Friday, January 05, 2007

Fitting In

For me, the focal point of a simcha is the challah. It's only natural for me to head directly from the coat room to whatever smells crusty, and remain there, at least in mood, way past the badchen's gig. My appetite is relentless.

Yeah, well, today as ever, I'll just eat my watery vegetable soup here and leave the floating kneidle to dry.

Damn cooked carrots they call stew.

I blow over a spoonful and feel sorry for myself. All my life I've been trying to fit into a mold that's too small to fit almost anyone naturally. All my life I've been following a world of rules to become someone I'm naturally not. All my life I've been denying myself certain pleasures because my mother would look me up and down and make me feel awful if I'd be who I am.

All my life I've been trying to live another life.


A first cousin comes over to our table to enthusiastically vinch mazel tov. Mma, maa. Cheek, cheek. "Mahazel Tuhuv! You look really good! Turn around. And this way. Wow. What are you doing?" She feels my waist to check for the garment of magic.

She plops down on the empty chair next to me, picks the maraschino off an untouched appetizer, and mesmerizes the audience by telling a 'beferishe' story about a friend of hers that passed away from yene machlah and came back in the form of a bird to request that a $20 loan be repaid.

We all gasp. Seiz doo a bashefer of der velt.

"Unbelievable!" I exclaim. (Oh, for crying out loud!) "Din v'cheshben.."

It doesn't take long for all the dead-visiting stories to come rolling, and I'm not there anymore. I'm looking into my empty plate, knocking the spoon softly into the poor kneidle to the musical rhythm, my left ear positioned in a way that suggests it's listening, and off I am thinking about a subject I read on a blog and the ensuing comments.

I try to hold my facial gestures from moving with my thoughts. In my mind, I argue with the topic's arguments, think about the mood of the discussion, and absentmindedly slip me feet out of those high pumps.

I perk up when I realize I've been spoken to. "Yeah, yeah. I know what you mean." (I have no idea what you were talking about, my dear sister.) Wake up, I tell myself.


I look around for my kids, wave to an aunt, and spot my brother jerking his head sideways at the mechitsah.

My brother always seems to be bored with male companionship. At every wedding he signals for his wife twenty times. We've come to expect him to be hovering in that area. His wife, Paris Hilton, would make her way over to him in her clickity-clack way and halfway disappear on the other side, leaving her rear in the women’s section for tsnuis.
I watch her, or what is left of her, and wonder about my big brother who doesn't seem to find his place between his male counterparts. I've always assumed that side to be superior in social interaction.

My thoughts are already weaving a new web and then a blog about the mysteries of my brother when I realize everyone’s quiet. The kind of quiet that turns the music and all noise off. My sister Rosie O'Donnel shakes her head in Paris's direction disapprovingly.

"Zee zayt ois a shrek! Ah shrek" Her hands fly in the air with despair.

(What? Where? How do you mean? )

"Look at this little skirt she's bursting out of. It's ekeldig. It's not even tsee dee zach. She looks like she's wearing a pajama. Mommy eats her heart out when she sees her like this. I'm just plain worried. Zee glitcht with every day. I've tried to talk to her but her head is in the wrong places." I was afraid Rosie was going to cry. She looked so sincere. No wonder she's the family favorite.

I hand her a napkin to dab her eyes with.

"I know" (now), I nod like an old, sad lady. (C'mon. Glitched? She's got her brains stuck in a clothing rack. I wonder what you would consider me had I not been sobbing along with your veygeshreyen.)

Barabara Streisand, the sister in law from Montreal can't agree more. "He isn't even the type for any of this. He was such a good boy. Zee hut eym fardarben!"

Azans!

All women 'round the table are now actively worried for the well being of our dear family member. For some reason, I feel like I'm on fire. I feel like they're talking about me. For a change, I’m not bored.

I want to fit in. I want to be an insider in a community whose mold is too small to fit almost anyone naturally. I follow every program, and every exercise to become an eligible member of this celebrity society. I'm not brave enough to be entertainment, in a Paris way.

Hillary Clinton, a younger sister of mine, she always likes to share little darling bits of info that she coaxed outta you. "Uh, uh. Paris' on birth control. I know for sure.".

"WHAT?" I gasp. "Really? I thought she's nursing clean?" (I can hear the rear end of my brain exploding in laughter, and wonder what set it off).

Barbara is already bent over the table probing Hillary for a source. Laura Busch, like always, tries to stop this. She won't accept the loshan hora.

I hand my nagging son the whole basket of sour pickles and tell him to disappear. Nem. Gey shoin. I've got more important stuff to worry about.


Barbara Streisand sips some lemon soda. "My mother saw Paris on the bus the other day. She wasn't wearing palm. Everyone looks at her. She looks very modern. How does she think she'll do shedichum?"

Shedichum! Vey! God help ME!

I suggest to Barbara that maybe Paris should go to the rebbe for a kvitle (ha, ha, ha. not funny) so that she can find the way.


Rosie explains to me that there's really little we can do. "You can tell everything about a person from her clothing. You can see that she wants fremdeh felder. Shpitzle, She's erger than you think. It's bad."

"I see. I see.” (Okay, coward, this has surpassed funny. Can you for once, not act heart stricken?)
I can't take this anymore.

Why can't one be who one is?


I start at the challah. I tear off a chunk and chew with loud thumps. The hell with fitting in!

I won't ever look like Rosie anyhow.



45 comments:

Moiy-rah said...

you write really well...and being familiar with willi...and understanding a bit of yiddish- made it all very funny.

-moiy

Veracious said...

Why can't one be who one is?

We are all guilty with some form of pretentiousness.

You are absolutely hilarious. If you had all these famous people at your table; who might you represent? ;)

WilliGal said...

OMG SHPITZL!!

U really made me speechless w/ this post... I guess I'll wait till my tongue comes back and I'll leave u my comment... :)

A gut voch

Semgirl said...

This is way too scary Shpitz, you sound like a very heimishe Williamsburg clone of me..

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Shpitzle,
Your posts are hilarious and so well-written!
Keep it up.

Hoezentragerin said...

Shpiz,
We don't ever want to be *normal*.
but we sure want the world to think that we are...

Am I right, sista?

FineLine said...

SHPITZ UR GEVALDIK love ur blog now i know what they when I leave the table

Chaim Chusid said...

Madame Pointe,

I doff my hat to you! This is one of the best ones yet!!!

You might be surprised to know that the conversations at the men’s side are not much different then at the ladies!

You older bro? Is he the influence that ripped shpitz out of her containment shell and gave us what we have here today?

Not having to watch my weight too much, I have never experienced a flirting challa, but those goodies that are always at the ladies side and never at the men just always seem to know my name...

I do remain,
Chaim

FromWilli said...

Shpitz,

I wanna take my hat off 2 u, but my sheitel isn't covered... Should I just remove my wig? :)

This post is amazingly witty and clever. If I would know who u r, I'd go right ahead and press charges against u for u for breaking and entering - u just walked right into my head and took this out :)

Thank God I don't give a hoot what those ppl say behind my back. To hell with fitting in is right!

Baal Habos said...

nice writing.!

JewishBiFemme said...

I don't really get your post other then you flirting with a male challah???

Or showing off your knowledge of celebrities(mostly lesbians)as if reporting for Access Hollywood.

As for fitting in.....

You're beautiful but you don't know
Can't see what's there inside your soul
Always feelin like you're not good enough
You wish you could be someone else
Sometimes you just can't see yourself
But I can see just who you are,

You're exceptional the way you are
Don't need to change for nobody
You're incredible, anyone can see that
When will you believe that?
You are nothing but exceptional

You never you think you measure up
Never smart or cool, or pretty enough
Always feeling different from all the rest,
You feel so out of place, you think you don't fit in
I think you're perfect in the skin you're in
You're just perfect just how you are,

If you could see the one I see when I see you
You'd know how lucky you are to be you
I see through into you
And you are

You're exceptional the way you are
Don't need to change for nobody
You're incredible, anyone can see that
When will you believe that?

Your writing is deep very soulful....

It's All Good Now said...

They cried because I was different. I laughed because they were all the same.
I saw this quote somewhere and it popped into my kepeleh when I read your fantabulous post. I think in our society (and truth be told, probably in most other societies as well) we fear anything that might make us question our own lives, and the contentment thereof. And the best (read: easiest) way to protect your own fragile self from self-doubt is to drown out your inner voice by loudly ridiculing anyone that dares to be different.

Anonymous said...

I simply love you!
I wish I'd know you personaly.
You remind me so much of our simcha tables. Keep 'em up.

frumcouple@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

hilarious and very well-written, ven di na'ar is nisht meiner volt ich oichet gelacht

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Moiy – Welcome and a ‘riziga shkoyech’.

Veracious – I find that a little pretentiousness is the process of becoming who we aspire to be. Trying to become someone might be foolish but it’s a hellofalot better than trying to become no one at all.

As for the celebrity, I’d be Queen Latifa.
Seriously, it’s a tough question. I guess the closest I could come would be Renee Zelweger from a Price Above Rubies.

How about you guys?

Willigal – A good challah can tie your tongue up in knots!

SemGirl – Please don’t laugh but the biggest eye opener blogging was for me was learning about litvaks and how alike they are to Chassidim. I was raised with the theory that “they daven because the yetzer horah takes their mind off tsnuis” and not knowing any better I lived under the impression that you English-speaking-dating folks are totally frei…
You know what, laugh away. I’m such an idiot.

Indie and BHB - Thanksa Loadsa. You are not bad yourselves…

Hoezen – It’s a very nice line you’re drawing, but I was raised to believe that I am who people think I am. When my ‘above the clouds’ sister in law Paris would talk to me like I’m ‘funny’ for lacking appreciation for clothing, I’d want nothing more than being normal.
The more myself I’d be, the less I’d be appreciated. It’s not easy to tell yourself “People think you’re odd but you’re really special”.

Fineline – Don’t EVER get up from the table! Drag a recliner to the wedding if you must, and put on a turban in the middle of the meal, but do NOT leave the table. They’ll eat you alive.

Chaim – As always, your encouraging comments are much appreciated.
The odd thing is that although it seems that there are ‘feiglech’ in my brother’s head, we never talked openly about each other. No one in my family but my husband knows that inside this Rebbetzin lies a little bit of Paris.

And as I’m getting green with envy for your happily-ever-after relationship with food, let me tell you a bit about the cheesy yodels and caramel hats there are at the women’s side of a kiddush. Sometimes there are meringues, chocolate fountains, all kinds of salads and dips, fresh juicy, expensive fruits, rich cheese cakes, miniatures, drinks…
Go, go. There’s marble cake AND sponge cake for you at the other side.

From Willi – Hey, don’t press charges against me, Rosie was the one that said all those bad things about you…
Thanks, and welcome to my blog/comments!

JBF – As always, a comment from you means I can cancel my week’s confidence plumping session with the therapist… You’re right that we’re special for who we are. If only it were as easy in reality as in theory, dontchya think?

IA GN –
Good One!
I think that although you’re right there people have very little self, it is not the cause for bashing. People really think that to the Torah there’s a sefar attached that teaches you how to act like a clone and if you violate clone-halacha then you are doing something wrong.
They are convinced that this little skirt is BAD, not just different.

Anon – Thanks, hey, we might even be cousins. Are you related to the Hollywood family?

I don’t correspond via email with bloggers as a precaution to protect my identity

Anon – Well said. Well, the naar is meyner anyhow, why not laugh?

FromWilli said...

Shptiz,

I'm convinced I saw u on street 2day. It's ur fault I do a double take every time I see a shtpizle out there ( which basically means i'm double-taking up and down lee avneue lol)

So it's Rosie I should sue? If I do that, at least they'll have an entire new subject to discuss at the next simcha...

Semgirl said...

Dont worry, Shpitz.. Im used to it. Fortunately, Ive been exposed to this long before there was an internet or blogs. Actually, growing up I didnt really know any Chasidim, but my husband took care of that. Look in my blogs archives about my visit to Tosh when we got engaged. Since then, I have been dragged to the Calla Expo in Willy, BP, very Chasidish friends of his in Monsey, Monroe, Skver, Kasho, Nitra and elsewhere. This had a great effect in undoing the intense brainwashing, in my younger years that the only good Chasidim are those that learned in Litvish Yeshivas or married such types..
Keep up the good work Shpitzl...

LutZi said...

Dear Shtrimpkind your Blog is lovely but your comment to Chaim……..


Let me tell you a bit about the cheesy yodels and caramel hats there are at the women’s side of a Kiddush. Sometimes there are meringues, chocolate fountains, all kinds of salads and dips, fresh juicy, expensive fruits, rich cheese cakes, miniatures, drinks…

Made me drool, I always wonder why this double standard wouldn’t we men love those goodies that’s on the other side of the MCHITZA or wouldn’t the women like some Chulent and Kugel (wondering) maybe 1 day I will understand this (and many other things)

ByBy for now LutZi

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

My challah is pretty hot let me tell ya. I haven't made it in a long while. I guess I should start since I have been waiting so long for my hot young man lol. Great post.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Fromwilli - Same here. I sometimes find myself looking at shpitzle women wondering who else might blog. It's really hard to imagine even when I look just like my friend and I blog!


Sem Girl - I know, I've seen you have really filled the gap of knowledge between Chassidim and Litvaks. How come your husband is so chummy with us people?
It's really been a wonderful journey learning more about Yiddishkeit. Ironic, while mostly everyone is learning skepticism I'm learning yiddishkeit...

Lutzi - (what a name!) I've changed my mind. Take the yoedels I want the hot food.
If the mystery bothers you, it's all supply and demand. Women demand fancy food and frilly ribbon; they get that. Men want feineh heiseh chullent; they get that. You gotta see my husband twist his nose up if you give him cream cake. Not all men have refined taste like you guys.

Social Worker - Lots of luck finding your challah! we're all praying for ya!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

x lol!

LutZi said...

So we got a deal next Kiddush we will trade plates call me to the mechitsa (I will have my shtrymle) thanks in advance

kasamba said...

Shpitzle!
You are too cute!
Challah's actually talk to me and call my name- it's all part of the seduction process!

As far as your family, well, we all got them; the same yet different. As long as you keep thinking of posting blog, you'll be fine!

yingerman said...

WOW
I loved it, sorta like I think I was at that simcha myself.

I have been at a table where they discussed a family that was disgusting, because at their shabbos table they talk loshen hora.I mean THEY are really low WE are just talking about it cause WE are tzaddikim who really care!

Anyway this post while funny was rather sad too. You mamash feel compelled to fit the mold, like its torture?
I just wanted you to know that those who have strayed/escaped aren't any happier.
In yeshiva I was not the top o the heap. as were most of close buddies.
We married apropriately, like I've written in my early years I usedta go to movies and I've been to comedy clubs and even to a semi kosher place that had mixed dancing.
But spoucy and I havn't listened to english music in nearly 6 years now.
Haven't been to a theater in over 7
And you know something I'm happier now
Sometimes I miss the wild fun, but I have no regrets, I've been there done that.
Theres absolutely nothing there.


I think this requires more details, I write some soon.

PS I'll take a piece of yerushalmi kigal over a mushy margarine cake anytime.

kjrebbetzin said...

Politics, culture, and the media bias.
such a great sad post.
Challah, He looks at you as if you're the only one he desires. Don't be fooled heard he's flirting with a lot of girls all over Willi, BP, Monroe, Skver,and even tosh. He's well known to seek out desperate maidelech, promises them all the best taste in the world, and then dumps them with their sagging guts.

"Mommy eats her heart out when she sees her like this"
Politicians playing the guilt card.Works wonders.If you ever dare to be yourself openly all your parents ailments and eventualy death (even if they live 137 years) is gonna be your fault.
Saying that I vinch your parents and all of your family no ailments ever and to live happily forever. oomyn.

Anonymous said...

Shptiz,

Obviously, you're so seduced by the challah that you go ahead and make ur own... But Laura Bush isn't so, her name is Bush like the shrub, not like the challa machine (busch) LOL

Baal Devarim said...

Yingerman:
"and I've been to comedy clubs"

No!!! That's terrible. Next thing you know, you might even....... smile (gasp), and I won't sully my pen by describing where that can lead. Tool of the Devil, I tell you. You're doomed.
ליצנות אחת דוחה מאה תוכחות

Shlishkes said...

Hey Shpitz, great blog! Keeps me entertained at work...

JewishBiFemme said...

What the hell??!!

Anyone reading this will think you ladies are a banda mishiguim who flirt with challah...

Can you smell desperation? Cant you buy the damn challah one week and flirt with an actual human? Like your husband?

I must be on a lower madrigah since challah dont flirt with me..This sounds so deranged you frum women need to step out of your desperate housewife role and get your groove on..It obviously does'nt seem like your husbands even appreciates it....Dont they get jealous? I mean after all the challah is a hunk who sticks to you & does'nt let go!!!!

Yingerman, no theater in 7 years? Like thats suppose to make you holier than thou? Same shiegatz who doesnt go to theater watches porn online or movies/TV at home in secret..... Its not the theater my man that makes one a goy..Ive never been to a theater myself but ive seen to many real life horror stories,sex,lies,drama in our own community that should label anyone a goy (ta)...Sometimes those that stray (like going to theater) are better off then the BT who does shit in hiding...

Chananiah Yom Tov Lipa said...

"Ironic, while mostly everyone is learning skepticism I'm learning yiddishkeit... "

I admire that with all the meshigasn you are still frim and part of the kehile, etc. You can love it and mach choizek at the same time. It's good to have a blog to let it out though.

הק׳ חנני׳ יו״ט ליפא

yingerman said...

Jewishbifem:
I didn't claim to be holier
I claim to happier!

Like I said been there done that, the highs are not real & catch up with you eventually.

cafe_28 said...

Yingerman, someone who chooses a different lifestyle, which is called "straying from the right path" in the world Shpitzle described here, is not always looking for a happier life.

Very often, they are just looking for a 'different' kind of life.

Why is it that because we were born Satmar, we gotta stick to Satmar? Some of us want a "different" life, not necessarily a happier one.

Y.Y. said...

some crazy post wow

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Lutzi – Very tempted, but for tsnuis purposes you’ll need to put the kugel down on the floor. I don’t ‘nem iber’ from fremda men.


Kasamabala – lol! Food does mean a lot to some of us…
Your attitude on family is inspiring.

Yingerman – I really respect your ability to keep your priorities in line, even though I see nothing wrong with goyish music and a movie theatre, so long as it’s not done behind the spouse’s back. I do understand that movies/music is just an example you use to explain that happiness can come in many forms and sizes, and you’ve come to appreciate a kind of happiness that doesn’t sparkle the way the big world does. It’s nice.

As for movies, I spent an entire year of my life convincing my husband to watch movies with me (I’ll let you imagine yourself what I went through to shmad my frumak) and we now religiously watch a little every night when the kids are asleep already. I’ve never been to the movie theatre though. My husband is legally convinced that if we’d go near Loew’s a few white-beared tsadikim will come bursting out with machine guns…

Oh, how they make you live in fear…

KJRebbetzin – Rebbetzin, rebbetzin, rebbetzin. You’re funny! Kim, noor, oiven oon.

Not only would I be responsibility for any of my parent’s ailments, but also my sibling’s futures, my children’s shiddichum and my grand children’s learning disabilities…

BTW I’m filing a lawsuit against anything bread for harassment…

Anon – I guess that’s why Laura is not as ‘kneady’ as me…;v)

BD Oy, yoyoy. I’m giving up on you!
I should note that there are completely kosher entertainment that make you smile (gasp) as in learning a good peshetel (something I know nothing about)

Shlishkas Hey, there is no employement guarantee on my blog so watchout... Welcome!

JBF Your comment cracked me up, I wiped tears away. There are two very world very great pleasures; sex and food. If our men are nice enough they’ll let us enjoy both. (I think I want to join the African Tribe where big vimmen are being shecked out az ‘ot’ because zey av moore vuman on zem!)
My point – don’t get alarmed for us. We can juggle an affair with food and still have a nice life with our spouse.

Rabbini CH”YL You’re giving me credit that I don’t really deserve but hey, I’ll take it anytime! A blog is very therapeutic but makes us loss touch with our nice little reality.

Café Welcome Back! I was wondering where you are!
Honestly, tell me, doesn’t your subconscious mind tell you that not being Satmar is WRONG? Even frum but a different life, wouldn’t you feel like you’re doing something wrong?

YY My policy is to publish every comment but: those that might give away my identity AND spam. Please don't make me make an exception to the rule. Criticism is really welcome if you can put it in a constructive way.

Baal Devarim said...

Shpitzle:
"I should note that there are completely kosher entertainment that make you smile (gasp) as in learning a good peshetel"

Maybe when you (or yingerman) gives the pshetel... ;-)

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

...OR, when you learn the peshetle while you're at the club, eh?

LutZi said...

Shpitz: will put it on floor for you if you choose, btw by us its called “Shomer Negiah”
(And I guess u are shomer)

Could you recommend any nice movie?

Sara with NO H said...

I can't begin to say how much I enjoy your writing. I won't tell Rosie...

yingerman said...

Hey!
That sounded like a challenge.
OK Baal, tell me which sugya, I'll write it and you darshan it standing on a pool table.

Baal Devarim said...

yingerman:
"OK Baal, tell me which sugya, I'll write it"

Fine. Please write a pshetel on this sugya, starting from about 8 lines above the first wide line and finishing at the first of the wide lines. Specifically, can you expound on the basis of the machloikes between Rav Sheishes and Rav Ashi?

Also, please explain how that is the origin of a well known three word American curse, beginning with the word 'go' and ending with the word 'yourself.'
תורה היא וללמוד אני צריך

Senorita said...

''Do we really like it?
Is it, is it wicked?
We're lovin' it
Lovin' it, lovin' it
We're lovin' it like that''
DJ P.P

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

BD and Yingerman - YOu guys wanna take it outside?

Baal - you do sure return the smile favor when you get all worked up! BTW How did you put the picture into the comment?

NYAPIKORES said...

shpitzle, what a fun read. but i dont understand how paris hilton gets away with being, well, paris hilton in your neighborhood. why do you think your brother doesnt hang with the boys? maybe hes actually attracted to his wife?...i dont know if you have kids, but ill assume you do. when do you have an opportunity to pour forth your bitterfunny rage?

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Sarah with No H – Hey, thank you!



NyApikores – Y’know how it is. Paris does NOT get away with being who she is but all the negative publicity doesn’t turn her off…

As for taking the time to write, since I do not email with bloggers it’s not so time consuming. At the same time I’ve recently neglected to feast on some divorce rumors with my fellow gossip mates. My friends are very disappointed in me…

LakewoodShmuck said...

cmon shpritzle we need a new post like this one.