Tag Archives: women

Heinous or Harmless – dating world

You have a single girlfriend who is, as they say, in the parsha ie dating for marriage. She needs guidance. You are sympathetic to her story and want to help her all you can. However she prefers to speak with your husband, finds his advice more helpful for some reason. You have no reason to distrust her, but it makes you uncomfortable. Hubby thinks you are over reacting – it’s not like either of them are hiding their conversations from you.

Is this appropriate? Should single women be calling a married man for advice about anything? For that matter, should married women call someone else’s husband for advice about anything? Eg furniture, cars, politics etc.

What are your thoughts?

(not my story, not my husband)

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You are such a guy – part two

I just vented the following story to my eldest son and he says it makes absolute sense. He also says it’s male logic and I just have to accept it.

Yesterday I sent a picture to the KoD of some bed linens I had found in the linen closet. (You will remember we have discussed buying new linens and cannot agree on a pattern). I had bought them about 3 years ago, and used them for a while until I found something more girlie.  But all I said with the picture was – do you like this bedding? His response – “a most emphatic NO”. Then I told him that I found it in my linen closet. His response – “if free, then I like it”.

What on earth do you mean by that? If you don’t like it then you don’t like it! No? His explanation was that if I was going to spend money on it, then no absolutely not, there is no way on God’s green earth that he would want me to buy that bedding. But if we already have it, then why not. Sure I can bring it down with me and we can use it.

Does this make sense to you? Is this really a crazy male logic thing? When I like something then I like it. If I hate it, free or not, it won’t change my mind!!

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“You are such a guy!!”

A new series.

I say this so often to the KoD. He drives me crazy sometimes with his pragmatic look at the world. He is Mr Logic and I am Ms Emotion. It makes for some interesting conversations. I attribute a lot of it to him being a man, and looking at things in the male perspective, but maybe, just maybe, it’s just him?

My KoD has the most clutterless house I have ever seen. You don’t need something, out it goes. Papers are filed, they do not pile up (shocking!!), no dirty clothes on the floor, no socks under the sofa cushions, no wet towels thrown over the bed. When he takes something out of the cupboard he puts it back in the same place when he is done. (OK this is something I really like!! Wish the boys would learn to put things back). He is not OCD – but is seemingly allergic to excess stuff. Oh what a rude awakening he is in for when we move in!! Snicker.

Me, on the other hand, I have stuff. I am a woman, and as most people know, being a woman means having a lot of stuff, especially, if like me, you are a girlie girl. Make up and hair dryers, curling irons, and hair products, wigs and hats and scarves, in every shade and colour. Lotions and potions. 170 different pairs of shoes vs the 3 pair that most men have. We have clothes that fit us, and clothes that don’t but we wish that they did so we hold onto them just in case we lose those excess pounds. We have photos and mementoes that we have kept since we were in grade school. (I still have my autograph book from when I left elementary school). Birthday cards that our kids made for us in Kindergarten. The dollar store fake carnation they presented us with at their first grade French Spectacle. Most of the things we keep have feelings and memories attached to them. Ladies – you know what I am talking about!!

So we were talking the other day about packing and moving and all of that, and I happened to mention that I have a lot of the kids’ artwork to bring with me. His view – I am sure it is sweet etc but why do you need to keep it? (Well, I do have most things in quadruplicate. Same school, same teachers for all 4). Because the kids made it for me. “But why do you need to keep it? You are not going to look at it again. Ever.” – again, my answer “Because the kids made it for me. Duh!!”. “But what is the point of keeping it? They drew that when they were 3 – they can draw better now. Get rid of it.” Sigh. He is such a guy. I bet he would say to chuck out that carnation too…

It isn’t that he is not sentimental. He is. He hasn’t thrown out any of the cards I have sent him (but maybe that’s because he knows he would be in BIG trouble) and he does appreciate when the kids draw him something, or make him some lego or show him something they are working on. It just doesn’t need to stay around in a drawer for years.

KoD, I love you to pieces, but you are such a guy!!!

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Who drives?

If you are part of a couple, who generally drives? I miss driving around town. I miss the freedom and convenience having a car brings. Highway driving for 6 hours doesn’t really fill back up my need-to-drive-a-meter. When I went down to NY recently with a girlfriend, I drove most of the way in her car. For the first part of the trip I went slowly insane not being behind the wheel. Once I took over, I relaxed.

However, when I go somewhere with the KoD it’s assumed he will drive. By both of us. I have no problem being his passenger. Perhaps he always drives because he is more familiar with how to get to places in NY than I am. But, no, that doesn’t work, because even when he is here in Montreal, he still drives, I just tell him where to go. Is it a trust thing? That I know I am safe with him behind the wheel? Is it because I know that if I would be driving and he would be next to me, my concentration would be totally shot?

How does it work with you?

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Open Letter to Men – part two

We women would like to ask you to kindly think before you open your mouths. You know we are very into our appearance. You know that, and if you didn’t – what do you think we were doing staring in the mirror for so long and so often, primping and preening? Pointing out that we have a pimple on our face is extremely uncool. Do you honestly think we are so clueless as to not realize that Vesuvius Minor is erupting on our face? Do you think you are being helpful by pointing out the obvious? Telling us you thought we would want to know, is not a good save. Saying “oh I thought maybe it was a rash” – nope, doesn’t wash. Basically, you are saying, “you have a huge zit on your face and man, is it ugly!! So ugly and obvious, that I, your clueless male relative, have noticed it when I usually don’t notice a new haircut for six weeks.”

When you are eleven, and you point this out to your maternal unit, you’re lucky when you have older siblings to put you firmly in your place and teach you this very important lesson. Much safer for you, than to have that very same female parental unit teach you that lesson. Those brothers of yours learnt this lesson the hard way. That nasty intake of breath by your older brothers after the comment was made was oh so eloquent. I knew my facial integrity was going to be defended. Your future wives will thank me for teaching you all of these lessons.

As for you grown up men who have made such a comment (you know who you are) – learn your lesson. Never ever tell your woman she is fat, has a zit on her face, or her hair style doesn’t suit her. When in doubt, dear sirs, just tell her she is perfect for you, and take her out and buy her jewellery or dinner. Or both.

Please note, when your woman asks you why you didn’t tell her she had a hair growing out of her chin, or a pimple developing on her nose, do not tell her you know you are not allowed to mention it. Just tell her that you didn’t notice, because she is always beautiful to you. Do not ever quote your wife back at her. You cannot and will never win. Do I make myself clear?

For the first Open Letter to Men – Click HERE.

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Advice Needed – a Reader’s Letter

I received this letter over the weekend, and took some time to think about my answer. I will say what I think, and then ask you, dear readers, to chime in with your opinions.

Dear HSM,

I love your blog. You are just so fresh and honest and funny. I wanted to ask you a question. Is it normal for a husband to look at other women? Does the KoD look at other women? It bothers me. I do my best to make the most of my looks, and I think I am attractive, but I always notice my husband glancing at the women around us, in restaurants or at simchas. Does this mean that after two years of marriage he isn’t attracted to me anymore?

Please Help.

I think it is normal for anyone to look and appreciate a thing of beauty. If you go to the bakery for bread, you notice the yummy cakes and desserts. But if you are on a diet you don’t buy them. They are not ugly to you, only forbidden. They look great and you can appreciate their splendor. But you walk out of the bakery only with what you came in for.

We notice many things around us, and for some people it happens to be that they notice the opposite sex a lot more than others do. If your husband is looking at other women it doesn’t mean that he wants to be with them. From what I understand, men are by nature more visual than women. Me, I notice good looking guys and I notice good looking women. I am sure sometimes I stare when I see a particularly attractive specimen. It doesn’t mean that I want to ditch my marriage to be with that person. I don’t. I just take a few seconds to appreciate the beauty that God has created. And I move on with my day. I will be honest, I have never seen the KoD checking out another woman, unless I have pointed her out to him. But I do believe he is the exception rather than the rule.

If it makes you that uncomfortable, talk to your husband. Tell him that it bothers you and express your concern that he no longer sees you as attractive. I am sure he does not even realize he is checking out other women. Once you make him aware of his behaviour, it’s possible he will do it less, or at least be more aware of himself when he is out with you.

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I am NOT a licensed therapist nor even claim to know what I am talking about. Do not make any decisions based on anything I say. Professional help should always be sought when there are issues to deal with.

OK readers, now it’s your turn to chime in…..

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Who are YOU to censor ME?

The other day I had an interesting exchange on twitter. I had just posted about whether I should cut my hair or not, and how much the KoD loves my hair. This gentleman took exception to it. I tweeted about an email I had received telling me it was not modest for me to blog about my hair – and that I was ticked off. This guy responded. I amalgamated his tweets into the following: (spelling mistakes all his)

I don’t know I kind of felt uncomfortable reading it & don’t think I’d like it if my wife shared that about me. I think it is ok as a woman-to-woman discussion but not in public posted for all to see IMHO. obviously I’m not poskining [making a legal ruling] here. Just telling you how I feel as a guy who loves his wife’s hair. I felt like you shared an intimate part of your relationship. Afterall why do u cover your hair? I could be oversensative. I really like long hair & am sensative to my wife repeating what I say to her in private. Quest bcomes is it enough if ur hub gives permission. It may still not b approp if ur audience is uncomfortable & rav says no.

I asked the KoD if he felt that I was sharing something intimate about him, the fact that he loves my long hair. He said he could understand how this fellow might see it that way, but that it didn’t bother him at all. (and it isn’t like I asked him “permission” to blog about it. Whenever I blog about him I usually ask if it’s ok, but most of the time I know what he is comfortable with and what he isn’t. When in doubt I ask)

What bothered me most about the exchange was how offended he seemed to be, this twitter dude. If it offends you, don’t read it. Don’t presume to tell me what I can and cannot write about. And do not tell me to consult my rav before I blog. I do not consult my rav before everything I do. (and that’s another blog post in and of itself). The majority of my readers were so not offended – except for that email and this twitter dude himself.

This still doesn’t sit right with me. It isn’t like I was discussing intimate details of our married life in public, which is something so totally private that I would never share. I feel like other women could sympathize with my dilemma, and that other men could perhaps use this post to understand some things their wives go through.

What are your thoughts?

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Teardrops

I am a crier. I cry at the drop of a hat. I cry when I am happy. I cry when I am sad. I cry when I am angry. I cry when I am outraged. Whenever I feel extreme emotion, the tears, well, they just flow.

It bothers the KoD to some extent. He still laughs when I cry during a touching moment….in a commercial! He expects the happy tears, and the sad tears when we say goodbye. It’s the angry tears that seem to just frustrate him. He gets that I am angry and usually knows why. But doesn’t understand why I am crying if I am angry. Tears are not something he associates with that emotion.

I asked him why that was. He says because he loves me, he wants to make the tears go away, to fix the problem. Tears do not help with a solution. I guess when I am angry at him the tears are also perhaps a subconscious tool – look how upset you have made me, I am crying to make you feel bad, now fix it. Except it isn’t how I think at all. I hate being angry, especially with him. I love him with all my heart. I cry also when I am angry with the kids. It’s just what I do. I guess maybe it’s like those people that giggle uncontrollably (the giggle loop) during serious situations – at funerals for example.

Do other men feel this way when their woman cries? How do you deal with it? How does it make you feel?

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Is gender equality right?

I was brought up religious – modern orthodox to be sure – our home was always kosher, we observed Shabbat and the holidays, Judaism was central to who we were. I went to Hebrew day school from the age of 8 and have probably forgotten more obscure texts and divrei torah than I have remembered.

 

Growing up in the 70s and 80s I was very aware of the women’s lib movement in Judaism. Some women wanted to have to same privileges as men in shul as well as in day to day life, they wanted aliyot to the torah, to be able to daven for the tzibbur, to don a tallit and tefillin and yarmulke.

 

The way I see it, we are not men, why would we want to do everything they do? I am all for gender equality – especially in the workplace. But Judaism doesn’t say that women are better than men, or that men are better than women. We have different roles to play, responsibilities that use our unique and inherent gifts. Honestly, I am glad I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to go daven with a minyan, and learning about the complicated process of how to don tefillin – before coffee?? No thank you.

 

Giving birth, while probably the hardest thing I have ever done – defined me as a woman, and it’s an experience that will stay with me forever, in a positive way. Never in my life have I ever felt G-d’s presence as strongly as when I welcomed my children into the world. To me, asking to be like men, to have all the religious obligations that they have, that’s like saying it would be ok with me if one day men give birth. That just doesn’t sit right with me.

 

When I was married most if not all of the religious stuff at home – Kiddush, hamotzi, havdalah etc, was done by the man of the house. I am sure if I had really wanted to, I could have done it too, but my life was busy enough with 4 little kids doing their darndest to turn my hair white. But, since we split up, it has been me that makes the Kiddush on Friday night and does all the religious ritual in the house. Of course that will change once my oldest becomes barmitzvah in the not too distant future. He can’t wait – apparently I flare my nostrils when making Kiddush which cracks them up every time. My pronunciation is not the yeshivish oys that they are used to. I enjoy singing shalom aleichem with my children, and having them sing Eshet Chayil to me moves my soul beyond words, every single week. It doesn’t matter who leads and who follows, what matters is the participation.

 

My son’s barmitzvah is approaching, and it has been hard for me to accept that the actual barmitzvah itself, the torah reading and aliyah, has no place for me, his mother, the woman who birthed him (insert guilt inducing story of how long the labour was here) and raised him. But the truth is, even though I would love an aliyah, and to have the chance to read from the Torah – such a renegade, me – the barmitzvah is about my son, not who his mother is, not who his father is, but about him and the man he is due to become. I know that I have a huge hand in the man he is becoming. My part in that has been to nurture him and help him grow, to help him learn about who he is and where he wants to be. I have shown by example, and making a bracha on the torah or not doesn’t change it. I don’t need to be standing up there on the bima saying look at me, I raised my son well, look what a good job I did, and look how equal I am to all the men here. Because I have fulfilled my role as a Jewish mother it will be evident in all my son does and how he performs mitzvoth in his life.

 

Most of the barmitzvot I have attended, only men speak at the dinner. The father says a few words, the roshei yeshiva give their divrei torah, and the barmitzvah boy gives his “pshetel”. Those who know me well are not surprised to know that I plan on giving a speech too. It is not because I want to be equal to the men. It is because as a mom, and a single mom at that, I cannot let this opportunity go by without addressing my son, my family and my community, and letting them know what an awesome day this will be for me, as a Jew, as a Jewish Mom, as a woman. It is not just a celebration of my son becoming a man. For me it is a celebration of success. That despite all the adversity that was thrown our way we didn’t give up, we kept on trucking, we stayed focused on our goals, we continued to embrace religion and found comfort in that. As a Jew I need to stand up and welcome my son into his manhood. As a Jew I need him to know that the path he is following is the right one, is a path that will bring him joy and contentment, as it has brought me.

 

 It’s not a male / female thing.  We are each born with our own character that life fleshes out for us, and to try and become something else goes against nature.  I have much more to say on this subject, so watch this space.