One of the many, many things I love about being in the Orthodox community is the massive amount of lending that occurs between friends, acquaintances and, well, everyone. There are these things called gemachs (an acronym for gemilus chasadim, which translates roughly to “acts of kindness”) where you can get all sorts of things, often times for free.
What kinds of gemachs can a girl find? Lot of kinds! There are furniture gemachs, wedding dress gemachs (I totally used one for me wedding dress. All I had to pay for was the cleaning. That’s it!), folding table and chair gemachs, money gemachs, even pacifier gemachs (not used ones – ewww! You take the one you need and then buy the same kind and return that new, pristine paci to the gemach).
Recently, one of my friends started a gemach for maternity clothes. Honestly, who wants to, or is even able to, buy a whole new wardrobe for each pregnancy, unless you’re fortunate enough to be pregnant at the same time of year (or obscenely wealthy)? In the Orthodox community, people tend to have lots of babies, so there are lots of maternity clothes floating around. My friend is collecting some of them and keeping them in her closet, and for a small, suggested donation, she is lending them out to people who don’t want to get a whole new wardrobe just ’cause of a pesky expanding waistline (ah, if it were only the waistline).
So, unless there is an extremely cute top on the 70% off rack at Target, it’s not going to be purchased by yours truly. I will rely on the kindnesses of my fellow Yidden and borrow, borrow, borrow. Thank goodness for friends with good taste!
It’s like shopping, but free!