|Before (pic from here)|
I can say, after almost 15 years of marriage, there are very few things that own, let alone wear, that are leftovers from my pre-teshuva days. My “jungle boots” have been in my possession since I was 15. For almost 27 years they have been with me. They traveled witht me on my NCSY “teen summer tour” of Israel, when I solidified my observance, they spent two years with me when I was learning in E”Y afer high school, went to NY with me to college, lived with me before I was married, and have survived (so far) three Uber-kids. When we moved to Chicago, where I actually encountered real winters, I had to retire them, since they are not waterproof. I have yet to see any weather this season that might bring them out of retirement, but I’m hopeful.
It’s funny, but even now when I put them on, there’s a certain strut in my step, memories of a young kid who felt like he could take on the world and do with politeness. Music long forgotten plays in my head and memories of a less structured life come into play. Even the crazy smell of them has a whiff of confidence that lingers. I know it, nuts, right? We all have objects that hold significance to us. It could be your Shabbos lichter, tefillin, a sefer, a matzah cover, coffee cup, bookmark, or even a Yoda Star Wars figure (yes, I still have mine). Some items we can only hope to pass down to the next generation. I know that eventually I will throw these boots away, but for now I’m holding on to them, purely for nostalgic reasons. Also, they don’t take up too much space.
It’s so funny that you’re posting this. We were visiting my folks last weekend and I was going through my closet and found an old pair of ratty skate shoes that went through a lot with me. Putting them on was like a trip back into adolescence, totally.
I have worn the same track suit as my winter pyjamas since I was 16 years old. I’ll not tell you how many years that is but it’s not a small amount.
See, and this is something women don’t understand. They look for fashion, we look for comfort. They look for style, we look for the ventilation holes in the undershirt…
Neuroscience shows it’s not nuts at all. It’s how memory and our minds work.