Friday, April 24, 2009

JES Quote: Seamstress

One of the most interesting respondents so far answered the following to the question "What question(s) do you think should have been asked on the survey that were not?"
How much people pay for Simchos, to make them or to go to them.
Makeup, wigs, gowns, etc.
I'm a seamstress and I see what people buy for Kallahs, and it's terrible, the attitude that girls have about what they NEED in order to get married, and it's even more terrible how cowed the mothers look, and how they jump to do what the girl wants.
I'm only --, so I can't talk about the 'good old days' yet, but what's going on?
I bought my own clothes from when I was 18. These mothers are spending hundreds of dollars on alterations alone, and I am not the most expensive seamstress in town.
Why do people pay to have their two-year old's hair put up in pins?! Or anyone's, except the kallah's?
The whole industry is scary.
Extravagant simchas and similar answers are among the oft-mentioned responses to "biggest financial problems facing the Orthodox Jewish community today". I'm curious - do people think this is a "keeping up with the neighbors" phenomenon or do people have a skewed sense of what is necessary to make a "nice simcha" in the first place, or both? Or perhaps most of the time people really are not being extravagant, and making a simcha is just really expensive no matter how you slice it?

On a slightly different note, we did a little informal poll of friends around our age asking if they'd rather have had the wedding they did or a pretty simple wedding and some of the rest of the money spent toward a house. I think that all the guys wanted the money for a house. The girls were a mixed bag - some wanted the house, some said "I have to admit I really want the wedding", and some wanted something in between. Most felt that the wedding was a lot more for their parents' desires.