Daily Archives: March 4, 2010

Butt yourself out of my life, woman!

Ok so I was stupid enough to go to the local kosher store in my skants. My skirt was black, almost ankle length, very kosher, but the pink sweatpants underneath couldn’t help but peek through. Had a bandanna on my head – all my hair was covered. Apparently because I am dressed so modern it’s obvious I don’t understand Yiddish. (like Duh!!)

Ok let me breathe for a second here. I bumped into a friend at the cash and we were catching up. There was this woman there who I have seen around but I don’t know who she is, just that she seems to know everyone. So I am chatting with my friend as the cashier is ringing up her stuff. We talk about Pesach, and I happened to say “there is no way I am making Pesach in two places”. If you know my life story at this point, you understand what I mean.

This yenta woman butts in to a private conversation and asks why would you need to make Pesach in two places? Lady, it ain’t none of your business – I wanted to say that but instead I just said a dismissive but polite “it’s complicated”. She doesn’t need to know my business. She wasn’t happy with my answer because she had an apparent need to know. Was in desperate need of some new gossip to spread. So she talks to the cashier in Yiddish and asks him about MY life. What’s her name she says, and what’s her story? Then HE has the chutzpah, the cashier, to tell her (in Yiddish because of course there is no way I could possibly understand what with being modern and all) that my husband lives in NY and I live here. You could see her antenna rising faster by the second. Oh yes, here’s a juicy story. She asks him again what my name is. He tells her in Yiddish that he has no clue what my new name is – it was a second marriage. Flippin’ Nora people – do I have no right to privacy? The cashier knows me – same community etc….can he not keep his mouth shut?

She starts peppering me with questions, I try to ignore her and talk to my friend, who is quite horrified herself, and eventually she asks if I am new in town. I tell her, no, I have been here for 16 years. Oh, she says, I never saw you before. Big frigging whoop – there are 90 000 Jews here in Montreal. One of them you didn’t meet, and one of them you don’t have the gossip on. Deal with it!!

She turns to the cashier again, and asks him, again in Yiddish (and she has paid for her stuff before this, she is just hanging round to socialize) if he knew me, or my family – our yichus (pedigree). By now my friend has left and on her way out she shot me a look of disbelief that I was actually keeping my temper, and the cashier is ringing up my purchases. Still motor mouth is going strong. Where do you live, where do your kids go to school, what does your husband do…..I work hard at ignoring her.

As I picked up my purchases and walked by her, I said to her in my imperfect but understandable Yiddish with a very cutting tone – when it comes to Yom Kippur and you klop al cheit (strike your chest as remorse for sins committed), remember me and how you tried so hard to stick your big nose into my business, how you had no respect for another Jew, how you made another person uncomfortable just so that you could have more rechilus and loshon hora (gossip) to go tell your friends.

I stalked off with my head held high and did not look back. I shouldn’t have said anything but it was so galling. How do people have the chutzpah to blatantly dig into someone’s life just for the heck of it? The cashier – I had respect for him. I did. No longer. I feel like he paid no heed to my feelings at all. And the whole Yiddish thing?? ARGH!!

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Would you do this to your toddler?

I got this off offbeatmama.com. I think every child should be given the opportunity for freedom of expression. But I doubt this little boy has any idea at his age whether he wants the mohawk or not.


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Open Letter to My Son

You know I love you dearly, right? Even at midnight, when I have just dropped off to sleep and you wake me up with those three special little words “Ima, I puked”. I don’t know what it is with you. You were taken out (not by me) to a lovely restaurant (ok kosher fast food) for dinner with your brothers. You ate a schnitzel baguette with oily fries at the one kosher restaurant in town that I will not take you to. I get sick every single time I eat there. The indigestion and toilet runs are not worth it. You and your brothers love that place. Everything they cook there is fried in grease and then refried in more oily stuff. Euw.

Seems this happens often to you that you eat out and then get sick around midnight – all over the floor. How hard is it to get yourself to the bathroom? I know that as soon as I feel the first signs of nausea I am worshipping at the porcelain throne. You have thrown up before, you know what it feels like before it happens. Get up and run.

Seriously, kid, I know that part of my job is to clean up the floor after you and your brothers have emptied your discomfited stomachs. It wasn’t in the parenting agreement that I signed…oh right, yeah, that was a fantasy document.  No one had told me that I would show my love for my sons by mopping up their vomit. That I would smile and hug a kid, neverminding that we were both covered in vomit. That stepping into a pile of sick is all in a day’s work.

I remember a time, my son, that the idea of someone else heaving near me was enough to make me run and hurl myself. How the times have changed. You asked me this morning how come it didn’t gross me out to clean up after you. It did a little. I think there were two occasions during clean up that I indeed threw up a little in my mouth. I didn’t tell you that though. I pulled you into a bear hug and told you that when you love someone you do things that may be gross sometimes, because you love them. But, Ima, you said, why weren’t you mad that I vomited in the hallway not the toilet? (why do you have to analyze the times I am not mad, can you not be happy that I wasn’t mad and take it at face value?) I told you I understood it wasn’t something you did on purpose – but it would have been easier if you had made it to the bathroom.

Dear child, I got you cleaned up and back into bed. You laid your head down on your pillow and within seconds you were asleep, looking angelic. It took me a while to clean up and then I headed to shower, and back to bed. By that time I was wide awake. I laid in bed, listening for sounds of you needing to throw up again. I had to check on you eleventeen hundred times.

You woke up this morning, full of energy – as if last night had not happened. You felt fine. Well rested. Your tummy didn’t hurt. I was the zombie, nursing my coffee as if it held the secret to eternal life.

I am glad you feel better. I am thrilled for you that there are no lasting ill effects from your nocturnal up chucking. Just please, next time, throw up in the toilet bowl. We would both be much happier.

With love


PS how about eating healthier food when you eat out, like a salad or something? Sigh……

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And the tongues were wagging

I went out to dinner with a girlfriend (Empress CaresALot) last night to celebrate our receiving an appointment date for our visas. Because we had been waiting to do this for a long time we decided to go to one of the upscale kosher joints in Montreal – Morty’s. Empress CaresALot and I love to eat steak (we talk about dead cow all the time) and Morty’s is a phenomenal steakhouse.

A couple in their late 20s entered during our meal and were seated near us. He was wearing a kippah and promptly went to perform the ritual hand washing for bread. He made the bracha. Religious. Observant. Impressive.

Not too long after, we were treated to the display of him bending over his wife or girlfriend with his tongue thrust down her throat for an extended excruciating moment. I would not have objected to noticing him peck her on the cheek, or even briefly on the lips, I might even have thought that was cute, but this was a full on French kiss with absolutely no one in the room doubting that he could take it to the next level there and then. It was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to look but it was like a train wreck – you just couldn’t look away.

If he had not been wearing a kippah and not washed for bread would we have been so shocked? Probably. It was not the place to behave in such a manner. This isn’t a nightclub. It’s a kosher restaurant where people go out to have a civilized meal. The fact that he had the outward trappings of an observant Jewish male just added salt to the wound. Somehow one does expect more of someone who is identifiably “religious”. But where is the sense of decorum? Can you not go anywhere these days without being confronted by inappropriate behaviour? Do people not get taught anymore how to behave in public?

We didn’t allow this to ruin our meal and soon got back into our conversation, but oh how it rankles me just thinking about it now.

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