Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Guerrilla Warfare - A Guide to Jewish Mothering

This handbook is secreted into delivery rooms around the world and comes in almost all languages. It provides a step-by-step guide on how to manipulate, coerce and guilt a Jewish child into submission.

The existence of this handbook is only provided upon birth or imminent birth of a Jewish child to a Jewish mother. This handbook reveals the intricacies involved in making a person who had the potential of becoming a normal well-adjusted member of society into a neurotic, guilt-obsessed, passive-aggressive Mama's Boy/Girl.

This handbook contains key phrases and silent treatment techniques that are practically guaranteed to be effective, including but not limited to:
  • I gave up everything to raise you. And THIS is the thanks I get.
  • No really, you do whatever you think is right. I mean, who am I to have an opinion? I'm just your mother.
  • Eat. There are people starving all over the world, and you're too good to eat my food.
  • When I was your age, I used to walk five miles to school. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. All year round. And all you do is want want want.
  • No, it's fine. You go out and enjoy your life. I'll just sit here. By myself. In the dark. *deep sigh*
  • Who am I to want to want to see my son/daughter/grandchildren more than once a month?
  • Oh, you finally called. It's nice to know you remember you have a mother.

Comparisons with other children to make sure your child feels inadequate are key. For example:

  • Did you hear about the Goldstein boy? He got into Harvard. Oy, his mother must be so proud. What I am going to tell the ladies at Temple about you?
  • Did you hear about Shari Klein? She got engaged to a DAWCTA. At least HER mother can rest easy. Isn't Shari two years younger than you?

Enlisting the help of women who have the handbook is also fair game. These women are highly trained and need only minimal coaching and/or information to effectuate the desired result:

  • It's your grandmother. Why haven't you called your poor mother? Do you know the agony she's going through worrying about you?
  • It's your aunt Ester. Have you gone to see your mother lately? Really? You've been busy? Apparently not too busy to go out with your friends, but too busy to see your own mother. I see.

And of course, if all else fails, the secret weapon: Crying. But use this with caution. Over-use of the Crying Weapon will only cause suspicion and backfire.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Change Your Own Diaper - Yes, I Would Make the Worst Mother

There is something wrong with my biological clock. It's not working. I don't hear any ticking. Nothing. Nada. Crickets. I might be the only living female who is almost 30, and not in the least concerned with having children.

To be perfectly honest, I would probably prefer to not have children. No one believes me. They think I'm lying or scared. My girlfriends call me crazy and brush off that statement as if I never really said it. Of course you want to have kids, they say, you're a woman. Every woman wants to have children.

And I tell them that I don't even like children. They smell, and slobber all over the place. And I have to pay attention to them, and play with them, when all I really want to do is watch some TV, maybe take a nap. But you'll love your own children. It's the most beautiful thing in the world, they insist.

And I tell them I'm not too keen on the responsibility. I like having my freedom to come and go as I please. What do you mean I have to PAY someone to watch it when I'm not around! This is worse than taking care of a dog, and I don't even have time for a dog. Dammit. And then my friends call me selfish. Selfish? Okay, maybe. But at least self-aware. And honest.

Why do you want to get married if you don't want kids, they demand. And I tell them that I look at marriage as two people who love each other and want to devote their lives to one other. Some choose to have families, some may be okay just being together without any additions. This for some reason evokes anger, as if I blew off the semester offering Being a Real Woman 101, when there was a waiting list for the class. Geez.

And to say something that will make most people gasp in shock and horror (and probably never read this blog again): I don't think pregnant women are beautiful. I think they look like they're pregnant. They look uncomfortable and swollen, and tired. They worry about their weight and their bloated ankles, the stretch marks on their stomachs, and the back pain that doesn't allow them to sit still for five minutes. These women do not look happy to me. And personally, I don't think a woman who looks like she's carrying a basketball under her shirt is very attractive. Waddling, hhhhmmm, not so nice. And unless that whole "inner glow" thing has something to do with the sweats after their morning sickness, I haven't seen much "glowing" going on.

Of course, this whole issue is premature, since I'm in no danger of getting knocked-up by anyone right now. Like my grandmother says, "First you need to find the donkey, before you can take him for a ride."

Unfortunately, all the men I meet want kids. And they don't want just one or two, they want a soccer team. And they expect me to stay home and take care of them. What happened to the good old days, when men viewed children as a burden, and only had them because their wives brow-beat them into it? Why can't I find a guy like that?

Men have it easy in the kid department. They get up, go to work, be intellectual, make money, talk to their buddies at the urinal, and come home to "Daddy, daddy, daddy!! I missed you! Look what I made!" while I stand in the doorway to the kitchen in an apron, covered in poop stains and magic marker, a spatula in one hand, and a baby dangling by its diaper in the other, my hair looking like I've been playing with electricity all day, matted with food that number three, the forward, thought would look better in my hair than in her mouth, while I watch the touching scene of my husband and number five, the goalie, unfold in my foyer. My husband plays with the future Pele for a little while, puts the baby down, eats his dinner, watches TV, gets his blow-job and goes to bed. Um yeah, I don't think so.

I think the only solution is to find an older man, divorced, with grown children. I could be the evil, younger trollop step-mother, after their daddy's money. The newer model, someone his ex-wife will call that "Chippy Bimbo." I could be a chippy bimbo. I could be THE chippy bimbo, as long as I don't have to have to kids.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Her Schwartz is Almost as Big as Mine

My Life is God's Comic Strip: Yo, kiddo! Are you coming out tonight?

19 Year Old Virgin Baby Sister: No, I have a date.

MLIGCS: oooo-ooooooo, you have a daaaate? With who? Is he cute?

19YOVBS: Yes, he's cute, he's an athlete. He was in the Olympics.

MLIGCS: NIIIICE!!! Are you wearing your pretty-pretty panties?

19YOVBS: Actually, I'm not wearing any panties.

MLIGCS: *sniffle* You have learned well, young Jedi.

Monday, September 19, 2005

My Life Goes From Sucks to Blows

Once upon a time, not very long ago, there was a certain neurosurgeon that I was madly and painfully in love with. Not real love, of course, because adulation, worship and a lack of spinal column equate to more of a, "I'm so infatuated with you that I'm going to make a total ass out of myself until you get disgusted by my undignified behavior and leave me" kind of love.

The kind where he says "jump," and I say, "I'm already in the air." Sad, sad but oh so true.

We dated briefly; gave it two tries in six months. And it's been about six months since I last saw him. I think about him sometimes, and I say to myself, "Why couldn't he just like me? If he liked me, and we were together, it would have been perfect." And then I try to get a hold myself and stop acting like such a desperate pussy-ass girl.

I also think about him when I bump into random people I know, and wish it was him instead of them. Yes, there is no limit to how pathetic I can be. No, there are not enough help groups in the world to save me.

Last week he was on my mind again, but this time, I thought, "Wow, I think I'm totally over him finally. Must be this new guy I'm spending time with. Why bother with the idea of someone, when you have a real live person caring about you."

But who the hell am I kidding?! I mean, the title of the damn blog is "My Life is God's Comic Strip" and based on prior experiences, we all know this healthy attitude and clear-minded state of affairs can't last.

Saturday, while spending time with this new guy, who happens to be AMAZING, I think to call one of my friends to make plans for the evening. Turns out she has plans with a new friend, who is bringing some of his pals out with them. And she hesitates and says, "I don't want to ruin your weekend," but I'm in such a good mood, I'm thinking nothing can ruin my weekend. Until she tells me that one of the pals coming out is the neurosurgeon.

"What?! WHAT?!?!?!?! You're going out with the NEUROSURGEON? MYYYYYY NEUROSURGEON?!?!"

"I'm sorry. I didn't know. It's such a weird coincidence."

"Listen to me, and listen to me good. You are going to bring me up in conversation somehow, and you are GOING TO MAKE ME SOUND LIKE A GODDAMNED ROCKSTAR. I am nothing short of AMAZING, WONDERFUL AND LIVING IT UP. If he doesn't say he knows me, you offer to set us up because I'm SO FUCKING GREAT. If he says he knows me, you act like he's OUT OF HIS MIND FOR LETTING ME GO. DO. YOU. UNDERSTAND?"

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Mental Note to Self

When talking to the young partner who has a crush on you about an interview he just conducted, don't joke that the only reason you got hired was because you gave the Hiring Committee blow-jobs. All blow-job talk should be saved for the Christmas party, where you get really hammered and can let yourself go.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Somewhat Pinkish, or Maybe Mauve Letter

I grew up having it hammered into my head that I absolutely had to remain a virgin until I got married. If I didn't, that meant I was a terrible person with no morals and self-control and no one would marry me. And since the goal of bringing female babies into this world in my culture is so that they can grow up, get married and bring more babies into the world, pre-marital sex essentially meant social ostracism the likes of which makes Hester Prynn seem like the town mayor.

In high school I never had a date. Not even one. Not even to my prom. Needless to say, people who know me now and see pictures from then have a nice time making fun. And yes, there's a lot of material.

When the topic of high school comes up today, someone always invariably asks, "so, who did you hang out with? The football players? Were you a cheerleader?" To which I respond, "no, I was a nerd in honors classes and played on the badminton team. I had braces until the end of junior year, and my uncle's pet name for me was Chunk, after his fat dog." No one believes me. That's fine with me. Let them think I'm being modest.

Seeing as how my chances for losing my virginity were not that high, I wasn't that concerned with my morals. But then I got to college. And met boys. And met the gym. And invariably met the end of my virginity.

But even then, I had such a guilty feeling, it was such a big deal at 19. It was a big deal until I got married at 26. Having sex with someone meant they were my boyfriend. Meant we were in a serious relationship. SERIOUS. There were no one-night stands in my past (and actually, for all of my philandering, there still aren't any one night stands.)

My ex-husband couldn't care less that I wasn't a virgin. My mother, on the other hand, insisted I lie to him and even offered to take me to the gynecologist to reinstate the evidence with a couple of quick stitches. Um, no thanks. I'll take my chances.

Today, as I get older, sex isn't the big deal it was a few years ago. It doesn't come with titles and classifications of "boyfriend" and "girlfriend." Now it's "dating" or "seeing someone" or even just "hanging out." The people you date don't ask where you spend your nights when you're not with them. It's an unspoken rule: No one is exclusive, even if you're having sex, unless you have "the talk." "The talk" has replaced sex as the threshold for entering into a serious relationship. And you can bet you're not having "the talk" anytime soon.

Even though I've bought into this whole way of dating, I still have a weird need to classify whatever it is I'm doing with someone. You know, are we "seeing each other" or are we "just friends" or are we "friends with benefits" and so on. I think it's a female-type need, to create parameters on some level in order to create a sense of security, a sense of standing on hard ground. If you name it and define it, it takes shape and becomes something. Women tend to have a greater need to define, to make it something over "well, let's just see where things go...." But at the end of the day, no matter how many words we use, it's our actions that determine the outcome of our relationships. Actions are the most telling example of someone's feelings. There are "boyfriends" that act like total jerks, and guys you're "seeing" who are really just amazing. So maybe it's okay that a relationship doesn't have a title. At the end of the day, as women, I think it's okay to relax with the titles we need to put on things and just let the relationship evolve.

Who knows, if I can play it cool long enough, I might reach my goal of "Dr. and Mrs. So Damn Rich I Don't Need to Work Another Day in My Life and Have Decided to Take Up Cooking and Piano Lessons When I'm Not Meeting With My Personal Trainer." A girl can dream.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Things Men Feel Comfortable Enough to Say to Me

I told my family I was coming to visit you and if I don't return, I'm either married or dead. Which if you think about it, is essentially the same thing.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Quote of the Day

You're looking at me like I'm the idiot child of a man who had to wear protective head-gear for the better part of his life.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

And the Winner Is....

Hee Haw, Missouri sucks hairy moose balls.

The jury ESPECIALLY sucks, and plaintiff's attorney can spend the rest of his life giving them head. And swallowing.

The problem with having trials in bum fuck, where the education is scarce but Hollywood movies with their Hollywood endings proliferate, is that these nice, simple folk, get the wrong idea about the legal system.

Just because the plaintiff is from your hometown, with his "Aw shucks, golly gee wiz, those darn Northerners done come down here and try to take advantage of us nice, hardworking simple folk and they deserve to be punished!!" attitude does not automatically entitle him to win. No really. Good thing there's an appellate system in place. Mr. Hee Haw won't see a dime for a very very long time.

The problem with the case is that it turned into a turf war, having nothing to do with the evidence. Or the lies plaintiff was caught in on the stand. Or the fact that he practically admitted that he concocted the entire thing. So the jury wanted to stick it to the outsiders, those "horrible people up north that don't give a damn about the little guy."

The whole trial was surreal, as if To Kill A Mockingbird was being played out before my eyes. Plaintiff's counsel grandstanding, character witnesses that included plaintiff's eighth-grade bus driver and his preacher. Fifty-eight thousand references to how the plaintiff was "saved" by returning to the church, and how he now lives his life according to Jesus's teachings.

Of course, it was painfully disappointing to have spent two weeks in Hee Haw only to lose. So on Friday, after finding out the verdict, I did what any attorney would do, I started drinking heavily and didn't stop until I got home and passed out in my clothes. Eight vodka rocks, three at the airport, five on the plane. And one lost wallet later.

Saturday morning I crawled to the bank, dark circles of makeup under my eyes, to cancel my accounts and order a new debit card.

"So ma'am, did you say you lost your wallet or it was stolen?"

"Um, I lost it. And would you mind not screaming?" I rasped.

"I'm not screaming ma'am."