JWR Wandering Jews

In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2004 / 23 Elul, 5764

City of Weasels: We Dump and Run, But We Can't Hide

By Shaina Feinberg

Sometimes life really is like an episode of Seinfeld

https://www.jewishworldreview.com | I had been seeing my shrink for three years when I dumped her. And I did it like a weasel. Living in New York does that to you. This city breeds weasels, because we all have this false sense of being totally invisible. Here was my shrink, Dr. G.: a very short and very round, older Israeli woman. She said my name with a lilt, "SHAAAAY-na." During the sessions, she'd shift her little legs around cutely, from the floor to a padded ottoman. She was always getting sayings wrong, like: "You sometimes will take one stop forward and two stops back." I liked that. The first two years with Dr. G. were good. I kicked panic attacks, I learned things about myself and my patterns. I liked my Wednesday afternoons with her. I'd relax onto her futon, look out the windows across a courtyard.

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And then something changed for me. I started to feel bored and restless. I felt like she was holding me back. She'd constantly redirect conversations to my childhood — we'd cover the same material over and over. I wanted someone younger, someone less focused on the past. I wanted to speed up the healing process, and her halting and slow manner seemed only to anchor me to my old self.

I dreaded going to therapy. And I couldn't tell her that. She was a sweet little lady. I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

We took a six-week break last summer, at the end of which I was supposed to call to schedule an appointment. But I didn't. A week later, she called and left me a message. I didn't call back. Not ever. It was like the perfect crime. At the time, it felt great.

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If there's any place to feel like you can get away with weaseling, it's here. New York is so big, you can always tell yourself you'll never see so-and-so again. If I lived in some small town, I'd never have been able to ditch my shrink that way. I'd run into her at the post office, the grocery store, the hair salon. In New York, even if you do happen to see someone you don't want to see, you can just keep walking, pretend you didn't see them. Or you can run for the bus, scoot across the street. Moments later, you're lost in the crowd.

There are strange, lesser forms of weaseling that also thrive here. A friend of a friend of mine (I'll call her Ann) recently started dating this guy she met at a party. She was shocked by how nice he was, and how interested. In less than two weeks, they had hung out six times. Then she got a call from a girl who said, "Jack can't see you anymore." Ann didn't hear from him after that.

Another friend of mine was working Sundays as a bartender at a Chinese restaurant. A few weeks into working there, she got a call from her boss, who said, "We don't need you on Sundays anymore." She only worked Sundays. Clearly he was firing her. She asked him, "Are you firing me?" He just laughed and said, "No, no, of course not. We just don't need you anymore." Again she asked, "Are you firing me?" And again he said: "No, no." To make things even more confusing, he said, "I look forward to working with you again," and then he hung up.

My roommate will do a slow-burn weasel, spending months letting a guy down gently. Meaning, she'll always be busy or have to call him back. It doesn't occur to her to just say, "Look, I'm not interested."

But the fact is, no matter what you tell yourself, weaseling will come back to haunt you. When I weaseled my shrink, it didn't take long for me to feel awful about it. A month or so later, I started to notice that I was thinking about her a lot. I decided I should write her a letter apologizing. I put it on my to-do list: Write apology letter to Dr. G. That was in October. I haven't written the letter yet. What would I tell her? "Hey, sorry." Or: "Don't hate me, I was bored of therapy, bored of my childhood. Can we be friends?" Only, we were never friends. It was a professional relationship. But that doesn't mean I don't owe her anything.

An old friend of mine from high school, Liz, would spend a lot of energy coming up with the perfect excuses when there was nothing wrong with the truth. If she didn't want to go somewhere because she was broke or tired, she'd say that she had to get something for her mom at a specific time and place or that her dad needed something done immediately. Then she'd spend the rest of the day feeling nervous. She'd say: "Do you think it was totally obvious that I was lying? Do you think they'll figure it out?" She'd get so paranoid, she wouldn't go outside. She was afraid of running into someone who could then, in a court of law, verify that she was not in fact where she had said she was going to be.

That's the essence of the problem. We're kidding ourselves, all us weasels. Because while you think you can disappear in New York, you also run into people you don't expect to run into, in places you'd never think you'd see them. It happened to a co-worker of mine. He'd been dating this girl for three months or so. It was casual —they saw each other once a week. They'd watch The Sopranos together, go out for dinner in her neighborhood in the East Village. Then he went to Italy for 10 days on business. When he got home, she didn't answer his calls or e-mails. Soon enough he wised up. He'd been weaseled. And for a while, he didn't run into her. They didn't have friends in common, didn't live in the same neighborhood. But six months later, he saw her leaving the apartment building directly across the street from his. Even though she was the weasel, he was embarrassed and dreaded having to revisit their situation. He's seen her a bunch of times now, leaving the same building with some guy. To avoid her, he speeds up or slows down, appears really interested in his shoes. But the tension is rising. "She must see me, right? I mean, I can see her," he said to me. "How long can I keep this up? When we do make eye contact, it's going to totally suck."

Just recently, I've started to worry about running into Dr. G. I mean, sure, I'm just one person in 10 million in this city. But still. We could show up at the same synagogue on Rosh Hashanah. The same play, dinner party, restaurant. I wouldn't be able to pretend I didn't see her. I'd feel too rotten about that. If I did see her, what would I say?

If I could, I would do it over. I'd just be straight about the whole thing. And then it would've been done, really.

But I can't do it over. I'm stuck with the guilt of having weaseled my shrink. Dr. G., if you're reading this, I'm sorry. It wasn't you, it was me. I think I've learned my lesson.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Shaina Feinberg writes for The New York Observer. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Shaina Feinberg