the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Isn't it wonderful "tsu geyn of a vakatsye" (to go on a vacation)?

Paul Reiser ("Couplehood") writes about how a couple both stare at people and enjoy a rousing game of 'Let's Figure Out What's Wrong with Them.' Fun in airports, restaurants, wherever you go.
"See that girl over there--with the earrings? She's with security. Used to be CIA."

"Okay. The guy over there--eating by himself? Just broke up with his girlfriend."

"No, she left HIM."

"For her aerobics instructor."

"Good call."

You arrive at the airport 2 1/2 hours before departure time and wait. You practice your Yiddish:

"Ot iz mayn pas." (Here is my passport.)

"Ven muz ikh aroyf oyf der shif?" (When do I have to board?)

"Fun velkher toyer for ikh op?" (From which gate do I leave?)

"Tsi muz ikh alts efenen?" (Must I open everthing?)

The year is 2001. My husband, Howard, and I are sitting at the West Palm Beach Airport waiting for our flight back to New York's J.F.K. Airport.

Howard has his newspaper and finds a seat away from all the "tuml" (noise). His attitude: The less you talk, the better off you are. Mine differs: If you mix around, you learn quite a bit.

So, I sit myself next to a woman who is traveling alone, introduce myself ("Hi, I'm Marge."), and strike up a conversation. "Fun vanet kumt ir?" (Where are you from?) "Brooklyn."

The woman begins to "kvell" (brag) about her only daughter and "eydem" (son-in-law). They're financially successful: large home in Wellington, FL...and they own several horses. They are major contributors to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, and four times a year--each season--her daughter buys mom a new wardrobe. She says, "I'm so lucky. They accompanied me when I needed hip surgery at L.I.J. and hired a R.N. to care for me until I recuperated."

She then began to quote Jackie Mason: "If a daughter should marry a doctor, that's great. But if he's a specialist ("spetzyalist"), that's even better. And if he should own a medical center on top of that, then the 'naches' is nearly beyond words."

Her conversation is perfectly timed--deftly delivered.

Over the PA system, passengers are asked to board the airplane. The woman stands up, grabs her carry on "bagazh" (baggage), and whispers six very touching words: BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY GRANDCHILDREN."
Marjorie Wolfe has five grandchildren, and is expecting her sixth to arrive in December.


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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