Thursday, August 07, 2008

Am I Keeping Busy, or Doing Stuff?

To those with whom I have consulted regarding another post I am working on: Due to my bad internet connection and unreliable computer, a close-to-finished draft is saved on MS Word on my other computer. I hope to have that post up as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, please enjoy another supermarket story:

"So, how you keeping busy?" a well-meaning acquaintance asked when I met her at a supermarket.
"You mean while I sit on my butt and wait for my zivug/bashert?" I wanted to respond.
"Working," I said, with a subtle raise of my eyebrow, and a matter-of-fact tone. Like, "what did you expect?"
This situation reminded me of Constructive Waiting, an excellent post on Still in Shidduchim.

Did the woman at the supermarket think that's all I'm doing? Sitting and waiting?

When I meet acquaintances on the street, I usually greet them by asking, "Whatcha up to these days?" Even, "What are you doing with yourself nowadays?" is a little less demeaning than
"How ya keepin busy?"

It's interesting; I consulted with a few friends before posting this. I told them the story and awaited their reactions. Some gasped in horror, "So what did you tell her?!" Others wondered why I told them about some lady I met at the supermarket who wondered what I'm up to these days.

So, take it how you want it. The outcome was pretty much 60-40, mine. It's not like everyone agreed with me necessarily.

Let's say someone would ask me that when I'm married. I'd have a different retort. "Kids don't keep me busy?" "Ever seen laundry up to your eyeballs?" "Cooking, cleaning, the usual," I'd respond.

I just think that's a condescending thing to ask anyone, really.


At 8/07/2008 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I dont know you, and Im not judging you or anything. As someone who is in a similar situation as you and who comes from what seems to be a similar setting though, I cant help but get the feeling that you are constantly looking to be offended by people and their comments. The comment in question on this post is standard parlance, and while I dont have perspective on the context of the situation, you seem to have made it a lot more loaded than it is.

But thats just my $0.02

At 8/08/2008 4:24 AM, Anonymous Moshe Dov said...


Hate to say it, but I agree with the previous commenter in the sense that I don't think the person making the statement meant anything malicious. It's the summer, people are off, so she was probably wondering what you were up to. I don't think it's condescending or anything, just making conversation.

IOW, I would be shocked if her thought process was nearly as intricate as your post. As such, it's simply not worth overanalyzing these comments and getting annoyed by them.

At 8/08/2008 4:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need more context. What time was it? What day was it? If it were a Monday at 2pm, then I can see why she would think you had no job.

At 8/08/2008 6:26 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Anon 10:32-- Perhaps it's who the person was, how she knows me, and how long she knows me. I can't disclose that info because people who read the blog would figure out who it is, and it can get messy. But, yes, you could be right. Perhaps it was just me. Keep in mind I did call her "well-meaning"

Anon 4:49-- Hmm, you have a point. I didn't actually think of that. Truth is, it was about 6 pm. However, given that I work two part-time jobs, I do have more free time than those with one full-time job. It was Wednesday, I think.

At 8/10/2008 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im sure this person didnt mean her comment in a demeaning way. You seem to read way too much into what people say to you. maybe you would be happier if you didnt try to read people's minds.

At 10/05/2008 9:22 AM, Blogger brianna said...

You answered your own question. You are keeping busy. You shouldn't sit around waiting for your bashert. Being married isn't everything in life. Find something you're passionate about. It may actually increase your chances of getting married. Desperation is not attractive.


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