Today friends, let me paint you some pictures with my words. Imagine summer as kinderlech (children): bathing suits, swimming pools, hopping through creeks, jumping in puddles. Sleep-overs, scooter rides, hiking, and biking. Ice creamy treats, baking and make your own pizzas. Slides, swings, and sunshine (the scorn that is sunscreen). Dirt, mud, and coils of chlorine tangled pony-tails. Board games, LOL doll surprises, and dance routines. Hula hoops, watermelon, movie nights and popcorn all at the sofa, vey iz mir (woe is me). Being a kid in the summer is magical.
Now, let’s look at this very same season as Muters (Moms): The kinder, they are joyful and giddy from playtime with friends, family, each other. They get hungry, hangry and eat every edible morsel in the pantry and fridge didn’t I just food shop?. They are oysgematert (drop-dead tired) from days packed with fun and frolic and yes, some fighting and varfing (tantrums). Some nights, they even ask to go to bed! Pools, beaches, showers, hair… Towels, oy, they are everywhere. And, they have so many wardrobe changes each and every effing day daily, they would give Cherin concert a run for her money… The grob vesh (dirty laundry) piles high daily. This, not so magical.
Enter the brand new, very expensive, broken, cockamamie (ridiculous)washing machine. Broken not once, not twice, but three times since its inaugural installation in January yes, of this same year, and yes, if you would like to, please see the irony of that other inaugural installation event. It broke again on the 3rd of this month. Today, if you’re counting and you better believe I am counting marks day 15. Customer service mishaps, lost parts orders, summer vacations, and dirty laundry from floor to ceiling.
Now, in the big scheme of things, nisht geferlich (not really so terrible, we are alive, poo-poo). Worse things can do and will happen. The Mrs., she has already taken some 80+ pounds of laundry to the laundromat I chose food shopping.
So now, I offer you this picture: I am fully clothed, save for a belt and sneakers. I walk into our shower. There is a small lump of laundry littering the floor near the bench. I turn on cool water and grab the bar of Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap. I wash my jeans while wearing them. This is the emmes truth (I swear its true). I peel them off for some interior suds-ing, give a good rinse, then squeeze, spin cycle style. Next, my T-shirt. Suds on and scrub. Take it off, rinse, and scrunch. Undergarments follow – you get the idea. I am finally in my birthday suit (no need to picture that — this is not on of those stories). I tend to the lump of things already on the floor… then finally, I can clean me. Please know, this dramatically increases my hygienic routine. I used to sing in the shower, now I feel like Ma, from Little House on thePrairie. As I load the dryer with my freshly cleaned items, I give the evil eye to the washer. Feh! (expression of physical and emotional disgust).
Allegedly, the fix-it-people are coming tomorrow – between 8:54 am and 11:54 am who gives times like these? — emmes truth. I think I will do another load in the morning, again…
If you have nothing to lose, you can try everything. Aoyb ir hot gornisht tsu farlirn ir kenen prubirn alts.
So, how’s by you?
Laundry, shmaundry… A bei gezunt (As long as you’re healthy).
Guess what… this a not a political rant or a thumbs down to the tsuris (troubles) our world is facing due to mrt kind of passive aggressive of me, eh?. This is a girls story. My Big, she is growing up. Born not ten minutes ago, yet my shana maideleh (sweet little girl) is soon to enter double digits. She is gaining wisdom, confidence, curiosity and her own personal identity, wrapped in a blanket of kindness and love. Oy, here I am kvelling (enthusiastically bursting with love and pride), again…
I should probably show a Georgia O’Keefe painting right about now because I am going there… Periods. Girls are getting them. There is chatter. We have chatted. And we are doing everything we can to keep it positive, normal and free of shame as we begin to prepare for this milestone gallstone kidney stone. She’s got two moms — this should be a walk in the park for us, right?
But I gotta say, she just learned to ride a bicycle. Am I ready for the menstrual cycle?
Which of course got me thinking about my own very strange, first-period experience. It was the Saturday of labor day weekend, 1976 and I was thirteen. We lived in south Florida and it was hotter than hell in a sauna on those particular September days. School had begun in August and I had welcomed the 3 days off. The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon played on every TV in our house. I went to pee, and there it was – the small red blot. It was more of a dot than a blot. Definitely a dot. I was rattled I wanted to write, ‘mortified’ but you’ll soon see, my father’s name is Morty. Some of my friends had already gotten their periods, so I knew time was not on my side. I read Judy Blume’s, Are you there God, It’s me, Margaret, a few times by now. I just did not want it to happen. Gay avek (get lost, go away)!
So I very inconspicuously left that bathroom, and quietly went into my room with Buttons, our poodle, and my closest confidant. I closed the door and sat on the floor quickly putting my legs up on my bed. I went vertical, in what I now know was a yogic shoulder stand. I was upside down. Dammit, I was going to send this period back where it came from… Surely if I stayed this way, there was no way for the ‘flow’ of Aunt Flo to wind its way, well, down. Why had no one else tried this? I was brilliant! Buttons agreed.
Day 1: After the initial spatter, I was fine. Feeling positive that I had this entire situation well under control, laughing with Jerry Lewis. Buttons, she was just happy we were staying in the air conditioning. Day 2: Coasting. Not even Dexter could find any blood spatter. I stayed on the phone, watched the telethon, Buttons at my upside-down, side. Day 3:WTF What happened to physics? How could this happen to me? I was in a shoulder stand for three solid days! I was as invested in this endeavor as Jerry was in raising money. I had to do something. I had to call my mom… Ugh!
They were at the tennis club. This was all pre-smartphones. I picked up my princess phone and dialed the club. Max, who manned the front desk and was 90-years-old if he was a minute, answered the phone. He paged my mom. Yes, called her by name over the loudspeaker and told her she had a call. Kill me now, before she picks up. A bolt of lightning. Divine intervention. Thankfully her doubles match was over and I wasn’t too much of a burden. I told her I didn’t feel so good and could she please come home. That was all I said.
Instantly, she screamed across the entire restaurant, “Morty! Lisala got her period! Let’s go!” They came home, my father teased me incessantly and my mother handed me a futon-sized bedroll and called it a maxi pad. She said, “You know everything, right?” I mumbled, “of course I do” and slinked, head down, in shame, into the bathroom where this nightmare began. She added, “Be careful of the sheets at night, from behind the locked bathroom door.
Later, on that dreadful night, they took me out to dinner an alleged celebration at The Rascal House where they embarrassed me by telling everyone in line, the waitress, the guy who brought the pickles, the other guy who cleared the dishes, the cashier, that I just got my period. Wasn’t it bad enough that everyone could tell I had a mattress between my legs? I prayed for invisibility well before Harry Potter had the cloak.
Needless to say, things got way worse before they ever got better, and there will be more stories, to share, I am sure. And I never wore white pants again.
Last week, I was invited with my Big to go with her to Diana Circle. It’s like the happy, hippy, feminist version of Girl Scouts no judgment here, no cookies to sell either. They are an empowering, safe, and inclusive group that celebrates modern young girls as they experience their own, unique rites of passage. In a world filled with mixed messages, misogyny, double standards, a stunning amount of sexual harassment, and thankfully, oceans of #strongwomen in #pinkpussyhats marching the earth, I am so very grateful to Tara R. and her spiritual girl-guidance. She helps us to help our kinder (kids) embrace life, take the bullshit by the horns and grow up to be strong, healthy, and proud women.
At the previous gathering, one of the older girls got her first period and she was celebrated in a beautiful and moving way. The Mrs. and me, we are trying our very best to do right by our kinder. May they never be shamed for their bodies or their natural bodily functions. May they embrace the challenges of growing up as their uniquely beautiful selves free from adolescent misery and filled with love, connectedness, and honesty. A way I never knew was possible until a decade or so of therapy.
And friends, I leave you with this Yiddish Proverb:
No one knows whose shoe pinches except the person who walks in it. Keyner veys nit vemen der shuckh kvetsht, nor der vos geyt in im.
Nu? What’s your first-period story? Share with us and we all become a bissel (little) closer. Here’s to #mightygirls becoming #strongwomen!
Smile theory therapy. Yup, you read that right. Today, I am 6 months in, and still on task. I share with all of my fellow humans, my smile therapy cause, and update, in the hopes that the contagion of a smile, made by seeking eye contact and sharing with any and all individuals and groups I encounter, will elicit a return smile. May those strangers, knowingly or unknowingly, share that smile forward throughout their day. May this much-needed therapy for me, have a similar effect for those that carry on, unaware that they have been smiled upon… and may the smile spread across the world, like the butterfly effect.
Smile a bit in traffic at your fellow drivers if they can look up from their smartphones. Let that car edging out of a parking lot, get out in front of you, even though you may miss the green light. Hold open that door for those behind you. Wave and say hello across to the people walking across the street from you. Let’s act differently. Let us all smile a bit more and share some contagion that needs no doctor.
Six months ago, I made a conscious start while I walked with my Gatsby. Five out of five complete strangers smiled back at me and wished me a fine morning. As total unknowns, we schmoozed (talked) about the beautiful day ahead, the cuteness of my pup, the way the sun felt so nice on our backs.
The butterfly effect is the concept that small causes can have large effects.
And remember, just when that caterpillar thought the whole world was over, what did she become? A butterfly. A meshuggeneh (crazy) flight pattern, some lovely flowers to flutter by, freedom, and a touch of sunshine on her wings.
The bitterest misfortune can be covered up with a smile. Dem bitersten mazel ken men farshtellen mil a schmaichel.
I gotta happily report back to you, 9 times out of 10 okay, some days, it is 7 out of 10, most people smiled right back at me. Me! They didn’t know me from Adam who the f*ck is Adam anyway. But when we locked eyes, and I let out my inner Mona Lisa, bam! Like a ray of light that shines through your window and warms your soul, these beautiful perfect strangers lobbed back some pearly whites right at me. Priceless!
My hope is that this therapy will reach you, wherever you may be residing. And may the effect linger, lovingly and empathetically, to all in its spell. We all may be able to heal this shit show of a vulnerable, unhappy world after all. So, can you try this too? Too much is going on. As people, we need to heal. Are you in with me? Let me know how your smile therapy goes. Please. It can’t hurt. Nu?
To say my kinder (kids) like to nosh (snack) is like saying the Pope, he is Catholic. Who doesn’t like a nice nosh (little something to eat….).My Little, she will even quote ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ and ask, “Can I just have a little smattering of something.” Now, no Jewish momma even this atheist Jewish momma is going to want to hear the geshrei (cry, moan scream) of hunger from their babes. Essen, bubbelah (Eat Sweetheart). It’s what we grew up hearing. You’re tired? Eat. You’re sad? Eat. You’re angry? Eat. You’re __________ (insert any feeling, emotion, TV show, a brand of car, celebrity, a sign of the zodiac, etc. and the answer in a Jewish home is always, EAT!) Eat. Stuff those emotions down your throat with a nice shmear (a robust portion of cream cheese) andlox (smoked salmon)on a bagel. Mind you, before dinner, Little, she had a nice plate of lox.
Noshers and fressers(those you can eat freely and copiously, no reserve!). That is what happens on movie night in our apartment. And last night, was no different. Vey iz mir (OMG), it’s a non-stop fridge free-for-all, where they stare like a deer in the headlights with the refrigerator door wide open — as if a spell has been cast upon them. Let me share with you a bissel of the essen (little of the eating) that transpired.
First, a nice meal. All of us sitting down together almost civil. Gatsby, he is circling, waiting for the crumbs to fall. We had a healthy, organic, vegan meal of Nona’s homemade lentil soup, bean burrito’s, roasted cauliflower, carrots, hummus — a nice spread albeit a little windy for all. We decide to rent Cinderella, the new-ish one. Dim the lights, roll the show, and…
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?
Mind you, we barely finished the dishes. And so, being Saturday night and all, we live big! The girls, they each have an ice cream sandwich (the very best of sandwiches in my book). Cue the film. Take 2!
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?
Something healthy, I cry…
My little, she brings the bowl of carrots over to the sofa and they crunch, munch and chew. Once the bowl was empty:
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat? Can we have another Ice Cream sandwich?
Can you make these bisquits?
No sweetheart. I’m not going to potchke (to fuss, and/or cook) in the kitchen now, after already making a nice dinner. Are you f**king kidding me?
Can I have that cake from Thanksgiving?
Not bloody likely!How about a squeezy-yogurt, honey? Breathe they’re just kids and they are growing
The squeezy-yogurts are from the freezer, so this should buy us at least ten minutes of movie time. Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.
My Little, she then shouts, “Can I have a pickle?”
Bigchimes in, “Me too?”
I gotta let you know, they killed that entire jar of pickles. Gone. Gornisht. Bubkas left.
Little, she is still whimpering and is about to ask Alexa for the phone number to the department of childhood injustices, when she opts for a bowl of roasted cauliflower. I warn her that her belly is going to really start to make tsuris (trouble) for her and us. This is just too much. And this combination, oy, her kishkas (intestines) will be in an uproar. Now, you must remember, She’s got pipes. One bowl of cauliflower. Two bowls of cauliflower. At least this is some healthy sh*t she is eating!
Big, she starts stirring are they even watching the movie? and opens some almond butter granola bars before anyone notices. So of course, Little,she now wants some jalapeno blue corn chips.
ENOUGH! THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED! Itisafter10pmatnightandyouhavenotstoppednishingWearegoingtowatchtheendofthismoviebrushandflossourteethandgotobedTherewillbenocryingoutformorefoodYouareeatingoutofboredomorhabitormaybeagiantmomfailonmypartDoyouevenknowwhatishappeninginthismovieNexttimewewatchamovieitisonesnackOnesnackandthatisitOneDoweallunderstandJesusChristYesAtheistJewssaythistoo
And then, not ten minutes later, in bed, our Little, she says: MommyEma (an endearing term for us both), my belly hurts. No smoking gun here…
My Little (bottom left of the picture), she’s got herself some pipes, alright. Girlfriend can scream. She can shriek so much better than like Jamie Lee Curtis (nicknamed, the Queen of Scream) in any of the Halloween movies… It’s as if she is channeling some kind inner demon, that can reverberate at only the loudest volume. It starts from the tip of her toes and amplifies at the top of her lungs, barking, bellowing, clamoring … And yes, there are biting bouts of bonelessness, punching, and kicking that add to the happening that is a Little tantrum. Dear neighbors on all sides, above, and below, please accept my apologies for the ongoing mellifluous Mayday moments that travel freely through our thin walls. It’s no doubt, meshuggeneh (crazy) in here at times.
But there is a bigger problem that rocks me to my very core. Me and my Mrs., we do not know why our caged bird sings… Sure, there is a mishmash of anger, sadness, drama, fear, stress, exhaustion, hunger, and irrationality that we all experience every day since mr t took office from time to time. But she’s seven. How bad is life when you are seven? What kind of tsuris (trouble), plagues and misfortunes are stirring in the mind of my shana maideleh (sweet little girl)?Do I seek an exorcist so that Mrs., Big and I don’t get evicted completely bleed out from our eardrums? We are shreknt(frightened, terrorized).
There is no question that when my kinder (children) hurt, I hurt. You see, as I am certain you wise caregivers already know, this special performance nearby residents aside is saved only for us, her mishpocheh (family). Yes, we are safe enough to go all batsh*t cray-cray on to let your hair down. But it is a real shondah (shame) that we can’t crack this nut code and offer solace to my maidel (cutie-pie).
What is wrong? What happened? Are you angry honey? I don’t know. What happened honey? I don’t know. Little, can you stop screaming? I don’t know.Sweetie, please listen to mommy. No response. Did somebody hurt you? No. Did somebody hurt your feelings? I dunno? Are you sick, wounded, have we somehow scarred you for life tired, shaken, scared, hungry?
Okay, sweetie. Come with me so I can leave the room and not lose my sht all over this place we can talk more privately. You are right. We are not having Chinese food tonight. I am sorry that makes you mad and sad. And, this behavior is not okay actually it is quite impressive. If you think that acting this way will get you an Oscar or an Emmy a trip to the Chinese Restaurant, you are indeed batsht cray-cray incorrect. Now, are you really throwing a fit over Chinese food? Please know you can tell mommy or Ema absolutely anything in the world about anything and everything, and we will always love you. Always! If I could crawl inside you and see what it feels like to be myLittle right now, I would. I want to help you. And you cannot act this way. Okay? Okay, mommy. I’m sorry.
Take some deep elevator breaths and calm down. ( I do them too.) Good. Now Little, is this behavior you are sharing a good choice? No mommy. Is this behavior showing kindness to your family or community? No mommy. Whatis the one rule we have in our family? Be kind, mommy. Can we leave the bathroom where I am doing everything humanly possible to not go all meshuggeneh and scream louder than you and Jamie Lee Curtis combined go into the living room with everyone else and be kind now? Yes, mommy.
Consequences for such a performance? No TV. No iPad. No allowance. No play date. Obviously, no Chinese food. No solutions. Nothing works or phases my Little. Oh, she is a strong woman in the making! Somebody, help me?
Enter bathroom scene. Repeat. Oh, how I love this kid of mine!
If you have nothing to lose, you can try everything. Aoyb ir hot gornisht tsu farlim, ir kenen prubirn alts.
Tell me a story about a young girl, born in 1933 during the height of the depression, growing up facing antisemitism, blatant sexism, and inequality, and I’ll know you are talking about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my hero. Oh, Ruth, you are one powerful Yiddisheh momma that dares to live every day #livingfearlesslyauthentic. Let me tell you about her.
Nothing ever did or will stop her. If she disagreed, you knew about it. If she ever wanted something to change, she stood up and fought for it — and that is still true today. She lives and breathes strength, integrity, and elegance. She stands up for equality when others don’t even recognize the discrimination. She is a graceful heavyweight, a leader among all leaders, and at five feet tall, 84 years old, she heads up the liberal wing of the Supremes. She makes me proud to be a woman, a Jew, a feminist, an activist, a mom, and a human being.
Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice
Joan Ruth Bader was born to Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Her sister died when she was just a toddler. Her mother, Celia, always stressed the importance of education (Celia was a very good student, graduating High School at 15, yet her family chose to send her brother to college. It was a time when sons were valued and daughters were meant to find husbands.). As a mom, she wanted more for her daughter. What momma doesn’t? Celia noticed that many girls in her class were named Joan, so to quickly avoid any tsuris (trouble), she asked her teachers to call her Ruth. She brought her to the public library often, where Ruth consumed Nancy Drew books, realizing that Nancy was a young girl in charge, who thought for herself (perhaps we add this series of books to our collective daughters’ gift lists?Nu?) both in her mystery solving and in her relationships. Ruth’s dream of becoming a lawyer was underway and early signs of Notorious R.B.G had begun.
Ruth was an excellent student (she listened to her momma, like a glikt shana maideleh (good girl)). Sadly, her mom died the day before her high school graduation
She went on to attend Cornell University, where she studied in the bathroom stalls, hiding from parties and social activities — she graduated as the top-ranking female student in her class
At Cornell, she met Marty Ginsburg, whom she would later marry. Ruth was demoted from her job for being pregnant. Marty and Ruth gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. Everyone said she belonged in the kitchen, and at home with her daughter. Marty and Ruth knew better.
Marty ( a successful tax attorney in his own right) was supportive, unlike many men of their generation. He understood Ruth was no balaboosta (organized and efficient home-maker). He handled all of the traditional ‘mommy’ roles. Middle-of-the-night feedings, cooking, cleaning, baking, and tending to the kids… he was proud to do these things so that Ruth can later become the Notorious R.B.G. that we know and love.
She attended Harvard Law school and was often ridiculed by the dean for being a woman, taking up a man’s spot.
Marty took a job in NYC and Ruth transferred to Columbia University, where she graduated tied for top honors in her class.
She had a law degree and top honors, but being a woman, wife, mom, and a Jew made her dreams of becoming a lawyer very difficult. To say she became passionate about women’s rights and gender equality would be an understatement. After co-founding the Women’s Rights Project for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), Ruth went on to fight six landmark cases on gender equality before the US Supreme court.
President Jimmy Carter appointed RBG to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She served there for thirteen years. President Bill Clinton, looking to increase the diversity on the highest bench in the land, appointed her to the US Supreme Court. She joined the Supremes as only the second female Supreme Court Justice (Sandra Day O’Connor was the first). She refers to the former justice as her “big sister.”
RBG battled colon cancer in 1999. She fought off pancreatic cancer in 2009. In 2014, she had a stent placed in her right coronary artery after feeling uncomfortable while working out with her personal trainer. Yes, she can probably kick a*s and take names in any gym she enters.
As for the name, Notorious R.B.G., that comes for her feisty and fiery dissents. A meme virally toured the social media realm, comparing her rap star Notorious B.I.G.
On retirement, at 84, she is a self-proclaimed flaming feminist litigator and is showing no signs of losing her efficacy or her memory. Take a look at this recent tweet from our own twit-in-chief, and you know she still is a powerful force.
Ruth, I admire you and hold you in the very highest regard. You influence my life and my decisions, and I know this world is a better place because of you. Thank you for all you do.
What a gutte neshumah, she is. What a good person with a big heart, she is.
the sciencebranch of knowledgeprojection of feartsuris (troubles) concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services buying the stuff you need today, tomorrow and the next day for your family.
Meshuggah (crazy) behaviors or actions, that oftentimes arise with heart palpitationscreatively as the direct result of the scarcity of means, in order to achieve certain common and normal ends. Huh? ex.: We need to brush our teeth, we still, really!!!have no toothpaste… Achh!
Take a look at this photo. I walked into our bathroom the other day, and this is what I saw, no joke! From our loo to your eyes. I ran for my magical iPhone to snap this baby. And with this, comes a tale. After all, you that is why you are here …
Did you know, that when you run out of toothpaste, you can actually cut the tube in two or three parts, and have enough toothpaste to last a normal family of four at least five more days? Did you also know that when the deodorant thingy-mah-jiggy-holder falls from its container and bounces on the bathroom floor a few times and lands in the corner, a linty, hairy mess, you can remain odor free for about two weeks more, if you pick it up, wipe away the yuck, and rub it under your arms? Two weeks! And, that pump in the shampoo bottle… when that stops pouring out perfect spurts of soapy suds-making, you can lengthen and lusciously lather for days, maybe even a week if you take it off? The little straw itself holds two days worth of ‘do-cleaner! Then, the bottom of the bottle, don’t get me started! It’s robbery! In Yiddish, we call this, aroizgevarfeneh (pronounced ah-royz-geh-varf-ehn-uh). It literally means thrown out, wasted.
Extrapolate this scenario out across your personal purchases: think about the sunscreen, moisturizer, conditioner, make-up (like I would know, Nu?) caulk, paint, glue, … wait, don’t. It’s too upsetting to think of the money we’ve all put in the landfill left at the table. Look at this little Yiddisheh gem:
It is not so good with money, as it is bad without. Es iz nit azoi gut mit gelt es iz schlect on dem.
Living in the frugal lane, we’ve learned some very good money-saving tips and ideas. We’ve all worked to change our anti-penny-pinching ways many years ago. It’s all good. And we’ve argued and cried learned and grown. Vey iz mir (OMG!), it is madness if any of you let the above actions go unnoticed! Think conservation! Teaching the kinder (children) about resources and savings, everyday environmentalism and, well spartanomics!
My glass is always half-full. Now, I think it may be even more full than I ever imagined! What I do know:
To make promises and to love don’t cost any money. Tsuzogn un lib hoben kostn kain gelt nisht.
So try these tips. See if you save. If you have tips for us, please! Do tell! My Mrs. and me, we are trying desperately to save our money for a home. Alevai! (It should only happen!) These small humans we are raising, Little and Big, they cost a fortune! And, yes, these shanah maidels (sweet little girls), they are indeed priceless.
This is one tough world we live in… but who am I to tell you that? I wake up each morning and cautiously look at my smartphone, one eye opens at a time, and already, I get discouraged.
Stuff yourself with hope and you can go crazy. Fun loiter hofenung ver ich noch meshuggah.
Grateful? Mindful? Of course! Every day I remind myself of the good. And yet still, there is so much bad in the news, in the world, in our lives, in the lives of our friends. So what to do? I must find the laughter. Share the laughter, and add to the contagion in the chaos of the smile theory.
Laughter is heard farther than weeping. A gelechter hert men veiter vi a gevain.
So here’s a little story to share:
Right before school started, the Mrs. and me, we needed to get the kinder (kids) leggings and jeans. We went to Old Navy, you know, the cheap version of Gap? We found quite the sale, which better fits our frugal finances of $0 per month on frocks and finery. We found about 8 -10 pair, a shirt or two, and we were only lighter by $30-some dollars (That’s a -$30-some on the master budget spreadsheet). Not bad. Don’t you know, when we got home, the first pair my Big wants to wear has a dime sized hole mittendrinnen (smack dab in the middle of) her tuchas (tushy, butt, derriere)? I dry the tears and promise to sew this slit and salvage the day. After all, I am of the age that literally had to take Home Economics in school (feminism, oy vey). What part of baking brownies and crocheting toilet paper roll covers made that class economics? Oy, a whole other blog post right there. Needless to say, I made a promise.
A needle and thread were tough to find in our little flat, so two weeks later, I finally remember to make a trip to the local pharmacy. For $4.95, I buy a small kit to fix the leggings that were $1.99. Little, not caring a bit about the rip on the rump, had already worn them to school. Big, she has been hock mier chinik (banging on my tea kettle, yammering on and on) for me to make the fix.
It doesn’t cost anything to promise and to love. Tsuzogen un lib hoben kost nit kain gelt.
This morning, it was the first thing I set out to do. These pants, shmata (rags) no more! I make a nice hot coffee and place the new sewing kit, and the lacerated leggings all in arms reach. Gatsby, he is securely settled in my lap in support. Children nestled all snug in their beds our bed. I begin.
Threading a needle is a tad bit more difficult than I recall. Glasses on. Glasses off. Like Karate Kid, I repeat this mantra. At 654 months old, home ec or not, it took me over 25 minutes to put the blue f***ing thread through the teeny, tiny needle. Less than three minutes of sewing said slit, and I’m done. My Big, she is still sleeping. I almost want to wake her to see the joy on her shanah punim (beautiful, radiant face). I know she will wear them immediately.
I get up and proudly look in the mirror who the h*ll is that wrinkly old lady with gray hair?(Glasses on. Glasses off) as I brush my coffee tinted breath. I laugh. Maybe this gray coif is the silver lining of optimism I need.
I hope you all laugh today, and continue to find the laughter. We need it.
It has become even more evident in our immediate vicinity, chickens are being slaughtered at a pace that far exceeds anything resembling normalcy. It’s cuckoo. Bones are strewn about the pavement, the grass, the bushes. Those that leave these skeletal remains behind are becoming cavalier; downright cocky. Gatsby’s nose knows a nice nosh (snack) exactly where to find the latest crime scene. No ruffled feather goes unturned while he is patrolling the roost.
As his sniffer snarfs, the clucked remains are quickly unearthed, exposed. We pace the pavement, seeking answers. Where before he found entire grilled chicken breasts, wings, a sprig of celery, dare I say, special sauce; now only blanched bones, clean cartilage lay before his paws.
The unlawful cockerel crooks have upped their game. Their hunger shows and they are getting sloppy. Gatsby, my lone detective dog, is determined to stop this flock of felons if our neck of the woods is ever to be free from dreck (litter) vindicated. It is his passion unless you are a passing squirrel or a fleeting feline and he forgets his mission to chase you and fits his penchant poultry palate.
Nary a strut about the ‘hood goes by without a need for his deputy sidekick (me or the Mrs.), to extract the nasty osseous matter from his tight-lipped lips. I’ve explained about the proper protocol in bagging evidence. How he needs to be clean and methodical or we’ll have another OJ Simpson on the loose, despite the power of DNA. He prefers his way. Every thigh, neck, breast, leg, and wing carefully clenched in his canines. He will eat his way through thick and thin, unrelenting and stoic until the pecking peccant perps are reduced to jail-bird status. He knows why the caged bird sings, and he is waiting for the music. He was not born to kvetch (complain), but to serve.
Perhaps as the season turns, the sun lies low in the sky and the dark of night comes about earlier and earlier, Detective G will get to the bottom of the bucket this constant putrid poultry perversion lurking and littering our residential roads and pathways. Wish him luck as he continues his beat in search of truth, justice, and the American way, well, that means nothing anymore with our government a peaceable kingdom. He will make the streets safe again for all fine feathered friends, for his eyes see beauty in all things fowl.
Appropriate Yiddish phrases for this Post:
The eggs, they think they are smarter than the chickens. Di eyer viln zayn kliger fun di hiner.
May your bones be broken as often as the ten commandments. Zolne dayne beyner zich brechn azoy oft vi di Aseres-Hadibres.
Now, my dear neighbors and friends, we all share this world. Please stop littering! Oy vey iz mir!
June. Summer. Kids running free and the smell of chlorine. PRIDE month is happening all over the globe. Nu?Many of you must be just a bissel (a little bit) interested in the gay agenda? Come, sit. Let me tell you a story about a yearning to fight inequality in the form of a rainbow.
Way back in June of 1970 (that is effing 47 years ago people), the very first Pride Parade took place in New York City (my Little, she calls it, ‘You Nork’) to honor theStonewall Riotsof 1969. This event clearly marked the beginning of the long, hard struggle known as the LGBTQcivil rights movement in the US. One single pride parade has bravely morphed and grown into festivals, parties, galas (this group, we know a little something about throwing parties!) and month-long celebrations all over the US and around the world. Why you ask? There is something so very freeing in leaving the cloak of invisibility behind. To celebrate lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, and queer culture, family, and, well PRIDE! You see my friends, this is one group that knows how important it is to rejoice in everyone’s unique and special differences. Insert glitter here!
In 1997, a short couple of decades ago, Ellen DeGeneres made television history by having her character, come out as a lesbian on TV. In pure Ellen-comedic-fashion, she accidentally announced over the loudspeaker at the airport to her love interest, played by (straight) Laura Dern, “I’m gay.” Nobody had ever done this before on TV. Hate mail, death threats and at least one bomb threat would happen before the show titled, “The Puppy Episode,” aired. This title had a hidden meaning — everyone knows a puppy gets bigger. And everyone on this show knew this was an issue that would also grow. “The Puppy Episode” ranked #35 in the top watched television episodes of all time and won an Emmy. What followed was quite the ruckus in tv land. Major advertisers bowed out, and the show was canceled shortly thereafter. Her career was in turmoil for several long years. But our Ellen, she persevered. Her brave and historic outing, of both her character and herself, eventually made it a lot more ‘okay’ for the sweet, funny girl next store to also be gay. Ellen, you are my hero!
Meanwhile, mitten drinnen (in the middle) of all of this gay history and lots of tsuris (trouble) and violence, a long time ago (in 1963), two nice Yiddisheh young women met (Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer) and fell in love. After a long and beautiful 40+ year engagement, loving each other in sickness (Thea bravely battled MS) and in health, Edie and Thea went to Canada to tie the knot in 2007. It was legal there. In 2008, living in New York (You Nork) and in their 70’s, they fought to be legally recognized as a married couple and won. They spent their last two years together as a happily married couple. Sadly, in 2009, Thea died, leaving her entire estate to Edie, as spouses often do… Edie rightfully claimed the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, and the IRS said, NOPE. You see, under Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the word ‘spouse’ is defined as a union between a man and a woman. Opposite-sex partners only need apply. Same-sex married couples were excluded from the 1500+ laws and benefits that straight married couples get automatically. Edie had no choice but to fork over more than $360,000.00 in estate taxes. By 2010, Edie, no stranger to fighting injustice, sued the federal government under DOMA for a full refund. Her case rose to the highest court in the land, and in 2013, the 9 Supremes heard The United States v. Windsor. On June 26, 2013, in a landmark 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of Edie, saying that DOMA was unconstitutional. Edie, petite, near deaf and a feisty 70-something, brought respect, dignity, and protection under the law to the LGBTQ community. Edie, you too are my hero!
Picking up right where Edie left off, another major case made its way to the nine robed judges. Enter Obergefell v.Hodges, representing 4 same-sex couples.Not asking for a special new law or even special protection under the law, they challenged the 14th Amendment and simply asked to have the equal right to enter knowingly in the fundamental right to marry, just like any other straight couple in love. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court passed Marriage Equality for all in the US. In a 5-4 victory, equality won. Same-sex marriage was now legal in all of these United States. We danced and sang and kissed and declared a jubilant victory over this newfound constitutional right. President Obama said, live from the Rose Garden, “Today, we can say, in no uncertain terms, that our union is a little more perfect.” He went on to say that this, “affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.” HEROES, all of them!
In 2016, Ellen DeGeneres made the news again, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yes, my man POTUS 44, Barack Obama, recognized how Ellen has made extraordinary contributions to the betterment of our culture. He said, about Ellen, “A single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place.”
One year ago, the very worst (by the numbers of those killed) of all too, too many mass shootings in the US, occurred in Orlando, Florida, at the Pulse Nightclub, a known gay bar. A cowardly, disturbed man walked in and shot dead 49 people in a place they felt safe and happy — and yes, it was during PRIDE month. This was deemed a hate crime because it happened in Florida. But, know that in many states across the US, this would not be the case. Many states have no laws to protect the LGBTQ community. In Pennsylvania, where I live with my Mrs., and our kinder (children), one can still legally be fired for being LGBTQ. No joke…
So PRIDE month is significant. It is important for much more than the extreme news footage of drag queens, roller-skating trannies, nearly naked men, and bare-chested lesbians. It is important that we, all of the LGBTQ community and our straight friends, family, and allies continue to fight the inequality that remains today. We pay homage to all those that fought the very hard battles before us and paved the way for the new freedoms and ease we now experience. And we continue to speak to the discrimination and hate that is very much a part of today’s world.
Please notice, every victory was a squeaker, 5-4 decisions. mr t, he ran his campaign saying he would be good to the LGBTQ community. Some believed him — not this lefty-liberal-lesbian. He appointed Pence as his Veep, a known supporter of gay conversion therapy — the old, ‘pray the gay away.’ He appointed ultra-conservative Gorsuch to the bench to replace the vacancy left by Scalia. Gorsuch has some deeply disturbing rulings against the trans community and will very likely be a strong adversary of LGBTQ rights, as was Scalia. The tweeter in chief himself has made 5 proclamations so far for the month of June. Breaking presidential tradition, not one includes June as Pride month. Not one word, not one tweet, not one mention of my community. mr t is one small-minded man.
In all of these cases, we have won by one. We all need to come together for the sake of LOVE because it is really that plain and simple.