Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ashamed To Be A Jew??

Generally, I try to take pride in being a Jew. I know I'm conspicuously Jewish. I wear my skirt among jeans, I wear long sleeves in 95 degree weather, I button my polo shirt to the top, and all that stuff. I know I look different, and I'm proud. Sometimes.

Earlier this summer, however, I was ashamed to be a Jew.

I entered the Wal-Mart in Monticello. "Just don't notice I'm jewish," I muttered under my breath, and furrowed my brow in concern. I looked around nervously. I bit my finger. I noticed some locals who probably viewed at me as an intruder. "I'm nothing like them!!" I wanted to shout. "No, you don't get it! I don't return used air conditioners. I don't mess up your aisles. I'm unobtrusive, really..." I can continue babbling, and I probably would. And I'd probably make a worse Chillul Hashem describing them and all they do than they do themselves just by being there.

I recently had to return something to Wal-Mart. I had the skirt with the tags still on, but I didn't have the receipt. I got in line at Customer Service. "Should I make a joke about not returning an air conditioner at the end of the summer? Just so they shouldn't think I was "that type"? Should I be really friendly to the woman behind the counter? Should I just not return it? but I do have the tags on..." I asked my friend. She shrugged her shoulders, and looked at me knowingly. I was embarrassed.

It was my turn, and I just said, "I'm sorry, I'm not an expert on returns...I never return anything...I don't want to get a reputation for being a frequent returner," I told her as I filled in the papers. "Oh, don't worry, you only have 3 returns every 6 months," she informed me. Then I felt stupid for using one of them on liquid soap that cost $1.47. But the pump thing broke on the way home from Wal-Mart--I couldn't even use it.

Was I imagining things or did the Kosher aisle look particularly messy? Coincidence? Or did Wal-Mart neglect it because they're anti-semites? You tell me.

I mean, we know we contribute to their economy, and essentially, we're doing them a favor and all that, but that doesn't mean that they aren't "hosting" us, and we must display Hakoras Hatov, and make a Kiddush Hashem so that they won't dread the Jews. Oy, but "Eisav Soneh L'Yaakov..." so they'll hate us regardless. That's a great reason to return a used air conditioner.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Shidduch Business

There was a letter in the Yated about "stealing Shidduchim" The letter-writer was upset that sometimes when she "redds" a shidduch, the young man/lady seeks information, and the person providing the information assumes the role of Shadchan. Is that the right thing to do? Probably not. But for some reason, it bothers me more that someone's complaining about "stealing" a Mitzvah. No siree, it's not a Mitzvah. That's for the old-fashioned people. It's her business.

Here's how I see it. My mother asks for soda from the basement. My brother and I get up at the same time. My brother beats me to it. Did he "steal" my mitzvah? Maybe he even pushed me out of the way. But I made the effort. I jumped up. I was on my way, but essentially, I didn't bring it up. Am I gonna write a letter to the Yated about it? No.

Why not? Because there was no money involved.

This person seemed to be worried about the $hadchanus than the couple getting together. And that bothers me. For it to bother this person so much to take the time to write a letter about it urging people not to do it, just creeps me out.

Worse, a Shadchan called the house offering a shidduch. "How much do you charge?" my mother asked. An obscene number was mentioned, and my mother politely declined. Is there a reason my parents should shell out the amount they'd spend on a used car to some full-of- himself moron taking full advantage of idiots who cry themselves to sleep when they're not married by the age of 20?

Call me idealistic, but isn't this a mitzvah?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sorry for the Delay

Hi! This is my first day with internet access in a LONG time.
So, I need to gather my thoughts and get to what I have to say. Plus I have a final soon and I must catch up.
Just letting you all know that I am still here, and check back soon, G-d willing, I should have a post up this week or next.
Have a great week everyone!!