Thursday, November 23, 2017

Poem in Honor of a High School Classmate having Kid # 3


The Correct Number of Kids For Frum Non-Millionaires To Have 


After one
Most parents don’t feel quite done

You have two
Your husband meets Pru U’Rvu 

To have three?
“One and two are big: yes maybe!” 

You think, “Four?”
Budget says “Stop here, no more!” 

You said “Five?”
You're not even alive anymore! 


(If you're wealthy,
Keep going until infinity!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

School and Moving

My # 2 school wants to interview me. I was surprised, but I am happy. I HAVE TO BUY A SUIT!!! ARGH!!!! My fashion sense is a cross between hot female lumberjack, Target, thrift shop/clothing swap finds and exercise clothes. I am so out of my comfort zone here with buying a suit.

If they take me, I am going. Their tuition is half the price of other places! I would be a fool not to go.

The school is in the middle of nowhere in my state. I would have to move! The fact that no one has even dared to mention that there is no one to date there is a personal victory for me. People have finally accepted that I'm never getting married, so they should just stop acting like it might happen. I have finally been accepted in my true form (a cat lady who is neutral on cats).

I'm of two minds about moving.

Obviously I am fed up with living at home at the age of almost 24.  I have no privacy. I can't have friends over. I spend most of my time in the basement because it's the warmest part of the house, which makes me a walking stereotype: the millenial in the basement. It's embarrassing, even when 33% of millenials live with their parents. I don't feel like a Real Adult, even though I have come to the realization that I am a real adult. (I give people credit card and insurance advice and I actually have informed opinions on these matters. A sick person turned to me to take care of her because she felt I was the most adult-y adult she knew, and that I would do the best job in caring for her. I told her that she needed more adult-y adults in her life.)

On the other hand, I am scared to move out to somewhere so far away. If I was moving to somewhere within my city, even if it was on the farthest tip of it, it would be different. Now though, I would have to pass my road test. I have failed twice. Anywhere without a subway REQUIRES you to have a car. That's just how it is. What if I can't pass the stupid road test? What if I can't find a roommate? I am afraid of fighting with some person who I live with, so I'm very picky about roommates.

I'm also scared of creepy psycho killers- don't they target women who live alone? Sure, I might find a roommate, but I might also not find a roommate, and then I'm the perfect target for a psycho killer. Then, after he'd kill me, he'd dump my body in an iceberg and no one would find my body for months. Then my cousin, who loves watching violent crime shows, would watch my case on TV.

Of course, this is irrational. Many women live alone and aren't murdered. I already know how to use a toilet plunger, cook, clean, do laundry, and pay bills. I'm way ahead of most people who move out and are used to their parents doing those things for them.

It would be scary, but it would be SO COOL to leave this depressing place!!!! I would finally be my own person, not some other people's kid (an overgrown kid). Once I get over my psycho killer fear, I could see liking it very much.

That's also assuming I wouldn't flunk out. Many people I have spoken to about PA school say that a good percentage of their class flunks out. I would study my ass off. I'm not moving out to party or have a frumspringa; I've already done that. I'd be moving out to go home and sit with my books. At this point, the idea sitting with an anatomy book instead of an Organic Chem book makes me excited.

Even that assumes that I would get in and that the interviewers would like me. I am worried about that, but I'm not too worried. I looked into this job very thoroughly before deciding that it was the best job for me, and I do agree with the school's mission.

It's just so unbelievable that things are finally HAPPENING!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

No More Dating

So I dumped one guy for shallow reasons.

I am dumping the other one for both shallow and deep reasons later tonight.

I'm not complaining. At least people want to date me.

Still, I need a break and midterms are coming.

I might get back into the dating jungle later, but I have realized a deep truth about myself. I am simply not as into finding a life companion as other Jewish women my age are. I just don't wake up in the morning and feel sad over being single. Unless the perfect person for me comes along, I have a good life now, and adding a person who wouldn't be perfect for me would drag my quality of life down. This is the sort of thought process no one around me has, and that makes me feel alone at times, but alone is not as bad as I was told it is.


Friday, September 15, 2017

The Irony

I really like this guy. He has that balance where he is mature and is still fun. We have yet another 2 niche hobbies in common. We have spent 9 hours in each others' company. He actually has feelings and deals with them as they come up, as opposed to keeping them all inside and exploding. We

He doesn't seem to be hung up on things like the Perceived Purity Quotient. I sense that we will make it to the 4/5 week mark at which I will tell him that I had sex.

I asked my friend why she had thought of us, just out of curiosity. She said "I don't know, you were both single."

I am now the butt of my own skirt-and-pants shadchanus jokes. Feel free to laugh.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Review of Smalltown 1, New Jeresy

"You want to go to Famous Internet Person for Shabbos with me?" Chana Rochel messaged me.

Famous Internet Person runs the organization that fights for pedophilia victims to have expanded rights and resources, the one that held the protests I participated in. "Like, this shabbos?" I groaned. "I don't feel well today, but  I should feel better by Friday. I'd love to go to FIP. Does FIP know that I'm coming to his place for Shabbos?"

"He told me to bring a cool friend, so I guess he kind of knows."

Chana Rochel is one of those people who can fall asleep anywhere and instantly feels comfortable in any social situation. I, on the other hand, am kind of a neat freak and need a nice bed to sleep in. Having never met FIP beyond 10 minutes at the first protest, although we had been following each other online for a while, I messaged him.

"Hey FIP, so Chana Rochel invited me to your place for shabbos. Did you know about this, and are you ok with it?"

FIP, despite his fame, answered back immediately. "Yes, I trust Chana Rochel's judgment."

That Friday, I packed the alcohol FIP requested, chugged some painkillers, and swiped my Metrocard to go to this stranger in a strange land. With the help of a Muslim woman my age, I found myself on the right train. I had never taken the NJ Transit train, but once I was on the correct train, the map was easy enough to follow.

*******************************************************

I got off the train, feeling a bit nervous about being in the company of someone so cool and famous while I'm less cool and famous. "Hey FIP, I'm at the station," I texted him.

The amount of elbow room this town had to offer was startling to me, as I'm usually trapped in cramped quarters where people slash tires over parking spaces. There were many empty spots in the parking lot, and there was grass everywhere. The air was cleaner. I felt calmer. This place seemed to be running at a realistic, humanly-possible pace.

FIP zoomed right over. The town might be calm, but shabbos was coming. "You missed all the excitement! The apartment almost burned down, but we got a great kugel out of it!"

"NO!" I gasped. "What happened?"

That was all it took. We fell right into conversation, happily swapping fire stories, talking about medication, and ranting about how annoying it is to get niche items from third-party Amazon sellers.

"I've had a crazy week, "FIP fanned himself. "Did Chana Rochel tell you that we're eating every meal out?"

"Yeah," I nodded. "I'm excited to see this place, so that's perfect."

*************************************************************
"We're eating at the Schwartz's tonight and at the Teitelbaum's in the day," FIP informed me.

I was floored. Mrs. Schwartz was someone I had been following online for 2 years, a woman whose work I greatly admire. I had never heard of the Teitelbaums, but that was great - I figured that they would be the average family of this town, and I wanted to meet people like that also.  "Thank you so much for arranging this, FIP," I said. "This is going to be great!!"

We rolled up to the still-smoky apartment, where Chana Rochel was sprawled on FIP's long couch. In case of getting trapped in the apartment, I had brought some books along, so the three of us talked about the books until shabbos started.

************************************************************
After both FIP and Chana Rochel assured me that my outfits were indeed acceptable in this community, we headed to the Schwartzes. "Ugh," FIP commented. "They're having another guest who reaaally reaaally wants to meet me. People are always so disappointed when they meet me in person after they've read about me online."

I snickered. "They think they're going to get the nice articulate head-of-an-organization Jewish boy, and then there you are with your foul language, sex jokes, and Holocaust jokes."

FIP nodded. "Trust me, I've been thinking about how this kugel almost died in an oven all day."

Chana Rochel and I cracked up.

When we got o the Schwartzes, their children were running wild, as children do. The little boy was running around in his boxers and, from what I understood of his screeches, was pretending to be some kind of superhero that had to jump on all of the furniture in the room.  The little girl had found a bag of pink confetti and was throwing it on everyone's heads. "Do you know my mommy?" she asked me, dumping the last strands of confetti on my head.

"I've read about her on the internet," I answered. "I'm not sure if that counts. What do you think?"

The little girl giggled and ran away to get some toys.

Mrs. Schwartz herself chose that moment to enter the room, just as Mr. Schwartz returned from shul with the guest who wanted to meet FIP. "DADDY!!!" the kids launched themselves at Mr. Schwartz.

After introductions were made, everyone debated about who should make kiddush. This was new to me- I had known that women could make kiddush, but in practice I rarely saw it when there was a man around.

After we washed, the little girl was telling her mommy, Mrs. Schwartz, about how her friend was mean to her in the past week. "She has a crush on this kid," Mrs. Schwartz caught the rest of us up on the drama. "So honey, what happened this week?"

The little girl looked heartbroken as she told us that it had been her friend's birthday and she had made him a card. "He throwed it on the floor and ran away!" the little darling said, tears filling her big eyes.

Naturally, all of us single guests were very sympathetic, but Mrs. Schwartz steered the conversation in a more practical direction. "Why would you want to be friends with someone who is mean to you? Is it worth it?"

The little girl scrunched her face up. "Yes,"  she said, after pondering it for five minutes.

"Why?" Mrs. Schwartz asked.

"I don't know."

I had read about Mrs. Schwartz before, but this, moreso than the female-led kiddush, really impressed me. Where I'm from, you don't have CRUSHES on people. Where I'm from, you ignore any feelings you have for someone else until you're 20 and you go on a few shidduch dates with them.

When I was five, my playmates were discussing their wedding plans, and some adult asked me what my plans were. I told the adult that since I didn't know who I was marrying, I thought I should wait to find that out first because "Maybe he also has ideas about how he wants his wedding to be." I still remember all of the adults in the room laughing at me and how embarrassed I felt. Here Mrs. Schwartz took her little girl's drama seriously and was trying to teach her about not chasing assholes in a way that a child could understand.This was a lot more progressive than the parents I usually met.

The kids decided that their daddy was a jungle gym, got tired out, and fell asleep on him. "Help me!" Mr. Schwartz called out to his wife. "I'm covered in my own genetic material!"

The joke relaxed all of us, and the kids being asleep helped too. We all sat around swapping life stories, and started talking less formally.

At some point, Chana Rochel said that she has gone on dates from Jswipe but that, "If feelings were a faucet, I feel the faucet turning off after date 3 most of the time."

"Chana Rochel," FIP intoned. "I give you a bracha that you should meet a guy who really turns your faucet on!" We all laughed.

Then, the bomb dropped. MRS. SCHWARTZ HAD READ SOME OF MY WRITING (not on this blog, on another blog) AND LIKED IT.  That made me feel really good because I always feel like a shitty small-time writer who no one actually reads, and here one of the big players had read my stuff!! "I always wondered what that person who wrote those stories looked like in real life," Mrs. Schwartz smiled. "Now here you are!"

Mrs. Schwartz and I then went into a long one-on-one conversation about her organization, and about her upcoming career change to my career. It was balanced in that we both had what to offer the other person. I was in total fangirling mode, but I acted dignified.

Then the guest who wanted to meet FIP got into our conversation because we were talking about how the internet had led us to where we are today. He is 12 years older than me, of the generation that grew up in AOL chat rooms. Mrs. Schwartz was somewhere in between us in terms of age, so we all spoke about that for a while. Then we moved on to talking about what books we had read in our shtark phases and about biking.

Meanwhile, Mr. Schwartz was expounding on an article that he was publishing soon and his difficulty in finding a magazine that was the right hashkafic fit for his article. As FIP also has to strike a balance in the materials he uses to spread the word about his organization and his publicity pieces, they also had what to talk about. Then they got on to dissecting Chana Rochel's career.

FIP, Chana Rose and I left at around 2:30AM, but the three of us stayed up talking about data collection and other things until the sun came up.

**************************************

Sadly, we missed going to shul. I would have loved to go for a real shabbos davening where most of the town was, but going to bed at 6:30AM doesn't really allow a person to wake up at 8:30AM. Chana Rochel, FIP and I woke up at 11:00AM and trudged to shul anyways, because it was between our hosts for the day meal and FIP's still-smoky apartment. I felt like a sleepwalker, with puffy eyes and a little flowery jumper outfit that wouldn't have looked out of place on a five-year-old hanging from my shoulders.

"FIP, I saw the T-shirt on your website!" a stocky bald man barrelled over to the three of us. "I'm Eli!" he introduced himself to Chana Rochel and me. Shul had just ended. "The proud moiser one where the moiser is being drowned in the mikvah! I'm reading all about mikvah's now," he waved a fat, battered-looking sefer over his head. I quickly caught the word "Mikvah" on the cover before the sefer was comfortably tucked under Eli's arm, in a gesture so natural-looking that I intuitively knew that Eli usually had a sefer tucked under his arm, though I had never met him before.

"I was wondering if it makes the mikvah tameih," Chana Rochel mused.

Eli's eyes lit up. This was something he could monologue about. "Well, that largely depends on if any blood comes out of the body as they drown the moiser," Eli's eyes got a crazy-professor look to them as he launched into a lecture about how exactly you should drown a moiser if you want to preserve the purity of a mikvah."....not that you should drown someone who calls the cops on a child molester," he finished up 10 minutes later.

"I see," FIP grinned. "Eli, have you ever drowned anyone in a mikvah? Just, you know, asking out of pure intellectual curiosity."

The rabbi came up behind FIP. "Is there something I should know about? I've appointed Eli as the mikvah's caretaker recently," he joked. "Eli wouldn't hurt a fly!" We all laughed, and then it was time to eat.

***********************************************

The Teitelbaums knew FIP because Mrs. Teitelbaum works with FIP. They had two kids, a baby and a 4 year old, and the Levis were over with their baby. Chana Rochel fussed over the babies and then fell asleep on the couch, as is her custom.

We ate so much food that we couldn't move. We talked about how we all became MO from our various backgrounds that ranged from super-heimish to small-town Conservative (Chana Rochel is OTD, but she was asleep). We talked about how everyone was getting pushed out of Brooklyn and how annoyed the original residents of Smalltown 1 are because they deliberately settled here to escape the snobbishness of Brooklyn. "This place is really chilled!" I protested.

"You weren't here five years ago," Mr. Teitelbaum answered. "This place might as well have been Little House on the Prairie! We were the only Jews on the block. The minute we have over a certain amount of schools, this is going to be over."

"You guys haven't started forming living-room breakaway minaynim, you have time," I told him.

"We are so happy to be away from all of that," Mr. and Mrs. Teitelbaum shuddered in unison. I deliberately avoided asking how a couple with such a prominent Jewish name had ended up in Smalltown 1, but I sensed that underneath their civilized exteriors, the Teitelbaums were Brooklyn refugees.

Everyone talked about how nice the other people in town were. This was a welcome change of pace from what I normally hear, where complaints about "THOSE people" (any group deemed less frum, people who sent their kids to school x versus school y, etc) are  bound to come up if you get to know people well.

I inquired about the cost of living. Everyone cheered up immediately, thinking about how much worse they would have had it in Brooklyn. "I pay slightly less than 1200 for my place with its two big bedrooms and gigantic living-dining room," FIP offered a clear number. "Our apartment is similarly priced, but with a tradeoff for more rooms that are smaller," the Levys weren't shy either. "This is a house, so obviously it's more than 1200 a month for the mortgage, but our mortgage is less than a three bedroom in Brooklyn," the Teitelbaums, obviously the wealthiest ones at the meal, were a bit more discrete. The food was about as expensive as it is in Brooklyn, but school prices were a bit higher.

 I raised my eyebrows at all of them. "This place is going to boom! That's actually affordable for someone like me!"

"There's a huge initiative to bring in more people," FIP yawned. The food was getting to him. "They don't give a shit about single people though. They want people who aren't going to get married and move to wherever their chosson says they should move to."

"SCREW YOU!" I yell-whispered to avoid waking the babies, who were napping on a blanket in the corner. "MY HYPOTHETICAL FUTURE HUSBAND IS GOING TO MOVE FOR ME!" I threw a stuffed animal at FIP's head. He batted it away without even opening his eyes.

"I moved for my wife," Mr. Levi commented to no one in particular.

This turned into a larger discussion on gender roles. It seems that men doing the bulk of the cooking is not viewed as strange and heroic in this town, but as something that works better for some families.  Chana Rochel snored softly on the couch throughout all of this.

Mrs. Levi invited me to a gemara shiur for ladies, so I went with her. It was the friendliest group of ladies, ranging from me to a woman in her early 60s. Some were Brooklyn refugees who wanted to better understand a part of Judaism that they didn't feel they knew very well, while others had actually learned gemarah in high school and enjoyed it. Mrs. Levi had told me that she didn't feel quite confident, as she had only started teaching herself two years ago, but I think she did a good job.

What we learned was that there is a concept of undoing your kareis through getting flogged. Here is the short answer: some Rabbis think this is a valid option, and other Rabbis don't think so. Not enough Rabbis think so to the point where you can hire a goon squad to flog the kareis out of you and feel that you're definitely in the clear. A history buff at the shiur brought up that Marranos who had converted to Christianity had looked into this once they left Spain, so that they could shed their kareis status, and Mrs. Schwartz started talking about guilt.... At this point, although this was a fascinating topic, and  very relevant to me as I'm pretty sure that I am chayav kareis, my eyes started dropping shut from a combination of 5ish hours of sleep and enough lunchtime calories to give a cow a heart attack. Mrs. Levi discreetly offered me some coffee, which was really nice of her.

Then we all went back to shul for Mincha-Shalosh Suedos-Maariv.  It seems that the entire town can fit around less than ten shul tables, not including kids, despite the many rows of pews in the actual sanctuary. I got cold, so Eli offered me his coat. Eli started to tell me about his time as an NCSY kitchen supervisor and his weird college experience that was similar to my weird college experience.

Suddenly it was time for Havdalah, which the Rabbi made in the shul, and then everyone had been smart enough to leave their keys in a box in the shul and park near the shul. I later found out that this is common in small towns, but to my urban mind this was a stroke of genius.

A bunch of us wound up at the Levi's for a science fiction TV marathon...then FIP was prodding me and Chana Rochel awake and we all went to Shoprite at 2:30AM because we were, somehow, starving. We took goofy pictures of ourselves looking horrible at Shoprite.

Then it was the next morning and we all had business in yucky Brooklyn (BOOO!), so we went there. Thus concluded my wonderful weekend in Smalltown 1, New Jersey.

I give Smalltown 1 a solid 10/10 and I will be back!











Sunday, September 10, 2017

Two Peas in a Pod?

So I met this guy. He was really cool and we spoke for four hours straight. He seems like dude-me, except that he's a dude and has some dude interests that I am just not interested in (hello guns and cars). He also writes mean songs about people and seems to have the same Judaism-partying-work balance that I have. We have a date soon. Kudos to my newly married friend who actually remembered the singles in her life and forced us to meet! (If this works out I will be my friend's sister-in-law! How cool would that be?)

When Blondie Blatantly Gets Engaged Just to Have Sex

...the thing to do is write a spoof song and zip your lips in real life.  Or pretend to be surprised and sincerely happy for the couple, which is what I ended up doing.

Let me be crystal clear. Blondie previously was very debt-averse and insisted that she'd date a guy for at least a year before marrying him. Her now-fiance explicitly told Rory that they altered their timelines and ideals just for the sex....and there are no secrets between Rory and myself. I do not believe that every couple who gets engaged does it just for the sex. This is not a general commentary on engagements.

The guy's real name works well with the song, but I used "Andros" here to use the word root to reference that he is a man (think: androgens). Any two-syllable male name works, but it's better if the name you use ends in "AS/ES/IS/OS/US" (think "Kehos"). This is better when you know Blondie and imagine her singing it to him, but you're going to have to use your imagination. 

Rory loved my song :)

This is the song I wrote a spoof of. I'm putting it here so you can sing along to the tune.


"REAL LUST," a parody by For Real (Mary J. Blige's "Real Love", religious abstinence version)

We're not lovers we were good 'til now
We made it; we're engaged
I really want you to realize
I really want to put you on
I've been searchin' for someone
To satisfy my every need
Won't you make it official
Be the real sex that I need

Andros
I'm searchin' for some real sex
I just want to feel guilt-free
Real lust
I'm searchin' for some real sex


Oh, when I met you I just knew
That you would make my crotch feel good
Until you told me how you felt for me
You said I am the one
So I quickly came to see
All of the things you can do to me
This is the end of dreams and masturbations
Let me have guilt-free sex


Andros
I'm searchin' for some real sex
I just want to feel guilt-free
Real lust
I'm searchin' for some real sex



I got to have some real sex
Lust so true and oh baby
Dive into debt with you
Because you are the answer to
Feelings between my legs
But it seems that you are right
If we’re engaged baby
We’ll have legit sex



So I try my best and pray to God
He'll send me strength to deal
Turn me from my thought of dating one year
From lust I shouldn't feel
Now I know I am a good girl
I can do it all in all
I'll give you good lovin' through the summertime,
Winter, spring, and fall

Andros
I'm searchin' for some real sex
I just want to feel guilt-free
Real lust
I'm searchin' for some real sex

Andros
I'm searchin' for some real sex
I just want to feel guilt-free
Real lust
I'm searchin' for some real sex

You see I'm searching for guilt-free sex
And I don't know where to go
Been around the world and high and low
And now I'll never know
How it feels to have equal love
With a man as smart as me
Gotta end dating this way because
Seems he can't be found

Andros
I'm searchin' for some real sex
I just want to feel guilt-free
Real lust
I'm searchin' for some real sex

Andros
I'm searchin' for some real sex
I just want to feel guilt-free
Real lust
I'm searchin' for some real sex