Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Balabustas and the 7 Dwarfs

If you are like most people who are staying at home and making Pesach, you have found yourself with a split personality for the past few weeks. People approach you warily. Children whisper among themselves, "Which one is she now? Is it safe to talk to her?" Husbands scramble to find their kesubot to see what posuk in there covers what they find themselves with. The answer is really simple: we are suffering from the Grimm's Brothers/Disney Syndrome, the variation of the disease that is known as "7-dwarf-itis."

At some point over these weeks you have found yourself decidedly Grumpy. There is too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Nothing is going the way the lists say it should go. Grumpy is the point where you ask why the posuk says avodim ho'yinu when you seem not to have been freed.

Other times you find yourself as Sleepy. Psychologists would never have to worry about what to write their dissertations on if they studied the affects of sleep deprivation over long periods of time on balabustas. You know there is a reason why your bedroom has two beds in it, but you seem to have forgotten what that reason is.

You have also found yourself acting the role of Dopey. Dopey manifests itself in the thousand and one things that we decide must be done now, even though they have zero to do with making a home kosher for Pesach. Cleaning the bookshelves MIGHT be a necessity--alphabetizing the books by author is not.

Sneezy shows up throughout the cleaning process. Take 17 cleansers of varying strength and use them all in one small enclosed area at the same time, with the window closed. Sneezy is the end result. He also brings along his cousins Rashy, Itchy and Coughy. He also brings his friends Cut and Bruised.

Because Sneezy has come to visit you also might find yourself acting as Doc. Bandaids are a staple if you are making Pesach. So are aspirin, ibuprofen and the like. And allergy pills for sure. Dispense medications with care. Some may turn you into Sleepy, and you just don't have the time for that. Doc also deals with inanimate objects that get ill this time of year with no provocation at all. Some things you can heal on your own; others will require calling in a specialist for. When you get the bill for those specialists you are going to be acting like Grumpy.

Many times you will find yourself acting like Bashful. Bashful is too shy to say what he wants and needs. Bashful hopes that everyone will notice his efforts and ask what they can do to help. Bashful frequently turns into Grumpy because he doesn't just come out and say "Do this, do that."

"That's only 6 dwarfs" you say. Yup. Because the last dwarf in the Syndrome will only show up around Friday night eruv Pesach, or maybe on Pesach itself. That dwarf is Happy. Happy shows up when all the cleaning and pre-preparation is over. Happy shows up when you look at your home and say "I did it." Happy shows up when the family is gathered at the table and is smiling and eager in anticipation of the Seder. Happy shows up when a husband or child says "Something sure smells good." Happy shows up when you finally have the time to reflect and look back and see that all your efforts were for a very important reason. Happy is why we put up with Bashful, Sleepy, Doc, Sneezy, Grumpy and Dopey. Oh yes, Happy is also what shows up when you realize you are done for this year and it's a whole year before you have to go through all this again.

Just keep in mind that all good fairy tales end with "And they lived happily ever after." Yours will too.

Chag Kasher V'Sameach


Anonymous said...

Why do I get the feeling that you are finished with the cleaning and shopping? I won't even admit that Happy might exist until around 2:00AM tomorrow morning. Forget that, there is still the cooking to do. Have a wonderful yom tov.

Bas~Melech said...

That was beautiful. :-D

Anonymous said...

My father gave me a good piece of advice when I was first married. he told me that when women complain before a yom tov they are not looking for their husbands to come up with a better way of doing things and they aren't looking for husbands to analyze what is going on. My father told me that what women are looking for is a strong back for shlepping, two working hands for helping, the ability to follow a shopping list exactly as the wife wrote it and a compliment at the end of a hard working day. Brilliant man my father. It's our first Pesach that we are making this year and that advice has helped to keep the dwarfs baby sized instead of giants.As a plus I finally can really appreciate what work it took for my mother to make Pesach.

Anonymous said...

I used to think my mom was great when it came to making Pesach. This year she seems to be all of your dwarfs but happy. This year she has two new son in laws coming for Pesach and it's like she's turned into someone we don't know. I sure hope that happy arrives soon. Have a gutten yom tov.