The Word Inconsiderate Comes to Mind

By Wendy Belzberg

Published March 19, 2004, issue of March 19, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Many of my friends are nonworking mothers. Is it petty of me to be irritated when they make lunch dates and ask either where I’m likely to be that day (I’m in my office, which has a fixed address) or if I can meet them in their part of town? I understand that they have commitments too, but I am the one with a set schedule and prescribed lunch hour.

— Out-to-lunch friends

Though I personally believe pettiness, like grudge-holding, to be a highly underappreciated art and a perfectly legitimate one in many instances, the word inconsiderate comes more to mind. Working mothers need all of the slack they can get. The bottom line is that they work a double shift, whether they’re the ones making dinner and tending the laundry or not. Children, by definition, are not aware of their mothers’ responsibilities; ditto some husbands. But a fellow mother, or even a female friend, cannot be excused for failing to appreciate the delicate high-wire act. Call it whatever you wish. It’s not a competition. But your nonworking friends should be meeting you in the lobby café.

* * *

I suffer from terrible headaches and have for many years. I have found no relief in traditional medicine and was considering consulting a Chinese healer who believes in the laying on of hands. My husband thinks I’m turning into a fruitcake and has been so disparaging about my plan that I have not pursued it. What are your thoughts?

— Ready for remedy

I think that if your husband suffered from debilitating migraines, he would stop at nothing to get relief from the pain — including a live sacrifice. Compared with this, acupuncture, osteopathy, homeopathy, crystals and herbs seem like reasonable approaches. I am of the mind that in a situation like this, you throw everything up against the wall and assume, hope, pray and convince yourself that something will stick. There’s a reason why these treatments have been around for centuries. Remember that it took until the 20th century for chicken soup to establish its scientific credentials. It established its curative ones centuries earlier.

* * *

My sister lies to me with some frequency. This has become increasingly clear now that her children are old enough to speak. When I ask her if I can stop by for a visit, she tells me she already has plans. Later, when I speak to my nephews, they tell me they spent the day at home watching movies. I am insulted and frustrated when my sister does this, and I would like her to know that I’m on to her.

Sick of sister act

Do you believe your sister’s lies to be global in nature or limited to explanations for why she cannot make plans with you? If she has a long-standing history of lying, then you and I both are in over our heads; your sister needs professional help. If not, perhaps the problem lies with you, and your sister is simply guilty of trying to spare your feelings. I don’t know the history between you. What I do know is that the one example you cite could be construed as a “white lie” to stop you from dropping by. Your relationship with your sister would benefit from an evenhanded heart-to-heart rather than a full-blown confrontation. Accusing anyone of lying is never a good conversation-opener. Adding depositions from the under-12 set is equally ill-advised. Kid gloves, and an open heart, are what this one calls for.

Write to “Ask Wendy” at 954 Lexington Avenue #189, New York, N.Y. 10021 or at wendy@forward.com.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.