A Sunday

FOPOB called in the morning to say that he is coming for dinner.  He was wavering through the weekend.  I guess he didn’t get a better offer than his daughter and grandson.  Pause.  Laugh or be sad if you want.  We negotiated that he would come at 5pm for dinner, even though people come at 6pm.  Recall what I have written about whether the early bird special was just a name for a phenomenon or a proactive marketing technique.

That afternoon, after obligatory cartoons and some wrestling with SOS, POB, SOS and I took a long walk on a wonderful day.  SOS even deigned to throw a football with me.  He throws a good spiral but he needs some attention to his stance and footwork.  He isnot interested.  “Emom, I don’t like competitive sports!!”  “Dude, good form is not competitive.  It is just good form!!”  This went on for a while, as his stance and his consistency got better.  There was one catch that made me so proud that I hugged and lifted him up.  We high-fived rather than a chest-but, since that is both ooky for a boy and his mom as well as painful to the mom.

Back story:  I throw a really good spiral, thanks to BOB.  BOB, needing someone to play with him at our country house and finding no others (we were pioneers in this part of the Berkshires in the early 1970s), determined that if I were his designated play mate, I couldn’t throw any type of ball like a “girl”.

After lunch, SOS and POB went home and I went to the gym to make sure that my arms look ok in my wedding dress.

Sidebar:  I used to believe that only crazy 20-something brides bought ridiculous gowns.  But now I realize that there is a second group — the peri-menopausal bride who buys an unforgiving wedding dress to prove a point about beauty and aging.  But the point gets really obscured when the bride is faced with Super, Double Fudge Chunk Chocolate Ice Cream on a warm day.

When I got home, SOS was having his Hebrew lesson.  It was 3pm and I tried to rest a little but as it was getting close to 4pm, when DOB usually arrives, I couldn’t nap because I am listening for the door bell.  Frustrated, I got up.  I logged on to do some work all the while worrying why DOB was late.  I got an email from SOB, with the subject line, “Don’t Worry” and a message “Dad got to the Upper West Side early, so he is here talking to HOSOB.  Just didn’t want you to start calling the area hospitals.  Love, [SOB].”

Sidebar:  The blessing of SOB is that she knows what I am thinking and when.  She knows that at 4:15pm I would sound the Emergency [Blogger] Family Protocol, because DOB was 15 minutes late for his (too) early arrival.

As soon as I emailed back thanking SOB for the warning, the door bell rang and it was FOPOB.

FOPOB is not what one would call a conversationalist.  It was 5pm.  I thought, “where is DOB?? Where is SOB and HOSOB?”  Not one to hold back, I called SOB.  No introductions, no niceties, just down to the nitty-gritty.


“When are you coming?”

“We wanted to give you time to relax.  We are ok here.  [DOB] is talking to [HOSOB] and I am safe in another room.”

“FOSOB is over,  so, really, when are you coming?”

“We have to get ready and we have to pick up dessert.”

“We’ll unfreeze something.  So, five minutes?”

“We have to shut things off . . . [SOB is torturing me with her new-found power] . . . ”

“So, you’ll take a cab?”


“Look, it’s been 5 minutes and we have run out of things that interest him.  He asked when you all were coming over.   I need you to contribute to global warming and get into a cab!

Now, you may think me selfish about the global warming thing; but, shalom bait [peace in the house] is held even higher than emet [truth].  And we needed a little more of . . .  take a guess.

SOB, HOSOB and DOB arrive within 20 minutes of my distress signal.

I hug and kiss each and then say to SOB:

“what took you so long?”

Aaahh, the quintessential Jewish greeting that conveys happiness, reproach and aspirations belatedly fulfilled, all at once.

Ok, so the difference between Yiddish and English is that, in Yiddish, words alone convey these sentiments; in English, you have to see the body language and hear the inflections.  The traditions abide, albeit in a less succinct form.