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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Disengage

I’m writing this piece on behalf of my friend who would like this to serve as a public service announcement.

 I’m talking to you single girls out there (and I suppose myself), who intend on getting married through the shidduch dating system, and to engaged girls who are doubting their sanity.

 Engagement is not the blissful utopia everyone makes it out to be. It is a façade and institution foisted on single girls by married people, because if people really know what it’s like to be engaged, no one would get married.

 Ok, I’m talking very cryptically and ominously, let me put it in simple words.

 In shidduch dating, you know the guy ranging on average from 7-12 dates, and then you agree to marry him. You don’t know the guy from Adam, yet you are agreeing to cosign your life away, and you are SO happy about it. You wake up the next morning and you think.

 “Oh My God, what did I do, how soon can I return this diamond laden bracelet?!?!”

 And then later in the day you think,

 “Well, he’s kinda nice…and cute…and I sorta like him in a first impression type way…”

 And you’re ok for the time being.

 And then you go shopping with your mother, and she is all serious educating you on the different styles of linen, thread count, pattern blah blah blah, your logical brain once again rears and you respond emotionally (you are a woman after all) and want to start bawling and throw a tantrum.

 So yeah, that’s what really happens.

 But what us single girls see from our engaged friends is

 “Oh My G-d, He’s so cute…he told me…I bought him…We went…I love…”

 Unless you are completely shallow and stupid and flighty and have no idea what life is about, the previous statements will an Academy Award worthy performance. There will be moments that it is truly sincere, but you really cannot let the world know how much you are flipping out, and how much you are doubting, because HELLO, you are engaged, no more crises for you. You averted it, and you are on the way to living your own happily ever after.

 So if single girls knew what engaged friends were really going through, they wouldn’t be so hasty to join the bandwagon, and therefore it is very important that this show be longest running one ever.

 I wish I could be a Romantic and say there’s something wrong with my friend, but considering her and two other friends who got married recently, they all had their fair share of “moments”, and they are all different types. And yes, some have it worse than others, but everyone has them…and you will most probably still go through with the marriage and will most probably be happy and wonder years later what you were thinking…but during the engagement you will be a nervous choleria.

 So if you’re engaged, just know you’re normal and there’s nothing wrong with you. And those who still single, well, this is the picture, don’t pity yourself so much anymore and be nicer to your engaged friends.

 (I asked my friend to guest post this, and she declined…I don’t really know what I’m talking about because well, simply I’m not engaged and never was, I don’t really know the feeling. I did try some method acting techniques to put myself in the mindset though)

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2009 in Shidduchim

 

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While My Students Studied for Midterms

Hello, everyone. I had a SUNsational vacation. Pardon the pun, but this is the lovely message the disembodied voice on the shuttle bus’s speaker system imparted to me, and I wanted to share it with you so we can all gag and snort together.

 Florida was amazing, great, awesome, “You don’t know!”, “SOOO much fun” and whatever unnecessary superlatives you can think of. I have a bunch of great stories which I’m not entirely sure I will share with you are as some are a little inappropriate and serve no other purpose than to entertain, and I think some of them are those are HTBT stories, and ones that only people who know me will appreciate.

 For the record, I did NOT go biking; I almost did though. I would have ridden a tricycle as a courtesy to my new/non cycling friend.

 I reserved a compact rental car, and since I asked nicely, they upgraded me three levels. I decided the place must have good customer service, because I did not look THAT good. It was a nice car; we took a lot of pictures on it. I have a bunch of driving stories, one of them includes me driving in reverse off a highway because there was standstill traffic up ahead.

 I stayed by my mother’s friend in North Miami. At first I thought it was a bit of a pain, but being on Collins Avenue with the rest of New York isn’t my idea of vacation, so all’s good. And by the way all the clichés about all the old Jewish people there are true. They are very convenient though for their grandchildren.

 This is just a tip for anyone out there suffering from poor body image. GO TO THE BEACH. Everyone there is uglier and fatter than you and they are ready to show it off to the world, sweaters of hair, massive guts, tires, flab, blub, moosh, it’s all there for the world to see, and they’re proud of it.

 The Everglades is a swamp. It’s a swamp with air boat rides that have no apparent steering mechanism, the epitome of Redneck navigating and serving as guides, and the most annoying one lane highway ever. And I paid 20 bucks to squint my eyes to see if I could distinguish an alligator from the tree trunk right next to it. It’s a swamp, and I recommend you go.

 Yeah, there’s lots more to say, but I’m zonked, and leaving to Israel tomorrow night.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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No Story Makes for a Crash and Burn Day

It’s so stupid.

I got in my first car accident today, my fault, and I don’t even have a good story to tell.

 

No screeching tires

No moments of panicking doom

No blood, guts, or even whiplash.

 

All there was, was a patch of ice, non-responsive brakes and traction, and a broken tail light (and a dented door on my car).

 

So, I was called an F________  Moron when I got out of the car. And then the guy realized that the damage was kind of minimal so he fizzled.

 

And then we waited for the police for an hour and a half. I marked 8 papers in the interim.

 

The police were cheerful; they had just come from writing up 4 other accidents.

I misplaced my registration for a moment, which was more adrenaline pumping than the accident.  

 

I’m driving like a grandma hunched over the wheel.

 

Good thing I’m leaving to Florida tomorrow night.

 

I might not be around much the next two weeks, I’m going to be in Florida, then Israel. Visit my archives, and comment!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Urban Legends: Alive and Kicking

Everybody likes to hear a good shidduch story, so here’s a new one. You might have heard with slight modifications or variations, but this happened to my friend last night, so you’re only getting it third hand.

A shadchan called my mother’s friend and tells her that there is a gorgeous boy who is fabulously wealthy and what do you know, he’s  available. His mother wants two things for him, a raving beauty and parallel wealth. 

“Well you qualify for half of him,” I commented lightly to my friend. My friend laughed and continued.

The mother is willing to look away at my friend’s lack of means if she is a gorgeous as they say she is.

Pathetic, I know; it gets worse.

No, she doesn’t want to see a picture of her. She doesn’t want to meet her. She wants to go down to where my friend works and observe her. Beauty in Action.

 You know, my friend just might only be pretty when she’s standing still with a face forward profile. How does she look when she’s singing songs with her kids, doing arts and crafts and packing them up at the end of the day?

 And it gets worse.

 Her mother was maskim.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2009 in Shidduchim

 

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Kusher Kusher Kusher

I am brilliant. Just so you know.

 

My father is a bit machmir on things, like girl’s tznius and kasharus.

 

For tznius, I’m talking about activities: we don’t go to concerts, go biking, ice skating and rollerblading.

 

Kasharus, we don’t eat most meats or lettuce.

 

I’m going to my sister for Shabbos and Florida next week.

 

I was speaking to my sister, and she asked that if she said “kusher kusher kusher” over her meat, will I eat it?

 

I said no. Then she asked what are you doing in Florida. I told her I was considering going biking.

 

“But Totty doesn’t let,” she said.

 

“He doesn’t have to know,” I said.

 

“Oookay,” she finished and we hung up.

 

Her husband called me two minutes later.

 

“I don’t get you,” he said. “You listen to your father and don’t eat my meat, but you’ll ignore your father and go biking. Do you listen to him or not, because you can eat my meat with the same rationale.”

 

He was right, but I wasn’t going to admit that, so I gave him some cockamamie rationale that I don’t know diddly-squat about kashrus and can’t make and informed decision on it, so I defer it to my father and follow what he says. Tznius, I can form my own educated decision and deemed biking ok. My brother-in-law shot kibbud av v’em at me, and told me.

 

“TooYoungToTeach(roonie), If you go bike riding you have to eat my meat, and if you don’t eat my meat you can’t come for Shabbos.”

 

“I’ll call you back,” I responded lamely.

 

My conscience bothered me, because I knew he was right, but I still wanted to go biking, and I wasn’t going to eat his meat!

What to do?!

 

DING!! (that was a stroke of brilliance in case you didn’t realize)

 

If I could get my father to make allowances and let me go biking then I wouldn’t be violating his wishes when I did, and could therefore not eat my sister’s meat in good conscience.

 

So I called my father, dreid him a kupp, demanding an answer right away, and because my father loves me, and knows me too well, conceded and said,

“But only if you do it in the most tzniudike manner” Like so:

 burka-bike

So I gaily called my sister and brother-in-law back, that I would in fact be coming for Shabbos on his terms, but I still won’t eat the meat…Told you I’m brilliant.

 

Just as a side note, after all that intense coercion, I texted my friend that I’m going to Florida with.

 

[So, do you bike?]

 

[No no no,  at least not very well, very badly…no cliffs or highway. I’ll do anything else; I tell you!]

 

and then I remembered she had only learned to ride a bike in the past year.

 

So much brain energy wasted on nothing, I could have cured the common cold.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on January 16, 2009 in Jewish

 

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Men vs. Women: The Last Degradation

Man vs. Woman

Handsome vs. Beautiful.

We’ll all agree that woman as a physical being are infinitely more beautiful/gorgeous/nicer looking than men. Yes, there are plenty of men that are better looking than a majority of women, but if you were to take the best looking guy and the best looking girl, hormones aside, the woman will be more beautiful.

With that being said, it’s still easier to be a good looking guy than a good looking girl…not just good looking, but note-worthy.

Wait!!! Before you start yelling at me about women having more options in hairstyles, makeup, girdles, heels and all the paraphernalia women use to enhance their looks, hear me out. While women have more sanctioned tools to enhance their visual presentation, Men, don’t need tools…they have a much broader range of acceptance in terms of what is considered good looking.

Take noses. Across the board for women a delicate aquiline nose is coveted. Most of us, don’t have it, and make do with whatever G-d graced us with, but we will constantly shadow and contour our noses aiming to achieve the genetically improbable. And a woman can be beautiful without a perfect nose, but a nose too round, will relegate her to cute, or “character”.

Men on the other hand, they can wear any nose. And as long as they carry it well, it’s theirs. Call it character (for a man character is good, woman, not so), endearing, strong. A man can still qualify as good looking without stipulations if he has a massive, fleshy, nostril dominant nose.

Next case in point: Wrinkles. Women never look good in them. Yes, we can work with them, and some wear them better than others, but women will also refer back to their youth for their complexion. Men look great in wrinkles. Crows feet, furrowed brows, and lined cheeks are all the rage. It denotes maturity, stature, gravity, intensity…and it’s ok.

Then there is body build. For woman there is only one option (forget about it being wrong, but this is present society dictating here) – THIN, slight build. For men there’s husky, athletic, built, stocky, lean…and a guy can qualify as good looking with any body type.

Have you ever seen a really good looking guy and then his sister who looks just like him, but just doesn’t make the cut? The look just doesn’t transfer over well for the fairer sex. This is everything previously stated in action. It’s the same features, what’s the difference? The difference is that we have different expectation, higher ones for women and lower standards more men.

With all that being said. I’ll stick with myself. Hand me my mascara.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Pity Pretty People

You know what, I feel bad for pretty people.

 

Say what you want, but it’s very hard to be pretty, or handsome, or gorgeous or insert adjective here.

 

I’m sure there are many of you out there pulling facing, shouting What?!?, and dismissing me as certifiably insane.

 

“It’s so easy to be pretty, you always look good”

“People like pretty people, ergo they’ll like you faster.”

“Pretty people are statistically paid better, and are more successful.”

And “Hey, it’s nice to be nice.”

 

But look…most of the advantages of being pretty are dependent on someone else and their actions towards you because of your looks, which you were luckily born with.

 

And that’s just it. People have expectations of pretty people.

 

People expect pretty people to be better conversationalist, better dressers, have more friends, know what to say, know how to act, what to do…because they’re pretty. And when they don’t regular folks look down upon them…like “what’s wrong with you, why can’t you, you’re pretty!”

 

There is a certain awe and disdain regular have towards pretty people.

 

And well, pretty people are regular people, they just happen to be, well, pretty.

 

They have bad hair days, foot in mouth disease, trip over their shoes, and can be incredibly shy (except when they are shy they are cast off as snobs.)

 

I think it’s time for everyone, out of the pure goodness of their heart, to adopt a pretty person.

 

Who wants me?

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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How to Know If You are a Close Friend of the Kallah: An Annotated Guide

 

  1. You arrive early for picturesYou show up early ooh and ahh, and after everyone else is done take two pictures with the Kallah:  one nice, one funny face. They will never make it past the proofs. 
  2. You get dressed in the bridal suiteYou have no real pressing need to get dressed there, but you’re showing up early enough, might as well look like you actually have something to do 
  3. You have access to the bride and bridal suiteYou can talk to the bride like a person and she  will respond like a person, not with a pasty smile for the aunt twice removed she hardly knows, or the old classmate that she has a nice bracha ready for. The bridal suite is a place for you to dump your stuff, like extra lipstick, a coat, and a change of clothes. It’s instead of the communal bathroom, has a lot more reliability and prestige. 
  4. You know the combination to the Yichud roomWhy you need it, no one knows, but you just had to put something there, are make sure something was just right…so you got access, you are a close friend after all. 
  5. You wear something longwhy wearing long signifies closeness and fraternity?…because the family is wearing gowns, and you are like extended family…maybe because long outfits are generally more expensive and you’d spend more for a close friends wedding…I’m not really sure, since I like short better, but that’s the rule.
  6. You get your makeup/hair doneThis friend is worthy enough for you to pay someone to do something you probably could do yourself (unless you REALLY have two left hands)
  7. Your place card has the longest letter written in the insideNever mind that the entire world can read this letter if they want to, and this it’s usually senseless garble mentioning every private joke you’ve ever shared; it’s all about the thought, and comparison competition.
  8. You arranged for the Tefilah pamphlets at the Chupah – I don’t know why these don’t come standard, or even optional at halls yet, but this is a very important job. Make sure you have enough for the Ladies side, men don’t bother. It’s mostly single girls who feel obligated to say it because the won’t look like they really want to get married, and young married girls who say it in the presence of their single friends who feel guilty that they are already married.
  9. You hand out the Kallah’s jewelryOf course you keep the diamond ring for yourself. You have the list that lets everyone else know the hierarchy of the Kallah’s friend, who got the bracelet, the watch, who  was relegated to an earring, and who got nothing at all. You are all powerful dispensing and informing people of their place…you also get to run around like a chicken, squawking for girls to return the jewelry by the time the Kallah is out of the Yichud room
  10. You arrange the shtick – You make sure the arches are up when she walks in. You look ever so incongruent in your black little number shlepping around heavy duty garbage bags
  11. You dance with the Kallah by the first danceFirst dance is reserved for family, whether the Kallah likes them or not…of you make it the Kallah is letting you know that if she could have chosen her family, you’d have danced with her before Great Aunt Bertha who wears too much #5.
  12. You do the hugging dance when you first dance with the KallahYou are pulling off her veil, inhaling hair spray and foundation, but go right ahead
  13. People start clapping when you dance with the Kallah‘nuff said, acknowledgment from everyone else that you are in fact a close friend
  14. You dance in the inner circle at all times-  People respect your place, never cut you off or relegate you to third string shuffle
  15. Arrange the dancing, instructing everyone to back up and spread outEveryone always feels bad for this person. They look so stupid, with their arms waving, and very pushy telling everyone to go around the photographers stepstool…but somehow when you’re the close friend, it just happens and you morph into the being for the night.
  16. You bring the Kallah water-  At the slightest beckon you are there with glass in hand…it’s a segula you know.  
  17. You bring the Kallah a chairYou are clairvoyant, and when you see a wide-eyed Kallah, mouth agape and beads of sweat, you somehow know that she needs to sit down. Close friend to the rescue!
  18. Have napkin at hand to pat down the KallahWhen beads of sweat start trickling, and make up creases start forming, and mascara seems to be traveling…you are there. Make sure you pat, and not smear, or you’ll find her eyeshadow performing blush duty.
  19. You end off the dance with the Kallah-  This is done by interlocking arms, spreading out and twirling at nausifying speeds. This is done regardless if the Kallah is the type, or has the energy or the stomach for it. Likewise for yourself. What are you three years old dancing and frolicking in the meadow?
  20. You stay for Mitzvah Tantz/ Sheva BrachosYou have no one to talk to, nothing to do but sit on the side and listen, but YOU ARE THERE.

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2009 in Jewish, Weddings

 

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I Say…

I wrote this poem in response to a student approaching me about some issues she was having with friends…this poem basically takes her talking for hours on end, running around in circles, and condenses it into 4, 4 line stanzas.

I feel for her.

I say I’m not the hugging type

So if you don’t

It’s not because

You don’t want to.

 

I say I’m not the phone type

So if you don’t

It’s not because

You don’t want to.

 

I say I’m not the hang out after school type

So if you don’t

It’s not because

You don’t want to.

 

I say I’m not the caring type

So if you don’t

It’s only because

I let you.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 5, 2009 in Poems, Teaching

 

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The Deception of a Crisis

I’m curious if this “law” is a phenomena exclusive to the Jewish Shidduch Dating system.

 

If a girl needs to lose 2 pounds quickly, just get her a date.

 

And if she needs to lose more weight, give her 3.

 

This works for up to 15 pounds.

 

Truth be told, I think this is the real source and reason why people keep crying “SHIDDUCH CRISIS!!!” in the streets.

 

There is no shidduch crisis.

 

The same amount of girls are getting married to the same amount of boys. They are actually getting married to each other! (at least that’s what my complex sociological calculations told me, although in today’s day, I may have reconsider). So there isn’t a shidduch crisis, but a dating crisis, that I will concede.

 

The problem with there being a dating crisis is that girls are missing out on a great quick fix for weight loss and that is just a shanda!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2009 in Shidduchim

 

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