babies and pregnancy · food · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · marriage

Just give me my freakin’ kibbeh (quipe)

My husband teaches a class Thursday nights at a synagogue downtown. And because I hadn’t seen so much of him that week, I decided to join him. We stopped to pick up some food at the place he always gets dinner at and I waited for our order while my husband ran to start his class.

I’m alone with the Russian Israeli owner.
“Three years married and no kids?” He shakes his head.
“Excuse me?
“Three years and no kids?”
“No, would you like to pay for them?”
He gives me the most concerned looking face as he says, “You know, you can’t postpone having your first kid, it’s a…” and then there’s a bunch of Hebrew I don’t understand.
“What are you my freakin’ grandmother?” I snap back. “You think I don’t hear this enough from my family, I have to take it from strangers too?”
Eventually, he apologizes and offers me something extra, something free, to eat. I think about throwing it in his face but I chew it silently and methodically until my food is ready and I can stalk off.

15 thoughts on “Just give me my freakin’ kibbeh (quipe)

  1. how about “Im waiting to have kids until stupid people, like you, learn to shut their mouth?”

    What you really need to do is make a list of potential comebacks and practice them. That, or a FAQ card that you just hand out and people will hopefully get the point to BACK OFF.


  2. of course the answer to each of the FAQs is “and why is it your business?” (since everyone knows Jews answer a question with another question).

    DH asked if you ever saw Short Circuit (corny 80s movie w/ Steve Gutenberg (I think))

    Newton Crosby: Where are you from, anyway?
    Ben Jabituya: Bakersfield, originally.
    Newton Crosby: No, I mean your ancestors.
    Ben Jabituya: Oh, them. Pittsburgh.


  3. For the sake of fairness, I will note that he didn't do anything that any Israeli wouldn't do.

    And in fact, this closeness does cut both ways. If you ever find yourself in Israel, feel free to knock on the door of a random apartment and ask for a meal or the use of their showers.

    Israelis do obnoxiously treat every stranger like family, but on the other hand, they lovingly treat every stranger like family.


  4. As an appendix to my previous comment, some real-life examples:

    — A friend of mine hailed a taxi on erev shabbat and asked to be taken to such-and-such a place. The cab driver replied that if drove my friend there, he (the driver) wouldn't be able to get home for Shabbat in time. So the cab driver asked my friend to drop him (the driver) off at his (the driver's) home, and he (my friend) would drive to his (my friend's) home and keep the cab for Shabbat, and return it to the driver after Shabbat.

    — I was in Tzfat, in a friend's apartment building, looking for the landlord. The first person to answer her door, I asked her where the landlord was, and her reply was, “Have you eaten dinner?”. So she brought me inside and cooked me a dinner right then – no one else in the family was eating then, so it's not that she let me join in their family meal; rather, she cooked me my own dinner, and I hadn't ever even said that I was hungry – I was just looking for the landlord!

    — I was on the bus from Maale Gilboa to Afula, and I didn't know where I'd sleep that night (I had wanted to return to Jerusalem, but I had missed the last bus for the night). So one of the men on the bus, as he got off, ordered me to follow him. So I did, and he put me up for the night, cooking me dinner, lending me the use of his shower and some night clothing and a bed, and taking me to Shaharit in the morning and lending me some tefillin.


  5. Possible responses:

    1. “Oh, we've had several babies so far, but we haven't like any of the colors yet.”

    2. “Has it been three years already? My, time flies when you're having so much fun in the sack!”

    3. “Oh, actually my doctor thinks I'm much too mentally unstable for children. Say, have you got any more of those BIG knives?”



  6. I'm with Tzipporah. Brilliant!

    I guess I must be an emotionally manipulative person. I would have looked him in the eye, let my bottom lip quiver, given him the kicked puppy stare, and maybe shed a couple of tears. Honestly, I don't think that's a very healthy response. (But the look of utter horror is so worth it!) Maybe something along the lines of, “Sir, what happens in my bedroom is between my husband, myself, and Hashem. Please respect our privacy. Thank you.” would be healthier?

    @ RVCBard: I love your icon!


  7. I have had many infertility struggles. Over the years, I've tried to come up with various response to what might seem like a well-meaning question, but oft an insensitive one.

    Here are some of my faves:

    “The doctor is working on it.”

    “I don't want to talk about it.”

    “Why would you ask such a personal question?”

    A lot of these just shut people right up. 😉


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