Tooth Fairy money and other useless artifacts of choice…

Apparently, The Tooth Fairy is going through tough economic times too.  10% of children did not receive any money this year, and 7% received less than a dollar.  Are you kidding me?  First of all, I don’t understand the whole “Tooth Fairy” thing as it is.  In what messed up world do you get rewarded with nothing less than MONEY for losing your baby teeth?  This has got to be the dumbest idea a non-parent has ever come up with!

When I was a kid, not only was there no such thing as a Tooth Fairy, but we didn’t have “Fairies” of any kind.  Forget getting rewarded for losing a tooth.  You know what our “big reward” was?  Pulling the damn tooth out yourself, so Grandma didn’t tie a thread to it and the other end to a doorknob, and then yank the door to pull that tooth out.  You were given a simple choice, do it yourself or Grandma will do it for you!  Forget money, forget going for ice cream afterward, forget parents saving the disgusting thing and giving it to your spouse on your wedding day.

You think I’m kidding?  There are people I know that got a bag full of goodies on their wedding day.  Their future spouse’s baby teeth, hair, even molds of their crooked teeth before they got braces on!  I was surprised to hear that it didn’t contain their baby finger nails, and penis foreskin from the guy’s circumcision…  Somehow I have a feeling that those parents might have that somewhere as well, stashed far far away…

As much as I love many American traditions, I think this particular obsession with saving every tiny, mundane and useless piece of childhood is completely foreign to me and maybe even other non-Americans.  I could be wrong.  I mean, take a look at my parents.  Not only did they NOT save my baby teeth or hair, but have thrown a lot away.  Not just MY artifacts, but their own as well.  My parents don’t keep anything, their house is the most immaculate piece of art I’ve ever seen.  There isn’t a single piece of paper out of place, much less an occasional baby tooth laying around.

I am pretty sure that as soon as I moved out of their house, in my very old age of 21, the very same day they packed up all my crap and threw it away.  They don’t even wait for neighborhood garage or yard sales, they just throw everything out.  Their garage looks like someone’s living room, you literally could live in it, it is that clean.  The other day I was rummaging through their garage looking for my old journals and books.  I didn’t find either of those things, however I did find a nice collection of classic books…  all in Russian.  They literally filled a giant boat FULL of Russian books when we immigrated here.  Nothing else, just books.  I am not sure if some genius told them that in America, people will pay millions for those books or what…

So, as you can tell my views on saving baby’s foreskin, locks of hair and other artifacts is a bit skewed, although per my husband’s request I have been saving my kids’ first teeth and hair since they were babies.  Only for him to throw it all away ten years later when he found strange hair, teeth and what looked like the remains of an animal that died from suffocation, at the bottom of a plastic container titled “KIDS CRAP”

Everyone is suddenly Irish on March 17th!

Why does everyone become Irish on St. Patrick’s day?  Even the Jews.  When has it become a good thing for Jews to start drinking?  Have you ever seen Jewish people drink?  No, that’s because most of us can’t hold down our liquor, and its not pretty.

I am definitely the “drinker” in the family, not my husband.  His idea of a drink is ordering a glass of wine at dinner, finishing half of it and me having to drive home, because he looks like he is about to pass out.  I usually order a beer, but when it arrives the server gives it to my husband, assuming I am having the wine.  Because that’s usually how it works: the girl gets a fru-fru drink with an umbrella on top, and the guy orders a beer.

Not even close with Jewish men, unless its my Father.  He has a glass of Vodka, or as he calls it “water” with everything.  And yes, I said a glass not a shot.  His Grandfather wouldn’t even get out of bed until the wife brought him a glass of Vodka in the morning.  But, I guess when you’ve survived the Holocaust, and find yourself living under the Soviet regime with all your adult children and grandchildren under one roof, you DO need a glass of Vodka before getting out of bed!  We all needed alcohol to get us through the day, the earlier the better.

I am pretty sure my in-laws think I am an alcoholic.  Living in Cleveland, amongst 99.5% Jewish population, there ain’t much drinking going on…  So, when I have a beer once in a while, as my Father passes Vodka around to everyone around him before dinner has yet to arrive, and my Mother in the corner laughing her head off because she’s already had her half a glass of wine, I can only assume that they are dialing Jewish Alcoholics Anonymous under the table!

Its like the scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the Greek family keeps getting the Americans drunk, offering barbecued sheep amongst other delicatessen…  Only in my case, its the Russian Jews trying to serve up stuffed fish with its head still on and washing it down with Vodka.

Going back to my previous question about Jewish drinking, I ask this again: do Jewish people really think they can party on St. Patrick’s day like the rest of the population?  No, they can’t.  It really is not a pleasant site when you see Moshe at the bar, red as a lobster after one beer, with a green Super Jew t-shirt looking as if he is about to puke his guts out before 10 p.m.  My suggestion to all my people, do not pretend you are Irish for one night trying to impress the ladies with your drinking abilities and your cool shirt, it will only make you look like the Jew that you are, red-faced and all.  Stick to a fruity Bahama Mama with an umbrella on top!  Its Sexy.


Is Matchmaking a Mitzvah and how many are we supposed to accomplish in our lifetime?

Attending a wedding the other week of a couple that I introduced, made me think of the many Mitzvot that we are supposed to perform in our lifetime.  Having been somewhat of a Matchmaker since I was in high school, I had never really thought about it as a Mitzvah, or a good deed.  All I did was put two souls together, mainly because I had a feeling that they would like each other and hopefully build a life together.  But as I sat listening to the Cantor during the wedding talking about the Torah, and the significance of all of us performing a Mitzvah, my husband leaned closer and whispered: “I’m so proud, you made all this happen, yet another Mitzvah!”  To tell the truth, it caught me off guard, I had never thought of it that way.  My amateur matchmaking had always been a bit of a hobby, on the side of all my other “real” jobs.  And as my husband would say, a bit of an annoyance and hindrance to our personal life.

So as I started to ponder about all the people I introduced over the last fifteen years, and realized that a lot of them have continued to stay together, and in this case get married and start a family!  I had an epiphany!  I was doing a service to the world, I was performing a Mitzvah each time I matched a couple!  It only took me about fifteen years to come to this realization…  But, then again I am a bit of a slow learner.  Then more questions poured into my head…  Are we supposed to accomplish a certain number of good deeds in our lifetime?  Am I good now?  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love matchmaking, especially when the two people hit it off and continue dating.  However, it does not come without its problems.

Some of my past “couples” are eager to share their first meeting with me, along with every detail of their dates after that with its ups and downs, leaving me wanting to “fix” the situation.  Others I hardly hear from again until I see a post on Facebook that they are getting married, which brings me to yet another thought.  There has to be some kind of an etiquette when it comes to using a matchmaker, especially my kind of a matchmaker, a.k.a the free kind!  If I introduced you two, and somewhere down the line you decide to get married, along with your first phone calls to Mothers, Fathers, Sisters and Brothers, shouldn’t I be in there somewhere well before Facebook, Shmacebook, Twitter and whatever else?  Is it just me or does something feel a little odd about having to find out on Facebook that the couple you set up is getting married?  Again, maybe its just me.

I also get my husband involved in it, which he happily goes along with screening people with me, trying to look for single and available bachelors at his work, gym, basketball league, etc…  Poor guy is so tired of me waking him up a 2 a.m., only to hear me squeal with excitement because I thought of a girl for my single guy!

So, going back to my original question: Is Matchmaking a Mitzvah?  And how many Mitzvot are we as human beings, and Jews are supposed to perform to be good with the man above?  Or does it not work that way in Judaism…