Sunday, May 31, 2009

Excuses, Excuses Excuses!

A man was driving down the highway in his brand new Jaguar. He was rather proud of it, and perhaps showed his pride with a heavy foot. Suddenly there is a policeman pulling off the side of the road, following behind him. A couple seconds later, and there are lights and sirens coming at him from the rear. Ignoring his common sense, he decided to test the powers of his Jag. He floored it, glancing in his rearview mirror the entire time. He was shocked, horrified and just plain scared to discover that the police car was keeping up the chase. Finally, the man realized he was beat. With a heavy heart, he pulled over to the side of the road, and waited for his moment of jedgement. 
The police came to his car, and gave him a look. The man's terror increased a bit, if possible. The policeman began, "Listen Buddy. It's the end of my shift. I have had a long and monotonous day. You give me an excuse for the stupidity you have just desplayed that I have never heard before, and I will let you off, scott free." 
The man looked squarely at the cop and said "Well sir, twenty years ago, my wife ran off with a police officer. I was afraid you were bringing her back."
The policeman smiled. "Have a good day!"

I said this joke over to my family, and got a laugh out of everyone, including my father, who never laughs at jokes. After I was made to repeat it for the third time, I realized that, as with all great humor, there must be some truth to it. When I saw this list of speeding ticket jokes, I concluded that I had to write about it.

You see, human nature is all about making excuses. Does anybody ever get pulled over and say "I am sorry officer. I was being stupid"? Not that I know of. Either they are late to pick somebody up from the airport, the store is closing in five minutes. Sometimes it's a funeral they are late for, other times it is a wedding. Sometimes their son is gushing blood at home and other times they simply need the bathroom.  
There are also more ridiculous excuses, such as "Well of course I was on my cell phone! People kept calling me!" Or, "That was a stop sign?!" Or, "Isn't the speed limit 75 over here?" 
Either way, human nature has it that we make these excuses. We sound dumb, but we do it anyway. It isn't our fault! It can't be! Anyone else's fault, but surely not I.
So I am headed to traffic court tomorrow. I could try to explain away my ticket, but the truth is...I don't see why I should. It was my fault. I was speeding. 

That being said, any advice on traffic courts? 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Perspectives" On Shavuos

I was driving along the palisades parkway, finding the ride rather monotonous. My father's insistence that I set cruise control to 59 mph left me with nothing to do but watch the trees go by. Now, my mother is a nature lover, and to her each tree is this beautiful and unique creation. I embarrass her apparently, because to me a tree is...a tree. And I think trees have a hypnotic effect on me.
So anyway, by eyes were so glazed over I probably looked like I'd been eating donuts. A lane switch here or there, an occasional road curve, and that was it. Suddenly, a glance over to my left snapped me out of my comatose state. You know that gas station in the middle of the palisades, the one after the New York border, the one where you need to take out a second mortgage on your house just to fill up your tank?
Well, they had a big sign there proclaiming their gas price to be $3.05 per gallon. I did a double take. Did I see that right? I looked back, and there was no doubt about it. Gas there was three dollars and five cents. I was completely flabbergasted! It was less than a month ago that I was filling up for under 2 dollars! How could gas have gone up so fast.
And then, I wanted to retract my thoughts. I couldn't believe I had just thought like that. Although it feels like it's been years, it was not all that long ago that I called my father in hysterics, that I had just paid over $4 a gallon and what is the world coming to? A big drop in prices is something we take for granted, but then there is the inevitable incline, and suddenly we forget how lucky we have been for the previous few months.
You see, when it boils down to it, everything in life is a simple matter of perspectives.

So I wrote this all up on erev Shavuos, and naturally I had to connect the idea to shavuos. I was wracking my brain, trying to come up with a brilliant idea that would take this post and turn it into an inspirational tidbit that readers could take with them into Yom Tov. But the more I thought about it, the blanker my mind became. Shavuos? Perspectives? How do they connect?
And then it hit me. The answer was so simple, it ha been staring me in the face all along. See, it's not a chap. It just is. The Torah is the source of perspective. In fact, I would say that the Torah IS perpective.

Genius? Nah. Brilliant inspiration? Nope.
But sometimes the pure and simple truth is the most inspiring. Think about it. This Shavuos, when you accept the Torah, take that little bonus along with it: the perspectives that go hand in hand with the Torah.

Good Yom Tov! Enjoy your cheesecake!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Makings Of a Perfectionist

"SD, mommy is waiting for you in the kitchen. She needs you to braid the challah!"

"SD, can you help me with this scrapbook page I'm making?"

"SD, I'm trying to dye this, can you help?"

These occurances all have a common thread. While my aquaintances often grimace when I take my time, completing a task to perfection, they find themselves coming back to me for help when it is important to them.

I guess you could call me a perfectionist. That would be the only explanation for behaviors such as waiting for my little sister to leave the room, so I can un-set the table and re-set it to my liking. And perfectionism is probably the reason behind the hour and a half it took for me to make lettering for my friend's baby's scrapbook. And when most people's challah looks like just...challah, yet mine looks like something out of a postcard, it all boils down to my constant need for perfection.
Sometimes people grumble. "Can you just hurry up and ice that cake SD?!? I wanna leave already!" But then, it's their friend's vort, and not just any cake will do. They want to make a cake that will scream out "don't cut into me! I look too fancy!" And somehow, I get drafted. Cuz I am the only family member who is capable of sitting there for hours and hours, putting details onto that cake that nobody will ever notice.
So last night, I sat there thinking about it. I was deeply engrossed in the act of putting canned cherry pie filling on top if a cheesecake. My friend was looking on with a mixture of admiration and horror. "Why don't you just dump the can on and smooth it out?" To me, it was simple. It wouldn't look good that way. So I sat there fishing the cherries out of that red gook. I was lining them up with such precision, that if anyone like me would cut the cake, each peice would have an equal number of cherries. It may have taken me three times as long, but looking at the finished product, even my skeptical friend was impressed. "That looks beautiful."
I am not saying all this to brag. Honestly, I'm not so sure it's a good thing. Obviously, I'd be better off with a balance. My philosophy, as you probably noticed, is that when you do something, you may as well do it ALL the way. So as I sit there toiling over minute details that most people would overlook, such as folding over blanket just so as I make my bed, I basically come to terms with it. This is me. Good, bad, or tedius. A perfectionist might get on your nerves at times, but when there is a kiddish to set in the perfectionist and all is well.
At times, I think I am my own worst enemy. If not for my inner perfectionist, I think I would have been able to develop my artistic abilities. Because as it stands now, I pick up a pen to draw something, I don't like it, and I rip it up. And eventually, I run out of room in the garbage can and I give up.
On the other hand, I am my own best friend. It's the perfectionist inside of me that gets me the promotion at work, that gets me trusted with jobs that nobody else would be allowed to do.
What do you think? What is the line one shouldn't cross? When should a person look the other way and give up on having something perfect?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sixth Month Musings

It's been six months since that fateful night when I decided, rather impulsively for a contemplative person like me, that I should really be starting a blog. (Ok, not a first blog, but a blog with more potential staying power than my numerous other blogs.) And now I've been doing some serious thinking.
See, as the sixth month anniversary of my blog started to show up on the horizon, I had a good reason to think back to the start of this blog. It was all very complicated.
It started when my company gave their staff a purim present: a $36 gift certificate to a local seforim store.
I sort of forgot about it. I buried it in the back of my drawer and figured I would do something very un-enthralling such as buy a CD or two. Then, it was erev shavuos, and I was passing by the seforim store. I had to be somewhere a little while after that, but I had a few minutes to kill. So I opened the door and went inside, just to look.
There was this big display near the door, of a new book that had just come out. The name was intriguing, so I picked it up. Miracle Ride? I looked at the subtitle. Someone fought a disease with humor? I was sold. I pulled out the then dusty gift certificate, and I broke my own rule about buying books rather than waiting to borrow my friend's copy. I was completely fascinated by the book, enough so that I actually went on to discover the blog.
I checked back on JAP's blog often enough, and then, one day, there was a post that mentioned diabetes. I commented on there, and then, in the ensuing commenting conversation (mostly between Little Sheep and myself), I decided that I would start a blog too.
In all honesty, I'm not so sure I would have started my blog had I thought about it a bit more. And if I had realized the extent to which blogging would take over my thoughts, I highly doubt I would have started. But I didn't, so I did.
Now it's six months after I originally started my blog, and I am confronted with a new dilemma. You see, my company gave out gift certificates again...and this time I better watch my step. I simply don't have enough brain capacity nor time to start another hobby that will consume so much of both of them.

But that still leaves me with the original question: what should I do with my gift certificate?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Is It My Identity?

I have just realized something. Online, as Something Different, my identity is like this. Hi, my name is SD, I have diabetes, I am frum, 20(something) years old, and I am not yet in shidduchim.

In real life it would be more like: Hi, my name is SD (no, that isn't my REAL name, silly!), I am 20(something) years old, I work at..... That's it. I won't divulge more, but suffice it to say, that diabetes is not part of my real life identity. I am not one of those girls who wear their insulin pumps on their waists. I am not one of those people who will be sitting around in a group of girls saying "ugh I think I am low, can someone get me some sugar."

I don't either check my blood sugar in public. Again, this might not boil down to secrecy either. Some people simply don't want to see it. (Ewwwww, SD, that is DISGUSTING. Can you do that someplace else?) But really, I am not very public about having diabetes. For an explanation, lets go, once again, to one of MWMF:

(scene: SD is sitting at one of her brother's shevah brochos. She has the good(?) fortune to be sitting right across from one of MWMF, the worst possible kind.)

MWMF: So, SD, what is your favorite subject in school?
SD: (who is 11th grade and doesn't think this question is age appropriate, and decides to give an equally age appropriate response) recess.
MWMF: [uneasy laugh] 
SD: Look! They are serving dessert!
MWMF: But....?
SD: [bites into her not-very-delicious-standard-sheva-brachos-parve-ice cream-dish] Yes?
MWMF: Is that good for you?
SD: [calls to MP at the next table] Is that an empty seat next to you?

That entire exchange actually happened (except for the last line, as there were no empty seats next to MP :-p). And that, in a nutshell(?) is exactly why I don't like too many people to know that I have diabetes. It is bad enough when things like this happen:

(scene: SD and her friends are fighting over the best way to split a danish)
Friend #1: SD, you can't have any! You are high!
Friend #2: Yeah, SD can't have. Now we only need to split it 4 ways. Yay!
SD: Ok, guys this is so not funny. What makes you say I am high?
Friend #3: You're always high SD. Now let's cut up the danish. In 4.
SD: Haha! I just tricked you guys! I bolused (took insulin) for the danish! Now if you don't gimme my share I will be low and one of you will have to give me a glucagon injection!
Friend #4: SD, that is totally playing dirty.
SD: Too bad. Give me my peice of the danish or else I will take more insulin and eat the whole thing.
Friend #1: Forget it. SD, go as low as you like. You aren't getting any danish.
Friend #2: Yeah, we just learned the number of hatzolah in my first aid course.
Friend #3: Um, guys, I dunno. Needles are really disgusting.
Friend #4: Ok, friend #1, you are gonna inject SD?
Friend #1: Of course not! Ewwww
SD: Ok, guys, let me know when you finish arguing. Meanwhile, I finished the danish.....

Point is, there is a simple equation. 
More people knowing about my diabetes=more useless advice=more aggravation

See,I don't need instructions on dealing with diabetes. Nor do I need chizuk. Nor do I need to hear you empathize how tough it must be, and how you know exactly what I am going through cuz your grandmother died from diabetes. Nor do I need to hear about your cousin who has diabetes and is actually married to a boy with very few issues. Really. It's ok. If I want stupidity, I can open a newspaper or something. 

So, to an extent, I try to hide my diabetes from the general population. Not to say that shidduchim has nothing to do with it. Ideally, as I have been instructed by all rabbonim I have heard from on the topic, it is best to go out with the boy first, without him having any knowledge of my diabetes, and then tell him, on or after the third date. (Now, frankly, that terrifies me. I have hears such horror stories about this method backfiring. Plus, I just don't know how people say it. "Uh, I have something I should probably tell you.") The logic here is that he should get to know SD, the person, without thinking of her as SD, the diabetic. That way, diabetes won't factor into the decision to meet, rather, it will be one of the considerations.

Please realize that I am totally not embarrassed to have diabetes, any more than someone should be embarrassed to have blonde hair. This is how G-d made me. This is what he wants me to be. But that doesn't mean I feel a need to wear a sign on my back that says "diabetic". Nor does it say on my business card: Something Different, diabetic. I don't even wear the medic alert bracelet mom bought me. (If you are reading this mommy, I am totally kidding. I wear it daily! Yeah right. But then again if mom is reading this I have bigger problems to deal with.)

On the other hand, I am not obsessively secret about having diabetes. I am not going to whisper to my chosson under the chuppah "oh, by the way, I have diabetes. Quick, break the glass" I won't be divulging this as a big secret to my best friend after I get engaged, and after she promises not to tell anyone. And I am not one of those people who will stay home from a class trip because I am afraid that my pump will set off the metal detectors and someone will figure it out. I believe, if someone needs to know...let them know. If you are my seminary roommate, and I might need you to force sugar down my throat one day, you should know. If you are my close friend and we spend hours and days together, you should know. If you are my boss...well, my mom thinks you should know. In short, I believe that this is just like everything else in life. A balance must be struck.

So back to my original question; is diabetes a part of my  real-life identity? I would definitely say that it is a very small part, if it is a part at all. Why is that? Simply because of the gross misinformation and the hideous misunderstandings that have become so commonplace among the society at large. And yes, as usual...shidduchim does play into it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I am pretty sure there is no worse feeling in the world than that which you experience in the following scenario:

You come home from a long day at work. You had overslept in the morning, and didn't have time to pack lunch. There was something you had to finish, so you couldn't go on your lunch break to buy food. In short, you're starving.
You get home, and ravenously begin to look for signs of supper being made. Nothing. You look in the fridge, and all you see is a quarter of a piece of schnitzel from last night. Left with little choice, you grab it and devour it in two seconds flat. Looking around for more, you are forced to come to terms with the horrible realization that there is simply nothing else. It's right around then that you hear the front door opening. You peek your head out of the kitchen just in time to see your mother waltzing through the door, holding her prize: a steaming hot pie of pizza.

Picture yourself in that scenario. Now tell me, isn't it true? There is no worse feeling in the ENTIRE world, huh?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homo-Sapien VS Brido-Sapien

This post is In honor of Chanie, who seems to think that Kallahs are a part of the same species as us humans. They aren't. I am not basing this on a random inferrence, rather, on a collection of scientific studies and data that I have collected over the course of time that my friends have been venturing into the kingdom of "Bridezilla".

The first bit of scientific data I've collected is about the dangerous chemical interaction between the 'brido-sapien' and their nefarious nemesis, commonly known as the diamond ring.
Our field agent reports:
"I was driving in the car with a Brido-Sapien (oh gosh I can't abbreviate that!) on the first day that she had her ring. I was rather alarmed by her driving style. Most people drive with their hand on the wheel, or on their phone, or just plain down at their side. But this Brido-Sapien was driving with her hand up in the air. And, while humans drive with their eyes on the road, at least partially, this brido-sapien was driving with her eyes on her ring. After a couple of near accidents, I whispered a silent prayer of thanks as I stepped out of her car."
Normal behavior? Not for a homo-sapien, but remember, these are creatures of a different species.

The second bit of scientific data was related to me by a Brido-Sapien herself.
My really close friend, who is an overwhelmingly honest person, related a bit about what happens to a person when she gets engaged.
First, some background. We were in the car together, on the way home from some shopping trip (did I mention I'm a VERY good friend?) and she was in the driver's seat. Suddenly, I called out to her. "Uh, Leah, did you realize that you just sailed through a red light?" She looked at me with horror written all over her face. "SD, that is so scary! That's the second time I have done that in two days! I don't know what's happening to me! I am not the spaced-out, head in the clouds kallah type, and it's not like I look at the traffic light and I see my chosson's face, but I simply didn't even realize there was a traffic light there!" Now, you must realize that she really was not spaced out. And even as a kallah, her head was more firmly grounded than many single girls. Yet, in an honest moment, she admitted that she really wasn't herself.
Homo-Sapien? I think not.

So there you have it folks. Highly scientific data from our country's leading scientists. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Further Rants From a Fashionville Refugee

(Just a note: while it was an interesting 'coincidence', the posting of these fashion related posts was not intended to collide with my presence at last night's B'nos Melachim Tznius presentation. The post was written before I saw it, and not intended to be a recap in any way..)

There are aspects of fashion I get, and aspects I don't get. For example, I get why someone would be very excited to buy a sweater they like because it is in style. But I simply can't figure out how it's possible that someone can buy a sweater that they like, and then stop liking it the minute it goes out of style.
And while it is within my comprehension to refrain from buying a skirt that you dislike, which also happens to be out of style at the moment, I can't for the life of mine figure out how a person can rationalize the purchase of a skirt that they dislike-when it comes back in style. And if someone mocks a particular style (which they dislike) when it's considered 'nerdy', I get that. But I just don't get how a person can buy that very same style when it becomes the height of fashion.
So apparently, my belief in these rules has permanently disqualified me from taking up residence in fashionville. But I must confess, it gets worse.
Firstly, realize who you are dealing with. My mode of dress has been described as "underwhelming". I wear the same black skirt every day of my life. Accompanying that is a solid top, usually black. In the winter, it's a cable knit sweater, in the summer, it's a collar tee-shirt. Sometimes it has three buttons in the front, and sometimes it has a small zipper. Once in a while, when I'm feeling daring, it's a v-neck. But honest that's as much variation as you get. The shoes don't get much more thrilling either. They are always flat, round-toed, black loafers. In short, I capture attention by my personality, not my clothes.
The next thing you should know about my clothes is that shopping gives me a headache. And I try to avoid activities that give me headaches. Therefore, I generally shop only when I absolutely can't avoid it. So, my clothing doesn't get replaced with the shifting of the styles. Rather, I wear it until the holes can no longer be patched and the permanent stains start attracting attention.
Are you getting the picture? Basically, to sum it all up, the shopping styles of MP and SD are polar opposites. We simply can't get each other. I think the system is dumb, and she thinks I'm dumb. That works. Perhaps I am.
Because the big thing that I have yet to figure out is brand names. And the big thing that MP has left to figure out is my lack of fascination with brand names. It just makes no sense to me. If you like a tee-shirt, does it matter what animal it has in the corner? Is an alligator really better than a horse? And are either of those really better than a hippo or something? What if, for variety, I want to sew a picture of a canary into the corner of my shirt? Is that un-cool? Why? Just because I didn't overpay for it? And what if I have a picture of a horse, but instead of Ralph Lauren's horse, I have a picture of Shloimy Klein's horse? Did I lose my coolness?
And while I'm on a roll, perhaps someone can explain the following concept. While I don't understand the thought process involved in overpaying for a name-brand object, I've sort of accepted it. Not as rational, sane behavior, but as evidence of the stupidity which is so prevalent in our society. But there is one aspect of it that I just can't accept. It is so mind-boggling, and so ridiculous, I hope there is someone who can explain this to me.
Why in heaven's name would a normal person, who is in full control of a normal and healthy mind, go out and overpay for a COPY of a brand name object? And even worse, I hear (correct me if I'm wrong) that they walk out of the little back room of some booth on Canal Street, clutching their oddly shaped plastic bag which, of course, has a triangular shaped tag with a poor replication of a prada logo, and they actually feel like they found a bargain. Why? Because it looks so real that nobody can tell the difference, but, since it is's cheaper.
Seriously. Does anyone have any sort of explanation for me?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Uh Oh! The Fashion Police Are After Me!

I complimented my coworker on her skirt yesterday, and was treated to a rant in exchange. "It's impossible to find cute navy skirts these days! Seriously, I searched all over till I found one." I looked at her, and had to laugh. She's quite a bit younger than me, so I had to remind her. "You know, it wasn't that long ago that even a nerd wouldn't be caught dead in a navy skirt. They were THAT nerdy."
Her mouth dropped in surprise, though I'm not sure why. She obviously doesn't wear what she likes, rather, whatever is in style. So I went on, figuring I'd shock her a little further. "Then I guess you don't remember the time when saying that someone wears vests would be the ultimate insult, huh?" Needless to say, she didn't, but she didn't see the irony in her navy and white vest and navy skirt get-up either.
In truth, I feel like this topic is so stale, it's an embarrassment to write about it, but as the sister of an MP, I am exposed to the brutal realities of fashion on a constant basis. And as many times as I hear the rules, I simply don't get it.
Not too long ago, I was shopping with MP in Woodbury Commons, an outlet mall near Monroe. I needed shoes, she needed more Brand Name Perfection. She led me to a part of the mall that was rather unfamiliar to me. I looked around at the stores, and I understood. These are not stores I frequent. Most of them are not stores I'd even know about if not for my familial relationship with Her Perfectness.
Ok, Saks I've heard of, but seriously, Tod's? Theory? Torre Burch? What gives?
I really wanted to find my shoes and get out of there, as shopping is not an activity I enjoy. So I turned to my sis and I said "uh, MP, I don't think these stores sell shoes for me. Can we please go to the part of the mall where they have stores like Nine West and Aldo?" She wasn't really paying attention. "Oh, look, Ferragamo! They have shoes sometimes!" I snorted, but not loudly enough to get me kicked out of Torre Burch, where we had just walked into. I asked MP if she wanted a bath towel, cause they were on sale for only $119. She didn't find that funny. Neither did I, btw.
In the next store, (don't tell! I forgot the name. It was probably hard to pronounce, if I had to guess,) MP tried on a navy top. I asked her if she has a navy skirt to go with it. Silly me. "The rule is that you're allowed to wear a navy top with a black skirt."
Firstly, my poor coworker made herself crazy looking for a navy skirt for nothing. But more importantly- "the rule is?!?"
I saw my window of opportunity, and I pounced. "You're kidding me, right? The rule? Who makes these rules? The fashion police? And what happens if I break the rules? I get a ticket? Then what? I get points on my fashion license?" MP didn't find it funny at all. I mean, we should NOT be making fun of a topic as serious as this, huh?
But when I think about all this, things start to make sense. I must have had my fashion license revoked a number of years ago. Because the whole thing simply makes no sense to me.
I'll explain what I mean in my next post...

Saturday, May 16, 2009


While we do have internet in my house, most of my family isn't too internet savvy. My mother recently figured out how to sign into yahoo, and shocked the living daylights out of me by sending me an Instant Message. In truth, it was a long message and I am pretty sure she was trying to email me. Oh, and did I mention that it was a request for me to make supper? ;) MP isn't too technologically inclined either. She had a document to print the other day, and went into a state of total panic. I was enjoying watching her grovel, but eventually I took pity on her and I went to help. I told her to connect the printer's USB cable to the computer. She looked confused. USB cable? What's that? In a remarkable display of patience, I showed her the end of the cable, and how it magically fit perfectly into the USB port of the computer.
So I can blog with confidence, pretty sure that nobody in my family would stumble upon my blog. Now, recently, at the shabbos table, my mother said a devar torah, and mentioned that it was from a blog she reads. I chocked over my chicken soup, as my family turned to me, the computer geek, for an explanation. I put my acting skills to use, and looked scandalized. "Why would anyone think I know anything about blogs?" To some extent, they believed me, but they know that there aren't too many big buzzwords on the net that I don't know anything about. So I called upon my limited knowledge of blogs, and I explained.
"A blog is pretty dumb," I began. "It's basically this online diary, that for some inexplicable reason, people decide to share with the general population of the world." My father looked a little confused. "So why would someone start a blog?" I decided to grab my opportunity. "Well, basically, a blogger (-I think that's what they call people who have blogs, but I can't be so sure-) is a really self-centered person who has this mistaken impression that there are actually people that are interested in reading the not-very-exciting going-ons of their lives." My father summed it up marvelously. "So basically, a blog is dumb." I nodded in complete agreement. Now I am pretty confident that if they find my blog, they would never suspect someone with as much to do as me, and as much self respect as me, and as much caution and sense as me to start something as dumb as a blog.
I wouldn't bother to correct them.

Not long after that exchange, I found the following description of blogs. It summed the whole thing up so splendidly, I was laughing. Unfortunately, there was not much post-able, as the author obviously doesn't share the same standards of clean language as I do, but here is the first, clean paragraph:

Blogger: Term used to describe anyone with enough time or
narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful
lives. Possibly the most annoying thing about bloggers is the sense of
self-importance they get after even the most modest of publicity. Sometimes it
takes as little as a referral on a more popular blogger's website to set the
lesser blogger's ego into orbit...

And, the saddest part's true. So, if anyone has a more popular blog, feel free to get to work on my ego. My mother insists that it can't possibly get any more inflated than it is now, but let's test it. ;-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bridal Showers and Wedding Flowers

I ask you to look deep into the recesses of your mind and try to contemplate the perplexities of the following.
Why do we make bridal showers? What is the point?
Are we making it for the kallah? That busy girl who doesn't have the mental capacity to formulate even one sentence that doesn't start with the words "my chosson said"? Do we really think she cares for these things?
Is it for the kallah's friends? Cuz people certainly enjoy getting together and pretending not to be hungry while picking at salads with exotic names and even more exotic ingredients, huh? (Though I am proud that I once showed up at a shower with a caramel cheesecake that made everyone forget their diets and fight over the last remaining morsels. :-D)
So what is the point? Why do we do it? Who needs it?
My engaged friend recently told a few of us that she doesn't want a shower. "Just buy me a present" (I couldn't have said it better myself!) Another friend pointed out that it might be a little presumptuous of us to ask people for money but not invite them to an event to go with it.
I disagreed. "I'd be willing to give double the money if I didn't need to show up at a dumb shower." I'm not sure if the others were in agreement or not, but she isn't having a shower so that must tell you something.

Another problem with showers: why do we try to surprise the kallah? What makes you think she isn't going out with her chosson? Or that she doesn't have a sheitel macher appointment or something? or maybe (gasp) she has prior arrangements that are not centered around her impending wedding ceremony?
Also, in the rare case that you actually have her surprised (as opposed to having her feign shock) ask yourself; is it really fair to her? Everyone else has ample warning, and is able to make herself look presentable. The kallah, on the other hand, (remember this is a hypothetical situation) shows up to 'pick something up' from her friend's house, looking quite disheveled. Suddenly, the cameras flash, the music goes on, and then.....she finds her casually-clad self in the midst of a social frenzy. Then again, any girl who is soon-to-be-married and doesn't see a shower coming when she finds friends making excuses to invite her over, truly deserves the kallah stereotype.
So why DO we make showers? My guess is the fancy paper goods manufacturers are behind all this. It's a conspiracy, and we fall for it- hook line and sinker.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Difference Is Clear

I was in Ripley's recently. I was going to write a post with a whole bunch of not-so-exciting observations, such as the camera in the wax guy's hand has been removed, possibly stolen, but either way, they really need to replace it with a digital camera. I know it's an old couple, but even my grandfather has been trained to use a digital camera, so apparently film is officially extinct.
Anyway, there is a new exhibit right near the entrance, which has apparently achieved widespread fame:

This is not just a portrait of a great man. This testimony to our nation's first ever black president is made out of no more, and no less than 12,784 gumballs. Yep, you heard right. Gumballs.
It's kind of like the old favorite there, this picture of Lincoln: 

This remarkable portrait of the Great Emancipator is made completely out of pennies, all different shades. It's a pretty neat way to make his portrait, when you think about what is on the face of the penny. 

And yet, wouldn't you say that this is a far more respectable way to memorialize a great person and his accomplishments?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Top Five Reasons I Love Being Single

(This post was inspired by my spending way too much time with married friends lately. As I sat there in these dark, little basements, trying not to stare at bellies which have swollen tremendously since I last saw these very same girls, I came to the conclusion that single-hood has got to have it's perks. It wasn't too hard to find my top five reasons. What are yours?)

1-I can complain about nausea or mention that I am craving ice cream and pickles without people examining my stomach to see if I am pregnant.

2-I can complain to my married friends about my bad hair day, and listen with glee as they respond in a wistful voice (disguised as a boastful voice) that they don't have that issue anymore.

3-I can do really stupid things like staying up until 5am texting someone and have only my tired self to answer to (ok, maybe an irate boss too).

4-I can decide that ice cream is a perfectly good supper one night=no pressure to make fancy things like butternut squash soup and creamed spinach casserole.

5-I don't have to wash anyone else's dirty laundry. And if I ask my mother sweetly enough, I don't even have to wash my own dirty laundry.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

Although it feels like it's been years, it was only two days ago that I was sitting there thinking about the lack of postworthy occurrence's in my life. I was thinking about the boring nothingness that has taken over my life, and about how I need some A-C-T-I-O-N!
Famous last thoughts.
It was less than ten minutes later that Chava Yitty went into her deathbed convulsions. That really was NOT what I meant by action, but I did get a blog post out of it.
So today I am sitting here thinking that following the aftermath of my phone saga on Tuesday, I am STILL left with nothing to write. I was debating writing a eulogy about chava yitty, who served me faithfully for almost a year, but I decided it was taking things a little too far.
It's pretty insane that I couldn't even squeeze a second post out of an event as monumental as losing a dear friend and 500 contacts all at the same time. But there I was, stuck.
I was in the car, contemplating my dilemma, when I saw a cop on the side of the road. As quickly as my foot went to the break, my eyes went to the speedometer. I sighed. There was no way he wasn't stopping me. A glance in my rear view mirror was all it took.
Twenty aggravating minutes later, I was the reluctant owner of my third ever speeding ticket. I hear stories about people charming the cop out of a ticket, but those things just don't happen to me. I did have an excuse for speeding, but somehow telling the cop that I was speeding cuz the phone call I was on had distracted me didn't seem like a very good idea.
I did get a couple of post ideas out of the whole thing, which you may or may not see, depending on how bad my mood is and how long I have to spend in traffic court. But that wasn't quite what I meant.
I'm done with action. I am SO ready to go back to my regular boring life where nothing ever happens. If you don't see me for a while you'll understand...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Tragic Loss

As a little kid, my memory for phone numbers was phenomenal. I knew all of my parents friend's numbers by heart. My father, who is lousy at things like that, used to say "can I please have Mr. Green's number?" or "what's Mr. Bernstein's number, I forget." My mother utilized my memory in a similar fashion.
All that changed a little over four years ago. See, that's when I got my first cell phone. So began the era of speed-dial and voice recognition dialing, and ended the era of memorizing phone numbers.
And so, slowly the brain cells involved in phone number memorization have shriveled up and died. In truth, I never missed them. Till today.
It was very sudden, very tragic. Out of the blue, my phone, which has been pretty sick for a while, breathed it's last. Picture it. Me, SD, sitting there phone-less. I hope you're shuddering at the thought.
I wasn't completely unprepared, I did have an old phone, which I was actually able to get working pretty quickly. But as I turned it on, the grim reality hit me.
I lost everything. Saved texts, pictures, and most importantly...500 contacts! I wanted to call my friend and vent about it, but I realized that I don't even know my closest friend's phone numbers.
So I'm seeing the flip side of our technological goodness. I mentioned my devastating loss to an older woman at work, and she was dumbfounded. "You mean you don't have a paper address book where you write people's numbers in?"
A week ago, I would have laughed at her. I would have told her that it's the new world, the new generation. I would have told her that we do things differently in this century. But now I get it. Technology isn't all good.

Two important notices: to those who know me, and know my cell phone number, please gimme a call or a text. I don't have your number anymore.
And, ve'hameivin yavin, Chava Yitty will be having a levaya as soon as I check if the sprint store can do an autopsy and glean some info from her. ;-)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Boring Class Antics or Solving The Shidduch Crisis?

Boring classes sometimes call for desperate measures. I was always the grand queen of entertaining myself and the others around me during the really tedious classes.
My friend and I had a class newsletter, which was published as often as we had a particular teacher, who bored us enormously. We had various contests, games and other ways of entertaining ourselves.
Some were brilliant (a letter writing campaign that involved four different classes), some were pretty ordinary (scattergories), some were pretty dumb (a drawing contest to see who could depict the teacher in a way that would make everyone laugh the hardest and get somebody sent out), some were risky (photographing the teacher), while some were just plain desperate (an electronic solitaire game).
Now, as an outsider, I feel for the girls who are sitting through those same classes, especially those who lack my creativity, and therefore find themselves with nothing better to do than take notes.
But my ninth grade sister came home with tales of boring-class-antics that astounded even me.
"This kid in my class passed around a paper during Mrs. ------'s class today, asking people to write the names of anyone they know who needs a shidduch."
First, I misunderstood. "That's nice," I said without much interest. My sister was confused. "Nice?" I was in middle of something, and distracted, so I mumbled something like "Yes, nice. That way if people aren't listening in class at least they could daven for people who need a shidduch."
Granted, I didn't really think it's so nice. I'm really young, just a year or three out of high school myself, yet to ninth graders, I am an ancient old maid and the epitome of the shidduch crisis. So I could see this list being jammed full of names of girls my age or younger, which is a ridiculous thought...
But I had misunderstood the entire point. My sister clarified. "No! It wasn't asking for their tehillim names! There was a column for boys and a column for girls and you were supposed to write all the singles you know so we can try to match them up."
Whatever had been distracting me until then was suddenly less interesting. I was completely dumbfounded. A class of ninth graders trying to solve the shidduch crisis? Trying to fund their class trip through shadchanus gelt? Trying to stay sane through one of the world's most boring teachers?
I don't even think I want to know...