Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top Ten Reasons To Say No To A Second Date

Ever tried to say no to another date with a guy, but the shadchan was a PS of the pushiest sort, and would hear nothing of it? An expert in the field, Bad4 helped me come up with some excuses to try for this week's Top Ten Tuesday:

10) "His eating habits are too complex. I just couldn't cook for him."

9) "He is sickeningly hairy. Ugh. Just ugh. Sorry... Oh, and tell him that before he goes out with another girl he might want to check out Brookstone's sale on nose-hair trimmers."

8) "Anivusdik isn't the word. He spent half of the night telling self depreciating stories. I got it. He's crud. Next time set me up with someone who has a little self worth."

7) "Not to insinuate that he's cheap, but haggling over four cents with the waiter seemed to be a little much, dontcha think?"

6) "His IQ is about comparable to his age, which doesn't say much for either."

5) "I wouldn't want my in-laws moving in with me, you know what I mean? I'm saying...they didn't just happen to be in the same restaurant as us, did they?"

4) "Nothing personal, but I really look down at him. Literally."

3) "Erm, when you told me that he is about 29, you meant give or take fifteen years, right?"

2) "I don't want to insinuate that he lives above his means, but should a checkout boy really be driving a Lamborghini?"

1) "I get queasy when I think about the way our kids would look."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Footprints In The Snow

(I wrote this poem when we had that big snowstorm. I wrote it in my head, standing watching the snow through the window. Didn't get a chance to post it 'till now, so here it is.)

My entire world is wrapped
In a blanket of snowy white.
Nose pressed to the frosty glass,
I am mesmerised by the sight.

Falling flakes illuminated,
By the soft glow of the moon,
and I am amazed all over again,
at the perfection in my cocoon.

The contrast is apparent
With a quick glimpse to my right
A slushy mess covers the road,
As the cars drive through the night.

But back inside my little world,
Perfection is all that you see,
A gorgeous blanket of clean white snow-
It's what's surrounding me.

Suddenly the stillness is shattered,
As a visitor breaks the spell,
Muddy footprints in place of perfection,
In which I wanted to dwell.

My world was just so clean and neat-
Now look what happened to it!
The shiny blanket of fresh snow,
Ruined when a stranger walked through it.

But looking at those dirty footprints,
That savagely wrecked my world,
I start to marvel at the simple truth,
That is now being unfurled.

A person's world is their cocoon,
To keep it fresh and new.
And they have to be wary of strangers,
That might come traipsing through.

Because once the footprints are there,
The damage can't be undone.
The muddy tracks still remain,
When the night makes way for sun.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Take on the Married-Friend Issue

"I don't have any married friends. Once they get married they are not my friend anymore."

I asked last week if you agree or not, and it sparked an interesting discussion. Here's my take. It's rather length, knotty, and fragmented in my mind, so let's hope that it comes up clearer.

The first issue is, how a person defines a friend. As one commenter so aptly put it, it depends how "emotionally married" they are. The girl who said this quote- proudly, I might add, is the kind of girl who sees friendship as an all or nothing proposition. Partial, or halfway friends don't make it on to her radar screen.

She had explained the quote further, saying, "before Rivka got married, she would spend half her time at my house. She knew all of my cousins, and went to their vorts and weddings. Now, a cousin of mine is getting married and Rivka didn't even hear about it until yesterday!"

She looked at me, expecting pity. I didn't offer any. "So why didn't you tell her earlier?"
She looked at me funny. "What do you mean? I don't speak to her often enough to tell her all of these little details."

So, in her case, a friend is someone who you speak to multiple times per day, see at least once a day, and share every tedious detail of your life with. Now you see how this quote makes sense. A friend who gets married and moves to a different town will not be seeing you once a day. And most likely, especially in the beginning, the newly married friend won't be speaking to you multiple times per day, sharing the minute details of her tedious existence with you.

If a person has a more sane, healthy, and balanced approach to friendship, this quote will not ring quite as true. Take me for example. Most of my good friends are married, yet I view them as friends every bit as much as before. Is our friendship the same? No, most definitely not. I mean, our conversations when they were single didn't revolve around which maternity stores are best to shop in, or how tired one is after having their baby scream half the night, or even about washing dishes and doing laundry. And yes, we talk less often. But I am confidant in my friendships, I know that regardless of the number of times per day (week? Month?) that I speak to her, we are still friends.

Another issue that we need to factor in is the amount of time elapsed since the wedding of the friend in question. If someone reading that quote has a close friend who had just gotten married, say, within the past month, this quote would ring truer than it does for most folks. Because yes, while friends remain friends regardless of what you find on their finger, it is normal and healthy for them to drop off the face of the planet for the first month or so after their wedding.

Then of course, there are the ensuing months of sickeningly newlywed behavior, which is really not so sickening. It's kinda supposed to go that way. "Yeah, so it was really funny. She said tha- husbandhomegottago." Click. In fact, I'll never forget the first time my friend spoke to me when her husband was around. It was the symbolic departure from the little cocoon of newlywedism.

The next, and hopefully last issue (this post is taking way too long to write) is the issue of "friendlys." These are the people that I wouldn't quite label as a "friend," but are not simply a "classmate" or a "coworker." I find that with friendlys, the above quote is completely true. Before she got married, we may have spoken together every couple of weeks, give or take a few accidental meetings in the grocery store. Now that she is married, I simply don't feel the pressure to keep up. And neither does she. And that's why we meet at simchas and feel dumb, because we last spoke at the vort of whoever is getting married at that wedding, and we used to sort of be friends.

In conclusion- oh forget it. I got more important things to do than conclude. You decide what you think. Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I Find My Family Hilarious

Motzei Shabbos, we had some married siblings over, and they were staying due to snow. After all of the kids were in bed, we sat down to play a great game. I mentioned it once before in a post, but I figured that for this week's Top Ten Tuesday I would share the laughs with you. We had a great time, as you will see below.

A quick overview of Loaded Questions, for those unfamiliar: Each person takes a turn reading a question from a card, which everyone else answers. Another person reads all the answers, and the first person has to guess who wrote each answer. Although I have been doing some reviews on here, I get nothing for telling you about this awesome game, but I certainly enjoy it!

10) At some point during the game, everyone got fed up with everyone else's fiddling with various electronics, and so we voted unanimously to take everyone's cell phones, ipods, laptops, and any other gadgets and place them in the corner of the table, out of everyone's reach. The next question, "How can you make a million dollars right now?" had a brilliant answer from my brother. "I would sell all of the electronics on this table." Oh, the joys of the electronics age! (JSYK, MP wrote, "if I had a way I wouldn't be sitting here playing this dumb game")

9) MP wrote some awesome answers, and will probably be featured the most in this post, as she is the only other family member my readers "know." When asked "What is the biggest advantage of being tall?" MP's answered showed the direction of her entire life. "Good for shidduchim"

8) "If you had wallpaper with one person's face plastered over it, who's face would it be?" MP "would have pretty wallpaper, without anyone's face on it"

7) My brother's answer drew pity from the crowd. When asked "What is the worst place to be stuck waiting" he answered, "for the bathroom in yeshivah"

6) I am apparently the only one who really thinks long term. "What are you really glad not to be doing now" had some short term answers, I was the only one who was glad that I am not "burning in gihennom"

5) "What is the meanest thing you can say to somebody" (which, incidentally, is the question that sparked the above linked post) had an answer that could only come from someone who is currently in the child-rearing stage of life. "When are you due?"

4) My brother tricked someone. When the question was "What luxury would you like to enjoy just once?" We were all sure that "a shopping spree at neiman marcus" was MP's. Nobody had a hard time guessing that I wrote "an unlimited shopping spree in the apple store"

3) When the question was "Which three words come to mind when you hear the word black?" most of us thought of black people. MP wrote (don't laugh) "clothing, clothing, clothing." The funny thing is, my married brother, who's knowledge of fashion is restricted to his wife, said "well, it has to be her, because she only wears black." Yeah, wise guy. Her and the rest of the frum bais-yaakovy, MP types.

2) One of the questions, asked of course, by MP, was "In your opinion, who makes the most stylish clothes?" I answered, "not the people who make mine." And she didn't even get it right!

1) For anyone who thinks I am making up the Perfect aspect of MP, here is her unedited answer to "If your picture would be on the Most Wanted List, what crime would you have committed?" Sit down. Her answer: "Being too perfect." I kid you not.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Product Review: What Could Be Better?

When the promo team over at CSNStores.com contacted me about doing a review, I thought long and hard about which product I would like. It's not every day that I do product reviews, and it's certainly not every day that I get to pick the product to review.

I spent an inordinate amount of time on the sight, cookware.com. I contemplated some new pots, or perhaps a cookware set. But I nixed those choices, figuring that until I have my own kitchen, a product like that would only be exciting to my mother. My thoughts turned toward gadgets, as they generally do. But I still couldn't think of a good product to order.

Later that day, as I sat in the local coffee shop with some friends, shmoozing over some cappuccino, I realized what I need to order.

I went home, hurried back to my computer, and checked on Cookware.com. I was astonished to discover their immense selection. If I ever open up a restaurant and find myself in need of a commercial sized coffee machine, I would definitely look for one on cookware.com.

After sifting through the hundreds of coffee makers, finding the cappuccino machines, then sifting through the $700 dollar coppuccino machines, I found what I was looking for. A DeLonghi cappuccino/expresso machine, priced at 39.99. The list price for the machine was somewhere in the seventy dollar range, but I don't know how that compares to other sites.

According to the specified procedure, I posted a preview post, then emailed my contact at csnstores.com with my product number. Within minutes, I received a confimation email from CSN stores, with my order, the shipping information, and of course, the best part; a price reduction to $0.00, by virtue of being an "advertising partner."

As simple as that.

Wednesday afternoon, halfway across the world for a Chanukah party, I get a text from MP: "there is a box here for you." Naturally, I spent the entire party dreaming about cappuccino. When I got home at about 1 in the morning, a time which would drive any sane individual into bed, I tore open the box, and stopped just short of actually making myself a cup of expresso in the middle of the night.

The next morning, I was out of bed extra early. Only to discover coffee isn't included. ;-) One trip to the local coffee-selling shop later, and I was proudly fiddling with steam knobs and mesh filters. And then-

The world's most delicious cup of coffee. Ever. No jokes.

That night, I couldn't eat supper. I'm sure you understand, it was fleishigs. And that would mean no cappuccino for hours. No can do.

Anyhow, just to return to the service and the sight of CSN stores, I was really happy. Obviously, when receiving the product for free, one's standards would be a little lowered. On a whole though, I would definitely shop again at csnstores.com.

So head over there, check out the awesome selection, easy navigation ad great prices at CSN Stores, and if you are a real life friend, what are you waiting for? C'mon over for some cappuccino!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Still Winning

On a short busy Friday such as the one past, it is so easy to lose focus. Here we were, running and rushing, all day, trying to make it in time for shabbos. Making beds, setting the table, baking cookies, and of course, greeting guests. Nobody had a spare moment to breathe.

When the entire family came breathlessly panting into the room, hair dripping, shirts half buttoned, ready to light the menorah, I got my reminder.

The various men took their turn lighting their menorah, then their respective wives took their turns lighting the shabbos candles. After each of the men had lit, it was the children's turn. I watched as my oldest brother sat there, his youngest daughter in his lap. In their hand, they clutched a small colored candle. Together, slowly, word by word, my brother and his three year old daughter recited the words of the brachos. As if he had all the time in the world, my brother helped my niece pronounce each word. I looked slighly to the left, and I saw my mother's prized picture. It was a photo of my father, holding his oldest son, the aformentioned brother, in his lap. The picture was so life-like, you could almost see the movement, as my father took my brother's hand in his, held that colored candle, and slowly, carefully, recited the brachos with him. I looked once again, at my grown-up version, and marveled at the way history was repeating itself.

"This is what mesorah really means," I thought to myself. One father teaching a mitzvah to his son, who in turn teaches it to his daughter. IYH, one day, she too will have a child with whom to light those colorful Chanukah candles. Because this is Torah, this is Mesorah. This is what the Greeks didn't want.

Sorry to tell you this Greeks, but thousands of years later, we are still winning this war.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Five Months Late

I know it's been five months since I promised a story on my fiction blog, but I finally posted one!

The story behind it (and probably all future stories on that blog) is that I was driving, saw something, and started imagining the details of the lives of the involved parties.

The end result was this.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Can "Marrieds" be "Friends"?

Line from a (single) friend:

"I don't have any married friends. Once they get married they're not my friend anymore."

What's your take? Agree or disagree?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top Ten Signs It's Chanukah

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, we are going to explore some of the classic signs that it's Chanukah. Thanks to all of my friends who helped me with these.

10) You can easily tell which families on the block are Jewish and which aren't. Just check if their lights are inside the house or outside!

9) You offer your cleaning lady a homemade donuts and she declines, stammering in broken English that she has had more donuts in the past few days than she knows what to do with.

8) Lines from "Chanuka USA" are constantly running through your head.

7) Miraculously, nobody works late.

6) Family time! Oh, hey, let me just take this call, it's really important....

5) Those huge gallon-sized bottles of oil are constantly empty, no matter how many times you buy a new one.

4) You reach into your pocket for change for the parking meter, and all you pull up is a milk chocolate coin with "glicks" embossed on it.

3) Pimpled faces, grease mustache, and confectioner's sugar dusting on everyone's clothes.

2) The most yeshivish among us get to practice their gambling skills without anyone getting suspicious.

1) The kids never seem to be in school. It's a modern day chanuka miracle; the school gives vacation for a day and it stretches for eight!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What Chanukah Is Really About

It seems that lately, chanukah has become about donuts and latkes, dreidels and gelt, and of course, presents and parties. It's easy to forget that chanukah is really about the triumph of torah over nothingness, of light over darkness, of our ability to follow the torah and mitzvos. I wrote a post about it last year, when I was a brand new blogger, and had a grand total of four readers, so I am linking it here for the benefit of my numerous new readers. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Taste of Her Own Medicine

This grocery line is taking forever. Oh, there, two lines over. Isn't that Mrs. Grossman, the high school teacher?
Yes, it is her. Let's hope she doesn't notice me. I don't like her. She is the teacher who almost gave me my only detention in four years of high school. It took all of my charm to wiggle out of that one.

I really don't have time for a confrontation now. She will want to hear what has transpired in the &@%# years since I graduated. I don't feel like discussing it with her. Maybe this lady with the heaping cart will let me go ahead? No, she doesn't look friendly.

Mrs. Grossman is looking around. She's gonna notice me in a minute. Ok, she's looking in my direction. Here we go. Now the glimmer of recognition is on her face. I guess I didn't change much since high school.

"Hi SD!"

Why is she pausing. Oh, I'm getting the look-over. I hope I pass. She's looking down. Oh man. I'm wearing my shortest skirt today. But I lost weight. It falls lower! I know it's long enough, I looked three times in the mirror before I left my house.

She must agree, her eyes are headed back up. To my face. To my eyeliner. It's all BigChamor's fault Mrs. Grossman! She's the one who forces me to wear eyeliner every morning. "It makes your eyes stand out so much more," she had said. But that's exactly what Mrs. Grossman's anti-eyeliner speeches were always about. Making your eyes stand out. C'mon, Mrs. Grossman! My eyeliner isn't that dark!

Ok, she agrees. Her eyes have moved back down. What is it this time? My shoes are aidel. We already established that my skirt is long enough, right?

Ok, that was quick. Eyes are back up to my head. Oh man, how could I forget? My wet hair! Mrs Grossman had a campaign against that too! But Mrs. Grossman, I just came back from the gym. Not showering would be a complete lack of Kovod Habriyos, and you waged a war against people who were lacking in that front too, right? See, I'm really being GOOD Mrs. Grossman!

Finally, she's talking again.
"How are you?"

"Baruch Hashem, I'm doing good."

Big smile. Keep it there. Smile bigger. I said Baruch Hashem, see, I'm good Mrs. Grossman. Can I finish paying and go now?

She looks like she is trying to think of a way to continue this conversation. I better get ahead of her. Ok, I can sign the credit card slip. Slowly. Think of a strategy. Ok, that might work. Pick head up high. Walk past her lane, toward door.

She is finished putting the groceries on the belt. Do it, now, before you lose your courage!

"Goodbye Mrs. Grossman."

She is looking up. Now. Do it. Look down. Scrutinize her shoes. Yes, they are the same shoes she wore in tenth grade. Now up. Look at her sheitel. Wow. She changed it. It looks like she finally caught up to the style she missed in tenth grade. Now back down. And up, one more time.

"Have a good day!"

Make grand escape, now. Ignore Mrs. Grossman's trademark "look" that is probably fixed on my back.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Daily Dose Of Ego-Booster: Big News for BOSD

My entire family, as well as most of my friends are in complete agreement. My ego needs no inflating. But apparently the promo guy from CSN Stores didn't know that when he emailed me.

I was with BigChamor when the email came through, and I'd bet my head started visibly swelling. How could it not, when I get such a glowing email from some random strangers, people who came across my blog when searching for good sites? They like the look and feel of my site? Niiiice.

After a bit of an exchange between myself and the kind folks over at cookware.com, a site specializing in cookware sets, we decided I'd be doing an honest review of a product they'd send me, gratis.

I hurried over to cookware.com, excited to pick my prize. Aside from cookware sets, which had been mentioned to me, I noticed that they also have all sorts of exciting kitchen gadgets, tools and other useful things. The website was easy to navigate, the prices seemed good, (though I must admit, I am far from an expert on prices of kitchen equipment) and the selection was enormous!

As far as the service, the speed, the delivery, I'll let you know how it goes when I receive my new toy. Until then, head over to the site and see for yourself what it's like!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top Ten Signs A Store Is Out Of Your Price Range

SD went shopping yesterday. The most monumental thing that happened to her is that she discovered she has very expensive taste. And that she speaks in third person about herself.
Anyhow, since it is Tuesday, this weeks Top Ten is for those who can't spot the expensive stores (such as myself) here are some clues, some ways to know that you've stepped out of the World of Retail and into the World of Overpriced Cult Followers

10) Everything in the store is covered in some ugly logo, and the bigger the logo the more digits the price tag has.

9) You wonder if the decimal point on the price got lost along the way.

8) You pick up the bag for closer inspection, and discover that it's attached to the display table with a complicated security cord mechanism.

7) There are only three items in the whole store. And four salespeople.

6) You wonder if a second mortgage on the house will earn you the pair of boots you're eyeing.

5) As soon as you walk in to the store, a salesperson and two security guards latch on to you, asking if you are SURE you don't need help.

4) There are no price tags in sight.

3) So you ask for the price and the saleslady just gives you a LOOK.

2) Ordinary safety tags make way for complicated electronic tracking devices...and they are attached to every pair of socks

1) You can't pronounce the name of the store.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Ulterior Motive

Don't tell anybody, but I've got a confession. I think I want to get engaged for totally wrong reasons.

I mean, it sure ain't the jewelry. I don't care for shiny things. (Perhaps if they'd institute a Kallah iPod instead of the Kallah bracelet that would entice me.) And, once we are being sickeningly honest, I might as well mention that I am completely terrified of getting a daimond ring. I don't think I've ever had a ring that lasted more than a month before it retired itself to the Great Missing Jewelry Bureau in the Sky.

I certainly don't needa experience the brido-sapienism thing, cuz frankly I'm guessing that lack of concentration and spacey-ness is something similar to a low blood sugar (minus the shakiness, dizziness, and racing heart - I hope) and I hate when that happens.

And while sure all the typical reasons are factors in my desire to get engaged, that's not what causes my real burning desire to get engaged. Again, I am sure I shouldn't be admiting this to the world wide web, but I'm a VERY curious person.

Am I the only single who will admit to being deathly curious about what kind of guy that I'm gonna marry? People love to speculate about my dude.

"You're probably going to marry a quiet guy, SD. Like, you'll be the louder of the two." Others have an entirely different perspective on the matter. "SD, I wanna be around when you are married. You two are going to be one hilarious couple." And then there are those who simply get on my nerves by adding to my curiosity. "I wonder what kinda guy you are gonna marry SD. Do you ever wonder?"

And of course, there is the ever-present question. The one we are expected to have an answer to at the snap of a finger, much like a trained dog or perhaps a circus animal. "What type of guy are you looking to marry?" How in the world am I supposed to know? I haven't met him yet!

Sometimes my curiosity is burning. It's not that I'm lovestruck (again, I haven't met him yet, unless he is my friends five month old baby, or my neighbor's seven year old son that I used to babysit for. I'm pretty sure those are the only guys I've ever been introduced to.) It's just one of those things that I think of in specific situations. I might be deliberating over my order in the ice cream store when I'll suddenly get this burst of curiosity. "I wonder what flavors of ice cream he likes." Or when I am still up at 2 am. "I wonder if my dude will be (horrors) an early to bed early to rise sort of guy." And of course, when I see people serving (gag) gefilte fish. "Whoever he is I sincerely hope he doesn't like fish. If he does, he is cooking it himself. And serving it himself. And clearing, washing dishes and disinfecting my fridge by himself. He just doesn't know it yet."

So yeah, I wanna get engaged for a bunch of reasons. But right now I'm just so curious. What is he like?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Top Ten Philosophies To Live By

I had a very busy week, but I didn't want to miss a Top Ten Tuesday. And so, presenting an unoriginal top ten list. These are some very important life philosophies that a person should always bear in mind:

10) Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Don't drink and derive.

9) Be nice to nerds, chances are you"ll end up working for one.

8) Remember- The IRS has got what it takes to take what you've got.

7) Start your day with a smile and get it over with.

6) Fat people are harder to kidnap.

5) Never trust a skinny cook.

4) If your brakes ain't good, make sure to have a loud horn.

3) Always smile. People will wonder what you are up to.

2) If at first you DO succeed, try not to look astonished.

1) A mind is a terrible thing to waste and a waist is a terrible thing to mind