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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
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1. I am taking my in-laws to the country this afternoon in my new rental Ford Taurus.

Iam so very NOT looking forward to this. Our original plans (pre-accident, of course) were to come up on Sunday and leave on Wednesday or Thursday. This gives us time to relax, maybe have a daytrip or something, help out a bit. It was to be my vacation, more or less. I managed to not do this last year at all - I'm a city girl through and through and find the country very boring. Also, we're in someone else's house, which means we have to live according to their rules. I can't, for example, sleep late or watch the shows I want to watch, and their internet connection is dial-up. Intermittent, bad dial-up.

Also, we go to great lengths to NOT spend a Shabbat with his parents, as the only way they observe it is to not cook. TV, telephones, computers, driving, lights - they do all of that.

We're going up today and leaving on Tuesday. I insist on leaving on Tuesday. I want *some* vacation before the onslaught of holidays. Yes, this means we're going to be there on Shabbat - in fact, as it turns out, half the reason we're going is so they can go to a bar mitzvah in their summer shul. Which is not in walking distance, so they've arranged for someone to drive them. Which means we're going to be stuck in a house ten miles from everywhere else all Shabbat, and have to deal with their violations on Shabbat. Which means spending a lot of time either in our room or outside. I'm not even sure when we'll be doing kiddush, and I can't be yotzei on her lighting candles anymore, which will be a scene, too. When we both lit two, it wasn't a problem, but I'm lighting three now.

And when it isn't Shabbat? She wants to make chicken soup and blackberry jam. Except she knows she won't have the strength to do it, so I'll have to do it. I don't mind making soup - soup cooks itself. I've never made jam. The soup she'll freeze, so I won't taste a drop of it, and I'll get a jar of the jam.

I've never made jam, and I don't really want to make jam.

And because both are all-day things that really can't be done at the same time (burner space, you know?), she doesn't like that we want to take a day to, you know. *DO* stuff - nice used bookstores there, for example. It will be my vacation, after all.

Yeah, big head of resentment here.

And she just told Jonathan that it's inconvenient that we keep kosher outside the house, since we can't stop just anywhere. No, it's not. It just takes a bit more planning - she used to do this herself when they traveled with small children, since taking your own food saves money.

Oh, yeah. This is going to be so very much fun.
2. On a different note: I sent Jonathan (who is a decent shopper) to the grocery store to pick up stuff from a local grocery store. I think he called me three times to make sure he got what I wanted. And he refused to ask anyone in the store where things were - it's like asking for directions. :)

Anyway, this means I'll probably be gone until Tuesday night. See you afterwards!


you know, i am not very observant, and i do not really want to judge your MIL, but... telling someone their religious observance is inconvenient is just... tacky

"...she just told Jonathan that it's inconvenient that we keep kosher outside the house..."

Good grief....

Inconvenient? Hah.

remind me again for whom/why you added the extra candle on Shabbat? I'm considering adding a second pair myself, so I'm curious.

She missed a week, IIRC.

Because of a bunch of confusion when I was a guest at someone else's house, I missed lighting myself and when I arrived, their candles had been lit early.

My rabbi said I had to light a third candle from then on.

However, you can light as many as you want to light - just be warned that you will not be permitted to go down in light.

I can't be yotzei on her lighting candles anymore, which will be a scene, too. When we both lit two, it wasn't a problem, but I'm lighting three now.
I'm not sure that this needs to be the cause of a scene. Just because you light an extra candle when you're at home, doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have that extra candle when you're not lighting at all, because you're someone else's guest. I mean, getting down to legal detail, when you're staying with your in-laws you have no obligation to light candles - the obligation goes with the house. It's their house, and their obligation to light it. They provide you with light just as they do with food and internet access and whatever else you need to make your stay pleasant.

It is the custom of women guests to light as well, but legally (as I understand it) they are merely helping the hostess with her lighting, just as a guest for pesach may help the hosts with the search for chametz, or a guest for sukkot may help with putting up the sukkah. So if she did let you light your three in addition to her two, technically she would be lighting five candles that week, and you would be lighting none. Which would not affect either of your obligations the following week - she wouldn't have to start lighting five every week, and you wouldn't have to add a candle for the week you missed because you had no home to light.

So if you're anticipating all this tension over other matters, why not remove one item from contention by giving in to her on this point? And maybe get her to acknowledge that you are trying to be reasonable, and perhaps she can make some concession in response.

There will be another bit of tension - how early can one light candles? They go to shul, which is at 7:30, *after* dinner and wouldn't want to wait until whenever seis is in the country.

Okay, some checking says that candlelighting there is 7:17, so 6PM is the earliest. That's probably when we will light, and I would not mind being yotzei on her if it would make life easier.

If the location is Fleischmanns, Delaware County, New York (longitude W74.5, latitude N42.2), then the information I have is:

sunset 7:34
(plag hamincha)
the next day

Have a safe trip.

Thank you.

Have a peaceful and relaxing trip. (Or as much as humanly posible, anyway.)

That sounds, well, stressful. I hope you can all work things out so that you do get some vacation-like time.

Do you have a blackberry jam recipe? (I ask because I just made six quarts of blackberry jam.)

MIL has one - it wouldn 't be standard because she doesn't do sugar. However, there aren't enough blackberries to make it worth the effort.

Thank goodness. :)

I hope your trip is safe, and you find some peace during it.

Have a safe trip. I hope it won't be as stressful as you're anticipating.

Ugh. That sounds challenging.

I'm confused about the candles. Doesn't lighting an extra one make it easier for you -- you can't be yotzei on her two because your rabbi requires you to light three, so you just do your own? I'm obviously missing something.

She believes in lighting for the household - only one person does it - and gets insulted otherwise.

This is someone who asked if I "allowed myself" to knit on Shabbat - which she knows is forbidden.