Oh No, Not the Jehez Again

I already dislike shopping. It’s something I will only do when there’s a sale or I truly need something. I’m nowhere near the skinny end of the spectrum so finding things that fit me and make me comfortable is a bit hard.

So you can imagine when I found out that the majority of the nicer purchases I’ve made in the past year or so have been “magically” disappearing into a suitcase that I can’t open until I’m married. Think of it as a time capsule if you want. A time capsule of things that when worn or used make you a “married woman.”

Before I go on, allow me to explain what jehez is to those that are unfamiliar with the concept. In our culture, it’s usually a gift to the bride from her parents with items that help her get ready for this transition in her life. In fact, the word itself comes from the Arabic word for “ready.” This gift includes items chosen at the discretion of the bride and her mother, normally.

I had always thought that the jehez consisted strictly of intimate items, lingerie, robes, and lounging clothes. And I got super excited about the idea that now that I’m getting married, I can finally confidently pick these things out.

Not to go into too much details, but those weren’t things I would normally purchase, even though I’ve always liked the notion of what a good set can do to your own confidence.  One of the happier experiences has been browsing the Victoria’s Secret website, ordering things, and having them arrive even prettier in real life.

In Malta, I truly let go and shopped my heart out. It’s truly hard not to take advantage of deals and everything was just screaming “ouh pretty” at me! And I didn’t just buy lingerie, but shoes, purses, a coat, accessories and dresses. I went with the basics and came back home with laundry and a whole load of new purchases.

Everything, with the exception of one pair of pants, is now the jehez suitcase.

Not long ago, I was doing inventory on that suitcase, because apparently we needed to know what we had and what we still needed, I discovered two evening clutches that I don’t even remember buying. Along those lines, a purse that my future mother-in-law gifted me is also being preserved in its original packaging in that same suitcase. I have three new coats that still have their tags on, among other things.

Sure, it’s nice that when I finally get to open that bag, I’ll find a couple of nice things, like a present to my future self, but everything is just pushing it. I even once bought a new tube of lipstick, and it was suggested to keep it for the jehez. Because you know, Maybelline might stop manufacturing it in the next six months?

When I asked why everything I get is ending up there, I got the answer that there should be a distinction made between my everyday clothes and things that I would need for going out and visits.

I keep hearing that I need to buy something, preferably in the form of a skirt suit, to wear for when I visit my in-laws after the wedding, which is in September by the way. I keep hearing that I should have something on stand-by in case the future husband and I have to visit someone, because you know I can just see us having an agenda full of appointments and socialization.

In keeping up with the bridal theme, white is definitely preferred. Photo from Google Images.

As a wife, you should always keep up appearances and show the world what a presentable person you are- don’t forget to make your husband proud by how well you can put yourself together!  Who cares if you are successful at work and keeping your home when you look good, baby?

I wish that the message could come across that the times have changed.

When my mother got married, she was going to Saudi Arabia- and this was 25 years ago, so I can understand that she didn’t have the options that the brides of today have. I keep arguing that if I need a pair of black heels, I can just go out and buy it then instead of stocking up from now and having things go out of style.

I also keep arguing that there are things that I truly don’t need- like a skirt suit.I don’t even need one for work so why should I have to buy one now so I can be called a married woman and impress my in-laws? I’m pretty sure that as long as I look presentable, they aren’t going to comment. I have a sneaky hunch that they care more about my relationship with their son and making him happy than anything else.

I don’t have to lose my sense of self and style and age by about 30 years just because I’m wearing the ring on the left finger. Oh, and not the diamond ring, because that should only be worn on occasions to keep it nice and sparkly.

While I’m truly grateful for my parents and all the help that they’ve been providing, I wish we could focus our collective family energy on things that do matter, rather than worry about trying to impress people through clothes and items that will probably be outgrown in a couple of seasons.

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