Ruth Lieberman

Black Tie Affair

Men, do you own a tux?

Black tie affairs are serious, although I’m not sure who invented the idea. And ladies, tell the truth: Who hasn’t dreamed of being Cinderella at the ball, with the swishy long gown and gloves. Ok, so no gloves these days but boy did I have an interesting time getting ready for the trip we’ve just begun.

#Inauguration Day 1 En route. On our way. Sitting in a Paris lounge sipping tea and reading quietly, the calm before the proverbial storm. Let me take you back a few weeks…

A few good friends on Capitol Hill spent some time convincing me that attending the Presidential Inauguration in DC would be a fun time. From both sides of the Hill, our team was offered tickets to attend, and at first I turned them down politely – what would we do there? I don’t know how to dance. And it’s over Shabbat. And so on.. Basically the small-town girl in me had no inkling of attending the sparkling affair just for fun.

But generosity won out, and I graciously accepted the offer of seated (!) tickets to the swearing-in ceremony, as well as various receptions and events. As the invitations came into my inbox, it became quite clear that this misplaced American-Israeli did not have the right attire. Black tie? Ball gowns? Oh no.

Photo of stylish man in elegant black suit

Option: Rent a tux – some obscure Jewish rules made that impossible, so off to the store in Israel we went: husband, and daughter for a second opinion. We laughed at the bow-tie (first time!) and had fun choosing. Success. Check that off the black-tie to-do list.

But, alas, it seems men have it easy, and my search for the perfect – or any! – ball-gown proved challenging, to say the least. With Jewish modesty rules in place, most online dresses were ruled out. Gorgeous but too revealing. Next, borrow. But do I really want to look like the mother of the bride? Ugh. Last, and not least, but very last-minute (how’s on the way to the airport) a wonderful group of women in a nearby community with a lending-library of gowns came through, and now I am going to be a fairy princess.

No gloves (not in style!) but a flowing, silky long gown in gold and cream – that’s what I’ll be featuring at our inaugural ball this weekend. Stay tuned for the pics and hopefully some fun anecdotes – unless they tell me that what happens in DC, stays in DC…

They’re calling our flight – so enjoy this photo as Israelis attract the cameras at Charles de Gaulle. Not me this time:

Back at the lounge, MChaim stars in a new documentary on French TV about airports and… duty free shopping! Tune in.

Stay with us for more as we take this adventure one step closer to the new Presidency. And no, protesters not allowed. This weekend is a celebration of democracy, whether it leaves you worried or proud.


About the Author
Ruth Lieberman is an Israeli-based political consultant and licensed tour guide, combining her love of Israel with political acumen to better Israel's standing both at home and in the eyes of the world. She has consulted for political leaders in Jerusalem and in Washington, from work on election campaigns to public advocacy and events. Her tours in Israel connect Biblical history to modern realities, to highlight Israel's achievements and promote its policies. She's also added 'archaeologist' to her title, working on an advanced degree in the field.