Lakewood ain’t what it used to be – to blatantly advertise such gashmeis and pritzus.
Is no place to remain unsullied?
I must broaden my horizons, spread my wings and seek purer pastures.
Everyone knows how demographics works. In terms of advertising, advertisers will reach out to the demographic that uses their products and services in a way that will reach them. That explains beer commercials during the Super-Bowl, and Depends ads during Jeopardy. You’ll also see a lot more Ford pick-up commercials in Texas, and Jaguar ads in New York.
A few days ago, I was at my parents in Brooklyn. I was bored (as usual) and on the kitchen table lie a copy of Esra, it’s a monthly magazine that is almost solely ads for the Brooklyn area; I started flipping through it. The basic theme of it was marriage. There were ads for halls, makeup artists, shaitel machers with kallah specials, photographers, gown rentals, and the weight loss ads were geared toward “Your big day”. Suffice it to say, Brooklyn, is in the market of marriage, which is really nice to see thriving considering “THE SHIDDUCH CRISIS”
And then today, I was flipping through Lakewood’s BP Weekly, another circular. And what did I notice about the ads? Lakewood is in the market of pregnancy, kids, and major discounts. Almost all ads were for another maternity store, or pregnancy related service, the rest were children’s clothing, or child related, and if it was anything else, there was sure to be a big sale, or discount with mention of ad.
Now, I’m not telling you anymore than the stereotype. I just thought it was interesting to see solid evidence of the stereotypes integrity and reality.
I got married and moved to Lakewood.
Tooyoungtoteach? In Lakewood? Oooookay…..
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked it in Lakewood. The community caters to a young newly married crowd, it’s easy to navigate, my apartments nice, and good outlet malls aren’t far off.
I realized that everything I so hated about Lakewood would not be an issue until I have children, or really until I have to send them to school. That’s when all the cliché’s are recognized to be real. The conformity, that narrow-mindness, the judging, the shallowness, you can fill in the blank yourself.
But never mind the negativity in the previous paragraph. I was happy in Lakewood. In my loverly cacoon of Shana Rishona. Marriage has softened me a bit, made me lose my edge. I don’t get up in arms and as indignant and “ it’s the Principle of the matter!!!” much anymore. Until this past Shabbos that is. I was jolted out of serenity, and sharply reminded that while my stay in Lakewood is nice now, I will LOATHE it passionately later.
This is what happened.
My sister-in-law, a very fine Bais Yaakov girl, from Lakewood, who I am very proud to be affiliated with, is involved in a youth tznius organization. She not involved in terms of ideology necessarily, but does a lot of work for them. In any case, she recruited me to sing on CD they were sending out in a mass-mailing. (My brother wanted to hear the cd, but he can’t listen to any of the other girls singing, so having me, his sister, accompany her was the perfect solution).
I had a great time recording. It was my first time ever and I enjoyed the experience. Me Geit Veiyter.
I was by my parents for Shabbos and I don’t recall how it came up, but my mother ending up slipping to me, that the tznius organization wasn’t going to be using any of the tracks that I sang on. They loved my voice, it’s beautiful, don’t get them wrong. However, in comparison to my sister-in-laws voice (which is quite nice) mine is much more trained, and since the purpose of the organization is to promote tznius, they didn’t think it was a good idea to have a voice like mine on their cd.
AND I LOST IT.
I don’t give a darn if they use tracks or not. I’m getting back on my “Principle of the Matter” soapbox.
WHY IS A TRAINED VOICE NOT TZNIUS?!?!!!
I am a Jack of all trades, a master of none. I can act, dance, draw, write, and sing. There is nothing to admire about me because I’m so talented. I was born like this. What I DO admire in talents, is development of them. When someone takes their G-d given talents, acknowledges them and does something with it, conquers it, advances it, masters it, makes it their own, rather than something that just fell into their lap.
Raw anything: talent, intelligence, character, is nothing to admire. Only when someone makes it their own are they worthy or notice.
So I worked on my writing skills, and my voice. While I haven’t taken them as far as I can, I’ve done more than most people.
Why someone who has developed their talents deemed not tznius?
The head of the tznius organization (who btw, is a prominent high school teacher, so her perspectives are being further sanctioned in Lakewood) also said, my voice doesn’t sound so Jewish.
A trained voice is not Jewish? Seriously, a trained voice should be the most Jewish thing out there. I’ve taken what Hashem gave me, and did something with it. Just because Jewish music is fraught with lousy voices means something of quality is un-Jewish.
I always said the difference between Brooklyn and Lakewood, and what makes Brooklyn better is that Brooklyn is shallow and knows it, Lakewood is just as shallow, but disguises it as krumkeit.
(Step off soap box and walk away in disgust to the lack of response)
On Wednesday I subbed. This was on real short notice (I got the call a little after 1, the period started 1:40). The principal told me to teach whatever I wanted, and I did.
I did an old standby lesson, the lesson I actually used as a model lesson to procure my previous job. And I’ve taught this lesson elsewhere. It’s a fun lesson about word choice, focusing on verbs, and not relying on adjectives to make your sentence good.
I start off with a simple sentence like,
The girl walked into the room.
Starting with the verb, we change the words to more accurate words to reflect what we want to convey. Did she saunter, sashay, creep, whirled, storm, glide into the room? And move on from there to who is this girl, and what room she is entering.
Of course there are always kids with little imagination, and all they can think of is ran into the room, and the like. And of course the room is a classroom, but usually the girls can break out and come up with something original in one of the areas. And there are always the really creative minds that shoot out great words and ideas on cue.
The thing is, the majority of the girls in this class were the first sort, little or no imagination. I’m not used to that. The most unique word was saunter, stomped comes next.
I’m trying to decide if it’s a reflection of the school? The society?
They have no imagination because they’re so restricted or they have an imagination (meaning there’s hope) but they’re just too scared to speak up in fear of saying the wrong thing. (Bear in mind the principal was observing this lesson)
I can’t wait to move to Lakewood and acquaint myself with Tom Chenko.
Apparently every proper Bais Yaakov girl, Kollel Wife, and any upstanding woman knows him really well. And jumps at his beck and call.
My brother, fresh meat to Lakewood, picked up the phone in his in-laws house.
“Tom Chenko,” the voice on the other line said.
“Who?!” my brother asked.
“Tom Chenko,” the voice repeated.
“Tom Chenko? I think you have the wrong number,” my brother responded politely.
The person on the other line stammered and started to hang up.
“Wait!” by brother’s sister-in-law who was standing nearby called, and she took the receiver from my brother.
“What’s the name?” she asked. “Is it going up or down?” And she hung up.
My brother looked at his sister-in-law quizzically. That conversation made no sense to him, who was Tom Chenko? Names? And Lists?
…Shidduchim?…Rapist Alert?….Political Campaign?…he thought.
“Tehilim Chain Call” his sister-in-law explained slowly, “Very common in Lakewood.” As she took out the telephone book, flipped though it, picked up the receiver again and started dialing.
I can’t wait.
Ok, this is my blog and I might as well use it to serve myself just as well as I entertain everyone else with it (you are entertained…don’t answer that)
In any case, as I am getting married and relocating to one holy city, Lakewood, I am abandoning my teaching post of two years. It’s tragic, but the commute is not worth it (stupid Verrazano!!) So, I’m left searching for a new position.
The education field in Lakewood is brutal!! Did you know that you can only get a teaching position if you’re married?!? Otherwise you are relegated to assistant until you can get a ring on your finger and a mop on your head!
So if anyone out there has any leads for me, let me know…I have a B.S. in Behaviroal Sciences, and an M.S. in Literacy. I’m flexible, grade 4 and up, literacy, writing, editing, and if there’s a good full-time position anywhere else, leave a comment, or email me at email@example.com
There was a fire in Lakewood yesterday.
I happen to be spending the week in Lakewood visiting my sister, and my gorgeous nieces. The fire was around the corner from her. So, I spent some time watching the fire myself, watching it with my nieces, with one niece and then the other. It’s terrible that I was entertained by a fire, but in its own freakish way, it’s beautiful. That’s not my point though.
My point is, that the second my sister and brother-in-law heard which house the fire was in they went.
“Yay, an insurance fire.”
Forget my brother-in-law, he’s sarcastic and jaded. My sister is sweet, naive and not jaded. Really, she’s not. What she said reflected a sad and embarrassing reality.
I don’t know what the real story behind the fire is. Neither do the fire marshalls, as they’re still here investigating. The fact that every Lakewood resident I spoke to about the fire had to stick in insurance arson into their commentary is telling.
I don’t have to elaborate much. Yes, you and I know that this stereotype is based on a select bunch of selfish individuals. It’s really the principle of the matter, that’s getting me mad. This whole incident is just adding fuel to the fire of my “Jews versus Goyim” argument.
If you want to believe that you are better than them, then make yourself better because you’re better, not because they are worse (Think of Noach’s tzadkus vs. Avraham’s )
Maybe I’ll lay out my whole stream of consciousness on this topic some other time, but for the meantime, I’m fuming.