Monday, April 28, 2008


Men. Or rather - Boys.

A couple of years ago my 16 year-old-son tried to gain friends by saving the pocket money I gave him to buy loads of chewing gum, which he distributed to everyone in his class. This was already step one in the teachers' bad books.

Yesterday was a whole different story about how he thinks he can win a popularity contest. I got a call from my soldier daughter that my son stole vodka from his married sister's house. He wanted it to get girls drunk or so he and his friends can drink and it's in a yellow bag and I should take it away and hide it.

This is what I did.

And that started a big horrid scene, with my son taking off the TV speakers making the tv screen blue and not letting me use the computer which is in his room.

Meanwhile, he had his own terms of nonendearment for me.

"I don't like you. You hear that??? I really don't like you."

Well, I thought, four kids out of five do like me, so I'm not doing too bad.

I just shrugged my shoulders, walked into my Good Daughter's room to watch Desperate Housewives and fell asleep soon afterwards.

Why could't he have just stuck with the gum?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pass-over the bus

The holiday came and went. I don't know why God thinks it's so amusing to send us a friggin' heat wave during the only week I have off work, when I want to do fun things. I had to put on air conditioning and basically did not do the touristy things like go to Tel Aviv, or to the many local attractions that were probably crowded as anything with the entire country plus visitors on vacation.

Instead, I spent most of my time with my two oldest daughters and the grandchild. The eldest daughter just got her driver's license, though lord knows how. Twice she nearly ran over someone. The first time I screamed - STOP!!, but she kept on going as a car swept 1 inch past us. She's like friggin' Mr. Magoo. She gave some excuse like "but the lane was empty!" The second time, she nearly ran over someone innocently crossing the street at a crosswalk. I pinched her arm - hard. I figured screaming doesn't do it. Maybe pain will.

"Why didn't you stop?" I asked her as the man crossing the street looked at her and put a finger to his head in a circular motion, noting that she's a nutty driver.

"I couldn't. There was a car coming up on the left side of me."

But we made it to the Talpiot shopping district without hurting anyone, killing anyone or getting dented or scratching any car. God is good. He watched over us. My heart rate was beating abnormally fast though for the duration of the day. We sat down for an overpriced lunch at one of the few restaurants in the area open during Passover.

The next day we took a trip to another neighborhood, and she missed the turn and got lost. Fortunately, we made the way back to where we were supposed to go without too much trouble.

So this was my Passover holiday folks. But it could have been worse. Like this morning.

You know when you travel by bus, you don't always notice who the people are sitting in back of you. This morning, I had no idea who these people were, but I could hear them. The first was an old man from the sound of him, coughing and spitting. I prayed he didn't get his gob on my hair. Now may be a better time than ever for me to cover my hair - if just for that reason alone. The next passenger sitting in back of me sounded younger, but she sneezed and sneezed and sneezed. I hoped none of that stuff got stuck onto my hair either.

And then I kinda missed those hairy scary car rides with my daughter.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Passover week

I can't figure out what to do this week. I just feel like doing a whole bunch o' nothin' really. My daughter laughed when she heard me say this. I'm always doing something. But when there's just too much something, I back off and end up doing nothing.

I wrote a list of a bunch of things I needed to do during the week off work. Organize the storage room, which looks as if a garbage dump arrived there with a year's worth of junkyard heap, organize the cabinet with all the photos strewn all over the place with no photo album they can call home, homework, self-inflicted pedicure, haircut, clean doors, and finish one of Sayed Kashua's books that I began in February but found no time to read.

Then there are the holiday options to do outside the home during Passover. Visit mini-Israel in Latrun which is having a special Red Sea parting thing happening there, Jerusalem Zoo, Segway ride on the Haas Promenade, archeaological dig, hiking in Bar Giora, hiking with the Pathway Circle through the West Bank Arab village of Battir, work on Abed's land just outside Jerusalem in Ein Haniyeh where they're going to build some structure or something for guests....Boombamelah festival on Nitzanim Beach, two Dead Sea music festivals and street festivals in Tel Aviv. How does one choose from all of this???

On Saturday morning I read that there was a tour from Beit Shmuel on that same Saturday to the Samaritan community living in Nablus, who were doing their ancient custom of sacrificing a lamb on Har Gerizim. Now THAT would have been something I would have really have liked to see, had I known this in time.

But today was a lazy day, taking my 9-month-old grandson to a local park with my daughter and 2nd oldest daughter. I put him on the baby slide.

"MOM! The slide is filthy. He'll get filthy!"

"Kids are meant to be filthy." said I.

"But he just had a bath!"

"So he'll have another one" said the unsympathetic grannie.

I put him on the baby swing. He began to bite on the bar in front of him.

My daughter shrieked "Oh my God, that has GERMS!"

How did I raise this kid??? I remember letting them loose in all different kinds of Canadian playgrounds where they were smudged with dirt from head to toe and happy to boot.

We ended up watching the rest of the mothers with their kids in the playground, which was just as amusing for the grandson.

One of the mothers bent down to get her baby on the slide.

My daughter clucked. "You think I want to see her crack?? You can see everything."

I hate those low-cut jeans too. Meanwhile, walking back to her house, my daughter related stories of her neighbors, which made the apartment building sound like Wisteria lane, from neighbors pretending to be religious to someone working for the government doing some unscrupulous things, to a neighbor she walked in on who was smooching with someone who she said looked like a tomatoe with eyes.

I guess I am happy with our 31-tenant apartment building. It's much more private and people are much less in each other's lives than with her building of 10 families.

Now let me get back to the Sayed Kashua book, "Let It Be Morning."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

When to tell or not to tell

I was sitting for 1 1/2 hours locked out of my house this afternoon. I had gone without my keys to visit my daughter who, for once, because of Passover, decided to stay home with her husband and baby this weekend to be with us. When I left, one hour earlier, one of my daughters was sleeping; the other was in a PMS mood, glaring at just the sight of me, while she watched TV. So I thought during the hour, they'd stay where they were. I waited for my second eldest to come home from Jerusalem outside my apartment building. Little kids passed me by, thinking perhaps I was punished and kicked out of my house, as they kept looking back at me, wondering what this woman was doing sitting on the little concrete space in front of the building, and I think I must have wished all 30 tenants a Happy Passover as they walked in and out of the building.

Maybe it was a way for one of my children to get back at me for not lying to her boyfriend. He called me the other day asking if I had given her 50 shekels. I told him "no, I didn't." I knew this would get her into trouble. Did she take from him? His family? I don't know. Did she have money in her bank account. This, I also don't know. But what I do know is that I hate lying about money, and don't want my kids to lie about it either. It's nasty.

But there are other things I can lie about. My married daughter just got her driving license which means I have to go on driving excursions with her as she needs to have someone in the car with her for 3 months while she is a new driver. Parking is difficult for her. I coached her as she parked in front of the bakery.

"When do you know how far ahead to go?" she asked.

"You just get used to it. If you feel a bump, then you know to stop." was my sage advice.

We didn't feel any bump, and I looked out and saw she was close enough to the curb.

She looked back at the car and saw the front of the car nearly touching the curb.

"Don't tell my husband what I just did, OK?" she pleaded with me.

"Sure, I won't tell him."

And I'm mighty fine with that. There are just some things men shouldn't know about their wives, especially with brand new used cars.

Happy Passover to those that celebrate this.....