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Don’t Ask Jewish Boomers This!

January 31, 2016 | by Marnie Winston-Macauley

“Was that really you in that photo of Cousin Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah? How long ago was that taken?”

Yes, my fellow Members of the tribe. We Jews adore questions, even more than answers. (The answers we already know – or pray God does.) For those of you under 40, you may, on occasion, recall us asking you questions such as:

“So, are you seeing anybody?”
“So, is it serious?”
“So, what’s the next step?”
“So, did you get it in writing?”

But now the tables are turning. You GenXers are asking us the questions and no offense, but tact, you don’t always have. There are those rare times you shouldn’t ask!

So, as in the past, I’m here to help which brings us to today’s topic: Questions you should never ask a Jewish Boomer if you want a place in the will instead of a klop in the head. Here’s a sampling. And God willing, may you not be asked these in 20 years by your little millennial, Jedia-Malka Matzoballenberger.


1. “Why are you shlepping junk like 200 albums of “The Barry Sisters Sing Yiddish” and boxes of Hanukkah candles if you’re downsizing?!”

Listen darlings this is not a smart question. Any capable Jewmer will tell you an original LP of the Barry Sisters, who, if you’d stop staring at your palm for two seconds, you would know is not junk. It’s music -- with Yiddish lyrics a person can farshtay by the most important Jewish sisters since Rachel and Leah. And as for extra Hanukkah candles, this is now, not 160-something B.C.E.! Today’s furshlugginer candles bend at the waist by night four. Trust me, Gen X-ers, much better to say, “Wow … such memorabilia! Maybe you don’t need 200 of each … so in the new co-op, you can fit the fridge.”

2. “Wow! Was that really you in that photo of Cousin Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah...? How long ago was that taken?”

True, we Jewmers, at 22, may have been adorable and it’s nice you noticed. But all we’ll hear is, “So nu, what happened to you with the pelican arms, and a face like bubble wrap?” True, we may have put on 30 pounds, but BA or Boomer Amnesia has us believing we could still pass for 35 – in a power failure. Such an assault on our BA, will throw us into mutant chaos spreading our panic by running to all we know repeating the question: “So how old do I look? Really?!” which will send them running. So, the Jewmer will call you, the only friend left, day and night asking: “Do I really look that different?!” Worse, the Jewmer may find that class photo of you during your acne-pre-teen-bloat period and hang it in the living room next to the albums of the Barry Sisters. Should you come across an early Jewmer photo, simply say: “So, you were always gorgeous!” This will nicely play with her BA as she’ll admit: “Well I have gained a little” to which you, mamalas, reply: “Nah! You were a scarecrow then!”

3. “Did you forget to turn the computer “ON” again?”

No! We didn’t. We were turning things on before you were even a gleam in mama and papa’s eyes. “On” we know. The problem darlings, is what to do after it’s “on.” Should you utter such an insult, be prepared to hear: “Just because we open urgent messages from governments of Visakhapatnam with the important news that our cousins, the Fleigelwassers, left us 2.3 million in rubles or the machine types gibberish just because we have a few dozen thingies up … is no reason for a fancy laptop to explode. Meanwhile, my old Remington with the ribbon, carbon paper and White-Out, never blew up, crashed, shut down, sent me treif like Spam, didn’t need a whole valley in Silicon to fix -- and more, to type a letter I didn’t need a rodent! So now, you tell me who’s ignorant?” My point mamalas is, should a Jewmer ask you how come the computer went shloofen, smile and sweetly say: “It always happens. We don’t know why. Now, the button on the big black box? Click it.”

4. “If you won’t get the Medic Alert system what about the Clapper?”

Listen darlings and learn. OK, true. Things on us are falling, breaking, and plaque-ing. We may trip a little, think you’re getting taller, spit on moles that aren’t there, take an hour to make it to the mailbox, start conversations with “Guess who died?” turn on the garage door with our pacemakers and hearing aids, or, on occasion not hear knocking should God forbid, the police come, until they break down the door. But … such a question suggests: 1- You suspect we’re dying; 2) Should there, God forbid, be an emergency, we’re too feeble to clap, never mind dial; 3) If we dialed you … you aren’t coming. Have you seen the lady with the clapper who’s 100, tied to the bed, and hasn’t visited a beauty parlor since 1948? A clapper? A whole Mount Sinai, the hospital, she needs with round the clock nursing. And that’s what you think of us? Worse, this shows caring?? If you really cared, you’d call every five hours “just to say hello.” If we answer, you’ll know we’re not clapping or screaming to strangers “OY VEY! HELP, I CAN’T GET UP.”

As always, should any of these questions burst forth from your lips, take two rank lemons and call me in the morning.

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