Minisode: Best Foot Forward for 2018

Hey listeners, happy new year!  We know it’s been a while since our last episode and before we put out a new one later this week we just thought we’d touch base and let y’all know how we’re doing. For me, 2017 was a super productive year full of meaningful work. Watching Miss Mitzvah come to fruition as a real-life exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Montreal  and through this podcast have been huge.

I’ve spent almost two years now collecting objects and stories from young women across North America. Making new friends, sharing intimate moments, and learning about them- and myself- throughout the process. I’ve collaborated with museum professionals, storytellers, and my amazing producer Sophia, and I’ve put my heart and my ideas out into the world on a larger scale than I could have ever imagined. I can’t tell you how much all of your support has meant throughout this process.

As you might imagine, Episode 2, “ Boys Behaving Badly” was really really tough to make. This was a conversation we didn’t just want to have, Sophia and I felt like we needed to have this conversation and we really hope we did it justice.

My grandmother's shoes (left), as part of the Miss Mitzvah exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Montreal. 

My grandmother's shoes (left), as part of the Miss Mitzvah exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Montreal. 

On a personal level, the week we recorded Episode 2 was one of the hardest weeks for me, that I’ve had since starting this project. In order to get down to the two  interviews with young men  featured on the show we had to speak to a LOT of dudes- so this meant I spent all week speaking with my closest guys friends, speaking about sexual harassment, assault, and all the shitty things they’ve thought, said, and done. By Sunday, when we did Saul’s interview, I was really bogged down with the emotional labor of it all, and feeling really frustrated and disheartened by my own relationships. Then I got the call. A pair of my grandmother’s shoes which were on view at the museum were stolen.

The silver strappy sandals I’d included as part of the exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Montreal were some of the first high heels I ever owned. My grandmother gave them to me while she was still alive. Worn from years of wear already, the shiny crisscrossed silver material was faded and  soft, showing hints of the fleshy original leather underneath. The diamond shaped mesh inserts squeezed my toes, the heel crumbling and still, I wore them to my own Bat Mitzvah, and countless other formal affairs moving forward. I included these shoes in the exhibition as an homage to my grandmother, assuming that the only person who’d placed any value on them was me. With this entire project, I’ve put myself out there in a way I’d have never felt comfortable with before, I’ve been vulnerable, and tried to give you, my audience, my most honest, authentic self. Overall, the reception and support has been amazing. But when this happened, I felt violated and de-valued. Why should I keep doing the work if people don’t respect it?

We did everything we could, and still, the shoes were never recovered. But, as stolen shoes walk away, the show must go on. After a few weeks cooling down, mourning my shoes, reflecting on these tough conversations, and taking a much needed break for the holidays, I’m here, trying yet again, to give my all. After tackling some tough topics, we’ll be back later this week something a bit lighter- our camp episode. So roll over those Sofee shorts, don your finest tie die, and harken back to times riddled with bugbites, friendship bracelets, and  awkward first kisses away from the prying eyes of parents back home.

We’ve got lots of exciting surprises for all of you in 2018, so definitely stay tuned.