Tag Archives: humor

Being Jewish is Not All it’s Quacked Up to Be

16 Mar

by Tracy Beckerman

When you live in the Northeast, you expect that the month of March is going to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.

You do not expect that it is going to come in like a duck.

In March, the ducks are typically still down south, with the rest of the snowbirds.

Like my parents, they usually wait at least until April before flying back up for the summer. But this year, two ducks decided to hightail it up to New Jersey early. And if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that there is one pair of ducks in particular that I’m talking about.

Yes, Larry and Loretta Mallardstein have returned to their summer residence, our backyard, one month ahead of schedule.

Apparently the daffodils and crocuses were not the only ones confused by the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had.

As I watched the ducks paddle around in the teeny tiny puddles on the top of our pool tarp, it suddenly struck me that the early arrival might not have anything to do with the weather at all.

“I think Larry and Loretta converted,” I said to my husband after informing him the ducks were back.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, we always assumed they were Jewish because they came up every year just in time for Passover,” I explained.  “But this year they came up for St. Patrick’s Day so I think they may have become Irish Catholic.”

He gave me the blank stare he reserves for my stupidest comments.

“I mean it’s not a problem.  We welcome ducks of all faiths equally,” I assured him.

He shook his head.

“Birds of a different feather can all swim together!” I exclaimed.

He groaned.

“We hold these truths to be self evident that all ducks are created equal…”

“Enough. Please,” he begged.

I wondered if the ducks had new dietary requirements now that they had converted to Catholicism.  When they were Jewish. they couldn’t have any bread during Passover so we gave them matzoh instead.  What if they had given up worms for lent?  Could we give them caterpillars instead?  I was at a loss.

Meanwhile, outside the ducks started to quack up a storm. It was clear they were not happy with the accomodations this time of year and were hell bent on letting us know it.

“What the heck?” Bellowed my husband.

“I think the ducks are annoyed because the tarp is still on the pool,” I commented as the ducks continued their litany of complaints.

My husband nodded.  “See they are Jewish.”

“How can you tell?” I wondered.

“Listen to them kvetching!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That Tingly Feeling

2 Mar

Written by Lori Stefanac of Lola is 40

So, I’m driving my 8 year old to a playdate when from the back seat I hear,

“Mom? I have a tingly feeling down there.”

Because I am driving the car, I cannot turn around to see which “down there” but I have the general idea.

I guess it’s time we had “the talk”.

Or at least a version of the talk.

Crap.

Just wondering…WHY do these conversations always happen when I’m driving?

It’s the lack of eye contact, right?

Or do the kids just want to see if mere words can make me swerve off the road?

I tell myself to remain calm, speak matter-of-factly, and above all?

NO GIGGLING.

(snicker)

In my most responsible mature mommy voice I say,

“Well, Honey…I wouldn’t worry too much about it.  Tingly feelings are normal. They are supposed to happen.”

Stupid speed bumps in our neighborhood. No wonder he’s all tingly.

Hell, I’M tingly.

Mmmmm…nice.

AHEM.

I am totally making him sit on a pillow in the back seat from now on…

a home-made “shock absorber” if you will.

Then I won’t have to deal with my 8 year old’s “Tingly Bits”

My child continues,

“I don’t like it.”

Well, that’s encouraging…I guess.

Or is it?

He should LIKE it, right?

I mean, isn’t that what nature intended?

Could something be wrong with his little package?

I don’t know.

DON’T PANIC!

You’ll ask your husband later.

How am I supposed to field penis questions, anyway?

I try to be helpful.

“Ok. Well, if the tingly feeling doesn’t go away in a minute…you let me know”

Just bought myself a minute.

Go me.

Now think, Lola.

What would YOUR parents say?

“Ummm, just don’t touch it and it will be okay”.

There.

That’s good.

Should I add something about growing hair on his palms?

No. That might be too much.

Overkill.

We don’t want to freak the kid out.

Just want to keep his little hands out of his pants.

Then he says to me,

“I thought if I stomped on it a few times, I could make the tingly feeling go away but it’s not working”

WHAT?

Now I’m alarmed.

“Look Honey. I don’t know much about these sorts of things but I know one thing…

STOMPING on it is NOT a good idea.”

I want grandchildren someday.

But stomping on it made the OTHER one stop tingling,” he says.

Other one?

You have TWO?

Confused much?

Other one?” I ask.

“Yeah” he says, “when I stomped on my OTHER foot, the tingling stopped”.

A wave of relief flows through my body and I let my breath out.

I hadn’t even realized I was holding it.

We are NOT talking about boy parts.

We are talking about feet.

More specifically?

Feet that have fallen asleep…

and feet that feel TINGLY.

You know, I think you are  right.  STOMP on it! STOMP on that sucker like you’ve never STOMPED before.  That will get rid of any unwanted tingly sensations.”

Thank God.

Well, I handled THAT situation flawlessly if I do say so myself.

My parenting skills reign supreme.

Now to find more speed bumps.

Mmmmm…speed bumps.

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My Husband Told Me I Can Sleep With Eminem

27 Feb

 

written by Jen Ross from Don’t Wear Sweats or Your Husband Will Leave You

I had a dream.  My husband and I are in Detroit eating at a restaurant.  Eminem approaches our table.  He turns to my husband and says, “I will sing two songs at your son’s Bar Mitzvah if I can have one night with your wife.”  Shocked, my husband and I turn to each other and he says “See you in the morning honey.  I think I am going to sleep in, so be quiet when you come back.”

So Eminem and I head back to his mansion.  I think we are going to get nasty together, but really he talks to me about his mother all night, he starts sobbing, and I end up rocking him back and forth in my arms.

I make him assure me that he will still sing at Ben’s Bar Mitzvah.

I wake up from that dream with one question on my mind.  Would Eminem have been good in bed?

No, not really.  I ask myself a question I am always struggling with.  How far should parents go to please their kids?  When my son was a baby and wouldn’t sleep, I would take him in the car, in the middle of winter, and drive him around until he fell asleep.

When my daughter is having a tantrum, and I should send her to her room, I offer up ice cream.

We all do so much for our kids.  We want them to be happy.  But am I making them happy, or spoiled jerks?  I think they might be happy jerks.

As parents, we aren’t doing our kids much good giving into every whim just because we want them to be happy.  It is our job to teach them they can’t get everything they want, things aren’t always going to be this easy, and it’s okay if you aren’t always happy.  If we don’t do this job now, they will enter the big mean world and expect everything to be handed to them.

They won’t want to work for anything, they will end up coming back to live with you, and then you will have to start all over just when you and your husband started enjoying the sweet taste of freedom.

So if your kids are being a jerks, discipline them, if they want the newest gadget, make them earn it.

And on a personal level, Eminem, if you are reading this, I am still available, and I would like you to sing “Lose Yourself”, and “Not Afraid” on Nov. 3 of this year.

Superficial Tip:  With all the money you are saving now that you have stopped buying stuff for your kids, go out and buy yourself something pretty as a reward for being such a good mom.  One of my favorite shopping sites: asos.com

Jen Ross has 3 kids, 2 dogs, a husband of 15 years and an emormous amount of material to share. She is also the author of the book “Don’t Wear Sweats Or Your Husband Will Leave You.”  Don’t take the title to seriously, she’s wearing sweats right now and she’s almost positive her husband is still committed.

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The Break Up

26 Feb

Written by Lori Stefanac of Lola is 40

So, my youngest son was taking piano lessons.

I’m sorry. He was taking KEYBOARD lessons.

You can’t mix those two things up…

because, as it turns out?

One is very very cool.

And the other is L-A-M-E!

His teacher was a nice, proper older woman in her early 60s.

Although NICE, she was also, in a word: dull.

Every week after his lessons I would ask my child if he was having fun.

Mostly because I knew that deep in my heart, if he were ME…

I would NOT be having fun with Mrs.Stickuptheass.

Every week he told me that that his lessons were “fine”.

“fine?” I’d repeat back. “Well, how do you feel about your teacher? Do you like her? Are you having FUN? This should be FUN!”

He would tell me that his teacher was “fine”.

Look, I’m not one of those moms who has my kids signed up for music lessons because it teaches them to work hard and exposes them to culture, blah, blah fucking blah.

I want my kid to ENJOY his classes.

This is a hobby.

I don’t expect him to be the next Chopin.

I don’t even expect him to be the next Alan Goldblatt.

You don’t know who that is?

Well, that’s kinda my point…

but he played a mean chopsticks at the last school recital.

Anyway, my goals are reasonable.

Eventually, I want my kids to be ROCK GODS so that they can support me and buy me fabulous shit.

And this isn’t going to happen if they aren’t enjoying their lessons.

So if his teacher isn’t making the class fun? Well then something’s got to give…

and that something is NOT me, giving HER even more of my money, if you know what I’m sayin’!

Anyway, seeing my kid’s lukewarm response to his lessons, I decide that perhaps I need to address his teacher’s choice of music.

I mean, personally if I had to listen to “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” more than once, much less practice it again and again, I might grab that teacher’s stupid metronome and gouge her eyes out with it.

But that’s just me.

That being said, I understand that learning piano,

I mean KEYBOARD,

ahem,

requires one to learn specific skills in a certain order, and one can only play at a given level of difficulty until these skills are mastered.

It’s not like I expected my kid to sit at the keyboard and jam out “Bohemian Rhapsody” in one day.

It’s gotta take at least a week to learn that little ditty.

BUT there has to be a compromise, right?

So I set up a meeting with the piano teacher and ask if there’s a way to incorporate more “Rock” into the lesson.

She says she will try.

And she did.

She had my child playing “Rock Around the Clock” and “Blue Suede Shoes” and a few other simple songs that he could feel a little enthused about.

The problem was that she was still her.

After a few more lessons, my child decides that he doesn’t like his teacher after all.

He decides he wants a different teacher.

He wanted the young, cool, pierced and tattooed “rocker dude” of the music school to teach him.

Who doesn’t want a young, cool, rocker dude?

“He just seems more fun” my child tells me.

Yeah. Fun.

Dreamy sigh.

Damnit.

So I’m not simply dropping out of music.

I have to break up with his teacher and explain why we are switching to another teacher in the same music school.

Of course, my kid is right. This teacher DOES seem more fun. And a better fit.

But now I have to have a really awkward conversation.

And I hate awkward conversations.

After his music lesson I ask if the teacher can hang back to talk for a minute.

“sure” she says, “what’s up?”

I’m starting to sweat and shift my weight from foot to foot.

I’m finding it difficult to look her in the eye.

“I’m not sure how to tell you this…” I begin,

“I think we are going to see someone else.”

“Excuse me?” she asks.

Oh, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, Honey. It’s just going to make this thing all the more uncomfortable.

“Look I’ll just say it. We have to break up. It’s not YOU, it’s US. I just don’t think this is working out…”

Suddenly I feel very badly for every douchecanoe ex-boyfriend who ever dumped me.

Being a heartbreaking asshole isn’t as easy as it looks!

Well, I feel badly for all of them except the one from Chicago, who was going to call me back after he did his laundry.

He never called.

Which means that technically, we haven’t broken up.

20 years later, I wonder if perhaps there was really no laundry at all.

Either that, or he was doing laundry for all of Chicago…on a washboard…down by the Chicago River…in which case he may be almost finished.

He’d better call soon so I can free up my weekend.

She still looks puzzled.

“Look, you are a perfectly nice person. And I’m sure you are a perfect fit for…well for someone else. But I think we are just not on the same page. What we want and what you want…they seem to be very different things.”

Holy shit, Woman! Say you understand and let me off the hook all ready! But no. She is silent, allowing me to dig myself deeper and deeper.

Women.

“Um, what I mean is…Hey! You’re great! Really! You are. But…but…”

Still, blank stares.

“Ok. Now you are forcing me to say things I really didn’t want to get into…but the truth is, you are cramping our style. We’ve grown in different directions, plain and simple. We can’t breathe around you! You are STIFLING us!”

“Does this mean you need to change our time?” she asks.

“NO! It’s not about TIME! Wait. YES! It is about time. It’s about time-ING. BAD timing. We just have bad timing. Can you understand that?”

“So would Wednesdays be better?”

“Look, Gail!”

Her name is Gail.

“I see what you are trying to do. But let’s not make this more difficult than it has to be. You have to stop begging.”

“Um, so NOT Wednesday?”

“No. Not Wednesday. Not Thursday. How’s a week from never look to you. Sorry. That was sarcastic, and I can see that you are hurting. That was unfair.”

I bite the knuckles of my fist and turn away dramatically.

“I told myself I wouldn’t cry” I say as I gaze upward towards…well, nothing really. I was just trying to strike a remorseful pose.

Turns out, I don’t know how to do that.

“Uh, Lola? What are you looking at?” asks Gail.

Poor, pathetic Gail.

“Gail. Oh, Gail. We’ve had some good times, haven’t we?” I say as I graze her cheek gently with my finger.

“Sure. I guess…” she says as she backs away from my touch.

A touch that clearly electrifies her.

“Look” says Gail, “I have another student waiting in my office. Are we rescheduling or do you just want to let me know what works for you at another time?”

“That’s a grand idea, Gail” I say, feeling nostalgic for the good ole’ days.

“Let’s just say we’ll play it by ear. Perhaps another time. In another life. We’ll just say that. Okay?” my voice goes up a few octaves and cracks a little at the end.

It can’t be helped.

I’m emotional too.

“Yeah. Good. I gotta go” she says as she turns on her heels and heads back to her office.

I watch her go.

As I watch the sway of her hips I start to second guess my actions.

I’m about to scream out “GAIL WAIT!…

“Can I get some fries with that shake?”

but at the last moment I control myself.

I.MUST.BE.STRONG.

For her.

For me.

For both of us.

And I learned a very important lesson during this very emotional “goodbye”.

The next time I have to break up with some instructor because one of my kids has decided that they are finished with a fleeting hobby?

I’m just going to drop a “Dear John text”.

SO much simpler:

G,
BIN REAL. TTYN
L

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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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Resolving to Keep my New Year’s Resolution

1 Feb

Written by Tracy Beckerman of Lost in Suburbia 

  Last year I made a New Year’s resolution not to make any New Year’s resolutions because I always immediately break them.  Of course I didn’t remember making this resolution until I was in the car one day sitting in traffic and getting really steamed about all the rude people on the road.  After someone cut me off and my daughter yelled out, “Watch where you’re goin’, you moron,” I realized that I might not be setting the best example for my children. I decided then that I was going to break my last New Year’s resolution and resolve to work on my road rage.
When I lived in New York City, I didn’t really have a problem with road rage.  This was most likely due to the fact that I didn’t have a car.  Once we moved to the suburbs, though, we got a car and I actually had to do quite a bit of driving.  I s

oon learned that the suburbs are filled with bad drivers.  And most of them, it seemed, w ere always right in front of me.  Or behind me.  Or cutting me off.  Or stealing my parking space.  My usual calm response to this was a few choice words, some fist-shaking, and an occasional, full-blown hissy fit.


Although I came by my road rage both genetically and geographically (us New York Jews are notoriously hostile drivers) I realized that I might live a little longer if I resolved to be a kinder, gentler driver.  For a while, I was much better.  When people cut me off, I would just smile and wave them on.  If someone tailgated me, I would pull over and let them pass. When somebody else swooped in and stole the mall parking spot I’d been waiting for and there weren’t any other spots within a mile of the mall entrance, I just let her have it (the spot… I let her have the spot!).
Then one day I found myself behind a car that was going so slowly, it might as well have been going backwards.  I immediately took note of the fact that the car was a big, old, cream-colored Lincoln Town Car with Florida plates and a bumpe r sticker that said, “Kiss my Tuchas.” It also seemed, quite mysteriously, to be driving itself. Well, that’s not exactly true.  I could see a pair of hands on the steering wheel, but there was no head.  It was a headless, Floridian driver doing 10 miles an hour in a 35 mile-an-hour zone on a one-lane road and I was stuck behind it, losing my mind.
If ever there was a recipe for road rage, here it was.  Of course, I was very late for an appointment, to boot, so what little patience I had wore thin after two miles.  All we needed was a couple of floats, a marching band, and some Snoopy balloons and we could have our own suburban parade.
For five miles I tailgated the headless driver, getting more and more frustrated, and mentally willing him/her/it to pull over, or turn, or be beamed up to an alien space ship and flown away. Finally, we got to a major intersection, and the Lincoln pulled over to make a turn.  I pulled up next to it and looked over.  There, behind the whe el, was a very old lady, about 110 years old.  I immediately felt awful for tailgating her and belatedly recalled my New Years resolution.  I gave her a weak smile and a little, apologetic wave of my hand.

The itty bitty old lady looked over at me, raised her hand in return…
And gave me the finger.
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Are all Jewish Moms Germaphobes

23 Jan

Written by Jenny From the Blog of  The Suburban Jungle

Yes, I have problems sitting on the “sick side” of the pediatrician’s office.   Yes, I assume the person before me at every restaurant, arcade, amusement park, and grocery store shopping cart has picked their nose and wiped it somewhere within reach.  Yes, I want all tables wiped down before I’m seated, but I’ve convinced myself that the germs spread from those over used rags are far worse than the left over food residue that currently contaminates the space.

I’m neurotic.  I get it, but am I the only one?

I think not.  After talking to a few friends about poultry, my worst phobia, I realize that I’m a member of a very large crowd. A very large, very disturbed crowd. Is it odd that most of them are Jewish?  I don’t know.  Maybe those non Jewish folk are more laid back about germs, maybe it’s in the New Testament.  I know some eat those wafers and I imagine I could never do that as I would be sure the person giving them out had just been picking something or scratching something.

I can tell you that I seemed to be the only one for miles who was horrified by the Euro Bubble, which in my opinion  may be the worst offender of them all.  Oh, have you seen one of these things?  Seriously, who thought of this petri dish in the first place?  For those of you not lucky enough to have encountered the Euro Bubble, it’s a clear plastic beach ball that rolls on water and can fit someone up to 150lbs, though I saw teens much larger attempt to walk on water at the local Party Playground.

This is how it works: you pay a fee to have your child stuffed into a plastic bag while a man with no more than 7 teeth shoves a tube pumping stale air into a leak proof hole to blow up the ball.

Hypocritical?  Well, I did just spend the last 6 years saying, “NEVER stick your head in a plastic bag” and now I’m like, “Well, if the toothless guy says it’s okay, go for it.”

There’s something suffocating about watching a child crouch into a plastic bag in the first place.  Getting past the horrible mental images and the daydream where you imagine this floating ball may be the best babysitter ever.

Yes, in the midst of all my anxiety, I did imagine how cool it would be to have my own CLEAN bubbles… for playdates, when I have to work or clean, to get them worn out before bed etc… Unexpected visitor and you have work to do? No worries, simply stuff em in the Baby Sitting Bubble and send them out into the pool to bang into each other and hamster around for the next hour.

What? they can’t go anywhere, everyone would be happy, work would get done -  But then it dawned on me that there’s probably only so much air in that bubble. Ugh, chest tightening feeling at the thought of forgetting to set them free.  Forget it; I’d rather miss my deadline.

Back to the party.  Sure I could have opted not to let my daughter go, but every other mother at the party seemed quite ok with it, making me yet again, the most neurotic mom in the room.  As the only Jew, I did feel I should represent.  You know, give us a good rap – make us seem as easy going as the next mom.  The truth is I should not be an ambassador, in fact I might as well wear a  sign to alert everyone that I’m Jewish and neurotic oh, the redundancy!

I’m sure the nail biting I was doing as my my daughter waited in line probably gave me away, plus I was wearing 4inch wedge ankle booties and a chunky sweater to a kids party, there was no arguing my stereotypical-ness.

As my baby entered the bubble, the hand sanitizer I so diligently carry in my bag actually committed suicide.  It knew it could never disinfect a child after such a feat and jumped from my pocketbook splattering its last ounce of dignity on the Slushee stained carpet.  I was in this alone.  I looked down at that sorry tube of Purell and wished I had the forethought to have brought a can of Lysol instead.  Let’s face it, my child was not the first to enter this ball, no she may have been 10th person in that bubble in the last hour.  A bubble which at no point contained an attendant holding a bottle of Windex and some paper towels.

To make matters worse, shoes and socks were not allowed… for better traction.  Nor was there an internal release of any kind, well, if you don’t count the electrical tape patches sprinkled about. You know what was allowed in the “germosphere?” Runny noses, coughing, falling on your face where the last kid or drunk adult’s feet left sweat marks, their butt left crack marks, or any orifice left any residue of any kind. Yep, those are the rules.  Have fun while crazy moms, like me, try to figure out where they can give you a “Silkwood” style scrub down when you get home.

As luck would have it, my anxiety was interrupted by another stress inducing revelation.  SHE’S WEARING A DRESS!  Come on, really? I realized as my daughter crouched in her bubble that she in fact was the only child at the party in a dress, in other words:  we were about to get a peep show at my six year old’s Justice undees,  which I fear is the very reason every childless adult in the joint was there in the first place.

Look, if you go to a party and entertainment center that happens to serve beer, and you don’t have a kid in tow, you are without a doubt flagged on a data base of sexual predators… and you wonder why you never get any trick or treaters?  I stood with one of the dads who was equally as horrified at the germ fest and when I revealed my newest concern he burst into laughter and then pointed out at least two childless men sipping beer by the end of the pool.  I spent the next 7 minutes and 15 seconds giving the international sign for “Close your legs.”  A sign that many young starlets would benefit from learning.  My proper princess understood immediately, which either means she is really good at charades or we need to talk more about sitting like a lady.

When my little LiLo was done with the ride, I was able to focus on the germs again.  Phew, I was worried I had forgotten to worry about that.  I considered hosing her down at the sink, but it was time for pizza and all the kids, unsanitized, unbaby-wiped, un-dragged to the bathrooms by insane parents ran joyfully to the tables and drank their hydrogenated, high fructose corn syrup filled fruit punch and licked their fingers… and mine did too.

Like my bottle of Purell, I had given up.  As one of the moms who let her daughter ride in the bubble 5 times said, “They have to be exposed to this stuff or they get the allergies.”  I don’t know if I agree with that logic, but the part of me that wanted to tell her she was being a bit of an extremist realized we may have more in common than I’d thought.  So, I shut up, ate my pizza without patting off the grease with a napkin and enjoyed being a renegade for just one night.

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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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