Thursday, December 12, 2013

Have Rachmunus - For the right person

No one ever wants to fire an employee. Especially if he is the sole bread winner of his family.  Especially if he/she is a really nice person, well meaning, and trying hard.

But a business has to function, make profits, and move ahead.

And in school, children need to learn. Period.

Every teacher needs to have that first job, and needs someone who believes they have the potential to inspire children and become a great educator.  Some schools only hire young teachers after they've proven themselves as assistants or substitutes.  Some schools take a chance, and get very lucky - the teacher or rebbi who exudes enthusiasm,  creativity, excitement, and thought out lesson planning proves to be a dynamic educator.

And even mediocre can be, ok.  If willing to accept suggestions, implement new ideas, and most important, asks for help when necessary.

But it is time for schools to choose the children over the teacher when it comes to really ineffective, poorly trained, unorganzied teachers.  I am sure one on one they would be good.  Perhaps small groups.  Very specific subjects.  But if most of the parents are  unhappy, most of the kids are not learning, no control going on in class, the time has come to decide the needs of these students overrides the needs of parnossa for the teacher.

(disclaimer: this is in reference to a conversation I had today with a parent, not from any school I work in or have a personal connection to)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Picture or No Picture?

I've been sending DIP3's shidduch profile to some people and friends.

Yes she Is In The Parsha!!

Some have asked for a picture:
a Shadchan who wants it to remember her, because he spoke to a lot of girls in one night.  I was hoping her charm and conversational abilites (combined with my presence, probably one of 2 mothers who showed up) would be enough.  I actually wanted to lean over and draw some stars, checks, and smiley faces next to his scribbled notes about her, so he would later remember, AH! This one was remarkable!

A shadchan who has books of boys and girls - blue for boys and pink for girls! - and needed a picture to remember who she was.  And.... wants to be able to forward it to mothers who ask for a picture. With my daughter's permission (she doesn't  mind).

an old acquaintance whom I don't keep up with and rarely see.  Who has no idea who my children are.  Who would like to see what she looks like so she can say, "...DIP3 is blonde, blue eyed, tall..." etc.  * (details changed to protect her privacy).

My sister said her husband will ask for a picture of the mother when asked for a picture of their daughter.  Since she is the one asking for the picture, usually.  Not the boy.  I'm pretty sure I blogged about this years ago, regarding DIP1.

I sent a pic from DIP1's wedding.  with, of course, a chatty note how "her makeup and hair don't always look this way  :)  :)  but I thought she looked great in it".

so what do you think about the pictures?
1- is it just the mothers, checking up that their Paul Newman gets the beauty he deserves?
2- are the shadchans really not sharing the pics with others?
3- is a professional picture from a wedding "too fancy", or do you agree (as I thought) why not send the best picture possible?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'll Assume They are Ignorant....

though if you are old enough to get married, and old enough to propose, learn some Halachos.

Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I am humbled.

I've complained in the past about the pictures that people post.  I may be romantic at heart, but I find it tasteless that people wish to share with everyone their most private moments.  You want to propose with petals and flowers and tea lights and all that, go ahead! But you need your buddies there to film it? So there will be one event of your life not captured on film and sent out to everyone!
Please don't tell me it's a generational thing.  Just because you are the Instagram generation doesn't mean you should lose all sense of privacy.

And I've also complained about the boys who are proposing on one knee.  Call me a Monsey Chareidinik (but really, please don't!) but that is just so....goyish.  I'm sorry.  Please.  Do not go On Bended Knee.

And I've been somewhat irked that the proposal must come with a choice of diamond bracelet.  OK, so not everyone wants to just pop the question, get an answer, and that's it.  They want (amend that: the girls expect) a gift.  Say it with flowers!

But this newest thing I noticed on onlysimchas, is proposing with ring! Which to begin with really makes sense.  But I hope hope hope these new fiances are not putting it on or even handing it to the girl with the proposal - because as far as I know, kiddushin is with a ring. And you are then in theory, married.  So normally you don't give the engagement ring directly to the girl.

Do you young people know that?? Or in the onlysimchas pictures with the girls flashing their rings, are the friends snappping the pics also the one who was the go between?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black Friday Destroys American Traditions

Macy's black Friday will now begin on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, at 8 p.m.

I doubt they would do this if they thought only a handful of people would show up.

Besides the fact that it sadly means some employees have no family to join for dinner, it means many many Americans must be leaving the food-family tradition to go shopping.

How terribly sad.  Traditions are so important.  Another American family-one on one time- interpersonal relationship- activity gone down the tubes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Yevonim Are Winning

In very recent times,  the DIP father has been using an expression, much to the exasperation of some of our children.  And it is now, I think, more relavant than ever.

The Yevonim are Winning.  Or, The Yevonim Have Won.

Normally I think I would have even put an exclamation point after this statement (The Yevonim Are Winning!!) , to show a lightness, a brevity, a humorous side.  But I can't.  I'm too disturbed.

My husband began using this term when he feels our children are too entwined, enthusiastic, or involved in pursuits he feels are very....Yevanim-like.  Mainly, I believe, he means sports.  He was never a huge fan type.  He followed, he cheered, he was disappointed  (mainly disappointed. That's what happens to Oriole fans).  But he was never obsessed with it.  And never ever had or has made judgements about other people who Really Love The Game.  Whatever The Game may be.  But for our children, it has saddened him to sometimes see too much involvement and enthusiasm...Okay, I'll call it obsession, time wasting, whatever......with organized sports, or popular trends.   And his reference to the Yevanim was clearly that- The ancient Greeks who glorified the beauty of physical prowess and ability, the antithesis to some of our Torah ideals.  So if the kids go on and on about something in sports, or something very new and popular in the American culture, that was discussed just a little too long and often at the Shabbos table, he will say (with a cheeful yet somewhat disappointed and sad look) "Oy! The Yevanim are WINNING!!".

But today I had a conversation at the mechanic with Luke, who converted for his wife.  He told me he's having the Chanuka Bush again, but it's going up a lot earlier, on Thanksgiving.  So he can have Chanuka, Thanksgiving, and early Xmas all at once.  Luke is not religious (actually not really jewish), so I understood his enthusiasm for all the holidays in one, the Menurkey, Thanksgivukkah, Chanaving, etc.

I am not sure why so many frum people are embracing this coinciding of Chanuka and Thanksgiving. 
Really,  who cares??
I don't have a problem with frum people celebrating Thanksgiving, either by eating a traditional turkey/stuffing/cranberry/pie dinner, watching whatever football game is on, visiting with family.

But why are so many frum people going on and on about this?? and why are they proudly talking about how they are cooking food entwining these two themes? How can they? One is our sacred, holy, spiritual celebration of redemption, and Hashem's miracles!  The other is a secular holiday!

  I am so sad that so many, many people don't see that if we can compare and combine our beautiful holiday with another holiday (even IF it doesn't have religious overtones), then the Yevanim have definitely won. 

Please don't be a lurker. Let this post be the one you respond to.


How do you define loyalty?

Is it too lofty an ideal to use it for a basic concept?

There are many grocery stores here in Monsey.  Over the past few years they have expanded and spread out.  A few years ago, one store became a mega kosher grocery store. A candy isle twice the length of my house. A wall of dips and shmears** that dazzle the eyes.  A huge selection of meats and poultry, sometimes just cut up 6 different ways. Such as cutlets: cut thin, in strips, in chunks, in little stir fry strips, on skewers, spiced, breaded, etc.  Good for them that they can be so clever with their marketing  (or shame on us cooks that we'd pay extra per lb. to have a chicken cutlet cut into little strips.  Really, how much work is that??)

I do believe that the mega grocery store took away some business from other stores.  And even more than groceries, when the  large stores start to sell non-grocery items  (and I don't mean chanuka menorahs or paper goods), like sandwich makers, small electronic appliances, a huge selection of swimming gear, it has to have an effect on the other hardware/appliance stores.

Recently another new, modern grocery store opened.  And there is no question, IMHO, that it has severely affected the other grocery stores.  Places which had been packed on a Wednesday or Thursday are now less so.  Parking spaces abound.  Lines are shorter.

I admit, I have gone into the new store.  It is nice!  Actually, not my taste exactly, too dark, and it smells like sushi.  But it's modern, has an energy to it, and some clever shticky things, like zoom checkout and purple fingerling potatoes. 

Does the concept of Hasogas Hagvul have an application here? I don't know.

But I think loyalty does.  I think I should still shop at the grocery store near my home, Wesley Kosher.  I love them.  Their prices are ok, their meats a very reliable hechsher, and tasty, and they pretty much always have what I am looking for.  Staff that are helpful, and really know me.  Back when I was still using checks to pay for groceries, Luis would look at my check and say, "Hey, your husband was in here before!"

And they are undergoing some major cosmetic changes.  I am sad that they must do so to stay competitive, and that locals really need to have their fruit display look different, or their meat and chicken pre-cut and seasoned.  I wish they would know that there are many of us here in the extended Monsey community who have always liked their store the way it is. Familiar.
 But such is change. And competition.

And here at DIP, I think we shall remain loyal.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Bring Back the Title of Mr.

I'm back to complain.

I'm so disgusted. with things in our frum world.

the title of Mr. has become dishonorable, disgraceful, low, pick your adjective

Do not reference a Gvir, an Askan, as Rav _____ if they are not a Rabbi.

They are important, very important, to our frum world!

There is no disgrace in being a Mr. who supports Torah, organizations, families, tzedakas.

But please!  JUST WRITE MR. 

you take away the distinction between their importance in our world, and the importance of our bonafide Rabbonim, who are our spiritual guides.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hypersensitive, or just looking to make a buck?

Um, Mr. Delgado? Get over it.
She was foolish, she made a mistake, and your girlfriend didn't burn to death.

talk shows, suing, we can see where this will go.

You got the help you needed, 911 dispatched  the help immediately, the dispatcher made an error which besides hurting your feelings did no damage whatsoever.

I wonder about people like this.  Do they ever watch videos in which people are horribly embarrassed? Do they ever look at scenes at crimes? Do they care then, when someone's privacy is exposed, errors show them to be fools, etc?

Like the Michael Jackson Family Grab Fund.  Now that the cash cow is dead, whom can we milk or blame or squeeze money out of???

Religious Disclaimers, or Look, I Really Am Very Very Frum!!

"he wanted to play tennis, so we got him a Male Instructor"

"she was desperate for a coffee, so she ran into the nearest dunkin donuts and got an unflavored black coffee"

"oh, that's where your son is? My son's rebbeim really wanted him to go there to Reb Avraham Yeshaya, but he chose someplace else. B'H, though, he's in the top shiur there. At the Mir."

"It was a yummy dessert! I don't bother with the whip, too many calories, just my washed-before-shabbos-hulled, strawberries,....."

"He's a very very ehrlicha boy, maybe you've heard of his great uncle, the Rosh Yeshiva of_____? Anyway, he found a good job, is responsible about parnoso, totally not bummy or anything...."

I think we all talk too much.

Is Yiddish So Holy?

Some schools insist on it, claiming it is the language of the alta heim, the gedolim, the real Torah world.  It is pure, heilig, separates us from the dangerous secular world.

You think Weberman spoke to his victims in English? Or Yiddish?

It's not about the language. It's about how you act

Monday, July 8, 2013

Women of the Wall

I think if everyone had ignored them, or let them continue to do what they've been doing for years,  we all would have been better off.

And we wouldn't have had to hear about it on CBS news.

What a shame.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th

As a religious Jewish American: what does July 4th mean to you?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

call me a whining old lady but....

it's incredibly depressing to write things and have no comments at all.

argue with me! tell me I'm an opinionated, awful, bitter, terrible person!
tell me you love my writing style!
or just check in so I know that those few commenters still read this!

I've actually posted some comments on other blogs just to get some traffic over here!

I guess it's like DIP3 tells me, I'm really stuck in the 80's: opinion, style, even ability to attract blog readers.


poor me

I feel so bad for Paula Deen

I've never actually eaten anything produced by Paula Deen (uh, it's not kosher) and I've never been to her restaurant, bought her housewares, or followed her show, career, magazine, etc.    Though I have watched her Youtube clip of her making classic southern macaroni and cheese. Just watching it will freeze your arteries.  Globs and globs of cheese and butter, and another heap o' cheese and more bubbling cheese....

And she's from the south and clearly doesn't have a racially diverse following, which is allowed.  But I do not get the total shunning, vilification, character assassination of this woman.  Her endorsements are dropping her faster than you'd drop a fresh deep fried ball of mozarella.


Because she used racial slurs 20, 30, years ago? Or even if she used them 10 years ago? Or 6 months ago?  It wasn't during a conversation with someone, it wasn't while she was being interviewed by Matt Lauer or Oprah or Regis or Kathy or NPR. There isn't an outraged individual the day after, talking and complaining loudly to the press. So why this destroying of the woman and her career?

I'm not in favor at all of racial slurs. They are hurtful, harmful, create barriers, offend people, divide people, etc.

But hasn't Paula Deen earned something for all the companies she has associated her name with?
Hasn't she really been the Queen of Southern (unhealthy) Cooking?

There seems to be no sense of loyalty, and worse, almost no outspoken verbal support! Why not?

It's somewhat frightening to see how tenuous some well known persona's popularity can be.   It's scary to think that the media and the press and even the American population can like someone so much and then....just drop them.  Just like that.

opinions, anyone?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Routines...And Rituals....Not So Different From Theirs....

I mean, of course ours are different. From a Torah, religious, spiritual perspective.  Of course.

But I mean the idea of routines, rituals, etc.

For example,  the non jewish world has a LOT of rituals and things-everyone-does when making a wedding. The rehearsal dinners, the parties, the planning of the parties, who's in charge of what, preparing their vows, who's in charge of holding the ring, the order of who walks down, etc. etc.

So some of the things we do which seem so "when did it become a ritual it's cuz everyone does it" is really just the way a society functions.

A number of years ago I posted the ritual of the Giving Out The Black & Whites On The Day Of Hanachas Tefilin.  That was a  major important milestone ritual for bar mitzva boys in Monsey.

Or so I thought. Now my sister in the Midwest told me she had to do it for her son, too.  Who knew?!?

Here's another one. Maybe not a ritual, more like a rite-of-passage.

YBS1 is in the Mir in Israel and wants to get into the dorm.
So he has to be at the yeshiva 7:00 a.m. Shacharis for 4 months, in order to gain entry.  It was a rule that made sense, but I didn't realize it's A Thing.

"Aaahhh, he wants to get into the dorm, yeah?! 7 a.m. shacharis for four months steady, no? Woo, ganz choshuv, ganz choshuv"

"So, eh, I ah, hear, your son, he wants to get into the dorm, l'maisa 4 months 7 a.m. shacharis, not so poshut, he must really want it, good for him, good for him!"

"So how's YBS doin' over dere, in holy Yerushalayim, in the Mir? Good? Good! He's in a dira, he's in the dorm, what's the situation over there? Oh, he wants to be in the dorm? It's a goal? Good, good to have goals, gotta have goals.  So, he can get up early every day for four months and make it to the 7:00 a.m. shacharis?! Wow, I didn't know he was such a shacharis guy. Good for him!"

Anyway, I just spoke to him.  He's not doing it.  7:00 a.m. was too early, and all the guys in that dorm are leaving after succos while he's staying, and he'd be with some "random israelis" which wouldn't L'maisa be such a gevaldiga shidduch for him, so , he's back to later shacharis at the shteebs.  (all my words, not his)

But it was a great four months of conversation

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pressure, or what if I don't have a B.A. in 18 months?

Dip 3 is back from Israel for one year.
She wanted to go to Touro, and did.  She felt an all girls/jewish school was the best environment for a good Bais Yakov girl, especially after the spiritual highs and gains of a year in our holy city of Jerusalem.

And it worked, for one year.  But they don't really have the right classes for her degree, so she decided to switch to a CUNY school.

It is likely her schooling will take another 18 months - 2 years (four semesters, maybe less if she can squeeze in summers and 21 credits per semester).

She feels pressure.  People's comments such as, "WHEN are you going to be finished???? And that's ONLY with a BACHELORS DEGREE?????"

Yes, she would like to marry a boy who will learn for a short while.  Yes, she will work to support. Yes, she knows that she might still be in school and he'll be in Yeshiva and they will need financial help (actually, help denotes adding to. She will need full support) to live. And she (and we) are ok with that.  But the world seems to think you are slacking off or unfocused or just something WRONG if you don't do a BA in one year and an MS or MA in another 18 months.

Why are we pressuring our girls so much?
This isn't a complaint post about the merits/disadvantages of a jewish organized college program.
  I will admit I had my years of skepticism, but then I realized that it's not about the program, it's about the qualifications and talents and abilities of the girls attending.  You can  be a great therapist or a lousy teacher regardless of what school/program  you attend. 

So when you call me about a shidduch for my daughter, she hopes to get a dual degree in online marketing/computer programming. And that program is not available through ITT, Reizel Reit, Bulka, Sara Schneirer, Florida University, Charter Oak.

And she enjoys going to classes.  The online classes program isn't a match for everyone.
I hope a perspective spouse will understand that.

Monday, June 10, 2013

You're Getting a degree in Education? Or Speech? Really?

Without giving away too much of my personal information, I have been in the field of Special Education for almost.... for a long, long time.

(big blank where I deleted my opinion of myself)

Which is why I think I am somewhat qualified to comment here.

I think too many girls are going into Speech or Special Education who do not have certain qualities essential for those fields.

in no particular order:

limited English vocabulary
limited expressive vocabulary
poor eye contact
dull personalities
lack of exposure to a variety of reading genres and materials
limited knowledge of basic facts (called fund of knowledge)

It worries me.  You cannot go into special ed because you want to make a lot of money. It is Chinuch. Unless you will move up the chain in the public school system, you're income will be limited.

You cannot go into a field like this, planning to work one-on-one privately without mentors or classroom experience or peer review.

If you somewhat mumble, are not articulate, and have weak or bland facial expressions, you may not be the best person for this chosen field.

Just because you want a job around people (vs. accounting, computers, graphics, which involve computers or numbers) doesn't mean you are cut out to diagnose, remediate, motivate, teach, inspire, etc.

You don't have to have gone to Camp Simcha, been a Bnos Leader, camp head counselor, etc., to be good at this. But you have to have shown some aptitude somewhere to someone.

Perhaps an aptitude test which indicates strengths and weaknesses.

I'd love to be proven wrong, in years to come.

Am I on target, or do ya'll think I'm a whining teaching has-been who feels threatens by youngsters??
My daughter called me after I dropped her off at home. From the house phone.

"I think I left my phone in the car, can you call it and see if it's in the back seat?"
"Sure," I answered. "I'll let you know, or I'll bring it in."

I called her phone, and sure 'nuff, there it was, in the back seat, ringing away.

So I sent her a text saying "It's in the car"

"From My Young Israel Days...."

I've joined a gym!
Yay!  Actually, ouch, big time. But that's not the main point, here (though I LOVE the zumba class!)

The music is....current. popular. loud. and goyish.

Which really doesn't bother me, just the loudness does.  It's actually funny,somewhat, or very sad (to me) that now I know a lot of the tunes playing in stores, malls, and public places. 

But every so often one of the "older" instructors plays oldies music, or tunes I remember from my teen and early 20's years.  And I hum along. If it's really loud, I actually sing along! No embarrassed teenaged children hanging around me to roll their eyes or snort!

In today's cardio sculpt class, a song I remember from eons ago came on, and I was humming to the beat. Sort of a distraction, from focusing on the pain of lifting weights.  And the woman next to me said, "I remember this, too! From my Young Israel days!"

I wasn't sure what to answer her. I never went to a Young Israel shul.  I went to a Bais Yakov school.   A lot of us listened to English music.  It really wasn't such a big deal. Or if it was, no one in our lives told us so.  I really love music, and singing, and singing along with music.  And I'll never get ABBA or The Mammas and the Poppas or anything sung by Julie Andrews out of my head. 

But I'm closer to .... well, over 40, and I don't really care if someone knows why I know the songs with all the lyrics, or why I'm humming along.  Who really cares if it's because we grew up differently than we are now?! 

Should I have told her, "Oh! It's from my Washington Heights days"?  What does that mean? Where I lived had nothing to do with it, because there were girls in my class who didn't listen to English music.

I think we are just so uncomfortable with what we may have been like when we were younger, or what we did, that even as we approach lower middle age, we are still apologizing and trying to explain why we do something.

Or do I have it all wrong?  I think I've grown spiritually over the past 30 years, but am I wrong?

I had an issue with a long time friend who told me (also at the gym!) "my little thing to become frummer was wearing pantyhose with my short socks.  If I don't wear a long skirt, and part of my leg is showing, I think it's right to cover it with hose. That's just my way of becoming a little bit frummer."


Monday, June 3, 2013

Just Checking In

Does anyone check this blog to see if I've written something?

I kind of stopped because I received almost no comments.

so just let me know, and I'll start observing and pontificating again

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's Starvation Time!!

Yes, that time of year that all mothers look forward to!

Emptying out the freezer!

Oh! The dinner possibilites!

I picked up DIP3 from the bus after her very long day at school in the city.  She flopped into the passenger seat, and before the door was securely locked, she asked me, "Please tell there is a good supper waiting at home - I am STARVING!"

"Well," I said, too brightly and somewhat hesitantly...

She picked up on that in one second and whipped her head around very fast.


"Purim is in one week and this year I decided  not to wait until two weeks before Pesach to empty the freezer, and  have to throw out all those zip lock bags and disintegrating foil lumps from the freezer. We are starting to eat Freezer Food early!"

I received an Epic Groan and even heard a supportive Stomach Rumble to go with it. 

But it's not so bad.

At least I am not serving her something made from the 55 frozen Esrogim from last year (2011) that her father still has in the freezer for his Esrog Infused Vodka.

Entitlement Gone Wild

Well, not sure if it's entitlement, or just I -think-so-much -of-myself-and-my-kids-I -don't-realize -how -awful-this-sounds  Syndrome.

Here it is:  Mai'sa Shehaya!

talking to parents of a boy beginning to date. He really wants to live in Israel. Learn in Israel when married. For as long as possible*

So I asked, hold on, is your son that eager to return, that if he meets a girl and gets engaged, he will return to Israel to learn  till he gets married?  (answer)"You bet!"

So then I asked, what about the idea of an engagement a time of getting to know your betrothed a little better? (answer) "They can talk on the phone! Or..."

-this is just so beautiful-

"Let her hop on a plane and visit him!"

Sure! spend another thousand bucks AND take off from a job AND miss school AND spend more of parents' money AND put more of the financial burden and responsibility on the girl AND have expectations out the wazoo of the girl and her parents and expect the boys to do NOTHING but contribute

_________________________________  you may fill in answer of your choice.

I was so upset.

* when a friend told me it's a struggle but she is still supporting her daughter because they committed to five years and I said, well is your son in law planning to go to work? her answer was "I don't know and I don't ask". 

You hear that, folks?!?  I DON'T KNOW AND I DON'T ASK

Why not??

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Drop the Shadchanim - Go To a Wedding

The only place or event left in our right wing world where boys and girls can casually meet up is at a wedding.
Specifically, the lobby.

I'm all for it!
Of course some shuls still have kiddushes and vorts with just a table dividing the men and women, without the Berlin Wall separating potential mates. These events also present an opportunity for casual mingling.  Though some young folk might not want to check out the other side of the room after shul when their parents are present.  So a vort would work, too.  Especially if there is one entranced to the building. Separate entrances really put a damper on shidduch efforts.

But the lobby at a wedding? All that milling about - there's the opportunity for the boys and girls, or men and women, to glance around, ask a relative or friend to introduce them, and perhaps make a connection on their own.

And those halls that have lots of extra space and rooms in front of the coat check, chosson's tisch, etc? Perfect places for polite conversation.

Here, Here!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Shadchan Horror. Story

I will not reveal details that might help you figure out who this is.  But as we say here in Monsey, this is a "Maysa Shehaya, Mamesh".

DIP3 had an out of town friend, LS, over  for an extended weekend. She decided to meet some local shadchanim.  I give LS credit - another girl would have repeated this story in tears, but LS was just amused.

The shadchan complained about, or rather, laced into this girl, LS, about..
her hair - how she wore it, what she had in it (funky feather headband) how thin it was, even the color - a beautiful, shiny black.  Shadchan mentioned dying it. She removed the headband and bobby pins, redid the style. Then took about 8 pictures, with LS's camera. And said "THIS is a good shidduch picture".
her hands - she should wax them.  I had to remove my glasses to notice any hair on her hand. This is not a girl with fur.  But the shadchan confided in her how shadchan's OWN SON was disgusted by the hair on his wife's hand, and how she, the helpful mother in law, suggested her daughter in law have it removed.
her clothes - the color, according to the shadchan, was all wrong. I thought it was a lovely dark aqua blue.  Actually, a breath of fresh air to not wear all black.  The color went very well with this beautiful girl's coloring - olive skin, black hair, huge dark brown eyes.  And the style? It was too loose. She should wear clothes that were more fitted.

her smile-  Yes! Her Smile! She smiles too much! Too wide! Shadchan told her she has to smile less, or smaller.

LS told me that if the shadchan had just insulted her about one particular thing, she would've been upset.  But this rampage went on for more than half an hour. DIP3 was waiting in the car, wondering what on earth they were talking about.

Which is another interesting thing - at no point did the shadchan chat with LS to find out about her, her personality, what she's like, what she wants, etc.  At least, nothing more than the perfunctory "oh-you-want-a-learner-earner-ok".

Let us also talk about how this shadchan agreed to meet LS but then was not the easiest to pin down to a time. I get that, she works, has limited time.  But if you are presenting yourself as a shadchan, don't make the girls feel like they are nudging you and begging you for a brief meeting. Pick a time that works.  Don't act like your time is gold and she is nothing and you will TRY your HARDEST to squeeze her in for at LEAST a few minutes at SOME POINT.

Who is this LS?  A charming, graceful, beautiful girl who is full of personality and charm, with a huge lichtige smile that reflects her Simchas HaChaim.   She wouldn't even condemn this woman, even though I was fuming and stomping around my kitchen pontificating and yelling about her.  LS just said, "I don't think I'm going to send her the pictures she took from my camera!"  And she put her funky feathery headband back on.

Perhaps part of what motivated this shadchan was her experience as a mother marrying off boys. And the things that were important to her sons.  But as LS said, "I'm not a Flatbush clone and I don't want a boy who wants that".
It's like DIP1 complained about for years - the problem is the boys' mothers.....

Friday, January 18, 2013

Patrick Farm

There is some hope in the Patrick Farm debate.

It is an area of roughly 200 undeveloped acres here in Ramapo, right near the Monsey community, that a developer wants to develop into 400+ multi family housing units, and 87 single family units.  We're talking thousands of people in an area that is quiet, wooded, undeveloped, almost forest-like. 

Most of the neighbors are against it as it would change the quiet, undeveloped nature of the neighborhood. They are also concerned about the impact on environment, water, sewage, basic infrastructure.

And because this issue and complaints have been ongoing for years, the debate has continued.  Now there is a possibility that someone will reconsider the amounts.

So if you are local, PLEASE write your displeasure, disagreement, opinion.  Authorities are accepting letters or communication until January 30th.

Dear Sirs;
Please do not (over)develop the Patrick Farm area. We are the current residents. We live here. They don't.  Please don't choose the desires of developers over the interests of the current population, who moved here because of the quiet nature, undeveloped land, and rural like qualities of the area.
We are the residents. We are the constituents.  Others who aren't here shouldn't have a voice over us.
Thank you.

Has this happened in your area, too? I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why I Love My Kids

I can use them as excuses.

As in, "sorry I couldn't come over, the kids are home sick"
"the kids are home fighting"
" the kids aren't home yet"
"the kids are coming home soon"
"I can't find my kids"

that last one never happened, or  I wouldn't have actually admitted it to anyone. 

But that entity called Children At Home Who Need Me is slowly coming to a long drawn out end.

DIP3 had a real job interview today!  (now blog post title changes to DIP3 is Out There!)

well, mainly real.
She's pretty confident. Actually very. And talented. And a conversationalist. And can actually make eye contact and respond to adults when they talk. Quite a feat. 

'til she found parking downtown created some stress, but she's a cool customer.  But she was concerned about the interviewer for this internship, probably head of a department.  Her father told her to wear pearls. Looks more sophisticated, shows she'd be serious about the workplace.  She did her polite eye roll, which was more like a flutter, without the snort, to be kind to her Old Dad.  But we agreed that pearls are passe and no one expects a 19 year old college student to wear pearls.

So she traveled into Manhattan, dealt with bad weather traffic, found a lot available for vans 10 minutes away, strode confidently in to the building armed with clever comments about the business, fresh copy of her resume, and loads of advice from her Experience-With-Interviews-Father and .....mother.

And she was interviewed by a 20 and 21 year old!! Young Shnooks!  The whole thing took 10 minutes! And they told her they interviewed college seniors, too. Which means priority.  But of course I know she's probably the best suited for the job, so who cares who is older?

I will withhold comment until she hears back from them.  Sigh.

But it reminds me of a similar (actually, not so similar, really) event that happened to me in high school. Our school play was a performance of Annie.  I tried out like everyone else for the play,, hoping for the main part.  I got the part of the smallest orphan. Probably because I was such a shrimp, and very loud (remember her part? She wakes up screaming from a nightmare).  After the parts were given out and I was thoroughly disappointed not to get the main part, one of the heads of the play (with, in my opinion, almost zero acting ability) told me she and another girl really thought I was best suited for the part, but they didn't think it was right to give the main part of the high school play to a ninth grader, so they gave it to a 12th grader. Who actually did the part really well, but come on!!

so you hear that, _ _ _ _?? (name of company)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

School Rules - Feh

School rule - no phones.
School rule - no phones in school. 
School meeting - please don't get your high school child a phone.
Most parents of the class - buying their kids phones.
am I the difficult parent here??

These are probably the reasons parents are buying their high school teens their own phones:
Parents want their kids to be accepted, cool, with it. 
They are powerless to say no.
They need a very enticing motivational prize/gift/incentive to get their difficult teens to cooperate about....things.
My favorite: They Deserve It.

Really? Why? 
For doing their homework? Handing in assignments? Not fighting with their younger siblings?

I am a parent who has bought things or done things with her children because I feel they've earned it.  I understand our innate parental desire to give, give, give to our children. Been there, done that.

But if a school has a rule about not having phones, if EVERY RAV AND MECHANECH AND MENAHEL AND PRINCIPAL AND LEADER IN OUR ORTHODOX WORLD has told us how bad it is for kids to have unfiltered access to phones, unlimited texting, unlimited picture taking/receiving ability, why are parents blatantly ignoring the words of our leaders??

Many of you who know me personally (and I am beginning to think that is all who is reading this, because almost no one comments, and I know the few who do) know that I am not one to run and automatically embrace every thing I hear, all the time.  But the non stop pleading of teachers, principals, leaders, rabbonim, of how bad it is out there for our kids, made worse by having phones, makes me wonder- really.  Why are parents choosing the desire of a 15 year old over sensibility? Wisdom? Words from those "in the field" - school, community, shul leaders?

please - your comments. especially you lurkers who never speak up. we have an epidemic - now's your time to say your piece

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'm Not Impressed With Their So-Called Tough Parenting

Two mothers have been much lauded in the news recently for their tough parenting.

I'm not impressed, and here's why:

Where were they being tough in the first place?
Or what were they thinking, that their responsible teenager would suddenly only be responsible and not be a teen?

Mother #1 gave her son an iphone with a list of 18 rules. Rules make sense. But I have an issue with some of them. 
"Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you.Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without Googling."
"talk to people"
"don't be rude"

things like that.

They sound like smart parenting, only who waits to make it a condition with an iPhone? Shoulda started when he was young, Momma, then you don't need these rules.  And he IS a teen of 2013.  of COURSE he texts non-stop.  Of COURSE he googles everything!  "Take a walk"?  He probably hitches rides with kids whose parents give them cars for their 16th birthday.

Which leads to our next Praised Mom.  The one who put an ad in the paper as Angry Mom selling her 16 year old's truck because he got drunk and arrested.

Duh. He Is 16.  His Brain is a Teenaged Boy.  NOT an adult.  So why are you giving him his own vehicle in first place??

What the heck is the matter with parents? Why can't they just parent?