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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Some Couples Are Great; Others, Not So Much
Today we had lunch with a weird couple. It all started a few weeks ago when The Diva (our 7 year-old daughter) befriended a new girl at our synagogue. In true Diva fashion, she instantly became "best-friends." So her parents invited us for Shabbat lunch. We trudged to their house in an uncharacteristic downpour and began pleasantries with our hosts. We then adjourned to the dining room to begin the meal. First, we had Kiddush (the blessing over the wine at Shabbat meals), no problem. Next, hand-washing. (Before formals meals there is a ceremonial hand-washing strictly for religious reasons, not for hygiene. It is assumed that if one's hands are actually dirty one will wash them before coming to the table.) So the hostess announces that we should wash with soap and water first, and then do the ritual washing. At first, I think she is addressing her 7 year-old daughter. I soon realize that she is addressing us all. Oddly enough, both Bean and I comply and wash our hands thoroughly with soap. She doesn't seem like the kind of woman you want to cross. After hand-washing, I glance around the kitchen. The walls are papered with lists, apparently for the housekeeper. Many of my friends have short list on the fridge to remind the housekeeper when to give the baby a bottle, or emergency phone numbers. Our hostess had the entire kitchen cabinet covered with multiple lists that were so intricate they may have required the Dewey decimal system. The list entitled "setting the table for Shabbat" may have its own entry in the Library of Congress. An entire page in length, the list was not only bulleted but contained sub-sub-divisions like:

1(b)iii The small fork is to the left of the large fork.

There was also a large diagram of a table setting.

Much of the rest of the meal was spent with the wife nitpicking her husband's behavior. She yelled at him not to talk with his mouth full. She finished the stories he was trying to tell us and generally micromanaged the rest of the afternoon.

On the way home, Bean and I discussed what odd ducks this couple is and how you can't predict merely from someone's level of religiosity or the synagogue they attend whether you will feel comfortable with them. It just underscored how much we and Psychotoddler and Mrs. Balabusta have in common that we did not have any of this discomfort around them. Or, perhaps, they thought we were freaks, but knowing that we read his blog, he had the decency not to mention it.
Cue the psycho music....NOW.

I would have run, not walked, out of that house as soon as i saw the bulleted list.
There is medicine for OCD but it works best together with talk therapy. The hard part is getting that poor woman to realize she needs it. Maybe you can add it to one of her to-do lists: Get Help For OCD. BTW strangely enough OCD seems to be a very common Jewish malady, along with depression, diabetes and heart disease.

On second thought, maybe you should talk to her husband. There seriously is medicine. You could ask a doctor, maybe there's one around here....?
Wonder if some of that "parental guidance" has rubbed off on The Diva's new "best friend"; does she seem odd, too?

I know that my hubby and I are not typical types in this community in which we live, pray and where our children attend school. More than anything, we co-host, meaning we co-cook, co-invite, co-colaborate. And more than anything, you can feel comfortable in our home, in our presence...Wish I could say the same for many peers/people whose paths cross ours.

So, when are you and the good doctor & little Beans coming for Shabbos lunch? You can check out the refrigerator door and the bulletin board and see if there's anything odd (maybe the lunch menu?) that catches your eye.
PT: We couldn't leave. Did I mention it was raining!?

Toby: I wash my hands (tee hee) of the whole thing.

Pearl: The Diva's new friend seems pretty normal. As you know, the Beans don't co-anything unless you count the doctor making the money and me doing everything else. However, I don't yell at him and I think we make most people comfortable. Most people except Liberals.
Doesn't sound like OCD. Sounds like the mom is a control freak.

Now if they had to wash hands over and over and over...
exactly. it sounds like obsessive compulsive personality disroder, which is a whole different thing than OCD and as far as i know, there's no meds for that.
OCD is the new Bipolar disorder.
That's right. And a few years ago bipolar disorder was the new depression and fifteen years ago depression was the new severe neurosis.
I have a strange habit of putting my receipts from the grocery store on the fridge after I come home. When questioned about this oddity, I had to confess that I keep the receipt so that later, when I can't find something in the pantry, I can check to see if I really bought it last time I shopped, or if I was just thinking about buying it.

Also, when I was in high school I babysat for someone, once, who was so paranoid about me traifing up her kitchen she had specially cut boards covering the sinks and counters that she took out when I came over. I was interogated when she came home over what glass I used to drink water from the faucet (the one she left out) and where I got the water from (the tap) and what I did with the glass after I drank from it.

Not only did I not go back there, I blacklisted her in my high school babysitting clique. It was what I call a social responsibility.

And finally, it's not the weirdos you meet on the internet that finally get you, it's the ones next door. Go figure.
I am hoping for "Happy Feet" to be the next OCD.
Mrs. B: Too funny! She must have been a Ba'al teshuva or had some psychiatric disorder. Didn't she know that she is not responsible if you make a mistake in her kitchen that she never knows about?

At least that is what I've been told.

A better thing than never babysitting would have been to go back and rub bacon grease all over her pans.
B&C, so that's what I have to look forward to when I have kids? Can't even socialize with the people I want to hang out with, gotta be friends with the (weird) parents of the kids' friends?

And finally, it's not the weirdos you meet on the internet that finally get you, it's the ones next door. Go figure. .
MrsB, LOL!
Essie: Yes. The scary part is that I didn't even realize it until I just responded to you. We are exteremly fortunate, however, that many of our best friends also have children whom our children love to play with. Also, there are always babysitters.
Essie: When you have kids, you won't have time for friends.
PT: Geez, no one said you needed to have six of them! I bet couples who have the standard one or two probably stay out all night partying.
However, I don't yell at him and I think we make most people comfortable. Most people except Liberals.

Heh. :) You should come to our apartment...
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