Thursday, March 29, 2012

3 things whose time has passed & more 3 דברים שעליהם העולם כבר לא עומד

1. Will someone please tell the airlines to just print luggage tags like this?



Mobile ____________________________________

Landline ___________________________________

In other words, the first line is self-explanatory; we no longer need to be instructed that our luggage is supposed to bear our names, addresses, cities, states, and ZIPs. Removal of these superfluous “field labels” would then leave us plenty of room to actually print our entire names, addresses, and cities without having to squeeze them in between the words “Name”, “Address”, and “City”. So that those of us with mile-long names, addresses, and / or cities can actually write them comfortably. Whereas the last two lines are not only necessary nowadays, but they actually do need distinguishing, hence labels. Does anyone reading this have an in with the airlines?

2. Request to all humanity: Please record short voice greetings. The time has long passed when you need to explain: "You have reached the home / voice mailbox of the Almoni family: Ploni, Roni, Bubu, Poopsy, and Snookers. We can't come to the phone right now [really?], but be assured your call is important to us. Please leave your name and phone number [what other number would I leave? Social Security?] after the tone [really? is that what I'm supposed to do when I hear that beep?], and we'll return your call just as soon as we can!"

By which time I'm exasperated. News flash: We all know what to do when we hear a voice recording. A simple "You have reached the Almonys. Please leave a message [beep]" will do it, and we'll all use our time for better pursuits than listening for a [bleeping] beep.

3. Does anyone really enjoy those Rock Stars Sing Children’s Songs albums? Seems to me they go right over the kids’ heads. Do your kids really groove to Ziggy Marley singing Itsy Bitsy Spider? Do you? Wouldn’t you just as soon listen to him sing actual Ziggy Marley music? This hybrid just seems to me like the worst of both worlds. I’ll take Rafi any day.

And we now return to our regular programming:

· I find it interesting how many women feel the need to explain why they retain their birth names. And the most common explanation is "professional reasons". So, we don't question a woman retaining her name if she's a published author, or physician, or attorney, or famous; but supposing a cleaning woman wants to retain her name “for professional reasons”? Memo: It’s 2012: Anyone who 1) earns a living and 2) has a business card -- which includes just about everyone over the age of 21 -- is a professional. But furthermore, why do we women feel we need to explain this decision at all? Does anyone expect a man to explain his decision to retain his birth name? What's wrong with "Why should I do otherwise?"

· It's not that it’s wrong for Jack to like football or for Jill to cook and sew. What's wrong is to fall asleep at the wheel as a parent and just say, "Gender will take care of itself." It is up to us parents to fight gender stereotypes actively. No one will do it for us. The corporate and social forces are out there, and make no mistake about it, they are powerful: McDonald's, Disney, and Toys R Us are all counting on you to fall asleep at the parenting wheel. The only entity that's going to challenge them is you and I. Otherwise -- they win: Pink aisles and blue aisles in the store (would we tolerate White aisles and Colored aisles?). Boxing our children in. With nowhere to go if they're outside the box. So whose side are you on? The corporations'? Or your child's?

· Employers should be obligated to subsidize their employees’ birth control…only upon the employee’s signing a pledge to use it consistently and correctly!


  1. Okay, Yam, I'm with you on some of this. Other relics whose time has come: telephone books (avaliable on request only--I get 2-3 a year), the US penny, mail delivery on Saturday. About telephone answering machines, nothing can be more annoying than listening to a child with a cutesy message about mommy and daddy.

    But, contraceptives subsidized only with a pledge.... NO. Contraceptives should be covered under any employer/government insurance plan. How men and women manage or don't manage their sex lives is none of the employers' business.

    One more thing--I didn't want to use the word 'manage' above--just couldn't think of a more appropriate word--maybe womanage?

  2. Molly, reread the last item: I was joking!

  3. If I were marrying Jay in 2012, I'd use Mollie Saferstein. I'd have to petition the municipal court because I've already been through this once with my first name. But for a woman getting married for the first time, "right out of her father's house", there's no reason at all for her to change her name. My daughter-in-law kept hers, and I was (and am) all for it. If we just LIVED together, I wouldn't take Jay's name, so why should a witnessed commitment affect that?