Sunday, August 30, 2009
A close family friend phoned me while I was out with the girls.
"What are you doing tomorrow???" she asked. "Can you meet a nice guy for a lunch date??"
Normally when someone calls regarding a potential, I try to ask questions. I'll admit that I don't always do as much research as I should. Because, let's face it - isn't two weeks of research a waste of time when you know in two minutes that a boy is alll wrong for you?
But I do like to know the basics - name, age, height, profession. I'm not even sure I got that far with this one.
I was with my friends, and Shidduch stuff is awkward enough to talk about when you're on the phone at home. Having an audience when you ask "how tall is he?" five times on a cellphone with a bad connection just gets weird.
If it had been anyone else arranging the date, I probably would have faked a really bad connection and hung up. Ok, maybe not. But this is someone I trust, and so I went along with her setup.
Before I tell you how the date went, let me preface this by saying that I HATE first date lunch dates. Well actually - admittedly, this was my first. And having lived the experience, I don't suggest anyone try it at home.
1) People generally look more attractive in the evening, in a candle-lit restaurant. There's a reason they tell you to put your makeup on in natural sunlight - because that's where you can see every pore and blemish. Good for makeup application. Bad for first date. The last thing you need to concentrate on a first date is the whitehead on your guy's forehead.
2) The 'what to wear' issue. It takes me enough time to get ready on average that I don't need the added pressure of trying to decide whether or not to wear heels. I like wearing cute heels. I'm that girl in the office that wears heels when everyone else wears flats. But I'm not crazy. I don't wear heels on pavement. Even Sarah Jessica wears Uggs between takes. And I don't wear heels if I'm not working and having a casual day about town.
So lunch dates confuse me. Do I wear my NineWest flats because it's daytime? Or do I dig through my closet for a more casual heel because it is a date after all?
On this date, I opted to wear a cute pair of relatively low heels with a cute summer dress.
I should have wore Birkenstocks.
My date showed up Moshav-style. Shirt untucked, jeans, I think he was wearing sandals. I swear. Turned out, he was actually from Israel. Here on vacation. (ie - here to find an american girl to get an american green card)
Ok, I'm not being totally fair. He was good looking, had a really good job (and money), spoke English pretty well. But some things just got lost in translation. Like my jokes. Maybe it was the army that made him so serious. Maybe I'm not as funny as I think I am. But how else do I carry on a conversation with a boy who asks "sooooo.... do you have lots of friends?". (and when I said 'yes, do you', he said 'no')
I'm trying to figure out the moral of this story. Should I take more time to look into guys? Should I start keeping an extra pair of flats in my bag on dates? Should I ask if the guy is Israeli?
(fyi -to all you sabras out there, you know i love ya! i just don't want to marry you - if it'll mean I have to wear a shmatta on my head and naots on my feet)
Now comes the hate part.
It's interesting that while food is so much a part of our culture, that thinness is too. In other cultures that condone fatty food (think KFC - I hope this example doesn't come off as racist), bootylicious bodies are celebrated.
But for some reason, Jewish girls and eating disorders seem to go hand in hand today.
Some people blame the Shidduch system (where a girl's dress size is a normal field on a 'resume').
But I never went to schools that frum. And yet I remember how in junior high and high school, the end of lunch and recess was when all the stalls in the little girls' room were taken. And not because anyone had to relieve the typical bodily functions. (hmm... maybe that was too much info -hope that doesn't make YOU barf). Almost everyone I knew had some type of eating disorder. Myself included.
But maybe even in our MO non-shidduch world, we were still part of the whole Jewish 'binge and purge' culture. We learned to binge on Shabbos, purge the rest of the week.
I can't totally blame our faith for our unhealthy activities. Maybe if we adhered more strongly to the Rambam's teachings then we would be in a better place.
Eating disorders are a part of the 'outside' world too. Maybe that's where it comes from. Maybe we haven't done a good enough job of insulating ourselves from those negative sources. (are the women in Kiryas Yoel less thin because they don't watch America's Next Top Model?)
I was home with my family for Shabbos the other week when I realized how much more I eat at home than I do when I live on my own. My mother is one of those Jewish mamas who considers a normal Friday night meal to include 6 courses, 5 salads, 3 meat dishes, 4 desserts... where Shabbos lunch extends into Shalo'shidis (why does no one else write it the way we Ashkis say it - or should I just stick to 'Seudah Shlishit' for the purposes of this post). And it's the kind of food that your eyes want, but your stomach can't take. I don't eat as much at other people's homes - maybe because I'm more self-conscious or maybe because the food doesn't look as appetizing or maybe I spend more time talking than eating...
Anyhow, that Shabbos had me thinking about how our relationship with food becomes defined by our faith. Almost every holiday is about food. The ones that aren't become about 'not eating' - so in a reverse-psychology kind of way are about food too. Someone I know defined Jewish holidays this way: "They tried to kill us, they didn't succeed. We're still here, let's eat!"
My non-Jewish friends and co-workers always complain around X-mas and Thanksgiving that they have so much to cook - but for some reason, their menus seem to pale in comparison to the weekly food-fest known as Shabbos that my family celebrates.
How on earth do we do it?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
I read this on Bangitout and realized I've probably had pretty much every thought on this list at least once.
Here are my faves:
2. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.
5. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
9. There is a great need for sarcasm font.
10. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the fck was going on when I first saw it.
11. I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.
13. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
15. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.
18. Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
28. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
31. Bad decisions make good stories
33. Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
34. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
39. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
42. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
45. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
46. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
53. I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.
love, Maidel at 12:19 PM
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.
I thought you'd be interested in the issue, and consider signing yourself.
You can find the petition at:
love, Maidel at 9:39 PM
MM is dying to go to the Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention.
There is a Nefesh B’Nefesh charter Aliyah flight on Monday, September 7, 2009 that MM desperately needs to be on.
But MM needs your help.
Nominate MM by filling out this short form and letting Nefesh B'Nefesh know why MM deserves a spot on the plane!
Maybe you'll get to sit next to me....
love, Maidel at 9:30 PM
I just read a newspaper article which claims that the average age of video game users today is 35. I can't remember the last time I played nintendo or gameboy or playstation or whatever those boxes are that my brothers are obsessed with and that take up all that room under the tv in our family room. But then - I was always more of a Barbie Girl. ;)
So while I'm not exactly a gamer, and while my barbie collection has sadly and rather reluctantly been reduced (at the rather cruel insistence of my mother when I was at the tender age of 12), I still hesitate to label myself the A-word. You know - an Adult.
I had this coversation with a friend a little while ago who insisted that anyone over a certain legal age is no longer a minor - and thus joins the ranks of the grown-up.
But while in law this might hold true (and for drinking), I argue that this is arguable based on important facts of life (such as the aforementioned average age of gamers) which inhibit maturity and delay adulthood.
So what makes someone an adult?
Is a college student not yet an adult? But then what if that student is married with kids? And what if you have a job but you're still 19?
Does marriage and having kids make someone an adult? I used to think so - until friends younger than me became moms and dads.
I like to think that knowing certain things - like how to pay taxes - makes you grown up. But I've since realized that I might always have to depend on my father's accountant.
Does living on your own make you an adult? Maybe not so much in the frummy world where teens get shipped off to out-of-town yeshivas at 13...
And aren't more and more people in their late twenties and thirties still living with their parents? I read another article that talked about the newest trend in apartment living - post-college dorm-style à la washington heights or uws where whole buildings are almost entirely rented out by singles.
Is that why more people are single longer? Have none of us grown up yet? Are we too busy playing nintendo?
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I was sitting on the train the other day, chatting with a good friend, swapping shidduch stories, the latest horror stories (often one and the same) and the newest crop of awful questions asked by nosy yentahs.
By the time the Express exited the platform at its last stop in Brooklyn, my friend and I had developed a little entourage of fellow shidduch-daters and commentators who provided their own profound insights and lilting tales of singledom.
I thought I’ve heard it all.
I’ve heard of the usual background checks – you know, where the shadchan looks into whether eight of your European great-grandmothers hid their hair.
But apparently now, in order to be frummer than thou, an extra measure of frum precaution is taken in the form of the following essential question (girls, please answer truthfully):
‘What does your mother wear on her head when she lights the Shabbos candles?’
Here are your choices:
a) Nothing at all
b) A hat or tichel
c) A sheitel
d) A sheitel & a hat or tichel
If you answered A, then what are you even doing reading a blog about frummkeit???
If you answered B or C, you’re frummish – maybe not right for the boy in mind…
But if you answered D – then we have a winner! (well, actually, it just qualifies you for round 2 – which is where we ask your bra size, but it’s a good start)
That’s right – sheitels are out of vogue – you now need to prove that your Ima wears a double decker when she’s doing any sort of mitzvah.
Since when did we all start becoming so holy?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
They say Jews and Italians are very similar. We're both obsessed with good food, we both put a lot of emphasis on family, and we both spend a lot of time Upstate. And by Upstate, I mean Woodbourne. As in the Correctional Facility.
I'm totally generalizing here.
Not all Italians are criminals.
But in the Jewish community, it seems like pulling a 'Bernie' is the latest fad, and has been for some time.
In Crooklyn, they say that if you actually have to sweat for your money, you're doing something wrong. If you actually have to work for your money, you're an idiot. Why work when you can work the system?
No one in Boro Park pays for food anymore. There's no need when the government gives out free food stamps. No one's married legally anymore - why bother when single mothers get nice fat cheques in the mail from old Uncle Sam.
I hate ranting.
But whatever happened to being embarrassed about serving time?
I'm sure you all heard about that Chassidish guy who had Shweky perform at his son's bar mitzvah... the one held inside of the prison cafeteria.
It's like jails have replaced country clubs as THE place to be for frum men. And apparently membership is a lot cheaper. Woodbourne practically has all the same amenities as a Kosher Pesach hotel - various outdoor and indoor sports activities, gym equipment, daily minyans, chavrusahs, glatt kosher gourmet meals. And best of all - THE MOST kosher mechitzah in the world.
And why shouldn't all this exist in Upstate New York? Especially when our men are encouraged not to go to college, encouraged to stay in kollel for as long as possible and convinced that certain jobs are 'beneath them'... all the while being encouraged to marry young and have large families, pressured to have gorgeous homes and luxury cars and expected to keep up appearances... even if that includes an orange prison uniform.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Over the past little while there's been a trend for bridesmaids and family members to wear white, beige, creme and eggshell to weddings.
I'll admit it can look really elegant in pics.
But when you have to ask which lovely lady is the bride - then there's a problem.
I remember going to a wedding where most of the sisters wore blue. Except for one - the one who was engaged - who wore an off-white poofy concoction.
At another wedding - where the sisters of the groom weren't too fond of the bride - those mean girls actually went to David's Bridal and bought cheap wedding gowns almost nicer than that of their brother's beloved.
I have a wedding next week of someone I used to be really close with - but now we're more like frenemies. Should I wear that cute BCBG number I've been eying - in white.... or stick to classic, basic, boring black?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
You read that right.
My good friend Ettie sent me a link that she received by e-mail from a third party who shall remain anonymous (only because the last thing MM needs is a not so pretty lawsuit).
Click here for the link to the not-so-tznius site.
It's actually a Yahoo group for in-the-closet female frummies who want to get off on pics of others of their kind.
Unfortunately, those of you looking for some hardcore pics (maybe like those on a similar site that I've mentioned in the past....) are out of luck. You have to join this group in order to gain access... and sorry Boys, but unless you've got a female friend who is willing to help you out on this one, this site is strictly Girls-Only.
I haven't joined - this $hit grosses me out. But the Us Weekly-loving part of me kinda wants to - if only to see if there's anyone on there who I recognize...
I know I'll probably risk sounding like my Bubby by writing this - but what is going on with this generation???
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I'm just hoping no one I know is like this....
Gotta say - if Bradley Cooper was a yid, maybe I would be like that....
This post by my good friend Single on the Scene made me laugh.
What if the Bachelor was a Bachur....
love, Maidel at 12:31 AM
The lovely Babysitter just posted a genius recipe on KosherCuisine!
I gotta say - I used to think cereal + fried chicken was the best thing since sliced bread... but this takes the cake!
I can't remember the last time I had a Bissli. My mom stopped buying bags of the stuff when she realized that most Israeli products had just about the same nutritional value of a sheet of white paper. And when avoiding MSG and Trans-Fats came into style.
But this recipe's got protein~! So BBQ Bissli, here I come!
Feel free to start a new trend in your hood with this one!
love, Maidel at 12:02 AM
Sunday, August 9, 2009
For the first time in a long time, I showed some serious skin.
I don't know what I was thinking.
It must have been the alcohol. (although I'm pretty sure my Strawberry Daiquiri was virgin)
Maybe it was peer pressure.
But my mind keeps going back to that night where I did that horrible deed and let everyone see my goods.
I'm talking elbows.
For some reason the various cleavage-slips I've had post seminary never guilt-tripped me the way this incident has. Maybe because those aren't usually intentional... (not consciously at least. Freud might have argued otherwise)
Sure there have been numerous occasions where I've actually shown my ENTIRE forearm (and even shoulders) but it was always in a justifiable context - ie at the beach, at a slumber party, my house...
But since Sem, my array of T-shirts has taken permanent residence in the bottom drawer of my dresser alongside my jeans. (maybe I should give those away so that someone with lesser means may wear my castoffs - but it really wouldn't be a mitzvah to make someone wear boot-cuts when skinny jeans are in. And besides - maybe one day I'll need those in case I go horseback riding or camping, right?.... lol ok, who am I kidding!)
So the other day I was hanging out in the park, wearing a cute dress and a cute cardigan over it.
And then it got hot. Really hot. So off my Banana Republic sweater went. And that's when I elbow-flashed the crowd for the first time in a while.
Should I feel bad about this? Does this mean I'm going to have to bring up one more thing on Yom Kippur? Does showing elbow = Sinning?
Maybe I'm taking this whole ordeal a little too far... Laws of tznius aren't D'oraisa are they? And it's not like it's a mitzvah to cover your knees... It's a minhag, no? This is when I wish I had more friends who went to Brovenders or are in the YU smicha program...
Ok - halacha aside.... is this gonna ruin my shidduch rep?
love, Maidel at 11:02 PM
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.
Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "my life according to (artist' name)"
Pick your Artist:
Are you a male or female:
Who’s That Girl
How do you feel:
Like a Virgin
Describe where you currently live:
La Isla Bonita
If you could go anywhere, where would you go?:
Don’t cry for me Argentina
Your favorite form of transportation:
Your best friend?
You and your friends are:
Into the Groove
What's the weather like:
Favorite time of day:
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
What is life to you:
What is the best advice you have to give:
Thought for the Day:
Nothing Really Matters
How I would like to die:
Die Another Day
My soul's present condition:
Ray of Light
Papa Don’t Preach
love, Maidel at 12:34 PM
I know I'm MM. But am I MO too?
(Cheeeezy, I know. I try!)
I hate telling people I'm modern orthodox. It's like putting a giant bar code on my forehead that says "this is how I'm packaged". I'd like to think I'm a little more interesting than that.
The truth is that these days, being 'modern orthodox' is as vague a term as any - I went to a 'modern orthodox' high school where half the kids kept kosher and half ate the Filet-O-Fish at McD's.
Maybe that's why they ('they' as in Saw You At Sinai - our internet age orthodox label maker) have invented new terms like MO Machmir, MO Liberal and MO Middle of the Road to try and categorize everyone under the big MO umbrella. But everyone’s got their own definitions of these definitions. Does being MO Liberal mean someone’s kosher but not shomer? And don’t we all think that we’re ‘middle of the road’? I know others have attempted to explain all the subtleties of each of these groupings. That’s why I’m not going to.
But where do I fit in? What makes me MO?
I never spent a summer at Moshava, Nesher or Stone or any of the other Bnei Akiva-type camps that brainwash kids into the Aliyah dream. I don’t even really want to make Aliyah. I certainly don’t say Hallel on Yom Ha’atzma’ut. But maybe that’s just because I hardly ever make it to Shul to say Hallel any other time of year… I don’t wear long flowy skirts and I don’t know what Rabeinu Tam says about women making a zimun. (does he even say anything at all on the subject?) I was taught Gemara in high school, and while I do think women have the right to learn if they so choose, I really would much rather read US Weekly in my spare time…
Does that mean I can’t be MO Machmir?
But I don’t wear pants or show too much skin. I don’t touch boys. Well, I don’t really touch boys. Despite what they may think. I don’t even chew non-kosher gum. I stopped eating salads out a few years back when I found a piece of bacon on my plate one time. I’m totally shomer shabbos…
Does that mean I can’t be MO Liberal?
So do I say I'm 'Middle of the Road'? It seems like the easy way out...