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Oct 29 2014

Attention, Parents! RSVPs Are Not Optional

By at 2:00 pm

attention parents: rsvps are not optional

For my son’s 10th birthday we decided to go all out. We arranged a private showing at the planetarium. We rented a nearby community building for cake and festivities afterwards. The theater holds 60 people, so we decided to invite his entire class along with our family and friends.

The graphic designer in my office went to town designing a beautiful invitation based on the show “Cosmos,” since that’s what our son Joey enjoys watching. I had them printed and wrote each of the 24 kids’ names in his class on envelopes for Joey to pass out.

I expected that we wouldn’t get a full response. I’ve been a mom for 10 years and I’m used to the lack of RSVPing…but I wasn’t prepared for how bad it would actually be. I got four RSVPs. FOUR! Three of them were from the moms who I know personally in the class. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 2 2014

What Do You Do When Parents Don’t Know How to Share?

By at 4:03 pm

what do you do when other parents don't know how to share?

Following a rainy Saturday, my husband and I decided to take our toddler to a local playground once the weather dried out. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who had this idea, because the place was packed. Though it’s a pretty large space that can accommodate a fair amount of kids, the 2 to 5-year-old area only has two swings. Once my son grew tired of the slides and tunnels, we headed over to the swings, where a small line had formed. On the swings were two children–presumably siblings–each being pushed by what seemed to be one of their parents.

My husband and I chatted with our son as we waited our turn. But after a solid eight minutes had passed–I timed it–I started to get antsy. Didn’t the couple pushing their kids notice the long line of children waiting to swing? I said something to my husband along the lines of “that’s kind of selfish, isn’t it?” The woman in front of me turned around to nod in agreement. Yet nobody said anything to the couple hogging the swing set. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 1 2013

The Three Golden Rules for Dealing With Pregnant Women

By at 10:04 am

preggoI would not have thought such a guide was necessary. Certain things seem self-evident to me. But now, on my fifth pregnancy, I see that the world apparently needs some guidelines spelled out. There are really just three simple rules to dealing with pregnant women. If there are more, please let me know.

1. NEVER, EVER ask a woman, “Are you pregnant?”

This is the Golden Rule of what should be self-evident etiquette. There are NO EXCEPTIONS. No, no, never, never, no. I don’t care if you are sitting in the waiting area for the labor and delivery room at the hospital. If you’re right and she is pregnant and talking about her pregnancy, a few sentences of polite conversation will reveal it. If you’re wrong, you have accomplished nothing other than making a grown woman cry inside. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 20 2013

Let’s All Stop “Replying All” to Every Email

By at 4:33 pm

reply all to emailI participate actively in the email culture. Like most people I know, I use email from everything from work communication and checking in with friends and family, to discussing issues with my rabbi, my kids’ teachers, and even our family doctors. It’s fast, convenient, and for better or worse, we can go back to old emails to recover information if necessary. What’s not to like?

I’ll tell you what’s not to like–the sheer amount of messages in my inbox. The joy of email’s ease and speed will drown me, drown all of us, if we don’t get things under control soon.  Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 1 2013

From the Department of Rude: A Memo on Smart Phone Use at Shul

By at 9:46 am

I have a hard time staying away from my iPhone. Too often my phone is on the table during lunch with a friend. I’m drawn to it while standing in line or whenever there’s two minutes to spare. Trust me, I’m not proud of my attachment to the thing. In my defense, I at least draw the line at using my phone inside the walls of a synagogue.

It seems that not using cell phones in shul was once standard practice among all synagogue goers from the most frequent to the occasional bar mitzvah attendees. I’m afraid those days are long gone. At a family “Tot Shabbat” service I recently attended at our Conservative synagogue (where the laws of Shabbat are technically observed) I noticed several parents and kids playing around with phones. During the dinner that followed, I saw some of the younger tots distracted with iPads.

It was disheartening. Read the rest of this entry →


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