| Musings |

True but Taboo

Have you ever wondered if anyone else feels some of those unspoken thoughts that leave you steeped in regret and shame? 

Have you ever thought of something you wanted to say and then quickly quashed it into a distant corner of your mind where all dark secrets lurk?

Have you ever wondered if anyone else feels some of those unspoken thoughts that leave you steeped in regret and shame?

Well, it’s about time we lay some of those sentiments on the table in the name of validation.

But, for the record, let’s just keep this between you and me.

To the preschoolers in your carpool:  Can you please, please just walk straight out of the car and directly to your door instead of insisting on finishing your long-winded description of the pizza, fries, and Slurpee your mother delivers promptly at lunchtime every Rosh Chodesh?

And really, there’s no need to keep looking back every four steps and then practicing walking backward up your front stairs.  Book it, kiddo, I have another carpool to run to.

To your son’s rebbi:  Unless you are providing a tank, fish toys, and fish food, please, please, please don’t send my son home with goldfish in containers big enough to hold one fin.  (Three days before Pesach.)

To your kids who are not yet teenagers:  Really, there is no need to notify us that you wake up at the crack of dawn.  On Shabbos morning.  There’s no need to fiddle with our doorknob for half an hour, knock on our door to the beat of “Mashiach,” or even to don your clonking Shabbos shoes and march back and forth outside our bedroom door as you wait patiently for us to wake up.

Instead, please just go in a single-file line directly to the basement, where all sorts of games and toys have been fastidiously prepared for you, and shut the door firmly behind you for the next two hours until Abba leaves to shul.

To your teenager:  No.

To the mailman:  I’ll just take the invitations.  And the thank-you cards.  You can keep the rest.

To your son’s principal: I just want to know one thing:  Is my son the only one?

To your daughter’s principal:  How, how, how will memorizing 24 pesukim of Navi help my daughter in her adult life?

To your mother-in-law:  So about those surprise visits. By the looks of it, I’m not sure which one of us is getting the bigger surprise here. For the sake of everyone’s blood pressure levels, how about you play it safe and give me 22 minutes’ notice — and I’ll guarantee you some fresh Duncan Hines brownies to boot!

To the librarian:  Do you even want Pooh’s Puzzling Plant back?  I think you should pay us the ten dollars for finally losing that book.

To your sister-in-law:  So about all that parenting advice you’ve given me over the past 20 years? Yeah… it didn’t work.

To your neighbor:  In case I forget to close the blinds at sunset, please remember to close yours.  (Also, can you ask that redheaded guy your daughter’s dating to park his car a few inches closer to the driveway so my kids can get a better view from their bedroom window?)

To the woman sitting next to you with the five-subject notebook at the shalom bayis shiur: Between you and me, do you really look back at those meticulous notes you’re taking?

To the girl dancing next to you with four-inch stilettos:  I think those were legally banned from dance floors in 13 states.  In fact, you may need a license for those.  You know, like with guns.  So for the safety of everyone’s feet, including your own, please remove them before the kick-kick-jump dance.

To your child’s kindergarten morah:  Can you please live with us?  I’ve already made your bed.

Also, I promise, my daughter has more clothing than just that pink tie-dyed sweater and red skirt she insists on wearing every day.  Just saying.

To the guy you’re trying to set up:  Just one date and you’ll be free, from your shidduch mystery, you’ll sing and dance to the sky, with your spirits so high (and so will I!), you gotta believe me, just date this girl and you’ll see!

To the girl you’re trying to set up:  But how can you know that your bashert will learn full-time for exactly three-and-a-half years after marriage?

To the couple you set up on a shidduch date:  Good food equals good date.  Staring at each other in a hotel lounge?  Not so much.  At the very least, hit the bar.  The chocolate bar.  Think Schmerling’s, Torino, or even Kliks — preferably the one with cornflakes….

To any public speaker who’s not a public speaker:  Under ten minutes and you’ll have our attention.  Under five minutes and you’ll even have our eye contact.  Under three minutes and you’ll be invited to speak again at the next bar mitzvah.

To the lady next to you at the kiddush:  Can you please stop staring at the two slices of seven-layer cake on my plate?  And the three pieces of kugel on my other plate are for my kids.  Really, that was how they let me out of the house in the first place.

Now that we’ve got that out of our systems, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and gently reapply our feminine graces of feigned indifference.

You’re welcome.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 845)

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