Thursday, November 27, 2008

Joey Reynolds Interview

Thanks to MS who introduced me to YouSendIt- I uploaded the audio file of the Joey Reynolds interview show. You can download and listen to it but it will only be available on their site for seven days or for the first 100 downloads.

Listen HERE

Happy Thanksgiving and A Gutten Erev Shabbos!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shidduch Spiel

The other day I came up with a great idea for a post- it's a shidduch spiel based on the twisted questions people ask when it comes to shidduchim.

My sister has a friend who's father is diabetic. Diabetes is kind of a normal accepted thing today and is very liveable in most cases. It means a different diet, being careful, and some insulin. Maybe I'm making it more simple than it really is, but it's out there and people cope with it every day.

My sister's friend's parents kept it a huge secret until one day her father collapsed in shul when her mother was away and no one knew what to do for him. Then the secret came out.

Originally, they kept it quiet because they were afraid that people wouldn't do shidduchim with their kids if they knew that the father had diabetes.

I think that's stupid. I mean, yeah, this stuff can be genetic- but that's all the more reason not to keep it a secret- so that people who get involved with this guy's son should know what they are facing. And even if it weren't genetic, anyone can get this at any time in their life and face it, you gotta live with it. You don't divorce someone because they have a sugar problem.

Unless we're talking about my brother who eats way too much and gets hyper and then sings Tradition on the roof of my parents house.

But anyway, this is the shidduch skit, or at least the outline of it as it came to me in the car the other night. My mother and I were talking about keeping diabetes a secret (we both agreed that diabetes is nothing compared to a sibling who can rinse his mouth with Coke and then go skiing down the basement stairs...) we agreed that in the end everyone dies anyway, so what does it matter as long as you are happy with who you are and the way you have to live your life. (We were on the way home from being menachem aval someone...can you tell?)

Here it is...

MOTHER OF GIRL: Hello, I'm calling to find out some information about a boy you might know. I understand he's your cousin's mechutan's nephew. Fishel Weiss?

INFORMER: Sure, I practically raised the boy. He's the redhead?

MOTHER OF GIRL: No, I heard he's dark.

INFORMER: Oh, sure I knew that. What would you like to know?

MOTHER OF GIRL: Well I was calling to ask, would you by any chance know if there is any history of illness in his family?

INFORMER: His mother's side or his father's?

MOTHER OF GIRL: Both, I guess.

INFORMER: Let's see. Well on his mother's side I know his aunt Betty had Breast cancer and that his Uncle Henry had Hodgkin's and that his Grandpop had an ingrown toenail.

MOTHER OF GIRL: Ingrown toenail?

INFORMER: Oh yes, it was a doozy too. And then on his father's side, there was Grandma Lucy who had Lymphoma and Great Uncle Melvin with Melanoma, and then the cousin with the tumor.

MOTHER OF GIRL: What kind of tumor?

INFORMER: Oh, I don't remember exactly, it was benign anyway, but his cousin made such a fuss that it didn't matter. The whole world plus a few neighbors knew every little detail.

MOTHER OF GIRL: Every little detail? Like what? Because this is very important for me to know of my daughter might one day marry into the family.

INFORMER: Oh, I don't remember all the details, but don't worry, your daughter would fit in so well there! Can she cook for a diabetic?

MOTHER OF GIRL: What does that mean? Why would she need to do that?

INFORMER: Well you see Fishel's mother is diabetic and since his father is suffering from his eighth nervous breakdown she will need someone to look after her once he is put into an institution for good. Someone who knows how to count carbs and sugar and give insulin shots.

MOTHER OF GIRL: Doesn't Fishel have other siblings?

INFORMER: Of course he does! But you know how it is...

MOTHER OF GIRL: No, please, tell me how it is!

INFORMER: His older brother has a heart problem, he has high cholesterol and his blood pressure is through the roof. His wife and his mother are always at each others throats- at least they were ten years ago when they were still talking, and I know that if his mother came to live with him and he had to hear those two fighting, he would for sure drop dead of a heart attack. The first two didn't kill him but the doctor said the third would definitely work where the others had failed.

MOTHER OF GIRL: Heart Attack?

INFORMER: Sure, and then his next sister has thirteen kids, and she's not a coper at all. She's the one you see in the grocery with the screaming kid and the mismatched shoes. But it's really such a nice family and you shouldn't think twice about marrying your daughter in.

MOTHER OF GIRL: But with such family history!

INFORMER: Lady! You mean to tell me you have no family history at all?

MOTHER OF GIRL: (stiffly) My parents are Holocaust survivors and my husband and I are only children. Our parents may they live and be well, are exceptional and my husband and I have taken care to only set a good example and to be the Model Jewish family. We have no history except for that which we created on our own. There is no history before our parents as their entire families have been wiped out. We are our own history and we have no secrets to hide.

INFORMER: Don't worry! The Weiss' have no secrets either! How do you think I know all this stuff??

MOTHER OF GIRL: I'm not sure all this talk of illness in the family is making me feel any better about this shidduch. I don't want my daughter exposed to this, and IY"H one day when she will have children of her own, I dread to think of these awful genes running through their veins.

INFORMER: Ach! Don't let that bother you at all! Genes aren't the things you should worry about. How are his middos?

MOTHER OF GIRL: I don't know, can you tell me anything?

INFORMER: Not off the bat. But you know what they say about redheads...

MOTHER OF GIRL: I thought he was dark?

INFORMER: Right. But you know what they say...

MOTHER OF GIRL: Yes, of course.

INFORMER: But really, don't worry about all the genetic stuff. It won't come through your daughter's kids anyway.

MOTHER OF GIRL: How can you be so sure?

INFORMER: First of all, have you studied genetics? It's like 10% chance he won't be able to have children to begin with.


INFORMER: Everyone knows that. Nobody has more than a 90% chance of having kids at all- so add him with your daughter's 10% and there's a 20% chance they'll never have kids to pass on those genes to anyway. Then again, if you add his 90% and her 90% there's like a 180% that they will have lots of kids with ingrown toenails and crooked teeth.

MOTHER OF GIRL: Crooked teeth? I didn't know it ran in his family!

INFORMER: Oh, it doesn't! But don't think the whole world forgot what your daughter looked like before she had braces...

MOTHER OF GIRL: !#)@#U%$#@%

INFORMER: But anyway, really, rest assured, there is nothing to worry about from either side of the Weiss family. I know for a fact that Fishel is adopted.

MOTHER OF GIRL: WHAT?!?! ADOPTED? How do you know?

INFORMER: Well it's not every day you see a Schvartze yingel in the Weiss mishpacha...

Monday, November 10, 2008

B-I-N-G-O Spells What?


My husband singing to my son as he tried to feed him a few more spoons of Orzo at supper.

"B-I-N-G-O...B-I-N-G-O...B-I-N-G-O... and Popeye was his name-o!"

I know this isn't really related to the blog, but I couldn't resist running to my computer and getting it down for posterity.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

So Now I Owe You?

I am a little confused today. And yesterday. And the day before too.

You see, Chinese Auction season is coming up in a few weeks and it seems like Tzipi Caton is the hot speaker to bag for the various organizations this year.

Let me preface by saying that I am already B"H booked and taken for the season with the promise of not speaking for anyone else before I speak for the specific organization that got to me first.

I have no objections and understand them completely. No one wants to be stuck with me if I already gave the same speech at ten other fundraisers in the last month. They want me fresh and new and exciting.

But it seems like I was booked early and since the word isn't out yet, I'm still getting calls from different chessed organizations in the community.

*Disclaimer* What you are about to read is exaggerated based on my mood and on how tired I am. Just take with a pinch of happiness and some salt. Which is not to say this didn't happen, just that people aren't as obnoxious as I make them sound on my blog. Well except maybe me...

CALLER: Hi, Tzipi?

ME: (Hesitant) Hi...

CALLER: How are you???? It's Mrs. A, (or B, or C, whatever)

ME: Do I know you?

CALLER: Of course! Don't you remember me? I taught your little sister six years ago. I met you once in the grocery. I was wearing the pantyhose with the run and the sideways turban.

ME: I guess it rings a bell.

CALLER: Well I MUST talk to you about your book.

ME: (wondering how these people manage to get hold of my unlisted number) Okay...

CALLER: Well first of all I loooooovvvved it!

ME: Thank you. (Talking with the phone jammed between my ear and shoulder while struggling to get my kid into the bath.)

CALLER: And I must ask you, were you in any way helped by or affiliated with (insert name of organization she fundraises for here)?

ME: No.

CALLER: Are you sure?

ME: Yes.

CALLER: Because sometimes we help people but they don't even know. We do things behind the scenes through friends and family and even other organizations so the patient doesn't necessarily know we were involved.

ME: If that were the case for me then I would definitely not know so I couldn't give you a "yes" either way.

CALLER: Oh. Because you see, we really would like for you to help us and we were hoping that maybe if you felt an appreciation to our organization for everything that we did for you maybe you would want to....*voice trails off as if waiting for me to offer my services*

ME: (sits quietly, not about to offer anything I am not ready to do.)

CALLER: (after long pause) Well anyway. We heard you speak in public.

ME: Yes, I do.

CALLER: Well we were wondering if you would speak at our upcoming Chinese Auction (or other event planned)

ME: I am already booked with so-and-so but any time after then, as long as you meet my fee I will be more than happy to speak.

CALLER: You wouldn't do it for free?

ME: No.

CALLER: But we are a chessed organization!

ME: So is everyone else who calls me.

CALLER: But it would be such a zechus on your part and you'd be giving so much chizuk to others.

ME: If I wanted zechusim I could be out every night for the rest of my life and three lifetimes plus, but I just can't. I do my chessed in other ways, for me this is parnossoh. And I can give chizuk when I get paid too. I promise.

CALLER: Oh. I just thought that since we did so much for you...

ME: I'm very grateful. But I didn't know that you put a price on the volunteer work you did for me five years ago. Believe me, I am grateful, but if I were to act on my gratefulness in the way that you and every other organization wishes me to, I would very quickly start resenting everything you ever did for me.

CALLER: I don't understand.

ME: Skip it. It's not important.

CALLER: So you'll do it?

ME: If you meet my price.

CALLER: Okay, we'll get back to that. Another thing. I was wondering if maybe you and your husband would donate a prize to our auction.

ME: What?

CALLER: Well it would give people such chizuk to see that a prize was donated by the author of Miracle Ride.

ME: Even if I would donate something it would be under my husband's name- people wouldn't even know we had anything to do with the book- I don't see how that would give anyone chizuk.

CALLER: Aha. I see what you are saying. Would you consider donating something now anyway?

ME: What do you have in mind?

CALLER: Maybe a trip to Eretz Yisroel?

ME: Do you normally ask young couples at our stage in life to donate a trip costing a couple of thousand dollars?

CALLER: Why? Are you not up to it financially? What does your husband do for a living?

ME: I wasn't aware that I had to balance my checkbook with you.

CALLER: Not at all! I just thought that you having been in a matzav to benefit from our help would want to give...

ME: Funny, I would have thought that someone who has once been a young couple themselves would understand where the average kid my age stands financially and would know better than to ask.

CALLER: I just thought that you would want to give.

ME: And I thought you'd understand that I can't just give even if I want to.

CALLER: Will you talk it over with your husband?

ME: (defeated) I will.

CALLER: Will you call me back?

ME: (Wondering how soon I'm allowed to call back with a "no") IY"H.

CALLER: If you don't call me may I call you back?

ME: Of course.

CALLER: Because I wasn't sure if I should, I mean your number is unlisted and I assume that means that you don't want to be bothered.

ME: That's okay. It's never a bother.

CALLER: Oh good! So I will be in touch!

I love all these organizations, and I love Chinese Auction season- don't get me wrong, but I will start appreciating the donors and entertainers at these functions ten times more now that I know what they put up with to get there....