No, this is not a beginning of a joke, it's a beginning of a nice story.
I have a homeschooling friend, Talitha Seibel. We met through our homeschool coop, which is very open and diverse, but also very respectful of people's differences and diversity. I am an unapologetic observant Jew and she is a new Catholic, as in, a Catholic by choice.
Now, what would a nice Jewish girl have in common with a Catholic lady?
Well, we have homeschooling (chuck it up to being weirdos). We have children who are no typical, and we are not shy to share that with the world. And we also have this whole dressing modestly thing. Talitha is a great seamstress and a DIY kind of person. She fearlessly walks into thrift shops, walks out with other people's trash, and, with a few snips and tucks, converts it into treasures. She has a great sense of style. But she is also into dressing modestly: old-fashioned bathing suits, skirts, and classy style.
Which brings me to the dress.
I haven't gotten any new clothes for Rosh haShana. I missed the deadline for dropping off my sheitel for its semi-annual wash and styling. I was feeling not very pretty going into this Yom Tov. On erev Rosh HaShana I opened my facebook page to see Talitha post a whole bunch of dresses for sale. And one of those caught my eye: knee-length, elbow-length, belted, and with a pretty neckline.
The reason Talitha resorts to selling dresses online has to do with her other belief: her family is gearing up to become foster parents. Talitha has four children of her own and a modest house, yet she feels strongly that she has space in her heart and in her life for those kids aching for a normal environment. The only space Talitha lacks is the actual physical space for those kids. Most of us would sigh at this point and say, oh well, not meant to be. Not Talitha; she and her husband Travis are building an extension to their house to make space for these foster kids. Talitha's crafts offset the costs of such construction. In fact, being DIY types, they have built everything themselves, a feat which I cannot begin to comprehend.
So the dress was there, and the money would be going directly to a good cause. The only question was: will this dress fit me and make my Yom Tov?
I drove over to try it on. As we pulled in front of the house, the boys asked me: not the one with the cross? I said, yes, that's the one. I also said, they know we are Jewish, and they are very respectful of that. And so it was: I came in, looked at the dress and it fit me well. No proselytizing took place, just some feather sharing among the kids.
I was elated to have a sudden Yom Tov dress. I got compliments over Rosh HaShana and I loved how it sat on me. I was thanking Talitha and her sense of both style and modesty for such a great addition to my wardrobe. In fact, I put the dress on on Sunday just to get this picture.
If you would like to see what Talitha has in store, please click on this link:
She adds new items as they become available and removes the ones sold.