Tag Archives: NEW JERSEY

Up Early

We are jet lagged, or better yet, I am jet lagged. Everyone else in this house is over it but I am clinging to the sleep disruption like an infant. For the most part, I am fine. I enjoy the hours between four and seven — the house is empty, the TV is mine and I can bask in a few hours of super-productivity. The downside kicks in at five p.m. when I have to be physically restrained so as not to maim a child. I am tired and irritable and I can be around nobody. 

Except for Lois. 

That damn cat was so happy to see me when I came home from our two weeks away. I don’t think anybody has ever been that happy to see me and my kids go to sleepaway camp. She has slept on my head for the last few nights, just to make sure I’m here, which isn’t great for my allergies, but I can handle it.

I took her to the vet today for her yearly wellness visit. She’s been with us for over a year, but this was MY first time at the vet. The vet is a friend and usually comes to get Lois and drives her in. This time, however, I shoved Lois into a cat carrier and drove her to New Jersey. 

You may not know this about me but I am a nervous driver. I am an especially nervous driver in New Jersey. First, there is a bridge and I HATE driving over bridges. But in NJ you have to drive sandwiched in between angry trucks and the highway splits and forks with no notice. I inevitably miss all my exits and spend twice as much time in New Jersey as I need to. 

But I did it for Lois. 

She was not happy. She immediately began to cry in the car. This is how sad she looked in her cat carrier: 

So, I let her out. That’s right – I made the biggest rookie cat owner mistake and let her roam freely in the minivan while I drove in the rain. In the rain in New Jersey. (Did I mention that the van hit 100,000 miles this week? It did!) Lois kept crying but she did it from under my seat, near my feet, and the whole time I kept thinking: OH MY EFFING GOD. SHE IS GOING TO MAKE A SUDDEN MOVE AND I AM GOING TO DIE. I AM GOING TO DIE IN NEW JERSEY AND SPRINGSTEEN ISN’T EVEN HERE TO SEE IT. 

At some point she moved to the seat next to me and stared at me until I got to our destination. I think she went 20 minutes without blinking. Cats can do shit like that. When we arrived, I shoved her back in the box and took her inside to the vet. They immediately weighed her.  

 Of course, I didn’t quite get that Lois doesn’t have the same relationship with a scale at the doctor’s office that I do. 

“In the box?” I asked. 

Yes, I was told. They weigh the box separately and calculate her weight. 

“What about her collar? There are some heavy tags on there.” 


I stopped talking. 

Lois was a rock star at the vet (who in addition to being a friend, happens to be a rock star vet) and I learned from my mistake and kept her in the box on the way home. 

And now I have to go because I have writing to do and I only have a few more hours before bedtime. 



Filed under cats, driving, Jet lag, pets

Those Crafty, Crafty Jews.

It sucked to be a Jew in America last week. First, the Pew Research Center came out with a survey of Jewish life and it turns out Jews are assimilating at higher and higher numbers. Apparently, each year fewer people identify as Jewish. If that weren’t enough reason to panic, in the same week, some genius clerk in a store called Hobby Lobby told some Jewish Patrons, in NEW JERSEY, that if they wanted paper dreidels, menorah making kits, and other Jewish-themed craft items, they’d have to look somewhere else, because Hobby Lobby doesn’t cater to the chosen people.

Here’s what I think: If you want to worry about assimilating Jews, don’t get your knickers in a twist about intermarriage, or Hannukah bushes. Instead, I’d ask what the hell Jews are doing in a store called Hobby Lobby in the first place.

Jews are not a crafting people. How the hell do you have time to decoupage a seder plate, knit a cozy for the menorah, or even worse, time to scrapbook a bris, if you always have to be ready to get up and run should a gang of angry Cossacks come knocking at your door? (One of the reasons there wasn’t Jewish art for many years was for this reason. If you’re a nomadic people, wandering hither and yonder, you’re going to pack light. A marble bust of Moses or a wood carving of the sacrifice of Isaac wasn’t going to make in onto the back of your camel or pack mule. Not when you could pack potatoes instead.)

I am not just saying this just because I am an un-crafty person who is easily intimated by the use of any small motor skills. True, I can barely tie my own shoes, and true, anything that I have knit looks like a toddler did it, with her feet, but I am incredibly suspect of the whole crafting business.

I think of all the women who came before me. Would they be horrified to know that it’s now hip to make your own clothes, not to mention bake your own bread? Didn’t we leave all that behind in the shtetl along with that giant pail they schlepped around to milk the cows. (I have a hunch the same pail was used to do laundry and provide the odd bath. Mark my words, people, that pail will make a comeback. A pricey, pricey comeback.)

I am suspect of all this crafting. (I am also suspect of mothers who send their children to school with cute bento box lunches and intricate hair braids in this category. Dodgy.) It seems like such a remarkable waste of time and the accumulation of such a tremendous amount of useless detritus, all so we can pretend that we have an ounce of shiksa-goddess-Martha-Stewart blood in us. People, Martha Stewart is the other kind of Polish, the kind that didn’t have to marry her cross-eyed, hunch-backed, hairy first cousin just because he had a visa and could get her out of Warsaw in a hurry.

We’ve never had the luxury of the time it requires to get busy crafting. (I’m sorry, but I can’t make a boiled wool purse with you tonight. I have to commit the Torah to memory in case the Greeks come back and burn it.) If we have it now, so much so that we’re boycotting stores that are dumb enough not to cater to us (in New Jersey!!), I’d say we’ve gotten a little too comfortable over here. I’d say it’s high time to step away from the glue gun.

And I didn’t need the Pew people to tell me that.


Filed under children, crafts, Jews, parenting, Uncategorized