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Modern Jewish Moms are Still Freakin’ June Cleavers

29 Feb

Written by Jenny Isenman of The Suburban Jungle

Every once in a while you have a conversation that is so cliché so stereotypically female, a la 60 years ago, It makes you wonder if things have truly changed that much.

I had one of these conversations last night, and the sad part?  It was so natural, I didn’t notice the irony until today.  This was the convo as close to verbatim as I can get… seriously.

It started with someone discussing her phobia of germy sponges.

spongebob sick
Germy Sponge

Mom 1: I totally rely on sponges.  You know, when they get dirty you can nuke ‘em?

Me: I run mine in the dishwasher.

Spongephobe Mom: I never use a sponge.

AND THEN IT STARTED: A conversation taken right from the script of a 1950′s commercial.

If any man were to overhear it, he’d undoubtedly say, “Dames, they love to yap about household chores.  Am I right fellas?”

guys and dollsThe rest of my little tête-à-tête with the team moms will require proper 1950s translation.

Spongephobe Mom (to us moms, who sat with our mouths agape at the idea of not using a sponge):  I don’t need a sponge. I just let my dishes soak in some hot water with JOY.

50s translation: JOY gets me “From grease to shine in half the time!”

Mom 1 (visibly shaken): What do you use… a paper towel?

50s translation: Towels can rip and tear, they’d never hold up to vigorous dishwashing.

Spongephobe Mom: Nope.

50s translation: I’m confident in the cleaning power of Joy.

Me (accusingly — like an evangelist being told about evolution): I bet you’re scraping that crud off with your nails.

50s translation: That explains why her nails look so uninviting. (Which would be said in a loud whisper to other woman at the mahjong table.)

Spongephobe Mom: Nope.

50s translation: Stop staring at my nails, gossip maven.

Me: But how do you get all the shit off?

50s translation: What about baked on caked on foods like dried cereal?

Spongephobe Mom: It  even works on caked on oatmeal.

50s translation:  It even works on caked on oatmeal!

Me and Mom 1 (in disbelief):  NO!?

50s translation:  Gasp!?

Me: But what if you sauté?

50s translation: How does it hold up to grease from deep frying?

Spongephobe Mom: No problem.

50s translation: It cuts right through the oily residue that frying can leave behind.

Me:  I nonchalantly inspected her hands for cracking and chaffing.

50s translation: “I bet your manicurist isn’t pleased with the way you do your dishes.” (Snicker snicker, then I would look to other girls for nods and implied high fives.)

Spongephobe Mom:  I only soak the dishes, not my hands, dumbass. (okay, in the actual conversation the dumbass was merely implied.)

50s translation:  Joy leaves my hands supple and soft, and it’s emollients condition as it cleans. Then she would look at my hands sitting in a bowl of what I thought was simply water and say, “you’re soaking in it.”

Oh, Madge, you sneaky devil, you.

That evening I couldn’t help using my new “now to 50s” translation on everything.

I came home and let the kids go for a quick dip in the pool.

50s translation:  I bathed my sweet children.

I put a frozen pizza in the oven.

50s translation:  I whipped up a nutritious meal for the whole family.

I Allowed my hubby to make idle chit chat during the commercials of American Idol.

50s translation: I got my hubby his slippers and cigar then gently rubbed his shoulders.

I put in a load of laundry in hopes that the cleaning lady would dry and fold it in the morning.

50s translation:  I washed, ironed and starched the family’s laundry.

I guess I never realized what a modern domestic goddess I truly am.

busy_mom_with_child_and_pets_clip_art_22864

50s Translation:

june cleaver

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A Shampoo By Any Other Name

16 Feb

Written by Tracy Beckerman from Lost in Suburbia

“What’s in the bag?” I asked my mother as she got into the car following her trip to my hair salon.  Whenever my mom comes to visit me from Florida, our first stop is always the hair salon. It must be a Jew thing because whenever the snowbirds fly up North, the first thing they do is get their hair colored.  She claims that the Florida sun bleaches out her hair, but I think she just wants to make sure if she runs into any other alter cockers up here that she knows, they will think she looks faboosh.

“I got some new shampoo,” she said with some excitement.  “My old shampoo was terrible.  It really dried out my hair.”

“What brand were you using?” I asked.  She thought for a moment.  She seemed unable to come up with the name.

“Um… Freaken shampoo,” she finally said.

I snorted.  I knew she meant a different shampoo, but had mangled the name.  My mother was notorious for this but she denyed it vehemently, so I decided to have a little fun with her.

“So that freakin’ shampoo dried out your hair?” I asked her.

“Yes,” she said.

“Did you try using some freakin’ conditioner,” I asked.

“Yes, but it’s too heavy,” she said. “It weighs down my hair.”

“You know, Mom,” I said smiling, “If the freakin’ shampoo you’re using dries out your hair, you can try another freakin’ shampoo.  Maybe some other freakin’ shampoo would work better for you.  There’s a whole line of freakin’ shampoos out there you can get.”

“That’s true,” she said.

“And you might want to try some freakin’ conditioner, too.” I suggested.  “Just ‘cause one freakin’ conditioner doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean there isn’t some other freakin’ conditioner that would help your hair.”

“I do use a Freaken hair gel, that is pretty good,” said my mother.  “I don’t like the Freaken mousse, but the Freaken gel gives my hair lots of body.”

“What about the freakin’ hair spray,” I asked.

“I don’t really like the smell,” she responded.”

“But all the freakin’ products have the same freakin’ smell,” I said.  “The freakin’ hairspray smells like the freakin’ shampoo.”

“Really?” she said.  “I like the smell of the Freaken shampoo.”

I laughed out loud.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“This whole freakin’ conversation!” I shouted.  She stared at me as though I’d lost my mind.

“We’re just talking about shampoo,” she said.

“Freakin’ shampoo,” I clarified.

“Right,” she said.

“Freakin’ shampoo and freakin’ conditioner and freakin’ hair gel and freakin’ hair spray.”

“Yeah…?” she wondered.

“There is no FREAKEN shampoo,” I said.  “You combined John FRIEDA and REDKEN to make Freaken!”

I saw understanding creep across her face and I cracked up.  She looked at me and raised one eyebrow.

“You know what, Tray?” she said.

“What, Mom?”

“You’re a freakin’ pain in the neck.”

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I Can’t Remember What I Forgot

7 Feb

Written by Lori Stefanac of Lolais40

So, I know I blog about my bad memory and limited attention span a lot.

At least I think I do.

I can never remember.

Yeah. I just checked my archives.

I blog about these things quite frequently.

Anyhow, this time is different.

This time?

My bad memory and attention deficit have gotten me in trouble.

Or they may have.

Again, not so sure.

Nevertheless, I’m gonna fill you in on what I do recall.

My friend and I were talking.

She was telling me something important.

I know this because her eyes were knitted together indicating “importance”.

Or “anger”?

“concentration”?

Maybe just a need for Botox?

Whatever.

What I DO know is that it’s her fault I wasn’t paying attention.

I mean, after the first sentence or two?

It became abundantly clear that this conversation was NOT about ME.

Was I supposed to stay tuned anyway?

I think not.

I started to nod my head when it seemed appropriate as I looked down at my strappy sandals and thought about how delicate they make my ankles look.

I also thought about how I should run out to Nordstrom to see if I can find them in other colors because they are really fucking cute on me.

I looked up eventually and she seemed to be wrapping up.

She thanked me.

For what?

I don’t know.

Apparently I am a really good friend.

Well, no surprise there.

Although I have the sinking feeling that by nodding along during this conversation?

I may have agreed to something.

Hmph. Imagine that.

Well, that brings me to today.

I have this sense that I have forgotten something but for the life of me?

I don’t know what.

If my friend had just had the sense to insert a “wow your hair looks great today” in the midst of her monologue, I might have had more reason to stay tuned in.

Alas, she did not.

I mean, just a simple “Hey, I LOVE your outfit” inserted in the middle of all that jabbering about me pet sitting her kids’ stupid fucking fish while they are away and Imight have maintained some focus.

Umm, wait.

Did I just say something about pet sitting fish?

Shit.

Uh…

I have to go.

I have to make a goldfish run.

The kids won’t know the difference between the new fish and their inexplicably dead fish, right?

cute, huh?

And to think…

all of this nonsense could have been totally avoided if she had just told me that she likes my shoes.

 

About the Author:  Lori Stefanac is the creator of the wildly amusing humor blog, Lolais40. She is a happily married Jewish mommy with 3 boys.  She has no skills per se,  no real training, and she’s never published a thing, but she figures if she say it often enough and loud enough people will believe it. Or they will just agree with her to make her shut the fuck up. Either reason is good with her.

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Barbie and I Can’t Get Our Skinny Jeans Over our Thighs

2 Feb

Written by Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog of The Suburban Jungle

So, yesterday while trying to dress my daughter’s Barbie in a stunning pair of silver lamé jeans, I realized they were not going to go over her thighs. What was it? Had she gained a few? Was it her time of the month? All I know is, this scene seemed oddly familiar. Trying to yank some slim pants over unyielding thighs… where have I seen that before? Oh right, my closet for the last year and a half, that’s where. At first I felt a tinge of pity for Barbie. I breathed an empathetic sigh as I resolved to get those once fitting lamé pants over her rubber legs. It felt like trying to pull up a wet bathing suit on dry land… no budge. Maybe a little Crisco would work? Wait, does that mean I should be buttering up my legs to get those J Brand Cigarette jeans back in the rotation? Well, in lieu of greasing her down, I accepted the fact that this chick needed to drop a few. It was then that I felt an odd sense of camaraderie. You know like I could look in her painted on Barbie eyes and say:

“Yeah, I know, it sucks right? You and your hot pants with the built in belt and me with my skinny jeans… we’re quite the pair. Remember the old days? You know when we could eat anything and still make Ken’s head turn?  Oh, to be young again. What are you now Barbie, like 50? Seriously, you look good girl. You shouldn’t be looking at me with those sad eyes.
Sure, they gave you a breast reduction, but frankly those things were getting in the way of your modern career options. Pro tennis player, Doctor, Veterinarian, Lawyer, no one could take you seriously with those measurements. As soon as they started calling you an “airline attendant” instead of a “stewardess,” your days with those puppies were numbered. Now look at us? A couple of has been sexpots zipping our pants with a pair of pliers. What have we resorted to? Barbie, this may be a touchy subject but, I saw you throwing up the other day after my daughter fed you that plastic turkey at a pretend dinner party. I saw you and so did that token brunette Barbie, what’s her face, it was an embarrassment and an eye-opener.”

After our “moment” of bonding, I felt something I never expected… joy. Yep, that’s where I think the story gets sick. (I know you may have had that thought a while back when I outed Barbie as a bulimic.) But, for me it got a bit alarming when I felt a sudden trace of delight in Barbie’s pain. Like, “Wahoo, I’m not the only one assessing my need to go back to the gym. Now, you know what it feels like Barbie! You and your perfect hair and your perfect tan, you’re not so perfect anymore. So, suck it!” I don’t know what this all says about me, other than my need for a new workout regimen and a visit to my therapist. I like to think that I’m usually a person who is excited over other people’s accomplishments, beautification-wise and otherwise, but I realized there is some evil part of me that enjoyed watching someone else deal with less efficient metabolism and a thigh complex, even if that someone was Barbie.

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F&*%ing Perimenopause

30 Jan

 Written By Lori Stefanac of LolaIs40

So for about a year now, there have been some strange happenings in my life.

Unusual, puzzling, and bizarre occurrences.
Mysterious phenomena that can only have one explanation:
Alien Invasion.
For example, I’ve been convinced that the house alternates between ice cold and broiling hot within seconds.
Also, I have been having significant lapses in memory.And?

I’ve been having significant lapses in memory.

Plus, the people around me are suddenly all very argumentative and unreasonable.

One might even call them all Batshitcrazy.

Almost as if they’ve been bodysnatched.

However, after seeing a segment on the Today show, I realize my issues may NOT be associated with the invasion of Earth by an alien species that plans to take over by systematically messing with the heat and air in my house, making me forget appointments and making other people difficult to get along with.

It may be something else entirely.

Get this…

It may be medical.

It may be…

Perimenopause.

Or as I like to call it:

“Fucking Perimenopause”.

After watching “Today”, I did what any intelligent person would do when suddenly faced with a medical condition.

I Googled.

Now?

I’m an expert.

And being an expert, I’d like to share some of my expertise with you, my friends.

But I don’t really want to address the symptoms of perimenopause.

That’s been done a trillion times, and let’s face it…

anyone can Google a list of symptoms as well as remedies.

What I want to do is help the men.

Really.

Because my extensive research suggests,

and by extensive I mean my single Google Search

that there are very few resources out there dedicated to teaching the men in our lives how to cope with something that undoubtedly affects all of us.

And, face facts, Men.

You really need this.

Because you are fucking clueless.

CLUELESS!

Well, that is about to change.

Think of this as your own personal survival guide to living with someone who is going through Fucking Perimenopause.

And, by the way,

You’re totally welcome.

Lola’s Man-Guide to Surviving Fucking Perimenopause

1. Do not ask your wife when the “horniness” kicks in.

This will likely result in a throat punch, kick to the nuts or bite to the earlobe.

Personally, I believe that you men are confusing the words “horny” with “stabby”

because Perimenopause DOES, indeed make us feel increasingly “stabby”.

2. Do not ever use the following words to describe our behavior

(unless you are not very attached to your nuts…in which case go ahead and soon you will not be attached to your nuts):

*Nuts
*Psychotic
*Crazy
*moody
*hormonal
*ragging
*Batshit
*mad
*insane
*deranged
*demented
*lunatic
*non compos mentis
*unhinged
*mental off one’s rocker
*batty
*bonkers
*cuckoo
*loopy
*loony
*screw loose
*unbalanced

I think you get the idea.

By the way? We will be all of these things.

3. No matter how many times we repeat ourselves due to our newly impaired memory?

Pretend whatever we are telling you is new information.

Because when you tell us we are repeating ourselves we just want to pluck out your eyeballs with a soup spoon.

4. I don’t care how much we complain about our “Night Sweats”.

Do NOT buy us a portable air conditioning unit for the bedroom and call it a birthday gift.

Again, the plucking of the eyeballs is likely.

5. The only way to control our hot flashes (which, by the way, feels like someone has literally lit a fire inside our body)

is with diamonds.

Don’t ask why.

It’s much too scientific for you.

Just buy diamonds.

6. Although in a moment of clarity we women know that the room is NOT alternating between being as hot as an oven and then as cold as the freezer,

it does NOT behoove you to attempt to explain this to us while we are in the midst of these internal temperature changes.

Just pretend to fiddle with the thermostat and we will be happy.

Or at least less murderous.

7. Do NOT allude to our “mood swings” every time we go from laughing hysterically to crying uncontrollably within a 30 second time span.

This is normal…

to us.

We are complex fucking creatures!!

I suggest you adjust.

Hey Guys? Welcome to the “new normal”

8. No matter how many times we repeat ourselves due to our newly impaired memory?

Pretend whatever we are telling you is new information.

It’s really for the best.

9. We may put on a little weight, Guys.

So when we ask you if “these pants make our asses look fat?”

the correct answer is NOT

“no, it’s your ASS that makes your ass look fat!”

If you DO say such a thing?

Just run like hell because nothing short of a miracle can save you.

10. Our sex drive may not increase like all men hope and pray.

As a matter of fact, sometimes it decreases.

The solution to this problem?

Diamonds.

I know.

Seems unlikely that diamonds could cure not just ONE but TWO of the symptoms associated with Perimenopause.

They are truly a miracle mineral.

Don’t ask too many questions.

I know what I’m talking about…I’m a professional.

11. VAGINAL DRYNESS

Why am I telling you men about VAGINAL DRYNESS associated with Perimenopause?

No reason, really.

I just like to type the phrase VAGINAL DRYNESS.

And I suspect it sort of freaks you out.

12. Understand that there is nothing you can do or say

that is going to be right from here on in.

Let me give you an example of a conversation you might have with your wife.

Let’s go back to the fashion question again, seeing that you totally blew it the first time we went over it.

Wife: Honey, do I look okay?
Husband: You look fine.
Wife: FINE? I look FUCKING FINE? YOU are an insensitive ASSHOLE!

Didn’t go so well, did it?

Let’s try again:

Wife: Honey, do I look okay?
Husband: You look AMAZING! Better than you did when we met! If we had the time I’d jump your bones right now because you look so hot!
Wife: Don’t you fucking patronize me! Do you think I’m STUPID? Do you think I can’t recognize SARCASM? YOU are an insensitive ASSHOLE!

See? Not much better.

Guys? You will always be the asshole.

Sorry.

It’s not our fault.

It’s chemical.

Which reminds me…

13. Don’t ever suggest that perhaps we might benefit from some hormonal treatment…

except in the form of a letter,

when there is a safe amount of distance between you and your wife.

Because by YOU suggesting hormonal therapy?

You are insinuating that we are (insert any word from the expansive list given to you in number 2, here)

And such suggestions will result in…that’s right…throat punching, ear biting, eyeball plucking or nut kicking.

Anyway, I hope that this Survival Guide will save some marriages or at least keep some women from murdering their husbands in their sleep.

And women?

Maybe we should check into some Hormone Therapy?

Hey! Watch your filthy whore mouth! I’m just trying to help!

By the way, how do I turn this portable air conditioner on?

You don’t know?

Well, thanks for trying…

I mean FUCK YOU!

I didn’t mean that…

I love you…

Um…

I’m okay.

I believe I set a new record for myself in this post…

dropping the F-bomb a whopping 10 times!

Go me.

I am all kinds of classy.

Ahem.

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A Wedding Two Births and a Funeral

25 Jan

By Tracy Beckerman of Lost in Suburbia

I had to go to a wake recently. I was a little apprehensive because I haven’t been to that many wakes before.
Actually, I have never been to any.
However, since I am Jewish, I have made my fair share of shiva calls. I wasn’t sure if a shiva call was like a wake and I felt a little funny asking the bereaved what the proper wake protocol was, because, after all, they were, you know, bereaving.

I did know that the deceased is in attendance at a wake, but not at a shiva. I think this is because Jews like to eat at a shiva, and the general consensus is that it can be a real appetite-killer to eat when there is a dead person in the room.

With no one to ask, I decided to Google “wake” to see what I could learn. I found out that originally, wakes were held to watch for signs of life and to confirm that the person was dead before burial.

Personally, I would think it would be a good idea to determine this fact a little earlier in the process, but that’s just me.

I also learned that a wake is kind of like a party for the deceased. Of course, my mother taught me that you should never go to a party empty-handed. So I did what my people have done for thousands of years when someone dies:

I brought a brisket.

Now here’s what I learned when I arrived at my first wake. There are lots of flowers. And sometimes, a fair amount of booze. But no briskets.

This is not to say the family wasn’t very appreciative of my brisket. They just thought it was a little odd.
I’m not sure if the same is true for a wake, but funerals are important in the Jewish religion because it gives us the chance to patch things up with family members we’ve been feuding with since our wedding over something really important like the seating arrangements.

We don’t talk for ten years and then someone dies and all the same people who were at the wedding show up at the funeral.

Everyone cries and eats brisket, and suddenly the feuds from weddings past dissipate and all is harmonious once again.

That is, of course, until the next grandchild in the family is born… and then someone gets angry again because the newest member of the family isn’t named after the last member of the family who died. This is a Jewish custom that goes back as many thousands of years as the brisket tradition.

Meanwhile, back at the wake, I noticed that everyone seemed to be getting along just fine, no one asked the engaged couple which table they were seated at for the wedding, and no one seemed bothered that the new baby was named Blue Sky.

And,

surprisingly,

..no one seemed to mind eating their brisket with the dead guy in the corner.

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And G-d said, “Let there be Boca”

19 Jan

 

written by Tracy Beckerman from LOST IN SUBURBIA

20120119-115755.jpgEveryone knows that God made a covenant with Abraham which gave the Jews Israel in exchange for a little foreskin. What most people don’t know is that God also agreed to give us Florida. This is why Jews move down to Florida when they retire. We don’t have a choice. It was part of the original deal. The Christians got Martha’s Vinyard and we got Boca Raton.

This being the case, I wasn’t all that surprised when my parents told me they bought a place in the Sunshine State. My dad had been in semi-retirement for several years and my mother was not far behind. Besides, my dad was a golfer and my mother made a mean brisket, which meant they satisfied the official Jewish retirement prerequisites. They were one Lincoln Continental and two zuzim away from qualifying for a little place in the Palm Beach area on a golf course with their own orange tree and an alligator in the backyard.

Giddy with the prospect of all-you-can-eat 4:00pm dinner buffets for $2.99, they had one foot out the door when I warned them that they needed to do some prep work before they moved to the promised land of milk and honey and Metamucil. As two hip, artistic, culturally-sophisticated New Yorkers, they were under-prepared for life in the matzoh-ball soup capital of the world.
Of course, as a middle-aged Jew still in my formative guilt years, I didn’t have all the info they needed, either. So I picked up the book, “Florida for Dummies and Alter Kockers” and found some handy tips for helping my parents acclimate to life in the panhandle. According to the book, my folks needed to focus on the following:

1. Playing Games: To truly enjoy retired life in Florida, make sure to learn shuffleboard, Bridge, and how to work three Bingo boards at a time.

2. Driving: You must learn how to drive 20 miles under the speed limit and with your head six inches below the steering wheel.

3. Clothing: Men: pants that fit snugly under your armpits. Women: Bold prints in bright pastels. Polyester pantsuits with short sleeves and a tropical palm motif are always a good choice. Donate your black clothes. Black is for funerals which is not a good message to send in a place where everyone is over ninety.

4. Dining out: When you go out to eat, remember to empty the basket of dinner rolls on the table into your handbag before you leave, eat all the food and THEN complain that it wasn’t cooked properly, and steal packets of Splenda.

5. Voting: This is your right as a US citizen and you are entitled to do this for as long as you can drive (which in Florida is well into your late 90’s). Words to know:

Chads – The tiny bits of paper left over from punching a ballot when you vote.

Ballot – the thing left after you punch out the chads.

Do not worry about either the ballot or the chad. They very rarely count.

6. Sex: This is only for men who have outlived their wives. There are two of them.
Satisfied now that my parents were adequately informed to make a new life as social-security card-carrying Floridians, I bid them adieu and mazel tov on their new home and reminded them to stay out of the sun and watch out for alligators and honey bees, but not to worry about wasps:
They retire to Connecticut.

About the author: Tracy Beckerman is a nice Jewish girl from the suburbs of New York, who got married and moved to the suburbs of New Jersey where she learned the only difference between the Jewish girls in NY and the Jewish Girls in NJ is the size of their hair and which mall they go to. Tracy is the author of the book, “Rebel without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the Burbs.” She writes the syndicated humor column Lost in Suburbia,

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You Are Such a Bubbie | Lola is 40

5 Jan

Written By -  Lori Stefanac – Lola is 40

So, the other day, I was having coffee with a friend when I take out my lipstick case, hold the teeny, tiny mirror up to eye level, and reapply my lipstick.

“OH MY GOD! YOU ARE SUCH A BUBBIE!” my friend cries. (‘Bubbie’ being the name of a Jewish Grandma, for all of my non-Jewish friends).

I look around. I KNOW she’s not talking to ME because I’m a hot, blonde, fortysomething but look more like a thirtysomething MILF for God’s sake!

Wait.  She’s looking at me and tears of hysterical laughter are streaming down her face. She repeats the offending sentence,

“YOU ARE SUCH A BUBBIE!”

“I am?” I ask, suddenly aware of the little old ladies surrounding us who all seem to have MY lipstick case in tow.

Well, I have to dispute this argument.  My pride is at stake. So I say,

“WOULD A BUBBIE DO THIS?” [...]

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