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MemberJune 21, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Thank you both for responding. I would be willing to show my piece, as intimidating as that is. But if I can send it off to my readers I should certainly be able to show it to you guys. It is totally not a final draft. Really. Really! Especially the end. As long as I’m putting it out there, if you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear. I’m jumping in. Here goes:
To my dearest readers,
I cannot believe that it has come to this. But I must apologize profusely to you. As hard as I’ve tried to come up with an idea for this week’s column, I have no Slice (name of column) to share with you. I’ve been wracking my brain for days and I’ve come up empty handed. The publishers of (the publication) are unusually nice people. They allow me to submit articles as often as I want and never pressure me in any way. But I feel an internal pressure, a sense of responsibility to provide you, my readers, with a weekly submission. I’m always on the lookout for an interesting story, place, or event, anything to give you some pleasant reading material for these long Shabbos afternoons. I’m ever poised to take a picture because I never know when I will come across something that will be the perfect photo to accompany my article. But ideas for submissions come from going to interesting places and experiencing human interaction, both of which have been somewhat curtailed these days. I get out, but still not as much as I did in pre-corona days. I did go to Kever Rachel which was as empty as I’ve ever seen it, but I care too much about all of you to write an article so similar to another one I wrote so recently. However, I will attach a photo of it because I can’t help myself.
So, what can possibly interest you about all this time I spend at home? I mean, am I supposed to write about the inner workings of my kitchen? My family always tells me that no matter what time Shabbos starts, no matter who is coming for Shabbos, I never leave the kitchen on Friday. They say this as though it’s an oddity. But I’m wondering where else should I be? Am I missing out on something of great importance? I don’t know. But I definitely spend a lot of time in my kitchen, and not just on Fridays. And how many interesting things do you think I can I tell you about what’s going on in there? I thought that maybe I should write about the incredible phenomenon that no matter how many times I wash the dishes, the sink keeps replenishing itself with more of the same. It’s like it’s on an automatic setting that never ends. I don’t understand why that is. Long ago I made a rule in my house that if the sink is empty, it must stay that way. I don’t mind if there’s a sink full of dishes and someone wants to throw in a spoon. But if it’s empty, I honestly don’t want to hear that clink in the sink. Nobody seems to have understood this rule so in order to make it crystal clear, I hung a sign in English and in Hebrew requesting that the empty sink remain empty. Apparently, those signs still did not get the message across. My next strategy was to hang a sign in Aramaic. I thought that would drive the point home, but google translate does not list Aramaic as one of their languages and nobody that I asked agreed to translate it for me. Maybe I should write about how I finally just replaced the ovens that I had been complaining about for years, even though I now no longer have anyone or anything but myself to blame if my food doesn’t come out well. But now my cook top won’t shut off and will continue cooking forever unless I replace it. I am convinced this is a direct result of all the lashon hara I have spoken about my ovens over the years. Are these things I can write about? No, I think not. And besides, what would the title be? Kitchen Woes? And what picture would I attach? A photo of the microscopic space between the top of the dish pile and my ceiling? No and No. My readers deserve better than that.
So, I go for my walk, which is when I do most of my thinking and planning of my articles. You never know when inspiration will hit so I used to take a pad with me whenever I went walking. That way I could immediately jot down ideas which, otherwise, would be long forgotten by the time I got home. But that became too cumbersome. I can’t walk and write at the same time. Then a good friend taught me the art of sending a WhatsApp message to myself. So, now I walk around the street talking to myself half the time. I get very engrossed in my thoughts and don’t always focus on what is going on around me. I once inadvertently walked straight through the middle of a street minyan. I can’t say I wasn’t embarrassed but nobody in the minyan seemed to be bothered too much. Everything goes these days.
Now I’m staring blankly at the screen of my computer hoping that an idea will just jump out at me from the screen. Our computer is not situated in the most comfortable spot in the house. Sitting at my computer does not usually stimulate my creative juices. The A/C doesn’t reach there and my comfortable chair that was next to my computer was stolen, oops- I mean relocated to a different computer which is being used for learning on zoom. I’m all in to support learning but that leaves me without a great space to do my writing. My husband graciously offered to put together a makeshift office in my married son’s old room. I am seriously considering the offer but then I’ll have to find a new place to dump all my clean laundry. Maybe I should plunk it into the kitchen sink. Then there will be no room for dirty dishes.
I’m sorry you had to read all of this. You shouldn’t have to hear about all of the trials and tribulations I go through to present you with a finished product. In any case, any difficulties I have are more than worthwhile in order to make you happy, which is my ultimate goal. But I’m sorry to have let you down this week. My deadline is looming with a few hours to go. Maybe by then I will have a flash of inspiration. You never know. Maybe you can even let me know what topics you would like to hear about. I would love to have your input. But please please forgive me. Just know that you are always first and foremost on my mind and I will always do my best for you, my dear readers.