As mentioned many times before, I, like any New Yorker worth her salt, spent a decent portion of my day riding a subway; and, while riding, try to accomplish as much as I possibly can. To my slight shame, my morning commute is the time for my daily prayers (another staple amongst New Yorkers).
So, one fine morning, I boarded the "Q", found a seat, and proceeded to do just that. Diagonally from me, another Jewish woman was similarly occupied; and at a ninety degree angle to my seat, there were two Russian speaking women, who were occupied with something totally different. They were just discussing their lives. The only reason I couldn't tune out their conversation was that they were pretty vocal; so, willy nilly, in between trying very hard to concentrate on my conversation with G-d, I was subjected to listening to theirs.
To tell you the truth, most of their recitations were pretty sad. The granddaughter of the first one was apparently assaulted by her date, and these two spent about half an hour discussing the consequences: how she refused to talk to him, how sorry he was, and how handsome, and that he comes from a good family, blah, blah. Then they were discussing somebody's Birthday party, and how important it was to find a great present, so they got a Fendi (insert Ukrainian pronunciation here) bag that was very nicely wrapped by the helpful staff at Bloomingdale's. Then the second woman was bemoaning the fact that MTA Employees (her husband amongst them) got such bad rap after the recent strike, and how the media did not properly describe their benefits, which are not so abundant, blah, blah. Then they went on to discuss their circle of mutual friends, and who amongst those people was sleeping with who's wife or husband; after that followed the discussion of a specific hound dog amongst that nice group of people, and the first one recalled a recent episode when he came to her apartment one fine evening all fired up, so she immediately had to call in a neighbour as a reinforcement, so he eventually went home.
In the midst of all those reminiscences, all of a sudden, a silent finger with a smirk went into my direction. "Yes, I know", said the second one, "this moron and that one (the other finger went towards the second Jewish woman); why do these idiots need all this?" ( meaning praying, probably, and all that's attached to it). Then one of them probably realized that such blatant finger pointing might be too much, even if they speak in foreign tongues, nudged the other one in the ribs, and shushed her. The silent conversation went on for a few more minutes, than they continued on with something else.
No, I did not tell them off; I was in the middle of Shmona Esre, the moment was lost, my usual persistence to be polite prevailed, they were close to my Mom's age. Whatever it was, is not important anymore. What's important is the irony and the hilarity of this whole episode (and if you do not see it, I can't help you).