Posted by Julia Bendis
I am just not as Tiger-esque as I had hoped to be this summer, in fact I am the very opposite of the Tiger Mother! But, I did have big plans to become one over the summer break… And even bigger plans to grow a pair when it comes to my children NOT sitting around watching TV, playing the Wii, DSI, Ipod, Shmi-Pod, PSP, STD, GameBoy, PlayBoy, alright you get the point…
As much as I had planned on having a very strict regimen for my kids this summer, I have already failed. The kids have been out of school for three weeks now, but had only read once and done a single sheet of Math. However, I do have very neatly piled worksheets of Math, Reading, Science and History sitting on the kitchen table waiting to be touched! And every morning as I enter the kitchen, I am reminded of what a pathetic enforcer of rules that I am… I keep thinking why can’t I be more tough and strong when it comes to my kids’ summer education? I know I am no Amy Chua or some of my Mom friends by any means, but this is absolutely ridiculous.
Every single time I tell my kids to start reading or doing worksheets, I crumble and give in to their every excuse (do this in a very whiny voice of a 6 and 11-year-old):
-Mom, I am hungry. Can I do it after I eat, again?
- Of course baby! Let me make you some food, because I had just put away your breakfast an hour ago, and you clearly need to eat again.
- Mom, I am just so tired. I played outside with the neighbor kid for a long time. Can’t I just rest for a little bit and then do it?
- Sure baby! Let me make you all cozy on the couch here. Can I whip up some fresh squeezed lemonade for you since I have nothing better to do?
- Mom, my brother woke me up so early this morning, I can’t do any work now. My brain is not up. Can’t I just take a short nap and then do it?
- Of course! Why don’t you go and lay on MY freshly-made bed while I make some cookies for when you wake up!
- Mom, I sat on the toilet for so long this morning, my butt really hurts and I can’t sit and do any work right now. Can I do it later?
- You poor baby! Let me rub your beautiful toches!
You get the pattern here? I know its pathetic, but I am not a Tiger Mother. I am a Yiddishe Mother. That unfortunately comes with a great gift of smothering, over-bearing, over-feeding, over-nurturing, over-touching, over-everything. That is why I enrolled them in summer camp so someone else can do what I can’t, make them Read and do their Math! And when they come home and tell me they did neither one of those things, but play and eat, I will still go to bed happy! Who needs Reading and Math anyway… They will be artists and comedians when they grow up, so who cares!
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July 2, 2011 | 2:59 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
The other day a friend of mine told me that I am the only person she knows that still owns an answering machine… Apparently, everyone else in the world has long done away with those and only using electronic voice-mail now. I’m a bit slow with technology, I admit. However, I refuse to give my phone provider an extra $12 per month for voice-mail when I have a perfectly good answering machine! Who cares anyway, not a soul calls my land-line and they haven’t since 2008. The only reason I still have a land-line is because I get a huge package discount for having cable, internet and phone service. A whole 10 Bucks!
My pre-historic answering machine reminded me of my parents outgoing message back in the day. Our first answering machine in this country was a memory I will not easily forget. My Father had to record the outgoing message, being the man of the house and all. However, after months of listening to one hang up after another we finally decided that my Dad’s threatening and a bit disturbing message had to go… This is what he recorded (now do this with a very heavy Russian accent): “You have reached the Beynarts, WE NO HOME. WE COME BACK AND FIND YOU!” For the audio version, CLICK HERE Would anyone leave their name and number on this machine?
I always wondered why my friends NEVER left messages. The next day at school they’d say: “Hey Julia I called you and called you all night. I think I got the wrong number, it was some KGB hotline.” Um, no its my Dad.
My brother and I pleaded with him to let us record a new message, “Dad, you are scaring off all our friends. Can’t we just record a Normal message?” Here is how that conversation went (again, do this with a heavy Russian accent):
Dad: Are their parents lawyers?
My Brother and I: No.
Dad: Are their parents Doctors?
My Brother and I: No, I don’t think so.
Dad: Are they engineers?
My Brother and I: Not sure Dad.
Dad: Are their parents FBI?
My Brother and I: No, we are pretty sure they are not.
Dad: You NOT need any friends.
June 29, 2011 | 4:22 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
1. Why Oh why do people insist on asking how you are doing, when they don’t plan on listening to the answer? Just say “Hello” and keep walking! But don’t ask people how they are, and then interrupt them mid-sentence to tell them how late you are and need to run!
2. Why is it that THESE days before kids can go on any play-date, you have to do a background and criminal check on the parents first?
3. Why do people waste money on Therapists when all you have to do to “De-Stress” yourself is sit, and pet your dog for an hour?
4. Instead of calling someone back why do people E-MAIL back instead? If I wanted to e-mail you, I would have emailed you on the first place! Yes, I know sometimes I’ve done it too, but only if its way too late to call and I always call back the next day. If I call you, that means I want you to call me back, not e-mail, or text or Instant Message me!
5. Why do people come up with excuses for not being able to do one’s job instead of just admitting that they are lazy? It would save so much valuable time!
6. While driving around, I always make a mental note and try to remember locations and names of random stores, restaurants and specialty shops! For example, for years now I have been telling myself to remember this shop that sells all kinds of Uniforms, e.g. for Nurses, Doctors, vets, etc… Why? I have no idea. Just in case one day I decide to become a Medical Nurse and need to know where to get the Uniform…
7. What is the difference between verbal gossip, and spreading rumors in person versus what you read online? How is one different from the other? One is verbal gossip and the other is written gossip. Is there a difference?
8. Why is it when I order chicken with noodles at a restaurant, every once in a while I also get a few pieces of rice in there or some other food that I didn’t order, and which doesn’t belong? Its almost like they were making my food along with someone else’s and I got a part of it! What if they were making fish for the other guy, isn’t that cross-contamination? If I order noodles, I want noodles. I don’t want bits of rice in there too!
9. Why do people always complement on the clothes you are wearing, instead of how you look? I didn’t make the shirt, I just picked it out. Don’t tell me you like it, tell me you like my taste or how I look in that shirt. That makes more sense. You like the shirt, go tell it to the manufacturer!
10. And last but not least… Why are people so inconsiderate when out in public? If you have a cart full of groceries, but there is a person behind you that has two items, don’t be a jerk and let that person go in front of you! Its not going to kill you, trust me.
June 28, 2011 | 11:41 am
Posted by Julia Bendis
I am trying something new here, and taking my Matchmaking to a new level a little bit. I will be posting pictures and information of my singles on here. If you are interested to get in touch with them, put a comment or send an email to me with your information and I will get you in touch with them.
Here are the requirements:
- You must be an eligible bachelor or bachelorette. Meaning you are not Married!
- You must be a self-efficient adult. Meaning if you still in your Mother’s basement, attic, or anywhere in her house, you may not apply!
- You must have a stable job.
- You must seriously want to be in a relationship, this is not Ashley Madison or Craigslist.
- If you have a prior criminal record, or conviction of any kind, you may not apply. Even if you didn’t mean to do it. That goes for Child Predators as well.
- If you are under the age of 28, you may not apply.
- Overall, you must be a decent human being!
Look for the first eligible Single in the next day or so…
June 23, 2011 | 11:51 am
Posted by Julia Bendis
Ever since my Grandmother passed away twelve years ago, I have been feeling like I am never alone. Even if the house is completely silent and free from all and any rambunctious/annoying children, I always feel like there is someone else in there with me. Being pretty superstitious, and paranoid of everything under the Sun I’ve never fully allowed myself to think of whatever “spirits” may be out there, but after my Grandmother died it had gotten out of hand…
Not only do I have an addiction to pleasing everyone around me, (except for myself) but my constant OCD has now spilled over onto dead people too! What if the ghost sees how dirty the house is? Better go vacuum before bed. What if IT goes to the bathroom and sees my kids’ pee all over the floor? Better go clean it up. Is it looking at me while I’m in the shower? Note to self: buy a new non-see-through shower door…
Days and months after my Grandmother’s passing, the home phone would ring non-stop at all hours of the day and night, and it was always silence on the other end. This was before Caller I.D.-era so there was no way of knowing where the call was coming from. The lights would come on at random times, as well as the ceiling fans. It wasn’t until my first child was born that I felt like whatever “IT” was, was actually living in my house. My son was probably a few months old, when one night he was crying uncontrollably. There was nothing we could do to calm him down, and as I stood there holding him I turned my back to one of the corners in his bedroom. His face was facing that corner. All of a sudden he stopped crying. It was SO sudden that I thought for sure he was looking at something, but there was absolutely nothing there. He went from sobbing to laughing within a matter of seconds,which made my skin crawl. I had goose bumps all over my body as I watched him giggle in delight and stare at the corner of that wall. Obviously, there was something he was seeing that I couldn’t… Having a terrible Postpartum depression, I just blamed it on that and tried to move on.
As time went on, the phone calls stopped but the lights and fans in the house continued to come alive on their own, very sporadically. The same events continued in our second home, but a lot less. It wasn’t until my son was about three-years-old that I started to get those eerie feelings again. One day out of the blue he declared that he sees a “man” in the corner just standing there. It was always a man for some reason… Then when I had my second son, he too started to see “things”. While having dinner one night, he yelled out that there is a “Man” walking back and forth in the backyard past our window. When I asked him what he is doing there, he told me that he is just walking around. So then I asked if he was a “White” figure or a “Dark” figure, having heard a lot about the “dark and bad kind” of spirits, to which he replied, “White, and I can see right through him”. Now this child has an extremely wild imagination, to the extent of his teacher keeping a journal of all the things he says during the day, so I didn’t quite believe him at first. He has been known to weave a good tale on many occasions, with a straight face too… However, this time it was different. He yelled it out at the exact same moment as I was having a strange feeling that there was something starring at me from behind the glass door. As I turned around, my son was pointing to this “Man” walking around in the back yard…
I don’t know, maybe my kids are getting to ‘Mom’s stash of weed’, or just having a wild imagination but something doesn’t feel right. Its hard to know when my youngest is telling the truth, especially when the day before he exclaimed that on his recent trip to China World he saw all kinds of things, “And oh my I saw so many different dragons and monsters, and everyone was talking to me in Chinese, and guess what Mom? I totally knew what they were saying!” When asked when this “trip” occurred, without hesitation he answered: “When you and Dad weren’t looking!” Or the time when he had us all fooled by hiding the dog in the closet, telling me she got out and was chasing bunnies down the hill, making me run half-dressed up and down our street looking for the damn thing only to come back to his grinning face as he pulls the poor dog out of the closet… At that moment, when you realize that a five-year-old just pulled the best April Fools joke on his own Mother, do you threaten to physically harm the child, or feel stupid for not having checked the house first, then run out the door like a maniac??? I am sure my neighbors are used to seeing someone from my household running half-naked up and down the street, that’s not even an issue anymore. The same kid on many occasions enjoys taking all his clothes off, while chasing the neighborhood kids around. We don’t condone it, but we also don’t frown upon such behavior either. Why? Because I’m just too damn tired to care about what my neighbors think. They know we are freaks, and his nudist ways helps keep people away. So, go for it kid.
I do however worry a little bit about that wild imagination, and hope that both of my kids are telling the truth about “seeing” various spirits and ghosts around the house. It is really starting to mess with my head. I’m not proud of having to tell these “spirits” not to look at the mess upstairs…
June 20, 2011 | 2:12 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
I absolutely love shopping at Vintage and Second-Hand shops. The thrill of getting a one of a kind piece of jewelry or dress is indescribable! Finding that beautiful 50’s dress that no one else has is one of the reasons I enjoy Thrift stores, another is the fact that I absolutely hate shopping at the mall or any other kinds of stores.
I don’t understand how women, (and by Women, I mean my Mother) can spend five hours at the Mall only to come home with nothing! On many occasions I foolishly agreed to go with her, to do the whole Mother-Daughter shopping experience, but quickly realizing it was a big mistake. Three hours later, you could find me slumped in a chair, yes THAT chair designated for husbands right outside the Women’s fitting room. Dehydrated, hungry and exhausted I am heard blurting out the same answer to every shirt my Mother comes out wearing: “Yes, its perfect!”, to which my Mother replies: “You are not even looking at me! And what about this top, that looks just like the exact same top I just tried on only in light pink instead of pink? Do you think I should get the pink or light pink?” And that’s when you will observe me grabbing both tops out of her hand, walking over to the cashier and paying for them both, just so we can get the hell out of this place. Of course my Mother will give me a lecture about how I spend too much money, and the next day return both of the shirts.
I have no clue how my Mother does it, she is a Diabetic! She has to eat every couple of hours or else she will pass out. The only explanation I can come up with is either she carries around a purse full of food or the emotional high of clothes shopping gets her so excited that her body forgets it needs nourishment. I’m still working on the hypothesis…
Not only do I hate the crowds, scouring the racks but also knowing that someone else at any given moment could be wearing the exact same dress that I am, and I pray to never run into her! A few times in my adult life, I have shown up to a party only to turn around and leave because someone else was wearing the same outfit… I know its totally a woman’s thing, men don’t care if another guy is wearing the same shoes, shirt or anything else.
That’s why I love Thrift stores and one of a kind Mom-and-Pop shops. I don’t mind that all the clothes are used in there, that’s not a big deal to me. What I DO mind are the stores that keep their lights super dim especially in the fitting rooms! It took me a couple trips to a Vintage store to realize WHY they keep the lights so low. Those stains on my gorgeous 1950’s party dress ain’t going anywhere. And believe me, I tried everything. Bleach, super extra-strength OXY-Clean that promises to get out “even the toughest stains”, good old-fashioned baking soda, dry cleaning, etc. You name it, I tried it! Considering the stains have been there since the 1954, its probably a big waste of my time trying to get them out…
If I could only teach and then bribe my kids to do clothes shopping for me… now that would be the sweetest thing ever! I know I couldn’t trust my Mother to buy me clothes; I’m pretty sure that if it was up to her I would be walking around looking like a cross between Dita Von Teese and a teenage hooker… No offense, Mom but not all of us look good wearing mini-skirts paired with a lace-up bustier…
June 16, 2011 | 10:02 am
Posted by Julia Bendis
What has become of chivalry? Does it even exist anymore? Everywhere I go I’m seeing women carrying big packages, pushing bulky strollers, and lugging around overweight toddlers while their men are cruising by without a care in the world! The thing is that it doesn’t even seem like the women mind it as much as I do. They walk around very proudly of their non-mannered men. What happened to our society? What happened to men opening doors for women? Have we become so self-efficient, and so independent that we no longer need chivalry, romance, or a simple gesture of kindness?
And what are we teaching our sons, that its alright NOT to hold the door open for a woman. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but when I happen to be behind a man or anyone for that matter, I just assume that they will hold the door open behind them. They don’t have to open the door for me, just hold it open after you walk through it if there is someone behind you. Unfortunately, being that naive has led the door to slam in my face many times.
Just the other day I was walking out of a Doctor’s office with my kids when a man was walking in. I assumed he was going to hold the door open for my kids and I, so I proceeded to rush my boys through the door right as this idiot let go of it. Not wanting my son to get slammed in the face by the heavy door, I leaped into it with my body. And yes, my back still hurts but not as much as my feelings. As much as I wanted to go off on this pathetic excuse for a man, I wasn’t going to do it in front of my kids. Instead I made sure to notice which office he walked into. Can you guess what happens next?
I walked my children to a nearby bench, where we sat down for a snack. While they had their snack, I pulled out a notepad (yes I carry one with me to write down jokes that randomly pop into my head, or in this case assault an imbecile) and started writing a letter to this thoughtful man.
My name is Julia and we just met moments ago when you didn’t have a minute to spare to hold a door open for me and my kids. In case you had forgotten me, I was the Mom leaping into a steel-made door so it wouldn’t slam into my child’s innocent face. You did however spare a second by looking back to find out what all the ruckus was all about. So sorry for the disturbance. Do you remember me now?
Could you do me a big favor? Could you deliver this letter to your parents for me? Thank you so much. I would like to address your parents now.
Dear Parents of this half-wit, mannered-free, so-called Man. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for raising such a thoughtful, and well-mannered man! Just today he helped me remember what a jungle this world is, and that I should never ever assume other people would hold the door open for my children and I. It was a total disregard of my duties as a parent to almost let my son’s face collide with a door! It has taught me a huge lesson, and I would like to thank you for that! Thank you again for raising such an upstanding citizen, who is a great contribution to our society.
A Mother who almost let her kid get hit by a door.”
I walked back into the office where this man was, saw him sitting in the waiting room and proceeded to give him the note. “This is for you, Sir. Happy reading!”, I announced as he stared blankly at me.
Now I just hope to never run into him again…
June 13, 2011 | 9:46 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
Is it just me or do other people have a huge phobia of Dentists? I don’t know why I have such a fear of them, but I do know that I’d rather have another baby than go to the Dentist. Actually, now that I think about it, I would even prefer a colonoscopy to having someone put their hands and sharp tools into my mouth. The night before my appointment I have to either consume large amounts of alcohol or take Valium, otherwise I lay awake all night starring at the ceiling. You would think that having a Grandmother that used to be a Dentist would make one MORE comfortable with getting dental work, but in my case I believe that it made me LESS comfortable.
Let me explain. My Grandmother went to dental school right after the War, which might as well have been during dinosaur times. The fact that she never worked on her children or grandchildren was definitely alarming to me, and raised a lot of questions in my head as to why she always referred us to other dentists… She had no problem with fixing other people’s teeth, but when it came to us she would state: “I have a very heavy hand and don’t want to hurt you.” To this day I have absolutely no clue what that means.
Or maybe my brain has ingrained the image of all those Soviet dentists I had to go to as a child. The memory of getting my teeth pulled without Novocain, the pre-historic tools they used, the cavity work without anesthetic, etc… I wonder if any of that has to do with my terrible fear of the dental chair?
I do remember getting out of mandatory visits to the Dentist with my class. For those of you not familiar with how Communism works, apparently the government has the right to decide when and how children are supposed to visit the Dentist, amongst other physicians. Basically, during various times throughout the school year our teacher would take us on a “field trip” to the Dentist. And every year, as soon as I was placed in the dental chair, I would announce that my Grandmother is a practicing Dentist therefore there was no need for my check up. A couple times I did get away with it, but most times I ended up being dragged back there by my Mother the very next day. Let’s just say that by forth grade I had developed a file that read DIFFICULT/DEFIANT.
Not only did we have “fieldtrips” to the Dentist, but we also got visited by “nurses” in the beginning of the school year to give out vaccines right there at our desks! Dead, honest truth. They had those Sci-Fi looking guns that shot out a dose of vaccine, which sounded like an air gun going off. It was the scariest thing in the world, and we all dreaded those days when the “nurses” made their rounds through the school. We had other so-called fieldtrips also, to clinics and medical offices to name a few. I wasn’t kidding when I wrote awhile back that when my husband got to go on potato chip factories on his fieldtrips, I went on Concentration Camp fieldtrips. But that wasn’t until we were much older, more mature and able to comprehend the atrocities of the Holocaust, around the age of twelve or so. More on that later.
Could all of that contribute to my anxiety and debilitating fear of dentists?