Daily Archives: July 24, 2009

Judge not lest ye shall be judged

I try so hard to not judge people based on looks. We each have our own personal biases, obviously, but judging a book by its cover doesn’t really work. The most beautiful person could be really vacuous, and the most ugly person the smartest person in the world. Character is more than brains, but you get my point.

I frequent a local Jewish food establishment. I have noticed, much to my chagrin, that I get treated differently based on how I am dressed. When I walk in there with my sheitel on, long skirt and closed shoes I get excellent service, and when it’s Friday I get wished a Shabbat Shalom / Good Shabbes. When I walk in there as I did today in a bandanna which didn’t cover all my hair (shonda, I know…puhleeze), and flip flops, long gypsy skirt and long sleeved tee – the same person looked me up and down whilst serving me and seemed to decide I was not worthy of anything more than a shrug and a look that made me want to throw up.

Now before you all blast me and tell me the guy was having a bad day, it has happened many times with the same person, so much so that I started keeping track. Only religious looking women are entitled to good service? The more modern amongst us are nothing? I wished the guy a good shabbes (I usually say Shabbat Shalom) and he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. What, a modernishe veibe (modern wife) such as me actually can speak the litvish lingo?? Deplorable, unthinkable, unheard of….

I left the establishment with such a sour taste in my mouth. It’s a shame. There is another gentleman who works there who always has a smile for me, no matter how I am dressed. I love when he serves me – there is banter, back and forth. This other dude, if I showed up in cleavage baring shirt and low rise jeans – I wonder what type of service I would get, if any. Hmm, might need to test my hypothesis. Interestingly enough the two men are from different sectors of the Jewish community. I wonder if this has any bearing on the matter at hand.

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Teach me

My eldest son came to me last night, pushing off going to bed so he could talk to me. I am well used to this stalling tactic, so I didn’t pay him that much attention. Usually he gets the point and toddles off to bed.

“No, Ima, I want to TALK to you”… uh oh here goes…

He had been with me in the morning when the car gave up on life and waited with me for the tow truck. He wanted to talk to me about that. He started off with “Ima, I am so honoured to be your son”. Gulp. The tears started to form in my eyes immediately.

He continued in that vein, explaining that he was very impressed that I stayed calm throughout the whole stalled car episode, that I didn’t whine or moan, that I didn’t curse at the heavens for yet another incident being thrown my way. He knew what had been on my to-do list yesterday – a lot. He wanted to know why I didn’t rail at G-d, why I didn’t yell and stamp my feet. I explained to him how I saw the whole situation.

Firstly it was a car that we had borrowed and that had helped me / us get to Monsey to visit with the KoD at least 5 times – 5 visits that would not have been able to have taken place had Mr. CarMan not helped us out. Secondly, we were not on the highway in the middle of nowhere with cars whizzing by at 70 miles an hour with no phone service, with all 4 kids in the car. Thirdly, mainly, I told him, we were safe and sound and no one was hurt.

Yes I had a lot of things to do yesterday that didn’t get done, but it was nothing that was more important than being alive and well and kicking!!

“Ima”, he said earnestly, “please teach me how to have a positive attitude. I really want to be like you. I want to be able to see the silver linings in everything. Ima”, he added, “I am so proud of you, I am so proud to be your son”.

It is so humbling that what I perceived to be a temporary annoyance turned out to be a HUGE learning experience for my son, and even a bonding experience for the both of us. It just shows that you never know when your children are taking their cues from you, and whatever behaviour you model for them is that which they will exhibit.

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