How to Decide Which Family You’ll “Bubble-Up” With?
This is not your Bubbie Bubble!
Relying on Zoom to hang out with someone else’s mishpachah is not going to satisfy us for much longer. Let’s face it – Jews MUST kibbitz and schmooze together in person. How else can we:
- Smell the fragrant pears hanging in the Klein’s sukkah or the oily latkes frying in the Silvers’ kitchen?
- Criticize that halucious new sofa the Steinbergs just bought? Or
- Snoop through the Horowitz’s medicine cabinet when using their bathroom?
The answer is forming a “Covid Bubble” or a “Quaranteam” with another family who is deemed safe and healthy to be around.
A big plus is that we’re already familiar with this concept. It’s just like joining a Havurah group from our shul. Only instead of becoming obsessed with the three F’s (Family/Food/Fun) we’ll fixate on the fourth F – “Free” from the virus. Your local synagogue won’t place you into compatible “Bubbles” based on the ages of your kids or if the adults play mahjong. So of course, Jews must designate an official Family Matchmaker because we cannot decide these things for ourselves.
You’ll be happy to know I volunteered for this new position. If you’re upset with whom I pair your clan with, you can complain or kvetch to someone else called “Lament-a, Vent-a Yenta.” But if you’re pleased with your matched family, leave a nice review with “Content-a Yenta.” I’ll get a well-deserved raise.
Being a creative event-planner who puts on elaborately themed Bar Mitzvahs and simchas, I also provide fun related activities for all my matched “Bubble Families.” I pour bubble bath in their jacuzzies, lay bubble wrap on the floor for satisfying stomping, and provide kosher Bazooka Bubble gum party favors. My slogan is “Don’t Get in Trouble Isolating in a Double Bubble With Goyish Barney Rubble.” Okay, okay, so marketing isn’t really my thing.
But here’s a concrete example of how I would evaluate another family to see if they’d be harmonious with my own large and neurotic household:
PROS OF THE LEIBERMAN FAMILY
- They just got a super cute fluffy kitten!
- Mrs. Leiberman is a great cook and makes the fluffiest matzo balls!
- Mr. Leiberman likes sports and will organize lively softball games between the families!
- They have a teenage daughter (Ruby) who babysits!
- They have a swimming pool!
- They share our belief system about only singing one chorus of Dayenu on Passover!
- They have Netflix so we can binge watch Shtisel using their account!
CONS OF THE LEIBERMAN FAMILY
- Anyone who pets or “oohs and ahhs” at their mediocre scruffy kitten must clean the stinky litter box.
- Mrs. Leiberman uses only full fat cream, butter, cheese, and beef in her recipes and thinks “Low-Cal” is a term for people who reside in the valleys of California.
- When a stray softball grazes your child’s hand, instead of offering ice, bandages, and trips to the emergency room, Mr. Leiberman gruffly shouts, “Shake it off! Would Moses cry?”
- Ruby polishes off all your Haagen-Dazs cartons and potato chips when she babysits.
- They don’t heat their pool and lackadaisical Ruby (who claims to babysit) doesn’t even supervise her own younger siblings because she’s too busy texting her best friend about her favorite flavor of ice-cream…so they pee in the shallow end.
- They may abbreviate Dayenu, but they have an entire two-hour long comedy routine (that’s not very funny) revolving around the prophet Elijah and their broken doorbell.
- They speak fluent Hebrew, so they turn off the subtitles for Shtisel!
Also never get hurt feelings if the family you’re matched with declines. It doesn’t mean you have bad breath, or your kids have too many temper tantrums. It usually comes down to the fact that your Cons outweigh your Pros. For example, the Liebermans (above) politely turned me down when I asked them to Bubble-Up with us. What chutzpa! To find out the reason why they’d refuse my terrific family, I snuck a peek at their own Pro/Cons list when they weren’t looking. Under “Cons” I just happened to notice someone had written, “The mother (Stephanie) is a nosy snoop, her brisket is dry, she’s judgy with our daughter Ruby, and she makes crucial decisions using these dumb Pro/Con charts. Plus when she’s bored, she’ll probably end up writing about us for Jewlarious on Aish!”