Editors note: sad- I’m going from one weekend update to another with nothing in-between.
I heard from the Holy Land this weekend, as I’ve come to refer to communications from the kid in Israel.
He was so crabby yesterday that I literally um.. hung on him. Sorry man you kill’n my buzz. He was complaining about group work, group projects and how “no one in a group pulls their weight, I have to do everything”. Heh.,. reminds me of last summer when he had is two week infatuationfest with the some PhD chick on the Upper Peninsula. After a week of strange hushed phone calls while we drove to and from Alabama he made the comment “I don’t know how to talk to this woman, I have no idea what she wants.”
Uh huh… I would have commented except Mrs S, was also in the car at the time was staring at the side of made my head in way that made my right ear burn. Sort of a wifely way of pointing a gun at someone and saying “be very very careful about exactly what you say next”. I think my Grinch like curled lip said it all. Always amusing when the kids discover a little something we call “life”.
BTW his little group problem, specific to Israel and did make me smile a bit. Apparently he’s got a big paper he’s working on with a partner, which is due on Sunday. (Week there goes from Sunday to Thursday) Nate discovered that the partner left some, shall we say “work to be done” for the weekend, and Nate who plans everything down to his bowl movements was quite put out by this lack of accountability and by the fact that the course is in Hebrew and this kid has the notes. (Eagle Scout takes “be prepared” to a whole new level) “So” I said as we were Skyping on Saturday “get it done, get the notes and work on it.” “I CAN’T BECAUSE HE’S RELIGIOUS”. Ahhh. Didn’t think about that. His partner doesn’t answer his phone on Shabbat, or do any school work which left Nate hanging until sundown on Saturday when he could pounce on the lad 2 minutes after the official end of the Sabbath.
And that’s how you live a Jewish life in Israel without even trying. Hah.
One other paradigm that I’m sort of begining to understand… From the not as cool folder, last weeks call. “Hi Dad, hey don’t tell Mom but there were Iron Dome trails over the city this morning.” Iron Dome is the Israeli rocket and missile defense system which they deploy against terrorist rocket attacks. He was down in the South last weekend and there were several launches from Gaza. The next response surprised me “it was kinda cool”. I’ve come to realize that as terrifying as the idea of rocket attacks are to people here in the US, in Israel they’re sort of looked at the same way that we deal with severe thunderstorms. Dangerous and deadly, but if you pay attention and know the drills, not a huge deal. Of course I still think of a severe thunderstorm with 30 seconds notice… maybe earthquake is a better analogy. Then again, the Iron Dome was developed at his school so maybe there’s a pride thing????
You know, having spent the last 15 4ths of Julys at the Summer Palace on the shores of Big Blake Lake in Northern Wisconsin where rockets and mortars are a part of the celebration, perhaps I should lighten up.
Personally I’d prefer taking pride from being in the BCS National Championship like the middle kid.
Speaking of content Judaica, caught a very cute little movie on Netflix on Saturday night (after Shabbat had ended of course [sic])
It’s about two young women teaching in a school in Brooklyn, one is an Orthodox Jew the other a religious Muslim. Both are in the process of having their marriages arranged by their families. The movie deals with the clash of traditional cultures in modern society and nicely shows how the girls have more common with each other and in their own worlds than they do with modern culture and some of the more popular norms. Personally I’m a fan of arranged marriages, not that I had one mind you, but the idea resonates. I would suggest that having a marriage arranged would be a hell of a lot easier than endless phone calls, dating, constant relationship assessments and hushed conversations trying to figure out “what she wants”. Really, after almost 30 years of marriage, dudes you’re aren’t going to answer the “what she wants” question to her or your satisfaction so just surrender and enjoy that quiet solace that comes with accepting fate; you’re going to be told what to do for the rest of your life. It’s not like you get to pick your boss in the work world, why should family be any different. You get the same place either way. Only thing is in the arranged marriage people are trying to figure out what’s best for you. At least in theory.
Disclaimer: In the end you get to a loving and caring relationship with the nicest most loving person you could ever imagine, just like me. In case anyone I know is reading this mess.
Job Update Shopper Hell
It’s been an interesting week here at the Casa, if you’ve read anything here in the last couple weeks you know why, big changes afoot in the Post Nameless and Faceless reality.
Aside from the new job, I’ve been doing a few things differently for the first time in a while, some of which are inducing virtual hemorrhoids if you catch my less than subtle drift.
I tried a new grocery store this week, speaking of acute behinder pinch. Did this yesterday to be specific. After years and years at the same grocer, which I used to commonly refer to as the “company store” since I worked there and they incented me to shop there with a handy discount card, I decided to branch out to see what’s out there in the world. Lesson learned; change sucks. Mrs S is 100% right to complain every time I take her to a new restaurant. I now feel a little bit bad (holding up my hand with my index finger and thumb so close together that you’re going to have to take my word for it I tell you that there is indeed some daylight between them) Routine it turns out, is good when you’re filling in a list of 75 grocery items, 2/3rds of which are on that same list every week anyway. I spent an hour and half looking for crap because apparently not every store layout planner realizes something as intuitive as canned veggies go across the aisle from condiments. Matter of fact just yesterday I found school supplies are on the same aisle as granola bars and coffee… I’d like to see the business case on that one, personally that was nearly a double Xanex moment for me.
Bottom line, I’ve been to three of the four grocery stores in town this week and I gotta say, I was shocked to learn that not one of them is perfect. I know crazy. BTW, I am the authority on perfection in case you had any questions. Especially on things like grocery stores and food, my girth giving ample evidence of my expertise in matters consumption related.
My Dad was also the fambley[sic] grocery shopper back in the day. It seems to be a trait that he passed on along to me, along with anxiety disorders and stunning incompetence around all things “handy”. See missing cupboard door, now in year 6. Dad’s grocery list required two data sorts, whereas heretofore mine, only one. Dad included “store” on his list because his shopping trip included stops at literally every food retailer in town. He had his meat store, his produce store, his dry goods store, and on and on. For Dad the weekly shopping trip was a 6 hour ordeal, sometimes conducted over the course of 5 days depending on the mood. Now for him the motivation for ignoring the value of time was the thrill of the deal. He balanced quality against price in his little excursions, and he definitely was a couponer. So not everything passed along to me, I haven’t used a coupon in ages.
Related note, in the days before Costco and Sam’s Club when Dad would find a good deal in the marketplace, his saavy retail instinct (he was a lifer in retail, owned a ton of different kinds of stores, from Kosher butcher shop to women’s fashion shoes) would kick in and he’d go deep on the buy. Which is why the linen closet in my bathroom growing up, at any given time had 15 bottles of shampoo, a case of soap bars and all the toilet paper you cram into it. I don’t really get the joke behind hoarding Suave to save 11 cents, but who am I to judge. Well, scratch that, I judge, therefore I am.
I always sort of wrote up Dad’s shopping deal as a being something my people refer to as “meshugina” Yiddish for wacko. I think to much insight into retail pricing practices can make people crazy. And Dad was crazy, in loveable way, he spent more than a few nights in the back yard pointing out UFO’s and was absolutely convinced that it was only a matter of time before Sasquatch would finally walk out of the woods and make himself known to the muggles.
I don’t why, but I sort of thought that visiting 11 stores over the course of day was Sankspecific neurosis. How wrong I was. Years later I made the mistake of saying “ok” when we were visting Mrs S’s family in Hawaii and my Mother in Law asked me if I wanted to go along with her on her grocery store run. Should have known better when I saw her loading an ice chest into the trunk. “We have to make a couple stops and I don’t want the meat to go bad.”
Well, in Dear Mother in Law’s world I came to learn that “couple” means “dozen”. And we literally visited every grocery store on the Big Island of Hawaii in course of a couple (read dozen again) hours. Thank G-d she doesn’t like Walmart or I’m pretty sure I’d still be there. Seriously 11 stops and not one dry cleaner or liquor store.
The lesson I learned from all this is that the perfect grocer doesn’t exist and my future looks a little bleak- Sans-a-belt trousers up to my tits and 11 hour shopping trips price matching shampoo and ground beef. Can’t f’n wait. On the other hand since I’m pretty sure Mrs S will lose her mind in the next few years and begin spending all her waking hours on that little mat hers of striking poses with bizarre names like “dog crapping” and “bound angle corpse” or what not I will have nothing else to do so what the hell.