Andrea Askowitz

Author & Teacher

One of these Things…

My friend, Lauren Beiley, invited me to a Jewish Federation symposium called Women with Muscle. I didn’t really want to give up my morning (because I’m writing a book and I need my mornings!) and so I asked her if she really needed me there to fill up space and if so, I said I’d do it. She said she didn’t need me, but that it might be enlightening. Lauren fills space at my events all the time and I could use some enlightening, so I went.

I dressed up because I know what the Jewish women of Miami are like. I grew up with them. They are fancy. I walked into the private house in Pinecrest in my kick-ass jeans and a tight button down shirt that makes me feel sexy and went straight for the food. It was breakfast time and they had fruit salad and bagels and rugalah. I saw Lauren. She came over, we hugged, she thanked me for coming. I said, “Why am I the only one eating?”

She said, “These are Jewish women. I told them not to bother with food.”

I sat next to a girl I played tennis with in high school. Hadn’t seen her in years. I stared at her heals. Three inches, maybe two and a half. She had nice feet and bony ankles.

I crossed my legs and noticed you could see the monkey on my sock peeking out under the bottom of my jeans. Tashi gave me these socks–blue and green stripes with a red heal and a monkey face on the top of the foot. I realized my socks matched the stuffed monkey on my keychain, which I held in my hand because I don’t like to wear a purse. Other women wore jeans, but not many. Everyone wore a purse.

Most were wearing silky blouses or dresses and high healed, strappy sandals.  And lots of make up.  I put on eye liner and mascara this morning, but somehow I still felt like I often did growing up, especially amongst this same crowd, like an oddball.

The symposium was enlightening and really, at 41, I don’t care who wears what or who eats rugulah. But, does everyone feel like the kitty in bunny ears, or just me?