Not everything my mother writes about Yitzi means that I actually did it
“And it was found written that Mordechai had reported about Bigsan and Teresh, two officers of the king… who wanted to send out their hand against King Achashveirosh.”
(Megillas Esther 6:2)
Ben Peritzman amar: We learn a life lesson from the way the Bnei Haman wrote or read the stories in Achashveirosh’s Sefer Hazichronos. When they recorded what happened with Bigsan and Teresh, they penned their version of the story because that’s the way they were hoping the story would be remembered. They understood that there’s power in the written word. And there’s power in the way people read it. (On a side note, there’s also power in the way people respond to it. That’s why the first thing my mother and sisters read every week in Mishpacha are the opinionated letters. But I’m getting off track.) Then Hashem, in His hidden way, forces the Bnei Haman to reveal the real version of the story, and from here, we see the incredible power of setting the record straight… as I now plan to do.
It’s about time my mother gave me a voice to tell all her readers what really goes on around here. She thinks that because I don’t read English so well, I don’t know what she says about me, but hey, I know the funny stuff I do, so I know I’ll eventually end up being plastered across the pages of her magazine.
She also thinks that because she changed my name to Yitzi, no one is going to recognize me. But truth is, my mother barely remembers the real name she gave me at my bris and calls me mostly by my brothers’ names, so making up a name like Yitzi isn’t giving me that much privacy.
Since you probably think you know everything about me, I’d like to begin by correcting some facts and some twisting of the truth.
To start, not everything my mother writes about Yitzi means that I actually did it. No, this is not your typical “It wasn’t me!” protest. Somehow, I get to represent the antics of all the male progeny of the Peritzman household; if any of us brothers do anything crazy, goofy, or wacky, guess who it’s pinned on? (My sister gave me the word progeny. I didn’t ask my mother, because then she’d call us her precious progeny, and please, that’s mortifying.)
Why was I, a nice kid with natural goodness (most of the time), chosen to be the fall guy for all the v’nahafoch hu incidents that arise in the Peritzman house? I won’t even attempt to suggest a reason for that one.
On the whole, I believe boys are presented improperly in this parshah column. Let me point out that most inventors and explorers were boys. So when I’m digging in our garden hoping to discover the core magnets that hold all gravity together, I’m not just making a mess. And when I track mud from said garden into the dining room, should it really make a difference if the floor is freshly washed or not? I mean, we’re talking about discoveries that may change the face of the world! Well, at least the inside of the world. If Edison’s mother had thrown out his collection of random inventor’s stuff (like my mother keeps saying she’ll do to my junk drawer), he probably wouldn’t have had the materials to make a light bulb — and then we’d all be in darkness! So a bit of respect to my future, please.
I also take objection to my mother’s aversion to creepy, crawly things (that is, except for my nieces and nephews, who also crawl and make a mess on her couch). Yet somehow, if I bring in a creepy, crawly slug that leaves a silvery line of slime on the couch… Well, it just doesn’t evoke warm fuzzy feelings in her. And I’ve even tried it with warm fuzzy things, too, like hamsters, but her reaction was even worse. I say, to each his own. At least my hamsters’ noses never need cleaning.
All of that said, our family is never boring, and I am proud to be part of it. And it’s not just because my last name and fake first name is famous in this magazine, but I’m also proud that I’m part of providing you all with entertainment, inspiration, and maybe even comparisons to your own life.
Now that I’ve set the record straight, I’m looking forward to seeing the new-and-improved Yitzi in future parshah columns.
P.S. Has anyone seen my hamster?
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 833)
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