November 20th, 2001

Mama Deb


My favorite holiday - at least, my favorite national holiday. It's the one major holiday out of the year I share with the rest of the country. When I sit down to my turkey dinner in my new house, surrounded by my family, I'll be doing the same thing as everyone else, each in their own time and their own way, whether they add their own ethnic touches like lasagna or chicken soup, or stick with standards, whether they're with family and friends, or sharing a restaurant meal with strangers, or even in a shelter - even if they eat ham or vegetarian or do weird things with the turkey like deep fry it (I know, it's supposed to be wonderful) or poach it.

And that's something that doesn't happen all that often. The holidays I celebrate the rest of the time tend to be Jewish and many are even unknown to the general public, while I pretty much ignore much of the secular calendar - I don't do Halloween or St. Valentine's Day, for example. I do celebrate the Fourth, of course, and I have no problems celebrating the secular New Year. We tend to do it quietly, whether it's with friends or by ourselves, but we do celebrate it.

But only Thanksgiving has customs, and I'm glad to observe most of them - the ritual foods, the ritual arguments , even the ritual TV shows. We don't worship at the gates of football, but that's only because none of us are football fans. I feel like I belong. I love being able to say, "Happy Thanksgiving" to other American friends and mean it.

Even if I'm currently scared that everything will be a disaster this Thursday.
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Mama Deb


I just got a phone call at home from someone who works in the same real estate agency as I do. My job is to answer the phones. His job is to show houses and try to sell them, something he only does when he feels like it. This does not make our employer happy in the best of times, and these are not the best of times. With rentals down because of the events in NYC, she depends on sales to make any money. Note: I know both employer and agent from outside work, as both attend my old synagogue and my employer and I are both board members. This makes things awkward at times.

He's not doing his job right now. He was put in charge of showing a property, even given extra payment to do it. They put his voice mail on the ad and everything. The ad went out Sunday. Monday the calls came in. Monday he never showed up. He says he was ill. I'd believe him except that I called his home three times and got either voice mail or his wife. I called him during working hours on my boss's direction for work related reasons.

By Tuesday, his voice mail was full. He came in for a few minutes and left again. When he came back, the boss became very angry - she's in a perpetual state of anger where he's concerned - and took him off the assignment, which he considers "unrighteous."

And he called me at home, at night, to grill me about it. It's not my job to call and tell him he has messages. If he can't make it to the office, it's his job to go to his voice mail and answer it. In fact, there are agents who only work at night. They make it a practice to call in and get their messages. And by not being there, he may have lost the sales. It's a short week. Every day counts.

He had no right to call me. That's harassment and I don't need to stand for it.

And I missed Smallville, too. First time I've watched it. :)
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