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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Lifetime Guarantee

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Ever since I’ve started writing “You’re Asking Me?” people have been writing in to ask for advice, like they expect me to have all the answers.  Seriously.  Don’t these people have any friends?  Or anyone else they can ask?

 

Our first question today comes from someone who does have friends, but doesn’t want to ask them straight out.  And she’s hoping that those friends don’t read the newspaper.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            I’m having a family over for the last days of Yom Tov, and they don’t eat anything on Pesach.  What should I make?

B.H., Toronto

 

Dear B.,

Nothing.  Seriously nothing.  By the last days of the Yom Tov, they’re not coming to you for the food.  They’re coming to you despite the food.  They don’t want you to put out food that they will then have to force themselves to eat.  They only came to you so they themselves don’t have to figure out what to make.  Or have Pesach leftovers that they have to deal with after Pesach, when it suddenly, somehow, all expires at the same time.  I would say just put out some matzah and drinks and maybe something for heartburn.

Pesach food has become an obsession with us.  Nowadays, we start cooking weeks before Pesach, but when the Jews were leaving Mitzrayim, food was the last thing they thought about.  They had 210 years, and they didn’t start making food until 17 minutes before it was time to leave.  “You know,” they said, “We should really pack some snacks for the road.  We might be out for a while.”

Think about it like this: Why can’t you ask your friends yourself?  It’s because they’re going to say, “No, no, you don’t have to make anything.”  You think they’re trying to be nice, but they’re not.  After all those days of Yom Tov, no one’s really interested in eating anymore.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            Have you ever wondered what it means when you buy, say, a plastic chair for your porch, and it says, “Lifetime Guarantee?”  Nothing I own has ever lasted a lifetime.

Mendy Hecht, Monsey

Dear Mendy,

Obviously, it’s not talking about your lifetime.  If you go your entire life without breaking the chair, who exactly is breaking it after you die?

The product is guaranteed for the lifetime of the product itself.  When the product dies, so does the guarantee. Because honestly, how on earth can the manufacturer possibly know how long you’re going to live?  The guy builds plastic chairs.  He’s not a fortune teller.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            How come my wife’s old clothes go into the dress-up box so my kids can walk around in high heels and snoods, while my old clothes go under the kitchen sink to be used as cleaning cloths?

A.H., Monsey

Dear A.,

There are two reasons this happens:

1. Women are in charge of deciding what gets to be used as rags, because guys would never think of using rags or sponges at all.  Most of the time when I do dishes, I scrub the plates with my fingers.  It’s the women who decide that we need rags, and whose clothing do you think they’re going to use?  Yours.  Because that way it makes them feel like you’re contributing.  And

2. Your wife stops wearing something when she loses a button or develops a tiny, unnoticeable stain or something called a “run.”  Whereas you assume that all clothing comes with a lifetime guarantee, so long as you don’t grow out of it, and will cheerfully wear things until they have dissolved to the size of a small dishtowel, which makes them perfect to use as cleaning cloths.

 

Dear Mordechai,

            How do I get the sanitation department to take my old garbage can?  The can came with my house, but the wheels are missing, and it no longer stands upright.  In order to use it, I have to prop it against the other garbage cans.  It’s always rolling around my yard and making noise and I want nothing more than to get rid of it.  But no matter what I do, the sanitation people just won’t take it.  I tried bringing it to the curb, leaving it empty, leaving it full, laying it down, putting it inside another garbage can…  I even tried leaving a note on it that said, “Garbage.”  But they just took the note.  What do I do?

S.B., Brooklyn

Dear S.,

Cut it in half.  Lengthwise.  If you don’t have the tools to do this, you can leave it at the curb during a serious rainstorm, and it will blow away.  So will the can that you lean it against, but that is a small price to pay, right?

Of course, if you’ve already spray-painted your address on it, you have a problem, because people are going to keep bringing it back.  Maybe you can use more spray paint to change the number on the can, and have it be someone else’s problem.

Otherwise, you can take it to Home Depot, and have them cut it in half, if you can find someone to help you over there.  If you can’t, just find the “garbage can” aisle and leave it there.

But no, it’s not easy to get rid of it.  That’s what they mean when they say “Lifetime guarantee.”

 

Dear Mordechai,

            At what point can my wife and I tell people that we’re expecting?

R.Z., Riverdale

Dear R.,

WE are not expecting.  Your wife is the one who’s expecting.  So really, it’s her news and her decision.  Sure, you have more responsibilities now, but that does not in any way equate with what your wife is doing.

But by all means, your newfound responsibilities are your news to share.

“I’ve been carrying the laundry basket up and down the stairs lately,” you can casually remark to the guys at shul.  (AT shul, not DURING shul.)  “Also, I’ve been scrubbing behind the toilet.  And I found my old undershirt.”

Mazel tov!” they’ll say, about the undershirt.  The rest of it won’t faze them.  Because honestly, even if you did tell your guy friends that you and your wife are expecting, men don’t really store that kind of information.  In a few months, when you tell them that you had a baby, they’re going to frown and say, “Again?  Didn’t you just have a baby like 3 months ago?  I know you said something about a baby.”

But I definitely see why you couldn’t ask your friends this question.  It’s for that same reason that I protected your identity by only providing your initials, your city, and the fact that your wife is pregnant but you haven’t told anybody.

 

Have any questions for “You’re Asking ME?”  They should be with mazal.

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