Monday, November 27, 2006

Yentela

I have some great news for all you blogaholics. I think you’ll be mighty proud of me.

I joined the Yuniversity for Yiddishpeaking Yentas. Within three years, I should have my Masters Degree in Yentaology!

The first class was held in a small bes medrish off Bedford Avenue that is only in use on shabbos. All the attending yentas-to-be seemed very determined.

Throughout the 45 minute session the coordinator introduced us to the system and discussed a little the importance of the course, as for some it’s the key to community survival. I listen and nod enthusiastically. Everyone looks at me. I wonder what I did wrong. Oh, I realize, I should look back. So I stare hard and feel like I’m learning something already.

We were then given an assignment on Page 86 of the program textbook titled STARING IS CARING. Session dismissed.

As I was making my way out, the Professor, a middle-aged figurely woman, called out to me. “dee Pony veibele”, she refers to me by my maiden name, “come here a sekund.

“I know you can really use this cuhrs, mammele. Your Private Investigation IQ is at about 60. You’re not good at ‘detecting’ what’s going on in the lives of your lahved ones. You know, you can’t have them know everything about you and be so self-centard in return, right?…” I looked at her surprised, wondering where she took all those absolutely true details from. She winked at me with a knowing smile. She was a yenta champ.

But then she told me something that really boosted my self esteem. I learnt that although observation is an important feature in a yenta, I had high hopes. “You’re a natural at the Art of Exaggeration, an essential subject in this program. I think you’ll graduate in the top ten of this class”.

Ah, well. She’s probably right.

I was gonna share some excerpts of the textbook here because I know everyone can use some brushing up on their yenting skills.


THE NEWLYWED LAW: Monitoring the goodwill of the newlywed couple.
Example: You’re out shopping, piling four tunas into your cart per the grocery list, when two half-conscious people enter. The male counterpart is wearing a shtreimle. Upon the shtreimle clue, you hurry up to the chosen/kallah (from behind) and stare ‘em up and down. You should be able to determine if they are happily married. It is also important to observe the features of the new veibele’s headgear, as when you get back home you’ll want to report on that too.

THE 5 POUND LAW: Monitoring the progress of the unborn child.
Example: You meet up with a friend at a wedding. Her face seems rounder and her skirt seems a little choked. You don’t ask her anything, but you closely observe where the primary weight went. You can then ask around in hushed tones if Friend is pregnant again. Your keen observations will probably be confirmed with a positive.

THE GENDER LAW: Diagnosing the baby-room color.
Example: Your sister in law is pregnant. She can’t stop eating, has some acne, and gained weight in specific areas. In this chapter you learn exactly how to use these symptoms to declare the fetus boy or girl. Remember however, when you have come to the gender conclusion you have to voice your diagnoses with great conviction. You can also go out and buy a color-coordinated gift already, because you definitly won’t be wrong.

THE MUSEUM LAW: Enjoying the Williamsburg Waxes
Example: You walk by a woman whos clothing or demeanor is a little off the usual. This is your opportunity to enjoy a very interesting wax being. You stare it up and down, and then look closely at the face. It should not occur to you to mask your obvious ogle with a nod, greeting or smile.

THE STATUS LAW: Reading the label
So much of what a person's social status is can be read off the little tag on the clothing. Those that dress all their boys and girls in matching money-weaved designer label sweaters are country-club exclusive. Those that shop at H&M and Children's Place but do so 24 hours are still upper-class. Those that use hand-me-downs beg that you feel sorry for them.

THE SHIDDUCH CRITIC: Reviewing the match
When two families break l’chaim, everyone is a mechetanista. You should immediately research the who, what and where. You can look through the phone book to find out more about the ‘yiches’. You are entitled to wonder if it is an interesting thing, a gelt shidduch, or a PERFECT match.

That’s what I’ve learned so far....

31 comments:

cafe_28 said...

This is the obsession with others:

There's nothing else going on in those little shpitzel'ed head of theirs. Their lives are nothing. They don't read, they don't watch movies and TV, they don't surf the Internet, and they don't blog. What else should they think about all day? The 3 kids that they had in the first 4 years of marriage? They're trying to get away from all that, and gossiping is the best way.

Chaim Chusid said...

Madame Pointe,

Pshew, glad it's a ladies only course!

Us men, yenta? haaaa never!

I do remain,
Chaim

T.A.U.B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Y.Y. said...

no idea what you are talking about
im totaly lost

Upgebinden said...

Sometimes I feel like I am the last to know tooo... especaily in my family. But about street gossip, the info just seems to get to me... I know the right People! Great blog!

HeySmile said...

Hey Shpitz,

Straight to the point as usual! I'm totally on same page as u r on this. Sometimes I feel like people around me know more about me than I do myself...at least they feel certain they do LOL...

But no matter how u rationalize it, it's wrong. So wrong, totally blatantly unethical, a disgusting mentality in our community. Let people live their own lives, keep your nose out of everyone else's business!

cafe_28 said...

Upgeb, what's so exciting about "knowing all the right people"? It seems to get to you? Maybe you run after it? Nothing just 'gets there'.

Anonymous said...

Yentatown

cafe_28 said...

Chaim, men are just as yentish as women, only on different topics. Don't pretend to never talk or inquire about other people.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Café – Coming to think of it, you must be right. The lack of entertainment is a BIG problem. (of course, the problem starts when only five rebbetzins are deemed entertainers. Did you ever the tseduka parties?? Why did it occur to them that those that are god-fearing are meant to stand at the podium ALL the time?)

Sir Charles (as you please…) – I suggest you take a course in Mechitsaolagy. Men and women should never (god forbid. Gasp.) go to class together.

YY – Start wearing payos and get out of the army and you’ll know something about Chassidic life.

Upgebinden – If you’re talking about ‘tinoyfes’… that gets to EVERYONE.

Hey A Smile – You are absolutely right! You know why? Because Yentaology and Gossip walk hand in hand, that’s why. I can even forgive people minding my business if they wouldn’t find something negative in everything.

Anon – Yoysh. I shoulda used that as the post title!

Ex-blogger said...

Great Yenta, dont mock yourself !!

So you want to tell me that figuring out Mikvah night is not on the Top Ten?

Cant wait till you reach the country chapter.

ex-blogger said...

CAfe is 100 % right,
Men are the same, in most cases more financial'dig ge'yenta'ed.

Know how much this guy is worth???
or Pshhhhy .. er drived zech ah-_-_ (fill in whatever you are jealous on.

Jonah Kohen said...

Our huge family gets together every 'fraatigtznaachts' at our parents home.

You can imagine the 'yente'ing' going for hours on end and it drives me nuts! I just sit there and listen...

"nebech Mrs Kein died...di viest nisht ver zi geven??... her husband used to wear a geboigene hitel....yes yes he was such a nice fellow... used to sit in shull near Reb Shloime and allways argued about who should Daven faar dem umed... BTW did you know Reb Shloime's wife is senile... nebach.. Mrs Moshkowitz too I just saw her in wheel chair with her daugher chani...zi viest nisht fin ir chayes tzi zogen... but you know the children allready are fighting for her yerishe her husband left her an insurance wow...But I went with Chani to same bongalo colony she is such a balabuste but her husband is sooo fat ... they had to put a band in his stomach... well hershels meeme ruchie's also got a band. he is such a rolly polly. nebech Mrs Green is Hershel's cousin she died from that...what with her son me'hot ehm aroisgeforfen fin Alexsander yeshiva...Sheindys son also goes there... blah blah blah


This goes on and on for hours on end crazy crazy crazy...

It's All Good Now said...

Some people have perfected the art of yenting to the point where they don't even haveto open their mouths. They let their eyes do the talking for them.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Ex-Blogger – MIKVAH!!! I cannot believe I missed such an important chapter! How about you try your hand at legislating? Write the mikvah law. If I agree with it I’ll add it into the post.



It is beyond me why a person’s value is judged by his car. What’s the big deal? A nice car is just 50K. You get a loan and pay it with the rent money.



It’s All Good Now – LOL !

David_on_the_Lake said...

All I can say..after reading this is
Thank God I dont live where you live..
Actually..I'm kind of a becoming a hermit....

very funny though...lol

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Jonah – I feel sorry for yourself and for myself. I am in the exact same situation. I have no idea what the hell all those people find in those conversations. I'm daydreaming the sec it all begins, and then I'm afraid I'm starting to fear they'll find my daydreaming the next subject of discussion so I nod eagerly and ask who everyone is; pretending the address gives me a clue. I don’t know most of the people that are mentioned and all the stories that belong to these people are not even interesting! These conversations can carry on forever.



And that’s even before they ‘barredd’ anyone. That’s while they are still putting a person on the table without adding particular negativity attitude. Imagine all the horrible gossip that those conversations evolve into!



There should be something better to be busy with. I'm waiting for one of the Satmar rebbes to come up with a solution. They're the only ones with influence to execute the plan... (Don't run to the tish yet... I'm kidding)



PS I suspect you are a true yenta at heart. You can carry on very well…;)

Anonymous said...

Nobody is figuring out anyones mikvah night. Its only a few pigs and the likes of ex-blogger.

Lakewood Venter said...

Funny stuff!

yingerman said...

My family actually sat around discussing how bad the ploni family was cuase they talk so much loshen hura!

yingerman said...

P.S. What's a male yenta called?
A Yent?
Yenti? Yentur?
Plural yentim?

Ehhhh forget it.

Senorita said...

Cor! That was hilarious!! You're some dudette of a shptizela are'ntcha?!?!
Anyway, coming from a kinda European version of Williamsburg I am very well acquainted with the yachner rule book but cant help wondering - why are particularly chassidish communities slammed for the yachnering and gossiping when it is a very obvious UNIVERSAL concept? Celeb mags and tabloid papers have a roaring trade and it aint for nothing is it?!! A LOT of the media revlolves around HOT GOSS.
Dont try and tell me Flatbush is any better. Why single out chassidish communities?! Is it to have yet another thing to complain about?!

cafe_28 said...

Sen, yes, I've heard that argument from many people. So let's make it that the gossipers are the Chassidishe communities and the goyim.

Difference is, for them it's allowed, and for us it's assur. Get it? So don't try to defend yourself by saying that everyone does it.

And even if the entire world would be doing it, and it would be allowed, it's still ugly.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Davidl - Actually, I don't mind the part where people mind my biz. It sounds bad but it isn't. I mind the part Jonah mentioned; where everyone is buzy with everyone and there's nothing interesting to listen to.

Anon- Oish, I shoulda really done mikvah. What happens when you walk into someone on your way to/from mikvah? There are SO many halachas there!

Lakevent - not really... eh... thanks!

Yingerman - LOL! I thought about it. Maybe people in yenta town are Yentistn? I think Yenti for men wouldn't work...

Senorita - Great point!
There's Gossip and then there's Yentaism. Gossip is the pleasure of tearing down someone that's on top. It's loshon haro, but the pleasure is pretty logical. It is only human that we enjoy to see perfect people fall. Talk about the rich, the very frum, the pretty, the happy...
But Yentaism is finding interest in the same boring detail that happens to the same Williamsburg clone. Why would I care to know what's going on in some drone's life, someone that I don't even know?

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Cafe - How do you change the font in the comment?

cafe_28 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cafe_28 said...

Shpitzle, if you want, I can teach you the basics through your email. Let me know.

cafe_28 said...

Shptizle, sorry, wrong post.

It's called HTML tags. You gotta learn to use it. If you want, I can teach you through your email. Let me know.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Cafe - Thanks tons! JBF already explained to me the basics. You wouldn't believe blogs can be so old fashioned!

Anonymous said...

You crack me up. I'm originally from BP and whenever I went to Willi to visit my Aunt, all the girls/ladies would just STARE. I wished I'd asked them if they lost something.

yidelGreat post I love it said...

Great post I love it