web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Gift Wars – December 2011


Schmutter-logo

Welcome once again to “You’re Asking Me?” It’s pretty much like your typical ask the expert column, with one minor difference (if you want to get technical): I’m not an expert on anything.  Just ask my wife.  A lot of these “experts” kind of talk to you like they know more than you, just because maybe they do.  Is that the type of person you want to ask?  Or would you rather vent in the general direction of someone whose life is just as messed up as yours, and won’t judge you, unless your question is really weird?

We’ll start off today with a really weird question that someone sent in, although I would never say so to his face.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            I was at Kosherfest (a kosher-food trade show) last month, trying and tasting kosher products, but I couldn’t find a single wig on display.  Are wigs kosher?

JB, Brooklyn, USA  

Dear J,

Thanks for your question, and thanks for telling me which country Brooklyn is in.

Yes, wigs are definitely kosher, if by “kosher” you mean “a Jewish thing”.  In the Goyish world, wigs and toupees are extremely socially awkward.  In fact, if you work in an office with a lot of Goyim, at some point they’re going to talk about it behind your back:

“Um…  Is she wearing a wig?  I don’t want to say anything.”

“Quiet!  She’s right there!”

“I mean it!  Is she bald, do you think?”

“I don’t know.  I’m pretty sure that’s a ponytail bump in the back there.”

“You think that’s weird?  That other guy is wearing a potholder on his head!  With his name on it!”

Ok, don’t look at me like that.  Every guy has, at some point, used his yarmulke to hold a pot or unscrew a light bulb or take something out of a toaster, or open a pickle jar.  (Okay, that last one is just ridiculous.)  Mostly it’s yeshiva guys that do this, because even if they remembered, when they bought food, that they also needed to buy a pot, there’s no way they remembered to buy something to hold it with.  They didn’t even buy something to stir what they were cooking, and have been using a series of rapidly-melting plastic forks.

Come to think of it, even if you’ve never used your yarmulka for this, it would actually be a great use for that pile of old yarmulkas under your bed.  You can just keep them in your kitchen drawers.  You already have your old undershirts under the sink for polishing silver, and your kids are using your old Shabbos shirts as smocks.  Pretty soon the entire house will be covered in Totty clothes.

And no, I don’t know what to do with old sheitels, weird swimming-pool pranks notwithstanding.  But if you think I’m going to answer the question you were really asking back there, you’re crazier than I am.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            What is the most unfortunate item you’ve ever gotten as a housewarming gift?

AS, Philadephia  

Dear A,

A houseplant.  Especially since I have kids.  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but it’s basically like getting a big pot of dirt to keep in the house until it tips over.  Like there’s not enough dirt in my house. 

“No!  There’s also leaves!”

People like getting each other houseplants as housewarming gifts, because it has the word “house” right in the name.  But my feeling is that if Hashem wanted plants to grow inside, He would have planted them inside, like He does at the mall.  The only way to keep plants alive inside is to make them think that they’re outside – to keep them huddled up against a window, remember to open that shade every day AND NOT SPILL THE DIRT.  And that’s besides the fact that the average person can only remember to feed either his kids OR his plants.  Not both.  And the kids make noise when they’re hungry.  So it’s not looking good for the plants.

Seriously, though?  The only people I know that have successfully kept houseplants alive have decent-sized houses with lots of windows and no kids living at home.  Having a house full of plants is the socially acceptable alternative to having 27 cats.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            I have a sibling who I never really got along with, but now that we’re both grown up and have kids, I would like to show her that I’m an adult now.  What should I get her for Chanukah?

LR, Maryland  

Dear L,

A houseplant.  Especially if she doesn’t have a house.  You can tell her it’s an “apartment plant.”  Come to think of it, you can just bring her a pot of dirt and tell her there’s something planted in it, even though there isn’t.

But you should definitely get her kids presents, because it’s important to have a relationship with your nieces and nephews, and besides, your sister will never tell her kids, “No, you can’t use the drum set that Aunt Chavi got you.”

In fact, some people actually have decades-long wars going on with their siblings.  They get you a Fisher Price Corn Popper, which is which is basically a stick that also makes noise, and you get them a big wooden alphabet puzzle with 26 pieces for their two-year-old who likes throwing things.  They get you something with glitter, so you get them something with makeup.  They get you glow-in-the-dark play dough, so you get them a set of 300 building blocks that fit in the original box only if you put them back in exactly the right order.  And so on, until you’re shipping each other massive-indoor ball pits and pet elephants, and of course she snitches to your parents, who fly in from Florida and tell you that you’re not allowed to get her kids presents anymore.  Not that this happened to me.

Really, though, you shouldn’t let this escalate.  It’s better to just get her something she needs, like maybe some real potholders, for goodness sake.  Or some smocks for her kids.  And, of course, a set of fingerpaints to go with it.

 

That’s it for now, thank goodness.  Feel free to send in questions on basically any topic.  Seriously, it doesn’t matter which one.  I’m not an expert on any of them.

Question everything!

Mordechai

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Gift Wars – December 2011”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Part of the Gush Etzion fence near Jerusalem
Cabinet to Vote Sunday on Cutting Gush Etzion Off from Jerusalem
Latest Sections Stories
A-Night-Out-logo

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

More Articles from Mordechai Schmutter
Schmutter-logo-NEW

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

Schmutter-080814-Socks

If I’m going on for oven mitts, I don’t want to see sock puppets until at least page 40.

Alternatively, you can try your absolute hardest to listen whenever she says anything.

Father’s Day comes every year. How many drills can you get him?

This week, I’m asking the questions for a change.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Purim around here is crazy. And I’m not just talking about the amount of questions I get.

Dear Mordechai,

Someone gave me a gift that I don’t like. But I don’t want to hurt his feelings. What should I do?

You Shouldn’t Have

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/gift-wars-december-2011/2011/12/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: