Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Revising Jewish History

Maybe it isn't actually history, but revising the past to fit our current zealous over chumra'd lifestyle.

To clarify: A local Bais Yakov is putting on a play (more on this in my next post) and one scene has girls from an out of town high school performing in a talent show. Okay, it's possible! But the clothes they must wear for this scene? Uniforms!

Hello- which out of town high school on which continent-certainly not North America- wore uniforms TWENTY years ago? And this gets better: the girls playing the part were told to wear white knee socks.

I graduated high school, to be vague, between 20 and 25 years ago. I wore argyle socks, patterned socks, short socks, funky colored socks. But white? Hey, even back then white knee socks were kind of nebby. White knee socks were for chassidish men.

My issue with this is that we are trying to revise history. There was nothing wrong with NOT having a uniform for a Bais Yakov school back in the 1980's.

It's like people who refer to the alter zaidy whose name was Hymie as Zaidie Chaim, when no one except for the rabbi during an Aliya called him Chaim.

You know what's a shame? The principals, teachers, and people who decide on plays and content and costumes don't usually read blogs.

Or listen to opinionated parents, either. They just label those parents as "not supporting the beliefs of the school".

My stomach roils (is that even a word?)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Smell A Festa Hock

YBS is just too funny with his yeshivish lingo, I just had to write a bit more.

So we are all hanging out in the kitchen during the family Chanuka party, and I am arguing with one sister how I will not make sandwiches for my other sister who is driving home the next day (we fall into the same patterns and argue the same things we did when we were kids), when my son strolls in and says,
"Woa, I Smell a Festa Hock goin' on over here"
My sisters don't have Yeshiva Bochur Sons- not old enough, not yeshivish, whatever. They stare at him. Then they look at me:

"What is wrong with him?"

Would YOU be able to explain this is one minute? It is a whole culture, and my sisters are way out of it. I remind them of that adorable (actually, not so cute any more since I am living with it) Abie Rottenberg song, "yeshivisha reid" about all the yeshivish language these young boys use.

It is not the same listening to the song, and then having it live (pronounced with the long i) in your house all the time.

Of course I tell YBS it is none of his business, but that's when my sister, the one I won't make lunches for, exclaims how thrilled she is that she lives out of town. HAH! Until she needs a school for HER son!

So my Festa Hocker Yeshiva Bochur Son hangs out with us in the kitchen.

And as the conversation goes on, wonder of wonders, he participates employing normal English! THERE IS HOPE! HE CAN CONVERSE WITH ADULTS!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


That was a bad word when we were kids. Kind of like Nazi and Pork. But I want to write about evolution....of this blog.
My original plan had been to vent and rant about all related shidduchim issues, since I have "daughters in the Parsha" (what a hideous expression. Most of the daughters mentioned in the parshios are infamous or have a tragic end). But I got rid of all my previous blog entries, because
1. I think they were boring
2. No one read them, or if they did, no one commented on them.

I decided to change direction. Then I realized, I can really write about whatever I want!
The name of the blog is about how we identify ourselves. Right now shidduchim is a big part of my life. But all the other things I write about? Also real life. So for all of you burning with curiosity and the completely original name for my blog, here it is.
Now on to more fascinating conversations with YBS.

He lost his phone charger, and wants his sister to give him her old phone (if my kids spoke like the way I write I would throttle them. he? she? it? who are we talking about?) His sister doesn't want him to have it, and is trying to negotiate. Throughout this escalating yelling match, as I balabustishly stand there frying donuts for the oilam , YBS says:

YBS: "You are an achzor. This is mamosh Achzorius. Plain and simple"
Daughter: "You mean an achzorit. Like the epiteme of something. Like a Gazlan, the ultimate thief."


YBS: "whatever, you're mamesh living the midah"
Me:"is this some new yeshivish midah I've missed in all the years of signing Midos charts and doing Midos Alerts and attending performances about Midos?"
YBS and Daughter: "it means CRUELTY"

Okay, one of my kids just accused the other of extreme cruelty. Because she won't give him her old phone and he won't buy a new charger.

another happy evening in the Daughters in the Parsha household. Happy Chanuka!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

$180 mil is sick and what kind of a dumb name is Teixeira, anyway?

There is jealousy and then there is increduilty and then there is mind boggling jaw dropping breath stopping shock.

This is beyond even that.

I enjoy an occasional baseball game at the stadium.
I believe baseball is okay for frum yeshiva boys.
I think other people can do what they want with their money.
I think some people have a specialized, incredible talent, and they do so much for a large portion of the population. Like transplant baboon hearts in monkeys, or create fruit computers.

I do not get paying some guy with an idiotic name (yes, I think that is important) one hundred and eighty million dollars to PLAY (For gosh sake we don't even pretend to call it work!) for four, maybe 5 or 6 with extra innings, hours a day, maybe five days a week, for maybe six months.


aren't these owners embarrassed? Like when some agent is negotiating a salary and they say a number like this, does anyone at the table flinch?

Is this like some big Emperor's New Clothes story, and one day some owner is going to get up before the seventh inning stretch and scream to the bleachers

"I could be paying off all the heads of every union that is holding our senate hostage and still have leftover money to take my family to a hotel for Pesach!" everyone would probably cheer him even though he made no sense because (tra la la) when your rich they think you really know"

but really, someone, please, enlighten me as to how the numbers got this high for something which is a sport and entertainment.

Interesting thought on chanuka, when we talk about triumph over the Greeks who revered the physical prowess and strength of the human body...

Eight nights, Eight latkes? Or is that 64?

So Yeshiva Bochur Son decided that every night of chanuka he has to eat as many latkes as that night. According to the number. Conversation:

YBS: " Hey, Ma, I don't smell a certain Matzav going on in the kitchen"
ME: "and in real life English that translates to..."
YBS: "What?! No latkes? It's the first night! I think L'choira you're shterring my oineg chanuka"
ME: "You want 'em, you make 'em. I just got my sheitel done and this shirt is dry clean only. Do you know how badly everything smells like rancid oil when you stand in front of a frying pan? I nearly gag when I have to carpool after chanuka suppers and the car fills up with kids who reek like fried garlic and fried oil and fried fries and other smelly greasy foods. Ugh, my stomach is roiling and heaving and..."

* note * this is why I blog. Who can have a conversation with someone who talks like this? four words??

YBS: "K, I am doin' it. Where's the grinding zach?"
ME: "In the storage zach called a CABINET"

I must admit he did a great job, putting out all the ingredients first, following the recipe in the Kosher Pallate, only stopping to shout

YBS:" I am parched! Any mashkeh around here?"

Of course my newly cleaned kitchen reeked like fried latkes, but everyone was happy. And happy kids make happy Moms.

So tonight, night 3, he comes in:
YBS: "the mitzva of oil is zicher not only in salad, Ma, we gotta have Latkes. And it is the third night, so I need to eat three. And you didn't make any last night, so I need two more. Lemaisa you should grada thank me for making supper"

I did. They smelled awful and everyone was happy.

Tomorrow I will make donuts. That has a different smell. (Not really, I just don't like potatoes)

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Have A Crazy Week!

Okay, I got issues with this crazy week descriptor. People are busy. But crazy? Like,
driving kids to music lessons
driving kids to swimming lessons
driving kids to art lessons
driving kids to chesed,
driving kids to gymnastics, aerobics, karate, choir practice, dance practice, practice for practice?
Like that kind of crazy?
or like,
I am cooking for people sitting shiva
I am cooking for people who had babies
I am cooking for this at risk yeshiva with 4 boys I do it every week it's no big deal,
I am cooking for someone laid up with an illness/bad pregnancy/bad mood?

Or crazy, like,
I have to go to the shoemaker to pickup/drop off seven pairs of shabbos shoes and killer heel boots,
I have to go to the cleaners to pickup/drop off my six teenage yeshiva bochurs' shirts and suits, and my daughters' dresses which we had lengthened/shortened,
I have to pick up paper goods for the simcha I am making
I have to pick up props for the simcha I am making,
I have to pick up the people from the airport who are coming in for the simcha I am making something for,
I have to pick up my children from all the above places I drove them to,
I have to go to the city to pick up something I ordered,
I have to go to Woodbury Commons to return something I bought,
I have to go to Brooklyn to exchange something I bought/got (and you know Brooklyn, 24 hours to exchange or it's yours forever)

or crazy like,
I am home with three sick kids,
I am home with one sick teenager,
I am home with a sick spouse which is worse than all the sick teens and kids of the world combined,
I am home waiting for my cleaning woman,
I am home waiting for my repair man.
I am home waiting for an estimate,
I am home because no one plowed my driveway and I have a flat (Scratch that one, it implies sitting around uselessly and drinking tea, relaxing, a big no-no)

or crazy, like,
I have to go run to the mall to get a scarf,
I have to go run to the further out mall to get a pair of boots I have a coupon for and the local store doesn't have,
I have to go run to the mall in another state to get the linen I've been watching that's on sale now,
I have to go run to the mall over the bridge to get the coat my sister on the West Coast needs,

okay. We make choices, called getting married, having a family, taking care of them, being involved in community affairs. That ain't crazy, ladies, THAT IS LIFE.

Which leads to my related next rant:
"I just had my inlaws for shabbos, and my married daughter."
So? -But we don't say the word "so?" we say- "Oy, I know what you mean. I just had my in laws and my married daughter and my married son with the new baby. A bit of a screamer. But a cutie."
So? "I just had my in laws, my two married kids, and my nephew from Israel with his three vilta chaya boys, you know those Israeli cheder kids, zero derech eretz."

Okay, so now, my inlaws and married daughter are no work whatsoever, because ya'll just told me how that was nothing compared to your horrible houseguests!(and I liked having them over, but I am now too scared to say that, who knows how you will one up that comment).

Or how about this one:
"I just packed up my three kids for overnight camp. Ma-jor shopping! But thankfully, over."
"I just packed up my five kids for overnight camp"
"I just packed up my five kids for overnight camp for the whole summer, plus my two nephews who live in Florida and came here a week before camp started because their parents had a Simcha in Belgium"
"WOW! you guys are amazing! I only had to pack up four kids and one nephew, but he was such a help since he has been here since the bar mitzva we made two weeks ago for 300 hundred people. I am so thankful I am going to Israel now for five weeks. Can't wait to see my married daughter and the triplets for whom I am bringing some clothes and furniture I got on sale on line so I only had to run to a mall/Woodbury/another state/another continent once to get her the stuff she needed. You are all such inspiring friends!"

I am a bad friend?

I offer, volunteer, take care of my kids, do what I have to do. We are all doing it. Does that make it less difficult or time consuming or overwhelming? Why can't we just say,
"wow. you must be zonked. and you must feel accomplished. great for you. do your kids appreciate what you do? do YOU appreciate yourself and how much you get done?"

Less pontificating, Less one upping, More compliments, More sympathy (even if youknow you can do more and do it quicker and more efficiently)

I just have this vision of women with flying wigs and little puffs of smoke in a trail behind them as they dash in and out of cars and stores and schools and malls and simchas halls and grocery stores. Gasping for breath and grabbing bread ends and gulping water and zooming around their world.

Sit on the couch. Drink some tea. Nibble leftover shabbos nash (Shabbos=less calories).
Have a day where you go to work, do some errands, talk to the kids, talk to your mom, cook supper, eat and shmooze with the family, and go to bed.

I hope you feel accomplished, you should.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm living in my blog

My daughter told me she won't read my blog because everything I write about she experiences or is a part of:
davening for the first time at Tzemach Tzedeck
stupid questions women ask in shiurim
my use of the word bling
me complaining about the way everyone drives through red lights

I guess there is nothing interesting in reading your mother's rants when you were sitting next to her as she was screaming.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

no refunds even if we reject you

This post is in response to a comment about seminaries on another blog...

Do you think it is fair that seminaries that dump you and decide you are not the material they are looking for get to keep your application fee?

I don't

And all of us parents who are applying to many seminaries and can barely afford it (another post another day)but HAVE to send our girls to Israel, could better use that money for the seminary tuition. Or all the other myriad expenses we have with our children (B'H)

Less yeshivish weddings are WAY more fun and Bais Yaakov concerts should allow for more creative dancing

It's not even that I had fun, cuz I am too much older than the young wigglers to actually do what they do. But the weddings with BY girls? Dull dancing. Hey! It's separate dancing, with the Berlin Wall (pre removal) protecting any evil roaming eye from looking at them, and they still can't dance naturally and without abandon!

The Stern/Touro Manhattan chevra love shrieking as they dance. Every time another girl goes in the middle to swing with the bride, there is a new round of blood curdling screams of thrilledness.

And whatever happened to the old custom of lifting up the bride and groom to swing a napkin at eachother over the mechitza?

Okay, one wedding there was a girl wearing killer heels that I kid you not, a millimeter higher and it would have tipped her over flat on her face. PLUS she really should have worn control top pantyhose. I mean, I really don't stare, and try not to pass judgement, but hey, if you are not going to wear a slip, think of how the dress might (or might not) fit you.

Ever see the dances at the girls concerts? Like, the Bais Yakov concerts? They all do the exact same moves every single year. Jerky, ungraceful, boring moves. Maybe they should go to a Y.U. wedding and watch how the girls dance.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bling! Bling!

I like using that word. It sounds nicer than sparkly, which I have been using for years.

My daughters say I sound like an over 40 woman trying to be hip.

which I am. Hip. VERY hippy. it goes with being over 40.