Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tefilin, Donuts, and the Coveted Box- for the Donuts

There is a ritual that takes place in my son's yeshiva that is well known to all bar mitvah boys, but hitherto unknown to me. And, I suspect, to many parents out there.

It is the Ritual of The Giving Out of Donuts, and more important, The Holding Of The Box.

My son is putting on Tefillin this week. We were discussing it on Shabbos.
Older son: So who is holding The Box?
almost Bar Mitzva son: Not sure yet. I held Chaim's box last week, maybe he'll hold mine.

The rest of us sat at the Shabbos table completely clueless about this topic. So we asked, what box? what are you two talking about?

Younger son: The Box! The Box with The Donuts!! You give out donuts (but I don't want donuts) the day you put on Tefillin, and you go to all your classmates, and then some rebbeim. I need 40, since I am giving to every rebbi I have had since Pre 1-A.

Older Son: with A Flap? A Cover Flap?
Younger Son: of course!! that's part of the whole shtick!

Part of this ritual is the Tefillin boy walks around the school, giving out donuts to classmates, neighborhood friends, and various rebbeim. The Friend chosen to help is almost knighted, and the best kind of Box to carry is the One With the Cover That Has A Flap. Part of the ritual is opening and closing the box.

So Younger Son told us he wants Black & Whites, not donuts. Too much arguing about custard, jelly, icing, etc. This way everyone will get the same cookie.
Husband: Great!! You can get one or two boxes of those cute little black & white cookies from Costco. Cost efficient. And the plastic box has a cover that flips over.
Younger Son: (Nearly apoplectic) WHAT?? Those black & whites are tiny! I need you to order them from Zisha's! Individuals that I can Give Out From The Box!!

Older Son: (sigh) you are so lucky. I got gyped, I didn't get to do the Whole Box Thing. I put on Tefillin in camp!
Me: We gave your whole bunk donuts!
Older Son: It just wasn't the same thing.

So I ordered 42 from Zisha's.

What we do for our children....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Traffic Travels in Herds

I ran out of gas on the Palisades today.

While waiting to fill up, I observed the traffic zooming by Northbound.

Have you ever seen herds stampede, or even just run?

I saw this when I was in Wyoming- a single buffalo will amble, shuffle, barely move.

When they travel together, they charge! Dust flying, nostrils flaring, a very noisy and swift event. And they all run really close to each other. So if one would stop to nibble a dandelion, or cough, he would be rear ended by the rest of the herd, and a pile-up would occur out on the plains.

That is what I thought of as I watched the cars zooming by. There were big gaps between groups of cars. Occasionally a single car would drive by.

Then, suddenly, there would be 7 or 8 or 12 cars all driving very fast and very close to each other. It looked like a herd hurtling down the highway. A herd of blue Camry and Corollas. I just kept thinking, what if one of the drivers decided to switch lanes to get a sandwich at the gas station??

The buffalo were way more interesting. But smellier.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why I Love Costco

I feel like I am feeding my family very healthy stuff when I walk out of Costco with $85 worth of fruits and vegetables. Huge boxes of strawberries, bright green aspargi, oversized pineapples, and large boxes of grape tomatoes. And the six heads of Romaine lettuce (a bit too buggy, I think I might buy a light box).

But my favorite part of Costco?

When you go there in the rain, the little guy standing at the door gives you a paper towel to wipe down the bar of the wagon.

Such a thoughtful touch.

They could run a chinese action!

And on the last (or first) page, where all the thank yous and kvelling is listed:

And a big big huge Yasher Koach to Mike, without whom our hands would be wet and slimy and our wagons cold and wet! Your thoughtful touch is what made a mediocre shopping trip into something magnificent and truly amazing!! May you be Zoche to always be available to help the Klal with the small things that mean SO MUCH!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Man With The Truck

Not a title for a children's book.

The Man With The Truck is a Monsey fixture on Wednesdays, at the Vishnitz School on Ashel Lane. Though I remember when he would come and park in a parking lot with his truck, and you practically went into his truck to buy the merchandise. Back then he didn't come every week, and you were notified by a flier in your milk box. Or Heimish grocery store bags. Like Klein's supermarket. Or maybe even Nagel's Grocery. But I digress. My point now being my experience shopping at the Man With The Truck.

I went there to by some boys' shirts for yomtov. I get on line, in back of a young girl who can barely balance the heavy towel, two tablecloths, and four pairs of pants in slimy slippery plastic that her mother asked her to hold while she continued shopping. This is an amazing sight to see. There is a line of people, mainly young, timid, girls, holding onto, or rather, practically grabbing their younger siblings, to keep them in line. In their hands they hold one or two objects. THEN when it is their turn to pay, in swoops the mother (or waddles, half the women shopping there are about to give birth) loaded with more merchandise. And she just walks right up to the Man who is the Man With The Truck and she pays.

So I have learned to live with this, annoying and rude as it may be. Hey, everyone in this town has become annoying and rude. So I am standing there, slowly moving up in the line, and as it becomes my turn, two young girls sidle into the line in front of me, behind the woman who swooped in to rescue her daughter who was collapsing under the weight of the damask tablecloths. So I said to the two girls, excuse me, were you both on line? And they answer, or mumble, yes, we just let people go in front of us. Okay, I see where this is going. THEIR mother didn't even pretend, she just parked them on line and then did her shopping, and each time is was their turn, since they had nothing to pay for, they let the next person go.

And of course, as their turn came, here comes the mother. But it wasn't the mother! Twas a relative or neighbor, because the girls said to the woman, is my mother buying shells, too? So then bigmouth me with the heart pounding and blogging paragraphs forming in my head, said,
"excuse me, it's one thing to be here for your mother, but not for a few people or relatives, I also have a lot of pesach work to do at home". They stared at me. All of them. Hello, am I the one doing something inappropriate here?

So when the woman in front was done, I swooped around them (I don't waddle) and said,
"I only have four things, I'm going before you" and I didn't make eye contact and I said it rudely and I acted like the ladies there all act.....and I felt awful.

Oh, and if you want a great Chol Hamoed Activity, the driveway there is one of the worst potholed, loose graveled, deeply cratered ones in Monsey. Drive really fast up and down the driveway with all the kids. Tell them it's like jeeping or ATV ing in the woods.

Hey Out There- Who Are You?

This is not a Pesach post.

Do you wonder about whom the other blogmeisters are? Of the blogs you read?

I know only 4.

Most I don't really care- either I enjoy reading their posts or I don't. Who they are doesn't make much of a difference. Though it would be amusing if my neighbor turned out to be Mike in Midwood. which is actually not possible because Brooklyn North isn't actually in Brooklyn. But who knows, maybe Mike isn't really in Midwood. But I think he really is in Brooklyn. Aren't you, Mike?

But every now and then a commenter makes a comment that makes me wonder- does he/she know who I am?
Or do I know who he/she is?

Like one of Sporadic Intelligence's comments on my post...