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And the Oscar Goes To (fumbling with the sticker on the gold envelope)…

A long time ago, Little Duckies nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Of course I was very flattered, and wanted to respond right away. But I didn’t and then life got in the way, blah blah blah, but now I am now ready will an able to accept the award. The Liebster Blog Award is given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers.  The rules are:

1. Tell 11 things about yourself.

2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 bloggers, and post 11 questions for them to answer.

4. Contact those bloggers whom you nominated, to inform them of their nomination.

11 things about me

  1. I’ve been teaching High School (10th & 11th grade) since I’m 17. Been teaching 12th grade for the past 2 years. This has always been my dream job. Except for the pipe dream on opening my own school.
  2. I love reading cookbooks and cooking shows (Top Chef is my favorite), actual cooking – not so much so – unless there’s no deadline (so supper’s never fun)
  3. I have been coveting a Hermes scarf for years. My husband bought me one after we had our first kid, and it is as awesome as I always imagined it to be.
  4. I can spend hours in my closet putting together new outfit. But it usually works out that the days that I have no time, I don’t like what I’m wearing, and then I spend time I don’t have, getting it right.
  5. Ever since I read Pride and Prejudice in 12th grade, I’ve always related very strongly to Mr. Darcy. Particularly the fact that everyone thinks he’s a snob, when he’s really just uncomfortable in the environment. And then I took a personality test  (one of those free ones online)– and after I got the results it says “Famous people who are…) and Mr. Darcy was listed among others who share the same personality profile as me!! I’m not crazy (it’s an INTJ btw).
  6. Recently (as in January) I was published for the first time ever – in the Mishpacha magazine. It was validating, but even more super validating is that they’ve accepted another piece of mine. Hood-ay.
  7. I’m an optimistic pessimist. I expect the worst, always. So when it doesn’t happen, life is wonderful. I’m constantly in state of happy surprise. You should try it.
  8. I love to do research. Research a product, a condition, a topic; I love it. So much so that at my family’s Channukah party, we played a game and part of it was that we each had to offer something of ourselves for someone else to potentially win – I offered to research something, anything for someone. All the people in college were disappointed that they didn’t win it.
  9. I’m have a seriously hard time coming up with 11 things about myself. I’m either super private or super boring – which is it?
  10. I was a Harry Potter freak when I was younger. So much so, that I actually applied and was accepted to write for MuggleNet (didn’t do it in the end). And I got suspended in 11th grade because of Harry Potter. Fun Story.
  11. I love children’s books. So impactful. Some of my favorites: Ish, The Dot, Love You Forever, The PaerBag Princess, Yo! Yes!, The Giving Tree, The Gift of Nothing, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus…and loads more. (Btw, I cry for real every time I read Love You Forever out loud)

My Answers to Little Duckies questions.

1)      What do you consider to be the three most important things in your life?

 My husband, my children, myself (I have to value myself, before I can truly value anything else)

2) What made you decide to start blogging?

 I wanted an outlet for my writing other than my own word files. I wanted the feedback, the acceptance, the push to write more. Not sure if I achieved all that, but I love my blog all the same

3) Books or television?  Why?

Books – they are more engaging and at the same time leave for room for interpretation.

4) If someone accused your child of bullying theirs, how would you react?  Why?

I’d probably go quiet, nod my head listening, and say something like “I’m sorry this happened, I’m gonna go talk to my son and hear what he has to say. I’ll be in touch with you, so we can resolve this.”

5) What subjects do you enjoy reading about?

Sociology  and History

6) What do you consider to be the most important factor in a marriage?

The marriage itself. When I was single I read William Glasser “Choice Theory” in marriage. What he said stayed with me, I thought it was brilliant.

When there is conflict in a marriage – each side is wary of giving in, apologizing, conceding. They don’t want to be perceived as weak, that they condone whatever happened, or that they were the wrong party. What you need to realize is that your marriage is more important that you as an individual. You choose your marriage over yourself. And when you apologize to your spouse even though you don’t think it’s totally warranted, you’re not weak – you are giving into the marriage not to him. It’s not a concession, it’s a choice.

7) There are many, many older (30+) singles today, as well as a high rate of divorce.  What do you think is the cause?

I think every marriage has its moments. The moments where we are truly fed up with certain aspects of our spouses, and we think if only for another moment “I don’t have to put up with this.” And then what happens in the moment after that moment is what makes the difference – do you voice that, do you shelve it, do you resolve it (through many different means).

People keep saying it, and no one wants to hear about it anymore – but we are a generation of instant gratification, and of “I” am special. So making a clear choice in that third moment becomes more difficult. In a time that celebrates “me”, the “we” in marriage is secondary and it’s easier to choose yourself over your marriage then it was in previous generation.

As for singles, in not all, but many cases, the same concept can be applied.

8) Why did you choose your city of residence?

Didn’t really choose… My husband was learning there, I choose to support my husband’s learning efforts, and ergo landed here – even if I’m not particularly fond of the place.

9) How do you and your spouse handle finances?

He takes care of the bills, but I know what’s going on. We talk about big purchases. We budget. We save. We try. So far so good.

10) What is your favorite household chore?  Why?

I can’t answer this question. Is there even such a concept as a chore being anything other than a detestable necessary – why else would it be called a chore? I suppose I like to read cookbooks, not the actual cooking, but the planning before it. (useless I know)

 11) The classic: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

I’d buy an old country house, with a wraparound porch and the most impractical layout ever, but possess all these little nooks and crannies, and stairs leading nowhere. And of course it’ll have lots of windows. Big windows, glorious windows, with sun raining in. I don’t want to ever flick on a light switch. And then I’d hire a housekeeper, so that I don’t have to look at a Clorox toilet wand again in my life. Maybe I’d start a hachnosos kallah organization, or donate a lot of money to one. I’d go back to school, get a degree in English for interest sake. I think I’ll open a high school, always wanted to do that. Also I’d buy my husband a few presents he’s been dying for – a megilla, a tur, a second car. Other than that, I think I’d keep everything the same. I might buy 2 sweaters a season instead of 1. Or buy meat once a week instead of none. That’s it. I’ll probably end up doing most of it without winning the lottery – it would just make it easier and happen sooner.

11 Questions for my Nominees

1)      Chocolate or Vanilla?

2)      Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?

3)      Who was your favorite/influential teacher, and why?

4)      What did you wanna be when you grew up. What are you today (or are you still growing up)

5)      What’s your favorite (or one of your favorite books) and why?

6)      What is(are) your pet peeve(s)

7)      What is the biggest problem in the Jewish Community today?

8)      Do you have any proposed solution to the previous question?

9)      Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

10)   People who __________ are idiots. Fill in the blank.

11)   What can always make you smile?

And now for the Nominees (I only have 5, sorry)….Drumroll Please…

Jerusalem Stoned

Princess Lea

Mystery Woman

Daughters in the Parsha

The Professor

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 4, 2013 in The Sporadic Side

 

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Chicago Bulls – 1 Me – 0

Scoreboard-GSIS

Scoreboard-GSIS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Derrick Rose is injured. Tore his left ACL to be exact. Don’t know what an ACL is, but I do know what it means for me: a grumpy husband.

I never cared about sports. All I ever said was “Go New York!” let the NY teams do well, but otherwise I was none the wiser. The Rangers had their moments while I was growing up, so did the Knicks, the Yankees have had mostly highs, I think, so at least there was always one team to take pride in.

I never listened to a game, cited stats, or knew any name past the ones my brother’s pretended to be while playing whatever sport – outside:

Hockey – Mark Messier, Patrick Roi, and Wayne Gretsky,
Basketball – Michael Jordan (yes, I know he’s not NY, but who didn’t want to be Michael), Patrick Ewing, and whoever else starred in Space Jam,
Baseball – Derek Jeter is coming to mind
Football – ummm Joe Namath?

On our first date, I asked my husband what guys did for hobbies.

“Some of the oilam follow sports,” he answered sheepishly.

“Do you?” I followed up.

“A little,” he replied.

I don’t think I want to know what he considers an avid sports fan to be.

I’ve since become acquainted with the starting line-up of every Chicago team. And besides for that, I’ve also come to care. I check sports news updates, text 4- info for scores, read random sports tidbits on Yahoo news. Not that I care about the sports for the sake of the sport, but I care about my husband, and our marriage.

When the Bulls win or the Bears make a good trade, is a night I can easily say,

“Honey, can you wash the dishes, bathe the baby, and buy me a Hermes scarf?”

When Jay Cutler injured his thumb, and yesterday when Derrick Rose tore his ACL, those were not nights to burn dinner, poke fun at his family, or reveal any indication of happiness on earth.

Chicago teams – YOU SHTUNKY !!! (as my kid would say)

My husband gave up on the Cubs two years ago, finally. But the rest of the teams, the Bulls, Bears, and BlackHawks. Please stop teasing him. Stop doing well, and then choking, or conveniently getting yourselves injured at the end of the season.

I’ve been eyeing a few choice items, and you keep screwing it up!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Humor, Slice of Life

 

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On Giving Up

I am a pessimist. And somehow I think G-d only runs my world, and everyone else’s just runs course with nature.

There are people, who I am very ashamed to admit, I have given up on. Given up on them getting married, having children and those other big milestones in life that some people have a hard time reaching (growing up, is another).

Lately though, my pessimism, and no expectation attitude has come under fire. One friend had a baby, a neighbor is pregnant, another person I care for, married for ten years, has put on her first skirt with an expandable panel (I cried when I heard that).

And then there are the engagements, classmates, who we predicted in High School would be the last ones, well, they are the last ones, but they’re doing it all the same. People who were staff members, when I was camper in camp, popping up on OnlySimchas, my sister’s sister-in-law, 42, announcing her engagement. These things are happening, all over around me.

I feel like G-d is clobbering me on the head, saying “Believe! Not just for yourself, but for other people too”.

It’s hard though. When you give up, you lose all expectation, and you just accept. Accept the status quo, you don’t fight, you don’t try and most of all you relinquish responsibility. I didn’t daven for them, I didn’t take challah for them, or say perek shira, or shir hashirim for 40 days. It was convenient for me to think they were hopeless, because then, I wouldn’t be obligated to go that extra mile. I wouldn’t worry, or feel bad every time I saw them, because I just accepted that this is who they were.

I sound terrible, cold-hearted, and selfish, I know. But part of me is also uncomfortable with the fact that I have wahat other people want so desperately, and I don’t always appreciate it the way I should (referring to children here, not marriage, that I appreciate very consciously), and maybe I have a bit of a guilty conscience. It’s a way for me to distance myself from others, make myself less uncomfortable, by putting them in a different league.

But things keep happening, Baruch Hashem. I get so happy, excited, joyous from the news, and then elated and also baffled by being wrong.

I may soon have to acknowledge my tehilim and stop being a passive observer.

Or I may be human, and wait for “one more sign”.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Musings

 

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As Good as it Gets

The post is in response to Princess Lea’s “Splitsville

 When I got engaged, Leah Foster (who I taught with at the time) gave me this sagely piece of advise – if you can call it that. After she said it, other older teachers who were sitting around bored with their own marital advice expressed their disapproval, and that I should disregard what she said. I didn’t. And I don’t remember any lessons for marital bliss they extended, unsolicited, but I remember Leah’s and firmly believe and stand by it. Very eloquently she said,

“Oooh marriage! [rubbing her hands together in glee with a clichéd mischievous glint in her eye] Get ready for some high high’s and low lows. The highs are amazing, you’ll never feel better, and the lows, well, you never felt so bad in your life.”

I’m a big believe of balance in this world. As good as it get, it as bad as it can be, and I think marriage is one of those cases, where a person can witness this duality so clearly.

When you care and invest so much into something, the dividends are that much more sweeter and appreciated, and when there are moments where your investment seems to falter, and fail – you’re a lot more disappointed, frustrated and upset, than the time you dropped your lollipop.

The closer you are to someone, the more they can hurt you. You don’t care when some large black woman in Shoprite mutters under her breath how rude and inconsiderate you are that you bumped into her with your run-amok-wheels are in opposite directions- shopping cart. You said you were sorry when it happened, it’s her problem that she’s still bugging about it. When your husband calls your rude and inconsiderate, I’d like to see you brush it off that easily. It’s just the way life is.

We have more expectations of the people we are close to. We expect them to love us, care for us, protect us, be there for us, and when they sometimes (and almost inevitably) fall short at times,               (because no one is perfect always) it hurts, that much more.

 How could they do this to us?!

 Don’t we mean anything to them?!

Maybe we don’t???!

 What are we doing?

What does this all mean?!

 

And we start to doubt everything we know.

 

If you don’t recognize the cycle you will fall victim to it.

I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong these days. Not just in marriage, but in all relationships.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Marriage

 

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The Crossing of Marriage and Life

Before you get married everyone tells you marriage is a growing experience.

You grow as a person and a couple. You learn to put up and shut up about some things. You learn how to control your temper, understand or at least appreciate other perspectives.  You learn think twice before you speak and how to phrase your words. You learn to respect privacy, boundaries, and opinions You learn to pick your battles, and discern what’s important in the long run, and what can fall to the way side.

This is good growth, and healthy marriage practices.

My only question is, this whole growing process, is it to be shared and spread onto other aspects of your life, working relationships, family relationships, children?

I’m assuming not, because if it were so I must come to the conclusion that most people are miserable in their marriages….

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 27, 2010 in Marriage

 

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The Futility of Secrets

There are Lamed Vav tzadikim nistarim; what happened to the women?

 This question was typical of the many very deep and philosophical conversations I have with my husband over dinner.

 We though quietly for moment and then decided we couldn’t speak for previous generations, but in today’s day it’s impossible to be a tzadekes nisteres (If that’s the right word for it)

 This is for the few simple reasons; let me edify you.

 With today’s shidduch crisis, if you’re a girl, and you have a good quality, you better broadcast in on Primetime TV (primetime? TV? What’s that?), not even to get an edge over other girls, but to be in contention at all. So even if you pride yourself on your clandestine charity work, I don’t suggest that you do so in this critical stage in life.

 Then if by rare chance, you made it though shidduchim without revealing your tzadekes status, getting your child into school will.

 You thought shidduchim competition was bad? Forget about it. Take any pride you may have had, get down on your hands and knees, beg, and grovel for your child to be accepted to your third choice school.

 If you don’t let them know what a beautiful, amazing, phenomenal person you and your husband are, how solid your yiddishkeit is, how Torah is the cornerstone of home, and that your chinuch is exactly on par with whatever the schools ideology is, short of performing miracles (on second though, performing miracles is not a bad idea) dream on about your child’s formal Jewish education.

 If on even the slim to nil chance you still did not have to reveal your lofty status….your children are back in shidduchim and you’re on display again…azoy geit dus.

 I’m sure there are some of you out there who may be insisting that you were able to maintain your covert charity. All I say to you is, You’re a Narcissistic Benefactor, a contradiction in terms, if there ever was one.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 2, 2009 in Jewish, Shidduchim

 

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Marital Fued (food)

I love pizza, yogurt, tacos, coffee, onions, hot pepper, cumin and tomatoes. My husband likes pizza and can tolerate yogurt (in theory) everything else on the aforementioned list is nuclear waste to him: dangerous and garbage.

It’s really normal for people to have different palates and preferences when comes to taste (and smell, we all know the chazal), and I’m not complaining about that…what I am complaining about, well not complaining, but raising a point. Why do I, and most women cook for their husbands taste and not their own?

Yes, of course we want to please out husbands and make them happy. Keep them contented and full, but seriously, I can’t remember the last supper I made with me as top priority. I’d like kid myself that I am just that giving of a wife, but honestly I’m not.

Maybe, I suppose it’s easier to make sacrifices on your own part then expect someone else to do it for you. (Yes, food is a big sacrifice)

I mentioned this to my husband, he heard my point and encouraged me to make supper for myself, this very night.

“Tacos?” I suggested brightly.

“Whatever you want,” he chided.

I perked up, wow, this was beautiful martial giving at work, I knew I married a great guy! “I’m not gonna be home for supper tonight, R’s sheva brachos, remember.” He finished.

Maybe it’s really just that the old adage is right, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” and deep down we instinctively know it’s true, and follow through accordingly.

Whatever the psychology is, I’m having cereal and milk for supper tonight.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 1, 2009 in Food, Marriage

 

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TimeZones and Marriage

It’s weird. I got married 5 months ago. My friend’s sister got married 11 months ago, and now my friend (whose sister I just mentioned) is getting married in 2 months.

In 20 years, 10 years, 5 years, possibly less, we’ll look at each other, tell our kids, and spouses and selves, that we all got married in the same year, what a short time, what a shared experience.

But living in it now, it’s not at all like that. It seems like forever. That her sister was married and settled so long ago, that I got engaged so much after that (even if it was just two and half months) that I had a long tortuous 4 month engagement, and while I was already engaged my friend dated about 6 guys, sagas included, before she got engaged 2 months ago.

There was so much life lived during that time, so much differences, so much anxiety, happiness, waiting, hoping, wondering, aspirations, ifs…on all our parts, that were unique to ourselves.

…and I’m not sure when it becomes all relative, but there’s a big difference between someone married 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, a year…   and between the 3 of us, were living in different time-zones.

So in years from now, when we’ll say “Ye, we all got married then, all around the same time, same experience” I think we’re cutting our lives short.

Or maybe that perspective years later, will give me perspective on the one I have now.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2009 in Jewish, Marriage

 

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Husband Hashpa’ah #1

Ever since I’ve gotten married, I expanded my vocabulary. This is of course encouraged by all educators, as it broadens the mind and enables a person to communicate more accurately and effectively. It’s also a great way to look smart and intimidate people when need be. However, I’m not sure my newly acquired lexis, will garner me much fear and respect. You see, I’ve learned to speak yeshivish, courtesy of my husband.

I’m sure you understand that there are several levels in increasing one’s vocabulary: there is recognizing the word while reading, using the word in writing and last using the word in your own speech.

It’s not just that my husband uses these words and I understand him. But even further, I’ve found these words creeping into conversations with my friends, who are, well, far from yeshivish. I’m finding it mildly amusing, but mostly bemusing as I feel my IQ dropping by the idiom.

I compiled several examples of my lapses in to “yeshivish” for your entertainment….I’m too self depreciating, I know :)

Maskim – I’m not Maskim to that style, navy and black does not match

Chutsh – He said no, after 6 dates? Did he chutsh give a decent reason

Lmaaysa – She thought she was going to BJJ, then she figured Bnos Sarah, l’maaysa, she’s in Machon Half Day and Touro

Ein hechi nami – I’m not, not going with you, ein hachen ami, I’m just not coming, I don’t feel well

Lechoyra – She seems like a nice girl, Lechoyra, but honestly, I don’t really know her

Epes – It has epes a design on the skirt, real nice.

Be’eztem – It’s a nice idea to buy a 16 piece serving set by Noritake, but be’etzem I don’t think it’s gonna work out, kollel budget, remember?

B’kiztur – ….she told her that she didn’t mean that, but she thought that she said she did and around and around, whatever, b’kitzur, they’re not talking

Ch’kav – ooooh, that salad bowl is ch’kav…I like those details, don’t think I’ve ever seen that combination anywhere

Mudne – she said that? Really? That’s mudne, why would they do that?

Shvacha meysos – She said she worked on it for hours, look at it, shvacha meysos, she dumped it together in five minutes

Uber – I wanted to buy that ring, uber I knew my Rabbi was getting me something for yomtov so I just waited

Raya – Ye….can you tell me about Chanche Bronche? She’s very hardworking…ye, and creative….can you give me a raya?

Klering – I’m going to my in-laws for the first days; we were klering on going the second days, but I have to be back for work

Dveilah – I’m looking for a job, dveilah, I’m brushing up on my culinary skills.

UpShlug (shlug someone up) – The salesperson tried giving me a million and half stupid reasons why it looked great on me, and that I should buy it, but I had no patience and she was making me nervous, so I shlugged her up on every point….ooh it felt good…Good thing I don’t shop there that often

Zicher – He’s zicher gonna want to come home, so I’ll have to cook supper anyway

Ten points for you if you can define each word I used. Have fun in the comments!

Part 2 in 2 days.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on October 7, 2009 in Jewish, Marriage

 

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Compliment Complex

Cana someone tell me what the wait time is before I can start believing people when they compliment me?

It’s one of the woes of getting married.

“Didn’t they teach you to cover your hair in Kallah Classes?”

“It looks like it’s growing out of your head!”

“It looks just like your hair, amazing!”

Look, I love my shaitel (as much as you can love an itchy net with someone else’s hair [Thank You Olga, Yetta, and maybe even Sven] sewn into it). I look amazing, but it’s not that good, and any Jewish person with a discerning (or not even so) eye will notice how it doesn’t bristle in the wind, how humidity will not frizz it, and when I run my fingers through it, it goes perfectly back into place. They may also notice the tell tale line at the forehead (go with bangs my friends, most natural!)

And then there’s everyone going on how amazing I look.

“You lost weight!”

“I can feel your ribs through that hug”

“Such cheekbones!”

“Oiy so Cheenush” (gotta get the right accent on that line)

Gimme a break, I gained weight, like most people do after their wedding. Nothing significant, 2-3 pounds, but it shows up in my face first, so it’s like “Hello, fat”.

I’m just not used to eating such complete meals a day. Lunch is a whole sit-down affair with with fruit and salad and bagels and cookies for dessert. I’m used to eating cereal and milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner .

OF COURSE I GAINED WEIGHT and you denying the fact, and actually proclaiming the opposite makes me feel even fatter, and like a baby, “Awww you’re so cute, such pulkes”, except when you’re a newlywed it’s “Awww, you’re such a cute couple, look how they look at each other, you look amazing, you’re shaitel…..”

So, I’m on a diet.

And hiding away in my snood (one of my shaitels is right where it belongs, back at the shaitel macher, yay)

Compliment me if you dare…and if you do, you know how I’ll respond.

“Oh, thank you so much…really, you think so?…I dunno, I’m not used to it yet…Thanks, I’ve been feeling so fat, it’s good to hear someone think otherwise…”

I’m so good at smiling and nodding it’s terrible; I guess I’m just lying right back at ‘em

 
18 Comments

Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Marriage

 

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