Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jews and Thin Mints

At the end of this whole Girl Scout cookie nightmare, I will at least be able to say that because of it I have certainly experienced some interesting moments that I may not have otherwise experienced. So, I guess I can't say that I am sorry that I volunteered (although I can certainly say that I won't volunteer again!)

It all started with wondering how I was going to cram 145 CASES of cookies into my car.

Next there was the whole Children of Abraham lesson.

Then there was the shoplifting incident. Apparently a man decided he was hungry and so he stole a chicken. The grocery store security saw him. They chased him as he left the store only to have the guy pull a knife on them. They eventually got him but by that time there were about 10 police cars and 20 policemen standing in front of our cookie tables. At this point maybe we should have been afraid for our children's saftey but instead the girls took the opportunity to talk the police officers into buying cookies.

And finally the warehouse incident. I had to go exchange a few cases of cookies at the warehouse. There was another "Cookie Mom" there and somehow we ended up discussing how it seemed like the cookie that you sold the most depended on what neighborhood your cookie booth was in. I agreed since I had seen that at one grocery store we sold a bunch of Thin Mints and at another grocery store we barely sold any but sold a whole lot of Trefoils. She then continued the conversation...

"Yeah, the blacks really like those Trefoils"

(Um...I don't think she realized that there was an African American warehouse worker standing behind her when she said this.)

I nodded my head and said, "Oh really?"

"And the Jews - they love the Thin Mints."

(Yeah - I'm guessing she didn't realize I am Jewish. And actually, I don't like Thin Mints. But is this true, do Jews love Thin Mints? Inquiring minds want to know.)

She continued...

"And Hispanics - they love the coconut ones and lemon cookies"

At this point, maybe I should have asked her what the Chinese liked. But I wasn't sure I could handle another stereotype. So I smiled and wished her good luck with her cookie sales and got into my car with my cookies as quickly as possible. Simply unbelievable.

And now all I have left is the 15 boxes of cookies that are on my desk. Considering that we started with 1,740 boxes, I am proud of our little troop. I think Jack should buy the rest.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The trials and tribulations of being a "Cookie Mom"

Remember back when I decided I would volunteer to be the "Cookie Mom" for LO's Girl Scout troop? Well, it's Girl Scout cookie time and let's just say I must have completely lost my mind when I said I would volunteer to oversee all of this. At some point 145 cases of cookies have been in and out of my car and in an out of our house. That's 1,740 boxes of cookies! At $3.50 a box, that means I am responsible for $6,090 worth of cookies. Oy!

I was talking to the mom who has been the "Cookie Mom" for the past 3 years and she said, "You must be dying with all these cookies in your house!" Slightly offended I said, "Why? Does it look like we've been eating too many of them? " She replied, "No, because they are not kosher." I explained that the cookies ARE indeed kosher showed her the OU on the boxes and explained how we would not have been able to have them in our house if they were not kosher. ( As I was talking, I was thinking in my head, why am I telling her this, she doesn't care if she can tell if something is kosher or not.) She said, "Oh - that's good to know because it's a good selling point."

Later on I was telling PHD this story. We laughed because the assigned grocery store for our cookie booth is in a neighborhood that is predominantly African-American and chances were that being kosher would not be a huge selling point in the neighborhood. So, there we are all set up with our cookies outside the grocery store and who was our first customer? Yep - you guessed it, an African-American man wearing a star of David. Knowing our story, we were of course curious about this man's story, so PHD asked him about his star of David. His reply was, "We are all children of Abraham. I never leave home without my star." PHD and I showed him our stars as well and told him that we never leave home without them as well.

When we got home, I was curious about the whole "children of Abraham" thing so I searched on the internet and found this. It seems to be an organization trying to bring together Muslim and Jewish youths. Interesting indeed. See, you learn something new everyday.

My favorite moment at the cookie booth was when a woman came up to buy cookies and pointed at LO. She said, "I tried not to give her any eye contact but as soon as I looked at her little face, how could I say no to her?" I said, "Believe me, I know exactly what you mean." And I was not joking.

(p.s. Trepp, your cookies are on their way! I am guessing they are somewhere between Miami and Israel right now unless some customs guy decided he was hungry!)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Our own slice of paradise

I woke up the other morning and this is what I saw out the window. Meshugganah as I am, I grabbed the camera and ran into the backyard to take some pictures.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It is called a mezuzah

My townhouse is in a gated community of about 70 homes. I'm sad to say that I know very few people in the community. However, it's not because I am unfriendly, it has more to do with the fact that I would guess that the first language of 99% of the families in these homes was not English. (It's just a guess but I have rarely found an English-speaker among them!) But I digress. I was standing in a line to pick up a decal they were handing out for our cars and a man approached me.

Here's how that conversation went:

Man: Can I ask you a question?

Me: Sure, go ahead.

Man: I was down by your house and I noticed that you have a Jewish object on the door at your house. Can I ask why?

Me: Uh, because I'm Jewish.

Man: Really? I asked one of your neighbors when I saw it and he said he didn't know if you were Jewish. You must know that it is called a mezuzah. I have one on my door too.

We actually ended up having a nice conversation. He hasn't been to Shul in almost 30 years and I invited him for Shabbos. Still...for much of the conversation, I kept thinking - did this man just tell me that the "Jewish object" on my door is a mezuzah? Some things will never change.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

If this was terrorism, we'd be dead

(Ooo - two posts in one day. I can't believe it myself...next thing you know Fudge will be finding her luggage.)

We're home from school and work. My company closed around 11:30 am today. Apparently there was a bomb threat. We have had fire drills and evacuation drills but this was nothing like those drills. At 11:05 am someone in my department was running through the department telling everyone to get their stuff, go get their kids, and to leave. Well, you know it doesn't take much to get me to take the day off from work, but I wasn't buying it. I asked around, "How could they be evacuating the building and there is no alarm or company announcement?" No one could answer.

Please keep in mind that my building has around 1700 employees, so this is no small company.

I called my boss. He said he hadn't heard anything. Meanwhile all around me people are packing up their things and running towards the elevator.

I went to the Life Chief Actuary. He said he hadn't heard anything. But then as the words were coming out of his mouth, his secretary said, "Security just called and we need to evacuate." Out I went. Not using the elevator like all the others but hurrying down the stairs.

Out in the parking lot I saw a group of actuaries. I headed over to find out that while the Life Chief Actuary said to go home for the day, the Property and Casualty Chief Actuary told her people not to leave. WTF?

There were policemen and police cars everywhere. LO's school is on the same property as my office building - when I went to pick her up there it was pure chaos. Once I had LO in the car and was heading home, I glanced at the parking lot of my building which was now gridlocked with people trying to get out.

Still, no one knows what is going on. And I'm just sitting here at home in disbelief that in this day of creepy terrorists, my company as well as my daughter's school had no plan to handle this type of situation.

People often tell me that it's not safe to go to Israel. I say it seems as though it's more unsafe for me to go to work. And really if there is an anti-terror squad like this, is there any argument that Israel is the safer place?

Eretz Yisrael here we come!

We have plane tickets in hand for our trip to Israel! Some of you may recall that we were supposed to go with our shul last year but then the trip got cancelled. This time we decided not to rely on the shul trip and are heading to Eretz Yisrael on our own. PHD has been traveling there at least 2 times a year for as long as he can remember so he has an idea of what he would like to do while there. I, on the other hand, have ideas of my own! We of course plan to visit with the Treppenwitz family and are hoping to even have waffles with the Jameel.

And now, PHD has asked me to make a list of all the places I want to go so that he can do some planning for us. The Dead Sea is a must, so we already have hotel reservations there. Anyone else care to offer up suggestions? I would like to go to Ma'arat HaMachpela (but it's going to take some convincing to get PHD to go there), Kever Rachel (another one that is going to take some convincing), Safed, but where else is a must see? (Sadly, Yad Vashem may be out because they only allow children over 12 in the museum and boy is that going to make LO mad!)