agreed to swap her doctors clothes for her lawyer friend’s robes. So I exchanged one professional for another. But it didn’t seem to help our mortgage.

What about me? I searched and searched for something suitable. And for a man that thinks shopping is a form of physical and psychological torture, I spent a lot of time browsing. Browsing by the way is one of those words that has different connotations between the sexes. To her its shopping to me it’s the net and never the twain shall meet.

I decided on a wizards outfit, quite regal, nice cape, impressive hat and with a bit of makeup (purely for the overall affect) it would be fine. Last years Darth Vader, although in my opinion timeless, lacked the X factor and spared me the ‘not StarWars Abba’ groan. Philistines!

Now the big question, would the kids disown me? It’s the subtlety of the outfit that makes it work. I mean too scary and the kids will be hiding under the table, too corny and they’ll just laugh at me, too cheap and they’ll be embarrassed and too boring and I’ll just get ignored.

Now for accessories. As I scanned (not browsed) the shelves I couldn’t help laughing as I found the perfect dressing up accessory hanging in front of me. I wasn’t that they were colorful, if anything they were quite conservative, but there on the rack was a stack of, you guessed it, ties.

So there you go. The tie is a symbol of the Diaspora and Israel, just different philosophies. I think that ties symbolize aliyah, the greatest example of going from the sublime to the downright ridiculous.


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