Thursday, June 17, 2010



Minyan: Religious services, quorum of 10 men, sometimes women. Usually held at synagogue except at times of Shiva.

Shiva: Week long period of mourning. It is customary for mourners to not eat their own food. i.e. Friends and family of mourners bring or send food to the home where Shiva is being held.

Goyum: Non Jew

The other night while sitting Shiva for my mom at her house, I took out the garbage. While I was outside, I see a car pull up in the driveway and an old lady gets out of the passenger side. This woman is so old, I think she's Father Time's widow. I don't recognize her and I figure that she is either a relative who I haven't seen since the last funeral or maybe she's a friend of my mom's who I just don't know. Many relatives and /or associates of my parents have no idea if I am Stacey or my twin sister. Not that we look alike, but people are too lazy to remember our identities. Anyway, I decide to take the initiative and introduce myself. Here is the scenario:

Me: Hi (old freaking lady). I'm Stacey.
Father Time's Widow: (In a thick Eastern European Accent) Who Died???????
Me: (Taken back, just a little as the black ribbon I am wearing would indicate that I am a direct descendant of the deceased) My mom!
Father Time's Widow: What happened?
Me: She had cancer.
Father Time's Widow: Where's the husband?
(notice there was no mention of sorrow or condolences)
Me: He died 3 years ago.
Father Time's Widow: Maybe I will recognize the pictures in the house.
Me: What? Are you just here for the sloppy joes???

Then I see the driver of the car, a young man, approach me. I don't recognize him either but then I figure he's a friend or client of my brother. Again I take the initiative of introducing myself.
Me: Hi, I'm Stacey.
Unidentified Man: Hi, I'm Paul.
(Notice, I am still wearing the black ribbon mentioned above and still no words of sympathy).
Me: Excuse me, but what is your association here?
Unidentified Man: We are here for the Minyan (see Glossary above).

AHA!!!!!! They are not Shiva crashers as I suspected. They were actually members of the temple, here for the service.

What a relief! I thought I was going to have to call Vito the bouncer to get these crashers out.

But then I thought, WHAT A RACKET!!!

What an awesome idea. Step 1: Look at the obituaries in the newspaper and check for Jewish sounding names. For you Goyums (check glossary) if you can't tell by the last name, read each one and see if the article states any of the following: Funeral is being held the next day OR the name of the cemetery has the word Shalom in it OR it even states where Shiva is being held.

Step 2: Memorize or take notes on who the remaining survivors are. You may need this to address the mourners ("Oh, I am a friend of a friend of Josh"). If they are very religious, you are in luck! With the very religious Jewish people, you cannot talk to the mourners until they initiate the conversation. If that's the case, You're pretty much in! Just go along with it and keep your mouth shut so you don't blow your cover.

Step 3: Mourners are not permitted to serve the people who come to show their condolences. Go straight to the buffet and help yourself. Bring your family!!!

Imagine, you had a long day at get home around six and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking dinner for your family. The kids just had McDonald's last night and you worry about obesity and all that crap. You don't want to go out for dinner because your husband complained that you spend too much money on non incidentals. Open the paper, calmly say to your family: Hey, Lenore Goldshine died, anyone in the mood for brisket?????????

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


About eight years ago I went to adopt a dog from a shelter. I found the dog love of my life at a rescue place. Bailey was just so stunning, I have never seen such a cute and unique looking dog. I found out that Bailey was found wandering the streets of Paterson NJ on a miserable snowy day. That day was so horrible that it was considered a state of emergency and no cars were even allowed on the road. Furthermore, once she was picked up by the pound, she was mistreated by the employees and was then rescued by this shelter. My heart just melted, I HAD to have this dog and save her!

The paperwork to fill out was four pages long! I had to include my living arrangement, work history and about 100 references. I rolled up my sleeve because I thought they were going to draw blood too. You would think I had applied for a job at the white house. Of course they have to check my background so I can't take the dog home right away, they tell me they will call me. Several days later I get a call saying that I am not qualified to take home the dog. WHAT????????????????? The reason is that I am a renter, not a home owner (even though the home I rented had 3 floors) and here's the best part: (insert drum roll here) I AM NOT A STAY AT HOME (DOG) MOM!!!! Are you fucking kidding me? I know people that have live children and don't stay home with them. They expect me to quit work to stay home with a dog?? I was devastated. I COULD NOT believe that this dog was better off in a crate with a cement floor with no interaction than with me because I work. It took about a week of persuading but I got my landlord to call the shelter to confirm that I will not get evicted for having a dog and I also hired a dog walker to come once a day while I was at work. Hallelujah, I was now worthy of having a dog. By the way, I still have the dog and she does not seem at all traumatized about me being a working dog mother.

Fast forward to five years ago. I walk into a hospital, spit out a baby and I need nothing, absolutely nothing but a car seat to take her home. Nobody had me fill out a four page application. I didn't have to provide a work history or even references. I wasn't asked if I own a home or rent or how many people live in my household and they let me walk out with a human being to raise. How on earth does this make sense? If I don't parent the dog correctly, the worse that can happen is that she shits on my floor or chews my shoes. It really has no impact on anyone but the other members of the household. But, if I don't parent this tiny human correctly, she could be a menace to society..the entire society. You would think they would make me take an I.Q. test or something. Nothing crazy like explaining the String Theory. Just something that would indicate whether or not I know right from wrong. For example: If your child is screaming and driving you crazy, do you:

A. Try calming methods like swinging her or rubbing her back
B. Try feeding her or changing her diaper.
C. Crazy Glue her lips shut.

I mention this because I just read an article about a father who tattooed a gang symbol on his seven year old son. WHAT - THE - FUCK is wrong with this guy? How was HE allowed to bring a human being home to raise? This article mentioned that the father stated that the son wanted a tattoo. Oh, Ok, a seven year old wants to permanently scar his skin, with a target for bullets, i.e. gang symbol. Sure kid, what the heck. Now if this father had to take a test before bringing the baby home, this might have been avoided. This poor kid is a victim to having stupid parents. I say parents because even though the mother was not mentioned, she was stupid enough to have sex with someone that would tattoo a child.

I think the dog rescue shelter and baby hospitals should join forces. If you are qualified to bring home a child, perhaps you can get a puppy too.