Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is It True That Bochrim Talk This Way After Dates?

It's a double standard.

Or actually, it's no standard.  I wonder, if boys' yeshivos spent 1/4 of the time that girls schools do teaching midos,  if a story like this would come out:

We've all heard that bochrim discuss their dates. At length. Mercilessly.  Without kindness.  And we know that the girls do not.  They do not talk to their friends about their dates.  Unless they are close to getting engaged, or there is one friend who is a sounding board, close confidante.

So here's the story I heard this past shabbos.

A boy (yes, of course, from a Yeshiva that has a good reputation) returned from a date to his dorm.  Where, presumably, a bunch of other guys were hanging around.  He stated, **LANGUAGE ALERT FOR THE SENSITIVE AND YOUNG**, "the door opened and I thought, dammit, she's ugly".

What's the big deal, you might say?
I know all the disclaimers.  I know that looks ARE important to men.  (guess what guys, to us women, too. we just don't talk about it). I know that attraction is an extremely important main factor in a relationship.
The big deal is that this unkind bochur just announced to a room of other bochrim that this girl is ugly.  Never mind that it's in his opinion.  Never mind that of course, there might be a baal midos in the group who will not be mekabel this Lashon Hara.  Never mind that other boys might find this guy unpleasant, rude, obnoxious, and discount what he says.

It's disturbing because we ARE the people of the book.  We ARE supposed to be better than others.  This yeshiva has a good reputation.  The boys there do not go to college. They can't.  They have to be somewhat serious about their learning.  And of course, you're one step out the door of serious religiosity if you plan to plan on a plan for parnosa.

It's disturbing because this boy who spends his whole day and night studying and learning Hashem's beautiful Torah doesn't have the most basic sense of kindness and thoughtfullness.

........of course, I am sure the girl is not from a wealthy family.  That totally changes the picture, too.  Green can be very attractive, no?

Improv Anywhere, Humiliation Everywhere

At first I thought the concept of Improv was cute. Clever.  All those people standing still in Grand Central Station.  Shticky.  A kind of performance art that wasn't a naked woman with a pumpkin on her head and feces on her body channeling an ancient war god  (a combination of a few Doonesbury comic strips). 

But now I don't think so. At all.  While it may be "cute" to do things like walk backwards in Times Square, banging into people and confirming tourist's opinions that we are, in fact, a nation of fools (thank you to our President for establishing that), it isn't cute when people are publicly embarrassed or made fun of.  Of course when asked, I am sure they say something like, "Oh, ha ha, it's no big deal".  But really, no one likes to be made foolish.  Like in this clip:

ok, if the kid wants to run into the wall and look idiotic, fine. And I was a big fan of the Harry Potter books, so my issue, clearly, isn't with the subject.  I don't think it's funny to embarrass people on video. Period.  Making the ticket sellers question the boy over and over again, having random strangers not know what to answer.  Why is this funny?  It's like the whole premise here is to make people look stupid, foolish, or clueless! 

See, that's my whole issue! It's NOT just about the cleverness of a new way of making statements, it's How Can We Make A Statement, Even If It Inconveniences Or Embarrasses Other People!

Like the No Pants Day.  Can you think of a more highly offensive public display of selfishness and impropriety?  I am sure that there are plenty of people out there who are not living a religious life, who don't have the rules and lifestyle of modesty that I do, yet are highly disturbed by this!  A subway is not a beach, where you expect to see skimpy bottoms and unclad people. 

It's just plain disgusting.  This really bothers me.  A lot.  Do New Yorkers care?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mayonnaise, Ketchup, and Yiddishkeit

Those are the three things that YBS1 says you do not compromise on.

Mayonnaise, definitely.  Though once I began to bring Gefen Lite mayo into our home, our standards relaxed somewhat.  It definitely tastes better than Hellman's Lite mayonnaise.  And we are mayonnaise experts around here.  It is as essential to a Shabbos meal as challa and wine.

Ketchup, sad to say, seems to be only be tasty if it is Heinz.  Although I am not a picky eater, there really is a difference in the taste.  What actually prompted this was YBS1's observation that I bought a non-jewish brand of chummus *(which the brand calls "hommos", already an indication of not getting it right), and a jewish company's ketchup.  He thought this was problematic.  He is prone to grand sweeping all encompassing statements, as he said,
"What do these people know about making chummus? And what does Lieber's know about making ketchup?! and what about these off brands of mayonnaise ??"

and then followed his most profound statement of all,

"there are just some things in life you do NOT compromise on! Mayonnaise! Ketchup! and Yiddishkeit!"