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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Beware Of The Krimme

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She isn’t much different than the mothers yakking to each other in the park while their toddlers are running around – sometimes barefoot where there are sharp stones or glass embedded in the grass, sometimes putting pebbles in their mouths or climbing on monkey bars that they are too young to manipulate – and scolding their kids who come crying to them because of a fall. Or a slightly older sibling is yelled at for essentially not doing her mother’s job and watching her younger sibling.

Another category of krim people are those who combine the above: over-inflated self-importance and gross indifference taken up a considerable level by adding verbally corrosive criticism, and belittling nitpicking. Not only do they insist that they are superior, that they are both right and righteous, but they constantly mock, disparage, minimize and put down those unfortunate enough to be connected to them. Yet, ironically, they themselves tend to be incompetent, easily flustered and frustrated and quite parasitical. Without you, they would be helpless and floundering.

Not only is there no hakarat hatov for your efforts, no matter what you do, he or she will demean you and point out how flawed you are. I have been at a Shabbat table where the food was delicious and beautifully presented, as were the silverware and dishes. The wife works full time and has several children, yet the house is always neat and the kids put together. When her husband realized that there was no salt on the table, he scolded her in front of the guests saying, “Can’t you do anything right? I bet so and so,” pointing to another guest, “knows how to set the table properly.”

Yet he needs his wife’s income to help pay the bills.

He is representative of the human leech who in a group project in school or on the job does the least and takes credit for the project’s success. When his/her co-workers step up to the plate and do the work that he/she is incapable of or is too lazy to do, he/she criticizes what they do, finding unwarranted fault, often bragging to the boss or supervisor about his or her “heroic” contribution.

I was once in a car with a couple and the wife would not stop nagging her husband about his driving. “You should have speeded up and made the yellow light. Now we will be late!” Moments later, “You are going too fast, do you want to be stopped by the police?!” Later, she insisted he go another way. “But the GPS says to go straight,” he pointed out.

“Are you going to listen to your wife or to a stupid machine? I heard stories of people driving off a cliff because of the GPS! Shut it off!” He complied. Later when we were lost, she scolded him because he should have known the way. Finally, this mild-mannered man pulled over and said to her, “You Drive!!!”   The demeanor of this shrill bully changed immediately. “Oh no, no, you go ahead.”

For the record, I am not a psychiatrist or a mental health therapist and am merely offering my personal opinion and interpretation of what I observe, but I feel that there is one trait that all krimme people share; one that fuels their distorted view of themselves and the world they live in: low self-esteem. In my day, it was called an inferiority complex. I find that term more accurate because the ego is indeed complex.

In my eyes, it’s not money that is the root of all evil. It’s a very negative self-view, an overpowering feeling of inferiority, which, in my opinion, is the tragic outcome of dysfunctional parenting.

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