Monday, May 31, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

I will admit it- I was quite resentful that I had to work Memorial Day. Granted, my mind told me that I was being unreasonable. If you factor in my getting all the chagim and Chol HaMoed off, then that more than compensates for my working all legal holidays.

Of course, understanding that I needed a mental adjustment didn't make it any easier to drag myself to work today; I was literally the only person I know who had to work the holiday. So there I sat, finding work to do and otherwise feeling sorry for myself as I got through a quiet phone day. I left promptly at 5:15, when the cleaning lady finally departed and I was able to lock up.

My attitude evaporated when I opened the door to my apartment post-6 PM. I would even go so far as to say that I practically fell on my knees in gratitude to Hashem for having sent me to work this morning. Turns out the Israeli family that lives behind my building was having a colossal birthday party. The noise level was, as is their custom,deafening.

Now let me tell you, it took a lot of energy to tolerate the vibrations/noise until things finally wound up at 10 PM. All I can say is, 4 hours of the experience was plenty; if I had been required to endure the tactile intrusion from the party's start (which I place at early-to mid- afternoon, given where they were in the BBQ when I arrived home), I would have probably resorted to filing a noise complaint. Because people, there is socialising/holding a party, and then there is having the noise from your get-together affect the ability of your neighbours to function.

So a hearty TODAH HASHEM for dispatching me to work this morning. You saved me, the Israelis and their guests, and Brooklyn's finest a whole lot of trouble! Say it with me, everyone: Gamze L'Tovah!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Boy

About a month ago, I had a 3 minute conversation with "A Boy" recommended by the Yeshivah Rav (see A Tall Order). He seemed like a nice enough sort, but really just rang to decide how we would communicate. Since it had taken him a week after the Rav gave him my number and our schedules seem mutually exclusive, we hit upon emailing for the time being.

So we exchanged a "breaking the ice" email, and so far, still good.
But during that initial 90 second exchange, I got a "vibe". Then , dafka, the next day the Rav rings to see how "things are progressing". I told him that we had only just spoken the day before. "What, he just called you?", the Rav said. Instead of saying "Hey, he obviously doesn't make dating a priority", I just muttered a mmmm-hmmmm. Then I asked the Rav if "the Boy" had ever been married for.

No, of course not! And there I found myself, set up with yet another guy who was (well) into his 40s and never married. Not a very palatable option, given my history.

Then a week goes by, and I hear zippo. Same thing the next week. Granted, I would have been lukewarm at best if he had made contact. Finally I get a long email from him, stating we must have had a "miscommunication", he thought I would call him, but he's been oh so very busy (and listed all the various simchas he was involved in during the previous weeks).

I then became royally ticked. Here's a guy who makes dating a low priority, but convinces himself that the real issue is miscommunication and that he's been incredibly busy. I quipped to a friend of mine that he should save everyone the trouble and stop pretending he's marriage material. She, in turn, stated that the "logical" way of viewing his email is that he was simply explaining why he hadn't contacted me. She made me feel, like everyone else involved in "shidduchim" that I was being unreasonable.

Yet I remained skeptical, because, let's face it, I'm pretty much damaged goods at this point. One thing I have learned is that sometimes, you just can't give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Sure enough, he still couldn't find time to email me after I responded to his "miscommunication" email. Indeed, the pattern has been that he takes 1-2 weeks each time to respond.

By the end, I decided to stop being diplomatic, and just put the truth out there: Sorry buddy, but I am really not interested in dating, because I have zero interest in getting married in the near future. If only everyone was honest about their intentions, eh?

The kicker? He urged me to not wait too long to date, and wants me to keep him in mind when I do. Why? Because he has gotten the impression that I'm a fun, kind, giving type of girl. I of course refrained from mentioning that he only seemed interested because I was taking myself off the market. If he had gotten such a favourable impression, why not pursue our relationship a bit more fervently? We can all surmise the psychological reasons; I needn't bore you by itemizing all that gibberish.

So, my sincere apologies to my friend, but it would seem that my gut instinct proved correct on this one. And, for the foreseeable future, I am looking forward to fully focusing my attention on me and getting my life back to how it used to be.

I am, after all, worth it!
Wish me luck, y'all!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I went to the doctor recently, and he diagnosed me with a few syndromes. After all that I've been through medically the last few years, believe you me, I was thrilled to locate a doctor who gave me an actual diagnosis; instead, most doctors I've seen related to my current issues have told me it's "all in my head" - versus simply acknowledging that they don't understand what's going on with me (due to their own medical incompetency). While in his office, the doctor drew blood to get a snapshot of my health before sending me for some extensive testing.

As it had been over a week since his office sent in the blood work, I rang his office the other day to ensure that I could go ahead and book the tests. Oh no, said the medical assistant. My blood work is a horror. Not only am I in seriously bad shape (chasve shalom), but they need to run several more tests, to rule out some pretty serious stuff. I was, quite frankly, shocked.

Now surely, I understand intellectually that my body's inability to absorb nutrients adversely affects my health. In fact, I have finally accepted that I will most probably never regain the level of health I had prior to my car accident(chasve shalom [again]). But to get the news that I was already in the health dumpster? Pretty harsh news, to say the least.

I am now in the midst of taking all necessary measures to address each medical issue. And I can't say that I'm not nervous; both the best case and worst case scenarios they're positing aren't good. Yet I'm remaining positive, following my general strategy of remaining optimistic until I have concrete evidence that I should tone down the optimism.

After all, in life, you've got to roll with the punches. And where will being all Eeeyore-ish get me anyway, even if I did decide to be all "it's my birthday and nobody remembered"? Not very far, that's where. Better instead to be a Tigger, trust in Hashem no matter what the outcome, and hope for the best.

It is, after all, His World, B'H".

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Count with Me

I am now notorious.

I went shopping at my local pharmacy and the cashier that checked out my items said "I know you" with a laugh. Well, I remember her as well. :)

A few weeks ago, I shopped at the said pharmacy with a rain cheque. Actually, since the given shop almost always runs out of sale items by the time I go shopping on Sunday, I typically have rain cheques when they ring up my purchases.

However, the rain cheque that day was unusual. Rather than stating a sale price, the rain cheque was for 40% of the regular price. I had the same cashier as I did today, and she said, "Oh, I'm not good with math". She called the assistant manager. While we were waiting, I said to her, "Look, 10% of $21.99 is $2.19, right? So $2.19 x 4 = $8.76". She said, no that wasn't right.

By then, the assistant manager arrived. I went through my calculations again with her. She said, no, it should be something like $18. When I started doing my calculation yet again, the cashier decided they should call one of the guys from the back. "_____ is good at math", said the cashier; "_____ is real smart", said the assistant manager. They decided to call both guys to the front to assist.

Mr. Good with Math said it should be $7-ish. I started yet again chanting out loud, when Mr. Smart decided to whip out a calculator. He announced that I was right. The assistant manager then said that no, I had been saying $8.76, when the amount was $13.23.

That's when I realised: I had been stating the amount to be deducted from the full price. So I said to her "I'm sorry, I wasn't clear: I meant that we needed to subtract $8.76 from the original price". She then softened and we all made nice. We had both been right. ;)

Now the part of this whole saga that disturbed me is that these were all college-age workers. That they had gone through the New York school system and remained unable to do basic calculations in their head was, well, shocking. Maybe I'm naive, but that it should have taken 4 workers 10 minutes to calculate what to charge me is a complete disgrace. At fifteen, my very first job involved bookkeeping. And you'd better believe there were no digital devices involved: I calculated in my head or by long-hand.

To their credit, the people who work at the pharmacy are really nice. Certainly more cordial than another pharmacy on Kings Highway, which shall remain nameless. So while it's selection may not be on par with yet another pharmacy on Kings Highway, the rain cheque pharmacy remains my preferred shopping location. Why deal with snippy cashiers if you can deal with nice ones?

Still, where the 3 Rs are concerned, I think Mr. Bloomberg might want to reconsider that teacher budget cut he just announced, if my experience that Sunday is any indication. Because do we want another generation of New Yorkers who are handicapped where basic life skills are concerned? I sure hope not...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Laugh Too Much

A tidbit from my weekly shopping expedition.

I was in the pet shop, getting tchatchkis for Ms. Furry Furball. As I was waiting for the cashier to ring up my purchases, there was a boy playing with a dog toy. The toy emitted an obscene and annoying sound, as the boy squeezed the toy at least a dozen times.

Since the sound was so bizarre, I kept laughing. And while the cashier rang up my purchases, he rolled his eyes. I said "That sound could get annoying" and laughed again.

After he finished up with me, a woman came into line behind me. Inexplicably, the cashier walked away with my receipt. So I stood there waiting for him to return. It was during this minute or so that the woman spoke to me:

"You laugh a lot".

I realised that she was offended and I tried to figure out why. Then it occurred to me that perhaps the boy was her son, and she didn't like that I had been laughing. So I said "The toy makes a funny sound" and laughed a bit again. She hadn't taken the bait.

"It's funny to you?"

At which point I had the seichel to just ignore her.

What I found interesting about the entire exchange is that she was so offended. How could she interpret my laughing as an affront to her son? It seemed bizarre. But even more to the point, it was obvious that she is so miserable that she deemed me a nutcase because I could laugh at something so simple as a dog toy.

It occurred to me then that people in New York don't laugh. In my hometown, people laugh a lot. I suppose it's part of our mentality; you laugh off all the absurdities that come at you in life versus getting all tied up in a knot. Evidently Ms. Pet Shop hadn't learned that skill yet. And how sad for her.