Note: Below is guest post from my friend and occasional editor, known here as Lance.
During my recent trip to Europe, after much angst I decided to take a minimalist approach and pack as little as possible. But I included a nice pair of slacks for my shabbos visit to the shul nearby the center of town.
I was surprised when I discovered a group of young guys from Queens. One of the guys actually brought his suit, but it was totally wrinkled because it had obviously been squished into his suitcase for several days.
I'm all for dressing up for shabbos and holidays, yet there has to be some point of practicality to the whole deal. I mean was this guy so obsessed with maintaining the Queens kewl guy look that he absolutely had to bring his snooty dark suit?
I understand that there's a thin line between classy and casual, but when on vacation I think most sane people understand that it's ok to take a minimalist approach.
Plus, what about when in Rome do as the Romans do? Almost everyone there had a nice button down shirt and slacks.
But what irked me more was that there was also a group a girls roughly the same age from Queens there as well. For some reason or other, we all failed to connect on Saturday night together, despite the fact that everyone was headed to the same direction and that they all casually knew each other.
Why is it that even hundreds of miles away from home we still can't all get along? Am I being to impractical? Why can't the commonality of being young, Jewish, around the same age be enough of a reason to want to join up together? Isn't it more fun that way?