Thursday, February 26, 2009

Red Light Green Light....Oh. My. Gosh.

It seems like my identity has been stolen. No, nobody stole my credit and made a huge number of purchases. Nor did anybody make any kind of changes to my credit score as far as I know.I mean my identity as a person. It used to be like: "Hi my name is SD and I am 20 years old and I have an older sister so I am not in shidduchim yet."
Not anymore. Apparently, MP has gone behind my back and robbed me of my identity. She has told my parents that she does not want me to wait for her any longer.
I officially have the green light. I am officially in shidduchim. Yikes.I wasn't home last night, when my mother called me at 10:30 to let me know. I texted a few friends to let them know, ya know, spread the word kinda thing. By 11:30 I was getting very depressed. "I can't believe this!" I told my friend. "It's already been an hour since I officially started shidduchim and not a single phone call yet!"
Uh, no. I wasn't serious. I wasn't expecting to get many phone calls. Not in the first hour, day, week, or even month. In fact, I'm not very sure how my status is really changed. I guess it all becomes more real now. SD in shidduchim? Yikes...what a thought. And here I was, coming to terms with the whole waiting for a red light business.
Oh well..
I always imagined waiting until MP got engaged, in which case I'd have a bit of warning. I must admit this is all pretty shocking...
And once again, I'd like to publicly note MP's strength of character. I am sure this decision was a really difficult one for her to make, but she did, and that impresses me.

So bring on TBB people! ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Truth Hurts

My friends and I were playing an awesome game on motzei shabbos. It's called Loaded Questions, and the object is to see how well you know each other. So you take a group like the five of us, where we all know each other really well, and you have a great time. Basically, the game goes like this: one person asks a question, and the others answer. Then the person who was 'it' hears someone read all the answers and has to guess which one was written by who(m?). It was really funny, and had all of us laughing really hard at times. There was one question, that was actually totally serious, that really got me thinking.

"What is the most hurtful thing you can say to a person?"

After we established that SD had not been the one who wrote "there is a booger hanging out of your nose", we came to the definitive conclusion that SD's answer was the best. (No, I'm not bragging. Just need to report the facts as they are.)
My answer: "The (hurtful) truth"

This is a theory I have; the truth hurts. If you want to insult someone, don't tell them they look like a frog. They don't and it won't hurt them. Tell them that the only reason people are friends with them is because they pity them. Or tell them that they shouldn't bother trying to dress up so much, that she's ugly anyway. Or tell them that all the makeup in the world can't cover up those awful pimples. Or whatever other dart you can find to throw and pierce them in the most painful part of their heart.

We can also turn this around, use it the other way. If someone tells you something, makes a comment, and it hurts, you can learn something about yourself. That comment, at the very least grazed the truth. "You're fat!" did that hurt? Maybe because you wish you were skinnier but can't seem to figure out how to get there. If someone tells you that you sing really badly, and that hurts, wouldn't it stand to reason that you feel a truth in this? That you really wish you could sing better than you do?
So when someone makes a hurtful comment to you, look yourself in the eye, take a serious look, and ask yourself why that hurts so much.
Chances are, you have a lot to learn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

'Tis the Season to be Jolly!

No! Silly! Not THAT season! I'm talking 'bout the Jewish season of being merry!
So it's Rosh Chodesh Adar, and I'm trying to increase my joy. But how do I do that?
Well, in elementary school, we played "shtick" on our teachers. After the long process of getting the whole class to agree to one idea of "shtick" then the even longer process of getting the principal to agree to the "shtick", we would invariably bring in paper bags to put over our heads and baby pictures to place in front of us, and have the teacher guess who we are.
Then, high school came along. The "shtick"-approving process got longer, leading to some unapproved "shtick" which in turn led to detention. But as the years went on, and we grew tired of having a girl hide in the closet and pop out in middle of the lesson, the real reason behind "shtick" came to light.
All we needed was a break in routine. If the routine manner of coming to school was in black socks/tights, then doesn't it stand to reason that a great "shtick" would be to wear polka dotted socks, or socks with colorful stripes?
And so seminary passed, and I entertained thoughts of wearing beige tights with seams to class on Rosh Chodesh Adar. (I didn't, simply because I couldn't get passed the Chassidish secretary for approval;)
And now, here I am. &?@$ years post seminary. And I am DYING for some "shtick." Call it a break in routine. Call it an immature streak. Call it boredom. But I can't help but mourn the loss of my youth, where I got to do immature things and label it "shtick", whereas now, if I want to do immature things, I have to make sure I am far from the prying eyes of bloodthirsty shadchanim.
I had a brief thought of pranking my boss-oops- I meant doing "shtick" on my boss, but I like my job, so that's out. And I don't think that even the boss with the best sense of humor in the world would appreciate tasting their coffee and finding that someone replaced the sugar with salt.
So I was going to see if my mother wanted to bear the brunt of my desire to play "shtick". But somehow I don't think me and my mother share senses of humor, and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't find it funny to turn on the kitchen sink in the morning and find that I'd duct-taped the dish washing hose thing down, so that instead of water coming out of the faucet it comes spraying from the thing on the side.
So here it is, Rosh Chodesh Adar, and I can't seem to figure out how to get a break in routine. Calling in to work dead might work, but they might find me a replacement before I can make a grand re-appearance. And cutting my hair into a bob might work too, but I wanted something without long term ramifications.
And so, I ask all post high school people out there......How are you celebrating Rosh Chodesh Adar? How will you increase your joy today? What will be your outlet for the inner child deep inside of you, longing to do "shtick"?

Ah gutten chodesh everyone, and remember- be happy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Free Fun In NYC

I once saw an article entitled "10 free things to do in NYC." I'm not sure why my latest entertainment idea wasn't on their list.

I was in midtown Manhattan with my mother and sister, and somehow, got led into Saks Fifth Avenue. Now realize that I am a complete idiot, as I have absolutely no understanding of brand names. It whole idea completely escapes my brain's processing capabilities. Therefore, you can probably imagine my complete lack of interest in the brand-name wonderland we had stepped into. For those of you who have never been there, basically the store (or at least the part we were in) looks like this: there is an immense room, with the entire makeup/perfume inventory showcased by a very large number of very pushy salespeople.

Bordering the room, are little 'boutiques' from the various companies who's names nobody can pronounce. So while my mother had an excellent saleslady from clinique persuade her into sitting down for a "free" beauty consultation, I decided to entertain myself. So I headed for Louis Vuitton.

I picked up a small pocketbook, and looked for a price tag. None. If I had been looking seriously to purchase it, that would have sent alarm bells off in my head. But, obviously, I wasn't actually looking to purchase anything. So I approached the saleslady. "There is no price tag on this. Does that mean it's free?" She glowered at me and said "That bag costs $750" I dropped it like a hot coal. "That's not in my price range."

I scurried off, before I got myself kicked out of the store. I decided to try another tactic. I picked up a pair of shoes and walked over to the next saleslady. "I don't see a price on these." Being the very helpful saleslady that she was, she offered to look up the price. They were $650, but I wasn't finished. "I don't like the color, do you have any others?" She directed me over to a rack of the same shoes in patent leather. "I like the black ones, but I want them in the suede, do you have that?" The lady was regretful to inform me that she doesn't have them. And I was regretful to say goodbye.

Then I decided to escalate things a little. I walked into Tod's. I approached the saleslady, and began describing a Tod's bag I had seen in a different location. "It was probably a signature bag or something. It was black with large white letters saying Tod's across it. Do you carry that one" The woman was confused. "You saw it this season?" "Sure I did! I saw it this week, in the Tod's outlet in Woodbury Commons."

That is when the lady got insulted. "The outlet stores sell old merchandise. We don't sell that here." I apologized for my ignorance and looked around for a minute. "This bag is nice, how much is it?" She smiled at me. "That one is $1325." I flinched. "That is out of my price range. Do you have something on sale?" If she was insulted before, the lady was seriously offended now. "No, we don't have sale merchandise here." I thanked her and left. I met my mother and sister outside and burst out laughing. I couldn't let the fun stop there, so I headed into Salvatore Ferragamo.

I put my best acting skills to use, glad to have tried on some makeup at one of the counters. I walked in, looked around for a few minutes, and approached the saleswoman. "I like this bag, how much is it?" She took me very seriously, and started extolling the virtues of the bag. After showing me the extra strap and the interior pockets and noting my eager expression she pulled out the price tag. "This bag is $1650." Although I was horrified at the price, my flinch at that point was part of the act. "Wow, I was looking for something cheaper. Do you have a sales rack?"
The lady turned white. She gave me an enormous glare and said, in her snootiest tone. "Not in Ferragamo."

I managed to keep my face straight as I quickly said goodbye and thank you. Then I left, and burst into peals of laughter. And poor Mom, muttering under her breath about how she can't figure out how I managed to be just like my father, had to pull me out of the store by my ears before I could go and see the Prada salesperson's opinion on sales racks.

Plans for next time: Does Louis Vuitton have pocketbooks without the LV's all over them? I intend to ask them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Shidduch Plan of "Attack"

The following is one of my favorite shidduch stories of all time. Before anyone accuses me of attempting to spread an urban legend, please let me clarify. I personally know the people involved in this story.

There was a girl from Boro Park, and she came to monsey for the day. She was driving around, taking care of whatever she had to take care of in monsey. Then, suddenly-
She found the front of her car firmly embedded in the back of the car in front of hers. While her immediate instinct was to panic, she remembered her manners, and like a true bas yisroel who is on the market, she calmly stepped out of her car and blushed at the yeshivah bochur who stepped out of the other car. Spotting a potential problem, the boy, who was from monsey, called his parents down to the scene to mediate.
While taking care of the various details involved in a car accident, the parents noticed her aidelkeit and fine middos. And so, in addition to getting her name, number, and insurance information, they asked for some references.
The end of the story is rather obvious....they boy's parents had a shadchan redt the shidduch. They went out. They got engaged. They got married. Now they are living happily ever after with ten kids. Well, only two, but you get it...
So here is my new shidduch battle plan. Literally, battle. I'm going to find out which boys I am interested in dating and what kind of cars they drive. I will then follow them around, looking for opportunities to smash into their cars without making it obvious.
As long as I can keep my cool, maintain my good middos, they will surely ask me for more than just my insurance information.
Unbelievable? Believe it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Input vs. Output

This was going to go up on my diabetes blog, as it starts out on a diabetes note, but I feel that the lesson carries through to other parts of life, so I decided to post it here.

This morning, I sent a text to a number of my contacts, most of whom have diabetes, saying:
"Good morning! This is to inform you that SD will be having perfect numbers today. If not, it will not be due to a lack of effort on her part. Thank you. :)"
I got varying responses, from "sweet dreams" to "good luck" to "me too" but I have a feeling my message was misunderstood.
A diabetes educator once told me that when patients are embarrassed to show their blood sugar records to the doctor, it shows one thing: they didn't try their hardest. If I try really hard, I test my blood sugar as often as I should, and I count my carbs and take my insulin the way I should. No matter what the result of my efforts is, whether my ensuing blood sugars are the way I want them to be, I can be proud knowing that I did my best.
So last night, I decided to do this will be my strategy for the day. It was a good thing, because I woke up with a high blood sugar. Normally, my reaction would be: well, it's too late to have a good-numbers day so why bother.....
But today I decided: Any lack of perfection is not due to a lack of effort on my part. I tried my best. And that is all I need to know. Sure I would rather have had my blood sugar rest on an even plateau of 100 all day, but if it didn't...well I am not ashamed or embarrassed. I did my best.
And that's how it goes in life. Things don't always go as planned, yet, we can't let it get us down. We control one thing only: our input. If you try your hardest, and fail nonetheless, that is not something to be ashamed of.
So that is my new project. I will be trying my best, to do my best, and I will be proud of the results, no matter what they are.

(ETA: I sent it to four friends who don't have diabetes, but knew that I was struggling to motivate myselft and have better control. Probably the fact that it was early in the morning and I was checking off my recently texted contacts had something to do with it. Oh, and I figured that the more people that know about this, the more embarrassing it would be for me not to comply.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Running a Red?

BigChamor21 presented me with a question:
"What do you think is harder, waiting for a red light or being a red light?"
I'll confess, when I first read the question, I misunderstood. I thought she meant it in regards to driving, which made no sense. I mean, a red light is an inanimate object, and probably never realized that there is a better existence out there.
Then I realized. She was referring to MP and me. Or perhaps she meant the question in general. Who has a harder time of things, the older sister, who is holding someone up, or the younger sister, who is being held up.
I don't think I'm qualified to give a broad answer on this topic. I mean, I haven't conducted an exhaustive study on inter-sister relationships. My hypothesis though, is that it would be different in each case. (Brave guess, huh?)
Take MP and SD. I think I am more chilled out about not being in shidduchim than anyone you've ever met. Don't get me wrong. I am dying to get married, beyond what I can describe. But I see this time as a blessing. I mean, I'll get married when the time is right, so isn't it nice not to have to spend the meantime in shidduchim? Think: no meetings with shadchanim, no pressure to go out and be seen, no fear over who will see me and how I look and.... Cool, isn't it? Not to mention, MP is really helping me by warding off the hoards of NS and WMS ready to swoop down on me and attempt to make me depressed. (As if!)
So I'm chilled. I'll get married. No point in worrying.
On the flip side, MP has every reason to be worried. Those of you who took the BOSD Road Rage Quiz may have surmised that I'm the type of person who wouldn't mind running a red light or two. So you can imagine her anxiety. I might run a red, and leave her, the lonely red light, swaying in the wind.
So I'd have to say, I think BEING a red light is worse than WAITING for one. But then again, I wouldn't know. I've never been a red light.

What do you think? Anyone out there ever been a red light? Waited for one? Which would you say is worse?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mazel Tov To.....!!

It was a weird twist of irony on Friday. An hour after I put up my "Mixed Feelings" poem, I got a phone call. The caller ID read: BigChamor21. (No, that's not her real life name, duh!)

SD: Hello?
BC: SD, can you hear me?
SD: Sure I can. What's up?
BC: I'm engaged!
SD: you're WHAT?
BC: I'm engaged.
SD: (laughs out loud)
BC: What's so funny SD?
BC: Nothing. Oh my gosh. Mazel tov. Mazel tov! MAZEL TOV!

And that was basically it. Three hours later, I still had this dumb grin on my face, and I was still busy telling my family that I can't believe BigChamor is engaged. And I saw signs coming but...oh my gosh.
When I wrote in my last post that the friend who got engaged is my only Real Life Friend that knows about my blog, I was serious, but I didn't mention BigChamor. See, she's also a real life friend. Well, sorta. I feel like I know BC really well, but in truth I wouldn't even recognize her if I met her in the street. Cause we've never met. BC and I don't live in the same city, and whenever I have been to her city...well, she's been busy. and when she's been to mine....whatever. I am not her to air any dirty laundry. I wanted to tell you a little about BigChamor and me, and about our relationship....heehee
BigChamor is a friend of a friend. That friend, we'll call her Mrs. Tzadekes, borrowed my phone to text BigChamor something, as she didn't have texting. It should be mentioned at this point, that another friend of mine, let's call her Miss Chessed Head, also decided to try to make us friends. She did not however, succeed. But MT sent this text, BC texted back....and the rest was history.
Texting led to talking...much to the chagrin of my roommates in seminary, as our conversations lasted well into the night at points. And here we are. A year and a half post seminary, nobody to disturb with our conversations, and we are still friends.
It's interesting to note, that when I first met BC, I had 1000 texts a month, because the plan down was 200, and I used about 300. It wasn't long after I became friends with BC that I was worrying about going over at the end of each month.
Anyway, my BigChamor is engaged. She is already planning for me to lose touch with her after her wedding, and is thus planning a really long engagement. (Isn't that kind of her?)
Now, I am not sure what I am thinking writing all this, because BigChamor is certainly reading this, and won't be very happy 'bout it. So....enjoy it while it lasts, cuz this post will probably get the lowest grade of all.
So in an effort to save my skin, here is a Bracha to the new kallah: you and your chosson should be zoche to build a bayis ne'eman biyisroel, and you should be zoche to lots of mazal and bracha and hatzlocha and parnassah and gezunt and happiness and all the rest of the good stuff ad meah ve'esrim. Oh, and your living room should have the nicest totem pole this side of the Hudson. ;)

Oh, one more thing, isn't her name AWESOME? Lol, no? 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mixed Emotions

(I wrote this the minute I got off the phone with my friend, when she called to say she is unofficially engaged. I felt so selfish that I was feeling that way, but I am told it is a normal feeling... I waited till it was official to post this, so here it is. This friend is my only real life friend who knows about my blog, so I hope and pray that she doesn't read this...)

How do you describe the feeling?
Excitement reaches to the ceiling,
But I don't feel like I'm even dealing!

It's going be tomorrow night,
My friend a kallah? What a sight!
So why do I suddenly feel such fright?

Why do my eyes feel a little wet,
What reason is there, to be upset?
When my friend and her chosson have now met!

Lechaim, vort and shower too!
"Im yirtzeh Hashem by you!"
She now has so much stuff to do!

I can't help but feel a tinge of despair,
As she moves on, and leaves me here,
But my day doesn't seem anywhere near!

It's my confidant, my closest friend,
Who's wedding I now have to attend,
But our friendship as I know it will now end!

It's not completely selfish you see,
I'm thrilled to see her so happy,
Yet I can help but think of me!

The first words that she said tonight,
When she called me sounding bright,
Tried to make me feel alright,

She kind of failed with that endeavor,
To make me think this would last forever,
And our current friendship wouldn't sever,

"We'll always be best friends you know,
Or else I really wouldn't go,
You're not a friend I would just throw!"

But now it's different, don't deny!
You'll have a husband, and that's why!
But what about me? I'll just stand by.

So yes my dear, I'm thrilled for you!
I'm really happy, through and through!
But it's hard for me, I'll say it too!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Childhood Traumas

I mentioned in a comment on my post about TBB that there is no problem that a boy could have that would make me say no on the spot, without looking into it a little. But I must confess. That is not true There is one thing I would not hear of.
Not because of what they mean to the amputee, but because of what they mean to me. I am not sure why I am divulging my biggest fear to the world. And I am not sure why I am even letting myself think about this, as there is no way I will write this post and then sleep normally tonight. the name of a blog post-here goes nothing.
I won't go into the gory details, but just after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I was told about the complications. I think this was a scare better do what we tell you or in a few years you will be blind, have heart failure and no limbs. Btw, did I ever mention that the first doctor I went to was cruel? Whatever the case, I was told that if my blood sugar would be out of control I would find myself getting "complications" from diabetes. These complications include heart disease, blindness, and of course, nerve disease leading to amputations, Chas V'shalom. You can imagine that this was not easy for any kid to handle. As it was, I was trying to adjust to a whole new way of life, to a whole regimen of needles and finger pricks and doctors.... But the slight nagging fear turned traumatic when I opened the door of the office and in the hallway was a a wheelchair....with no legs. A cruel coincidence? An actor paid by the doctors office to show the kids that they mean business? I don't know. Whatever the case, for a diabetes veteran of two weeks, it was the end. Right then and there started my lifelong fear and trauma of missing limbs.
When I see a picture of someone without legs, I feel shaky. I know this is not a rational fear. But every time my blood sugar goes high, I see that man...sitting in a wheel chair, missing his legs, only he face.
(Please realize that it takes much more than one high blood sugar to cause these complications. They are caused by years of out of control blood sugars, which stem from the old fashioned method of diabetes control, which in turn resulted from the lack of knowledge and education that there was until recent years. Nowadays, diabetes complications are quite rare.)
And so, there you have it. My biggest fear. I can't face it, in any manifestation. So bring on TBBs (the best boys) with TBBs (the big buts). But spare me the amputations. I just can't handle that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monthly Minutes Meshugas

I have been told by various sources that my minutes usage is a little over the top. I mean, I have unlimited minutes and texting and I try my hardest every month to make sure my cell phone company regrets it. (I think the next time I go into a cell phone store there will be a warning sign with my picture on it...)
My father managed to make me feel the sickest about the number of minutes I used this month by reminding me to divide by sixty to see how many hours I used. Then he had me figure out how many hours are in a month.
I don't like having a math genius for a father.

So now I am wondering. What is the most cell phone minutes (N&W plus daytime) that you have used in a month? How about texting?
Or are you, like me, embarrassed to admit to something like that?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Golda Perel Schwartz

Recently, I drove someone to an appointment pretty far away, so they found a GPS device for me to use in my efforts to get us there. It was the first time I drove any distance with a GPS device, and I couldn't get over how brain numbing the experience was.
I am pretty good with directions. I mean, highways never fazed me. I just need to know the basics of how to get there, and I'm good to go, I can figure most of it out.
But I found myself totally relying on this little box with a little voice telling me how to get around. If I wouldn't have better things to get insulted over, I would probably take offense at the insinuation that my sense of direction combined with my nifty talent for reading signs, couldn't do as well as the machine could.
Anyhow, As the journey went on, and I got bored, I thought of some useful ways to entertain myself with my new friend: Golda Perel Schwartz.
She kept telling me that I was going to arrive at 1:04, and I was trying my absolute hardest to prove her wrong. And slowly, I did. First it was 1:02, then the time I got there, and my little friend said 12:54, I felt very accomplished. I had managed to shave ten minutes off the trip!
On the way back, I decided that I had enough of brain numbing technology. I set the destination for the wrong place, and enjoyed counting how many times I could get Golda Perel to say, in that little Japanese synthesized voice, "Off Route! Recalculating!"

Then I launched into a speech for the benefit of my passenger about how awesomely amazingly terrific I thought Golda Perel (Goldy for short;) is, and how I should really buy one for myself (Kenei lecha chaver...). See, when moshiach comes, the eagle might not have such a great sense of direction. That would possibly be a problem, 'cept for my new friend. With Golda Perel along, we don't have to worry about getting lost.
I think my passenger decided that next time she has an appointment she will ask someone else to drive her. But other than that, together with my friend Golda Perel, we had a great time. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Technological Turmoil

Once, I was at a store quite a distance from my house, when my phone died. I panicked at the thought of driving all that distance home with no phone. I mean, what if something happens? So I went next door and bought myself a car charger for my cell phone.
When I got home, I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I mean, it was a mere few years ago that people didn't have cell phones at all. Now, the thought of a twenty minute drive without a cell phone is enough to send me into a state of panic.
And I laugh even more as I look to the future. How many more years will it be before people will panic at the thought of driving anywhere without a GPS device?
All that got me thinking. Is technology really so good? We have come to rely on it to an extent that we can't even bear the thought of attempting to function the way we did a few short years ago.
So as our brains are slowly replaced by artificial stupidity, I can't help pondering. How did I survive the days before cell phones? Texting? Remember the days when you had to develop a whole roll of film just to see your pictures? Remember the days when looking up a phone number meant opening a phone book, not clicking onto the white pages online directory? Remember the days when communicating with someone meant talking to someone on the phone, not IMing, texting or emailing?
And yet I like it better this way. So while I feel my brain slowly fizzling away and making it's way to the Great Circuit Breaker in the sky, I am cool with that. I like technology. I like it that when insomnia hits at 4 am I don't have to get out of bed to type up my random thoughts. I like it that I don't print out (develop LOL) every last picture I take, putting myself at further risk for blackmail.
For now, I'll leave Grandma and Grandpa behind to tsk tsk at what the world had come to. I like progress. I like change. I like brain-numbing technology.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Appreciate Your Life Day

We say it every morning."Modeh Ani Lefanecha....shehechezarta bi nishmasi..."
Do you think about what you are saying? Do you realize that you are thanking Hashem that you woke up this morning? How often do we really stop and think about how grateful we are for life?
I chose today as the day that I will publicly thank Hashem that I am alive today. Here is why.

When I was younger, I was very into the "Great Brain" books, by John D. Fitzgerald. These are books set in a small town about a hundred years ago. I don't remember which one, but one of the books discussed a topic which made a really big impression on me until today. In the book, a little boy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Because this story took place before the doctors knew anything about diabetes or how to treat it, this was how the diagnosis went:
Doctor: your son has diabetes.
Distraught parents: so what do we do?
Doctor: take your son home and make him happy, because he will be dead within a few months.

That's what it was. As simple as that. Diabetes meant death. All that changed 87 years ago today. Why am I still here? Because on February 5th, 1922 insulin was discovered. Imagine this day from the perspective of parents who had been told on February 1st that their child has diabetes and is going to die within a few months. They are trying so hard to come to terms with it, can barely cope with the news. Suddenly, just five days later they hear about this miracle treatment of diabetes. Suddenly they find out that their son is not going to die after all. Do you think they would ever take life for granted again? Do you think I can? This video, which describes the history of insulin and it's discovery, really reinforces this feeling. Had I been born just 100 years earlier, I wouldn't have lived to see the wonderful(?) years of teenhood.
While, no, insulin is not a cure, it is life support. It allows me to live the rest of my life just like anyone else. And, as much as I don't want to have diabetes, I'd definitely take it over the alternative: death.
So, please join me, spread the word: I decided that I am proclaiming today to be "Appreciate Your Life Day". It might sound very emotional and perhaps overly female of me, but I don't care. I am so lucky to live in a time of great medical advances.
I am so lucky to live.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Big Sis

MP really is an amazing sister. I am not saying that just because I promised to. I mean it.
When someone has a simcha, it is always MP who remembers to send over a candy platter for the kiddush. (While SD might be the one to bake the cookies and arrange them nicely on a plate, she definitely needs MP to remind her in the first place.)
When someone in the neighborhood has a baby, or someone is sitting shivah (lehavdil), it is most certainly MP who thinks to send over supper.
If it is someones birthday, they should not expect SD to remember. She needs friends to remind her of her own birthday. (That might be because she wants to forget, but....) MP, on the other hand, not only remembers that it is that person's birthday, but she already bought them a great birthday card, and she remembers to send it with enough time in advance that it gets there for their birthday. (SD on the other hand, notices that her friend's chat status is "happy birthday to me" and she searches online for a funny e-card and gets it there for their birthday too!)
It is a similar story with return cards. MP fills them out the day they come, and even has cute little mazal tov stickers to make them more exciting. SD usually sends the friend a text saying "do you really think I would miss your wedding?" or something like that, and saves the stamp for something else. (Well, no, she doesn't really, but she is tempted to every time.)
Another example: MP, being a year older than SD, got her license a year earlier than SD did. And during that year, she was really sweet about taking SD wherever she needed to go, even if it was only until the initial novelty of being a licensed driver wore off.
MP is a great bargainer. (Is that a word?) If you are looking to buy a "coach" pocketbook on canal street, and don't want to pay very much, take MP along. She can sometimes convince the guy to pay you to take his merchandise home. Ok, I am exaggeration, but only slightly. I mean, she is really good at these things.
MP also has an amazing sense of humor. I mean, most of my family does, but are more successful than others. It all started one day when my mother, for some inexplicable reason, decided to take her young children to an art museum. MP looked around and said (really loudly): "Mommy, why is everyone looking at the WALLS?" The entire family laughed about it later, but MP still maintains that she said it on purpose, and she totally meant it as a joke. We don't believe her, but it makes a good story about the origins of her sense of humor. As a mature ;) adult, her humor has developed to a more advanced point, but still, we love her humor. Seriously (or not-so-seriously) we like the way she adds spice to things by inserting her humorous view of things.

(Wow, next time I need a favor, I should let MP read this... ;)

There are many more great things I could say about MP, (I mean it, why do you doubt me?) but I have one last great story about her.

Normally, I am the (sometimes maddeningly) calm one, and MP is the (overly) emotional one. But recently, something happened that made me really impressed with her. Without getting into details, she had a particular shidduchim story that was really, really rough. When it happened, I remember thinking that I would fall apart under the circumstances. Basically, it boiled down to a massive mistake on the part of a family member. Had they done that to me, I would have really had a hard time forgiving them. Yet, MP remained calm. She said that she will not get angry, and the zechus of that should help her find her shidduch faster.
All I can say is wow.

So while MP and I might have nothing in common, and we meet at simchos and have nothing to say to each other, I have to say that MP has a lot of good to offer the world, and I love her and am proud to call her my sister.

(And for my reader who thinks she is similar to MP, I hope this made you happy. Cuz the last post surely didn't. :-p)

Monday, February 2, 2009

MP...Kinda HTBT

To date, my post on maturity has been my most controversial and comment-provoking post. (Well, what did you expect, SD? People don't have much to say on insurance denying you your CGMS, so look for pity elsewhere!) So anyway, it was in a comment on there that someone said I am bashing MP too much, and that I should learn to appreciate her more. So I will now present one last MP-bashing post, and then I will dedicate an entire post to saying nothing but good stuff about her. (And I will refrain from making a wise crack about how it will by my shortest post ever...)

This story happened last Chol Hamoed, but we were reminiscing about it on Shabbos, and I laughed so hard that I had tears streaming down my face and into my cholent. I think it has a big HTBT element, but I decided to post it anyway, as I think it helps explain MP better than all the sarcastic posts in the world.

The way my family operates on Chol Hamoed is that we all sit around the house, till about 1 pm, fighting about where to go. Then, when we decide, it's usually too late to go there, so we push it off for the next day, and the cycle starts over.

So last Chol Hamoed, after having cancelled her plans with friends to spend the day with family, SD got very frustrated. So she suggested an IMAX. Not very thrilling, but good for the little ones to be able to go back to school and tell their friends "what they DID on Chol Hamoed", easy enough for the older ones to tag along, and cheap enough to make even my father like the idea.

So we went. My parents don't approve of the movie- turned-IMAX's, so instead we headed to the liberty science center to watch "The Science of Taking Risks". I can't tell you exactly what it was about, because I spent most of the show alternating between texting and being a bandwidth thief, but parts of it were cool. It was basically discussing the scientific aspect of why some people have an urge to do crazy risky things. I found that boring, but I enjoyed the part where they showed footage of things like skydiving and base jumping.

So, (after my very brief introduction;) here is the point of my story. At one point, they tried to get you into the mind of the person who is base jumping. In case you don't know, base jumping is one of the more dangerous pastimes a person can engage in. As they said on the IMAX, every person who does it knows at least one other person who died while base jumping. I can't say I can relate to this. I am the chicken who is afraid of the kiddie coaster at the amusement parks, so the whole thing is a giant mystery to me. What would someone have to be thinking?

My little sister says I would understand better if I had listened to the IMAX instead of shopping for a new wedding outfit online. But anyway, back to our story, they were trying to get you to feel the rush that they feel when they are about to base jump. Imagine, there is a huge screen, with a view off this enormous cliff. The speakers are playing the wind noises, trying to make you feel like you are actually there. Then, the moment gets closer. The camera shifts downward, and you get see 'yourself' in the gear of a base jumper. You can almost feel the heavy backpack strapped on your back. Then MP looks down and notices the boots. And I hear a stage whisper from two seats away saying "eww. I would NEVER wear such ugly boots".

So much for trying to get into the mind of the base jumper. MP would simply never be able to put her mind into a body adorned in such boots. I wouldn't think about base jumping cuz I like my life too much, but MP simply wouldn't consider the paraphernalia involved.

And that, my friends is MP.