Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Drivers Who Annoy Me

I know this weeks Top Ten Tuesday might annoy some folks, or at least parts of it, but hey- isn't that what blogging is about? Anyhow, what's in your Top Ten?

10) The old man with his turn left turn signal on for miles…even when he makes his right turn.
9) The law-abiding momma who drives exactly at the speed limit when I am in a rush.
8) The guy who slows down to look at the gory details of a traffic accident, slowing down everyone behind him.
7) The fella who is extra considerate to all drivers who need to make turns, forgetting about being considerate to the driver behind him.
6) The horrible person who stays in the left lane, but keeps pace with the guy in the right lane- on a two lane highway.
5) The stranger who stomps on the brakes at each street to check the street sign.
4) The idiot who thinks he has to drive five miles below the speed limit whenever there is a cop in the vicinity.
3) The despicable excuse for a driver who cuts you off then drives below the speed limit.
2) The no-goodnik who drives below the speed limit in the left lane!
1) The gullible fool who lives by the motto “arrive alive, drive twenty five”

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sibling Angle

Dating stories are, especially in today's age of millions of shidduch related blogs, a dime a dozen. One kind of dating story which, I feel, is enormously under-represented in blogsville, as well as in the hallowed halls of shidduchville where over-eager girls engage in chit chat about the misery they love to hate, is the Sibling Angle.

Yeah, thats right. I may be a number of years into shidduchim, and I might have a million first hand stories to tell, but my sister is a Miss Perfect, and as such, she will always have more dates, which will always lead to more stories.

But first, for those of you who didn't grow up with a pack of older sisters getting called on by eligible young bochurim, let me introduce you to the sibling perspective on shidduchim. So here is the story that my father likes to use by way of explaining the Sibling Angle to outsiders. Oddly enough, it didn't happen in my family.

A number of years ago, my youngest sister was in a playgroup in some woman's house. Often, my mother would have things she had to take care of in the afternoons, but the Morah was extremely accommodating. She was happy to keep my sister an extra couple of hours, if need be. So one day, my mother got unexpectedly stuck, and she called the Morah to ask if my sister could stay. "My husband will pick her up on his way home from work," my mother explained. The morah, usually so accommodating, sounded hesitant. But there wasn't much my mother could do, so they just left it at that. "Please just ask your husband to get here as soon as possible," the morah urged.

Meanwhile, my father got stuck with some things at work, so he left a little late. Then he got stuck in traffic on his way home, so he was a little later. Unbeknown to any of us, the morah's oldest daughter was going on her first ever date. This wasn't just the first ever date for a girl, but for a family. It is an experience of such magnitude, words can't do it justice, though perhaps I shall try in a future post. But back to the Morah Family who were frantically cleaning the house, preparing for the arrival of The Boy. In a household full of a million and twelve children, I doubt anybody gave much thought to the addition of the extra three year old. But, in their haste to shoo all of the children down to the basement before the date, they forgot that one of the kids' father was on his way to get her.

At the prescribed moment, everyone was in place. The juice was in a jar on the table, the cookies were neatly arranged on a plate, the mother's snood made way for a freshly brushed sheitel, and the Eldest Daughter sat in the other room, dressed in her finest whatever-was-in-style-back-then, feverishly saying tehillim. And downstairs, despite their lack of experience or practice, the rest of the kids were skillfully arranging themselves around the one basement window that provided a proper view of the driveway. The clock chimed date-time, and as if on cue, a car pulled up. The kids were, no doubt, waiting for a black Honda or Toyota sedan, were shocked to see a green Jeep pull up.

"Ew," said the second oldest, "Devorah would never marry a guy who drives a Jeep." "
"Shhh," said another one of the lucky kids with an actual view, "he is getting out now."
A collective gasp emerged from the children at the window. "He's so old," they chorused in unison. "Devorah would never marry someone who's that old."
And they were only getting started. Someone, I am sure, pointed out that the boy, or as they now called him, the man, was not wearing a hat, or even a jacket.

Upstairs, just as their kids were pronouncing the guy DOA, the anxious parents were watching with horror from the living room window. They surely turned shades of colors that crayola themselves haven't yet discovered as they realized what was going on. The frantic mother rushed downstairs, uttering a hasty "later" as she grabbed the intruder, my (then) innocent little sister. Finally, realizing what had happened, the children collectively released their breaths. "At least Devorah doesn't have to go on a date with someone who's old."

And that, my friends, is the siblings angle. Due to the precarious positioning that has been laid out for us by our sages, we, as the siblings, often get to see the guy, and occasionally, judge the guy, before the one dating him does. And that is what colored my view of shidduchim. Before I ever graduated seminary, before I ever met a shadchan, or even fully comprehended what a resume was, I already associated shidduchim with the cramped room in the basement with the best view of the driveway, with the precise timing required to know when it was safe to creep up the basement stairs and slowly open the jar a crack, giggling over every overheard word like it was a trophy of sorts.
And I have to say, sadly enough, that the more I experience shidduchim, the more I liked the Sibling Angle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten Graphs To Simplify The Shidduch Process

While the idea for this post was originally inspired by Indexed, the main thanks really goes to Bad4, who spends so much time tirelessly blogging in an effort to simplify the shidduch process for the general public, over at her blog, Bad For Shidduchim. And who helped me with the ideas, data, and titles for the graph.
What do you all think about the data here? Agree or disagree?
And just cause you asked for it Bad4, three times. :-D





Friday, August 13, 2010

A Kid In My Class

Last week's post taught me an interesting lesson. I prefaced the post with "from a reader," but most other readers actually assumed that by reader I meant myself. After all, they surely concluded, I do read my own posts.
I'm not sure, however, why people think it's a story that I'm ashamed of. Actually, I did lose a bit of weight recently. That's why I was relieved when the reader sent me the story that I have a personality that doesn't attract shidduchhounds like those I mentioned.
It reminds me of this little stunt I used to do in elementary school. I was a terror; the kid that teachers would warn their successors and substitutes about. I'm not proud of it, but I really had my fair share of- erm- fun- in school. And of course, being the egomaniac that I am, I always thought my shticks and tricks were totally clever.
So I was left with a dilemma. I wanted to brag at home about the clever little things I did. But, at the same time, I knew my parents would be livid if they'd know about all the trouble I was making. And so I developed a strategy. I would tell my stories from the perspective of an awed classmate. And thus, "a kid in my class" became a well know character in my family's dimmer table conversations.
Nowadays, I think of "a kid in my class" and laugh at my childish naïveté. I doubt that my parents were unable to figure out the correlation between that kid and their own. Plus, MP is just a grade older than me, and was always around to clear things up for my parents. "SD, how come I saw you sitting outside the office today?"
The reader that told me her story about the shidduchhounds revealed herself to me. Ironically enough, she actually is a kid in my class. See how that all worked out?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Now I Understand Why G-d Made Idiots

I'm not sure how many of you were reading this blog back when Chava Yitty was sent to her premature watery grave. I still picture her deathbed convulsions in my nightmares. Yes, indeed, Chava Yitty was a good phone.

My bad phone luck continued after Chava Yitty died and took five hundred contacts with her. My next phone was an awful pink palm centro, courtesy of a friend who didn't need it anymore. Aside from a color that made me look like a grade school kid, the tiny little buttons made testing near impossible. Just when I thought matters couldn't get worse, centro died. (No, she didn't get a name. I didn't like her enough.) It was horrible. My phone search continued. I then got a red razr phone. It was slower than the class dunce and miserably difficult to text with. That and the battery lasted about as long as it took to send three text messages, which was surprisingly longer than you'd think.

I got fed up with her really fast. I spoke to some people at sprint and managed to get myself a new phone. It was the Rumor, by Samsung, blood red. This phone came into my possession shortly after I drove MP and her friends to the airport and learned that Prada makes phones. I decided to have a brand name phone too. Thus, my rumor was named Kate Spade. I called her Katie for short.

I expected to have Katie for a while, but life doesn't always go as planned. Just a few weeks after my acquisition of Katie, I cancelled my Sprint service and signed up for AT&T. I came home with my brand new Samsung Eternity, and named him Louie, short for Louis Vuitton. A week later I hated Louie, so I took him back. I replaced him with a blue LG xenon, whom I named Louie II.

And that's when cell phone karma smiled down on me. I began my all time longest stint with a phone. It's been a year now, and I'm still using Louie with great pleasure.

Louie has this marvelous qwerty slide-out keyboard, threaded texting, and a really user-friendly and simple interface. I frequently note that it's the best texting phone I've ever owned. And, as I've just noted, I've owned quite a few.

Alas, all good things come to an end, even my friend Louie. You see, my warranty for Louie was set to expire on August 6th, and I don't like un-warranteed phones.

On August 2nd, I called AT&T, determined to get a new friend. I spoke to a wonderful customer care representative, who assured me that the problems I was experiencing were due to a faulty battery. My new battery was set to arrive on the sixth, the very day my warranty expired. I didn't the battery would solve the issue, but the dude didn't listen. "But," I worried aloud, "what if it's not the battery? What happens if the problem persists, but by then my warranty will have expired." My Indian friend was very helpful. He assured me that I'd be covered since I'd already mentioned the issue.

My new battery arrived on schedule. I replaced the old battery, and was completely not surprised to discover that all of the original problems persisted. SD is up, 1-0. So yesterday I called AT&T again. I spoke to a customer service rep who wasn't sure what I was talking about. "It should all be in the notes," I assured her. She assured me that it wasn't. I was horrified. And I told her so. "This isn't quite quality customer care. He specifically assured me that he was putting a note in that if the problem isn't fixed by the new battery, the warranty would still cover the phone."

She got a little flustered. See, at AT&T we strive to provide quality customer care. She transferred me to Jason in the warranty replacement department. Now, AT&T call center employees aren't renowned for their superior intellect, but Jason was obviously lacking in the brains department.

And that suited my needs perfectly. See, had a told Jason that I'd been promised a new iPhone 4 for my trouble, he probably would have believed me. I didn't want to take advantage of his unbelievable stupidity, so I merely stated the obvious. "I need a new phone."

And so Jason kindly offered to send me one. He verified my address, asked how quickly I needed to have my new phone, then proceeded to say goodbye. Now, you must realize that people at AT&T don't just say goodbye, they give a long speech. So Jason started his speech. Midway through, he stopped. I started to tell him that he had indeed provided me with quality customer care, but he stopped me. "Hang on," he stammered, clearly nervous. "There's something wrong with my computer. I waited. A minute later, he called out excitedly. "Ok, I found it. Where was I up to?" He then proceeded to finish the speech. Having fully resolved my issues, we hung up.

And then I laughed. And laughed. And laughed. All I can say now is...thank G-d for idiots.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: A Glimpse of the Other Side

This week's Top Ten TUesday takes us on an inter-species trip. A rare glimpse into the mind of a recent brido-sapien. Here, from Musing Maidel.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Have Times Changed?

They say that a girl's reemergence into society is a sure-fire way to know that she is about to get engaged. "Their" logic is simple. About to get engaged equals thinking about wedding plans. Wedding plans equals thinking about guests lists. Worrying about guest lists makes a girl nervous nobody will show up for her affair. That kind of nervousness compels the fair maiden to make herself seen celebrating at the ceremonies of acquaintances and classmates, thus reminding people how nice it would be to go to -ahem- future weddings.

But my friends, fear not. I may have emerged into society, but it was purely unintentional. Or, if you want it to sound more impressive, you can say I was following in the famous words of our wise sages: "who is the wise man?he who sees the future." I may not see prince charming galloping up from the end of this endless dark tunnel [snort] but I want to make sure that I will be completely prepared when the moment arrives.

Or, simply, I have been forced to attend more weddings that I am comfortable with, mostly because a whole bunch of "friendlies" just deserted the happily-single-club in favor of the I-love-doing-laundry-for-this-guy club. And I have come to a startling realization.

And by startling, I don't mean the fact that a woman who is double my width ad triple my age has quadruple my dancing abilities.

I mean that life has taken one of two fascinating turns. Either, there have been a whole bunch of post-highschool bonds of friendship formed amongst my fellow grademates (an entirely plausible assumption), or I never really did have a grasp of high school politics.

The friendship bonds thing makes sense- I guess. Take me. Just before the three weeks my friend was shocked to hear I was at the wedding of a grademate I barely knew in highschool. "I couldn't avoid it. I was I'm seminary with her." I wouldn't go so far as to insinuate that we had become friends, but I borrowed her notes for a year, so that's good enough for me.

Personally though, I'm going with the second choice, it makes for a better memoir.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Attack of the Shidduchhounds

From a reader:

“I lost a bunch of weight recently. People started to notice and comment. One of my friends started to send her comments via text message. The first time was just after we met at a wedding. We parted, my phone buzzed: Ur getting rly skinny.

I lost a few more pounds, and she commented on my weight loss without even seeing me. They say u r getting bony.

Her next text came a little while after we met up at a local store. Out with it already. When r u getting engaged.”

Isn’t it sad? Nowadays, a person can’t even lose a couple of pounds without the shidduchhounds attacking them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top Ten Pictures From My Trip

In true Top Ten spirit, and because blogger's upload feature gets on my nerves, the following pictures are in reverse-chronological order. Fyi.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Great Blogging Mystery

I have a serious mystery on my hands. I've got a number of posts that were written up and ready to publish, and now they're gone. Vanished. Disappeared. I've checked in all of my emails, in blogwriter lite, in my iPod, my computer, and anywhere else a post might be lurking.

And no success. Nothing. Is there a black hole somewhere in the atmosphere that's disappearing my posts? A monster that eats my posts for breakfast? A jealously desperate (desperately jealous) blogger hacking into my account and stealing them.

I guess I should be glad, really. I mean, one of the posts was markedly arrogant, and another made me sound like a self centered jerk. On the on the other hand, it's kinda sad. I wrote those posts. I miss them.