Goofs and Gadflies

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Pompitus of Youth

Pre-Script: When you are down on the ground (or as author Cynthia Gould puts it, laying in the gutter looking at the stars), there is nowhere to go but up. If you are reading this and you feel down or blue, you have to know that it gets better. You are the sole(soul) proprietor of your life based business. Listen to the music.

The Bat-Mitzvah of 12 young women in an orthodox synagogue is a marvel in itself. Twelve bright, articulate, and sensible women, giving speeches on the role of Judaism in their lives. One talked of charity, one of trust, one of good deeds, and so on until the last of the mock ice cream cake was served. It's just me complaining here people, but with the invention of the refrigerator, the Jews should have kicked back and said, "milkshakes with your burger is still traif, but if you want a little shot of milk in your coffee after dinner knock yourselves out." That aside, the whole process was just a marvel to watch. A hall filled with loving family and friends. Children running amok in the corridors. Fresh faced youth watching their friends on the daius with reverie. The energy was palpable and I was riveted the whole time I was there.

I may be one of the least observant Jews ever, (sometimes I trip over my Judaism and apologize to it) but tonight was just a marvelous ceremony. My cousin was brilliant and I am very proud of her public speaking skills. Her composure and diligence was exceptional for a girl who was always a little shorter and a little quieter than the rest of the crowd. She has grown up into a young woman with poise and a Hepburn (or Jennifer Love-Hewitt for those of you under 50) like charm.

Myself, I'm glad they served wine at the table. Like Julian of the Trailer Park Boys, I always feel more at ease with a drink in my hand. Preferably a gin and tonic, but a scotch and water will do. I like to drink. It's natural for me to want a Mimosa before brunch. It's natural for me to have a beer with a poker game. Having spent three years in the business of selling alcohol, I know all about careful consumption. I don't like the state of being drunk. I don't like drinking too much because it turns my stomach to shit. If I have to endure certain social interactions, taking a little alcohol to grease the lens is my preference.

I'm glad I had a drink in me, because other wise I may have been compelled to turn Super Nanny on a few parents. At one point during the speeches a kid at my table had become inconsolable. This was quite early on in the evening too. The kid was humming, banging plates and drinking coke like it was keeping him in oxygen. The mother seemed unable to control her some and flitted looks of "oy, what a bundle of energy" around the table. Later on the husband arrived at the table to try and placate the now petulant 7 year old. The mother proceeded to use this opportunity to make small talk with the other ladies at the table. The only problem I had with this was the fact that the women were making their speeches at the time. Now, its a big hall, so its possible to have a conversation undetected, but that doesn't make it right. As the speeches ended for dinner I cracked to the person next to me, "I don't know why she expects her kids to pay attention or be respectful of others when she can't do it herself." The lady told me that was quite a good observation, as she had also been straining to hear the speech through the quiet din of inanity pulsing through the room. The women later said of her two handfuls, "It's gotten to the point where unless they are shrieking in pain, I just ignore them." Sound advice for all you potential mummies out there.

After her speech, I got the opportunity to speak to my cousin. She was all smiles as she made her way through the crowd of friends and family. I told her how proud I was of her, that she spoke beautifully, and that she looks just like Lindsay Lohan. She told me, "Aww, but I *hate* Lindsay Lohan, she's such a tramp". I told her that it is never a bad thing to look like a really famous actress and to enjoy the attention. Then I told her that her I think I have been to a few parties with her Principal. Her mouth just dropped and I am sure she was going to tell all the girls that "her cousin partied with the Principal".

Ahh, kids. I love it when they think adults have no life. Now, I am an exception here because I have spikey hair. Which somehow gains me street credibility with tweener cousins.

As for the fate of this blog: This blog rests upon finding the energy to compose my experiences into salient thoughts. I am a person who finds outlets only when I am in a positive mindframe. Other people write to expel nasty notions or to gain clarity through catharsis. That is not me. I am only truly creative when I am happy and adjusted. So, if I am not around for a few weeks, the reason is I have left again to find my inner happy. So I ask for your patience and your regular Goofs and Gadflies will return ASAP.


  • Aww, Rye I didn't mean to badger you into posting. You just write beautifully, and I enjoy reading your words. Thanks for posting. Good luck finding your inner happy!

    By Blogger Bex, At 9:27 AM  

  • Oh, I enjoy a good kick in the pants every once in a while. Next job, pester me into visiting the Big Apple...

    By Blogger Rye, At 1:43 PM  

  • Well duh!

    By Blogger Bex, At 5:46 PM  

  • This was sent to me by my very good friend P.J. It totally cracked me up.

    By Blogger Comrade Chicken, At 8:41 AM  

  • Oh man, that is so funny because it's true. Me, I could never retire from this blog. I'll just slow down the frequency of posting to ensure the quality stays up.

    By Blogger Rye, At 10:41 AM  

  • The world needs more Super Nannies, says I. Having worked innumberable Mitzvahs, as well as good number of Catholic weddings (which promote a very smiliar tone), I have come to the conclusion that if you're going to go in for the "spare the rod, and spoil the brat" philosophy, you should at least employ someone who comes equipped with a length of copper piping to keep the little terrors in line... or perhaps just learn to set a better example for your children.

    Something to add to your pre-script: in order to bounce, you do have to hit bottom.

    The very best of luck on the happy. The search is often the fun part.

    By Blogger M. Spider, At 9:03 PM  

  • The irony of reading this post 3 years later doesn't escape me. Things change, and people change, but reading these words I still believe that children learn more from their parents than from anyone else. As a parent now, I would never let my kids detract from the experience of a whole wedding table.

    Shavua Tov,


    By Blogger Rye, At 7:25 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home