The Best Motto

Gd, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannon change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

You woke up this morning - Congratulations! You got another chance!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Editor's note: this post was originally slated to appear on May 18. Due to the circumstances beyond my control (as in I actually had to work) it appears today instead.

OK, here is another weekend update.

My weekend tale started Friday night at the house of the friend where I usually get into "discussions". This time she had over "family friends" whom I met before, and who got themselves imprinted on my memory due to the extreme chutzpah displayed by their "baby". Anyway, I was determined to keep my tongue firmly behind my teeth or occupied with food only.

That resolution lasted till the conversation topic veered in the general direction of education, at which point the matriarch of the family uttered the brilliant phrase about math not being necessary for the general education since "you hardly use it anyway"; and about two minutes later history was relegated to the same pile. At which point my tongue could not taste the soup in peace and decided to speak in defense of math (forget about history) to the tune of it being beneficial to the occasional exercise of your brains. Yea, right! That opinion, though seconded by our hostess, still remained in minority. Few minutes later Pater familias enquired about my present occupation; upon hearing that I work as an office manager in an architectural firm, his wife promptly proclaimed that that is the reason why I think math is necessary! I just clarified that my job is purely administrative, and has nothing to do with architecture, but that did not really deter her; few minutes later the conversation progressed to makeup. Oy, gevalt! Who was it that claimed that we are the smartest nation?

Next day, Mini Me was full of anticipation: she had a play date with one of her friends from playgroup. She was feeling very grown up, and even expressed the desire to have cholent (in her mind it was: have meal=eat cholent, then go to her friend). The let down came way before dessert: friend's father knocked on the door with the deflating news that the friend had fever, and could not possibly receive guests. Poor Mini Me! So, as a consolation, I offered her visit to George. The said invitation was graciously accepted, and Golden Delicious spent a part of the afternoon in my humble abode visiting with George and exploring the fascinating world of my strange possessions.

On Sunday, plans to have an outing on "chu chu train with single stroller" somehow ended up cancelled, partly due to the inclement weather, and partly due to Mini Not Me being extra cranky. So, both sets of delicious checks and their owners were packed up into the double stroller and we departed on an exciting expedition to a wonderful place called Dunkin Donuts.

On the way there we spotted a lot of trees, cars, beautiful flowers in different patterns, and different birdies. Once there, I was obliged to buy them their favorite donuts: chocolate frosted with sprinkles (blech). Mini Me, for reasons known only to her, decided that on that particular day she wanted pink, not chocolate, frosted with sprinkles; the arrival of a large group of new costumers deflected her from that particular thought, thank G-d.

Anyway, after about fifteen minutes at DD, the combined influences of consumed sugar and some forced inactivity on the way there produced extra lively behavior on the part of the Gnomes. Of course, the one person in the entire store to give them repeated dirty looks had to be another religious Jewish woman. What gives?

After exiting the store, I offered an excursion of the exiting South Brooklyn; which offer was met with very enthusiastic approval. So, up the Flatbush Avenue we went. On the way we saw couple of very "interesting" stores (oh, to be young again); one store, however, was interesting to me: it advertised itself as psychic shop, but was definitely a voodoo store. The stuff you find in your neighborhood!

Finally, we came to a big shiny store (known to adults at Target). Munchkins immediately spotted the soda fountain, so I had to deflect their attention somehow, and offered them iced tea. "Are you guys OK with one cup and two straws?" "Yes, Papi; yes, Papi; we want two cups and two straws." So, two cups it was. Of course, while I was waiting for them, Mini Not Me succumbed to Morpheus. Mini Me, after having two sips from her cup and observing for a bit through the floor to ceiling glass the fauna of the neighborhood, graciously agreed to take a tour of the store.

The said tour began with a "toilet that was flushing by itself!” Then we progressed to ladies accessories, where Golden Delicious had a blast trying on hats and sunglasses, and checking out handbags and wallets.

After a considerable chunk of time spent of those exercises, we went to the next level. There, Mini Me selected two sets of dishes (for her and her little brother), after which she had a great time trying on all different kinds of kid furniture for size. She even wanted to check out a dresser, at which point I had to disappoint her by pointing out that I cannot possibly plunk it down from the top shelf. She took it in stride, and decided to borrow my camera instead. Later, while I was reviewing the shots she took, I realized that she actually put some artistic thought into it. She took pictures of: her sleeping brother, her empty place in the stroller occupied by her set of dishes, the chair she was eyeing with intent to buy it with her brother's set of dishes in it, and Papi (the most flattering part of her).

During these activities Mini Not Me woke up. So, the final part of the tour was conducted for the benefit of both of the Gnomes, with the end purchase of: a Princess Coloring book with paints, Elmo sticker book, a cute set for baking cupcakes, and I honestly do not recall what else. Mini Not Me was not being extremely discriminating and basically expressed a desire to acquire about half of the toy department. Mini Me, on the other hand, had her heart set on a beautiful doll house, completed with dolls and furniture. I had to solemnly swear that as soon as I get a better paying job, I am coming back and buying her that doll house. She promptly agreed to that, and then refused to budge anyway. So, the cupcake set was actually her graciously accepted consolation prize.

After returning home, she proudly showed Mama all the purchases, after which she made her royal decision to dedicate the new dishes to "burgers and hot dogs" meals as opposed to "cheese" meals. And after that she proceeded to make cupcakes for all the known to her members of the family, present of absent.


La Poutine Cachere said...

Purchases? Heck, I call that loot!

Dina said...

Wow. you have my sympathies on the first part. It is really unbelievable how proud people can be of their own ignorance and complete lack of interest in learning anything - unfortunately, I've run into quite a few of those.

Barb Chansky said...

Dina - thanks; as you know, ignorance is widespread and universal, but it's truly painful to observe amongst our own people.

LPC - I think by now you figured out that having me for an aunt has certain advantages:) We really should make a target date - it is a fun store, and even if you do not need anything, you end up with at least two bags:)

La Poutine Cachere said...

Barb, being familiar with Target from my days down south, I was filled with simultaneous joy/horror when they opened one in the hood. Let's just say that shop is deadly for my poor bank account!

But we TOTALLY need to hang out sometime soon. Feel free to contact me offline to set up a "play date". :p

Moshe said...

Who needs math, we have credit cards!
Another useless class, geography. Who cares which rock is which, they're all rocks.
And do you really need geometry? Go buy a GPS, you can even have one on your cell.

SubWife said...

Who needs math? They should totally teach girls how to pick their colors. The predominant navy/black clothing at simchas is just another proof of our failing education.