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?