Monday, September 5, 2011

Aunts and Well-Wishing

As a full-time aunt who takes way too much interest in toy purchases, I find that my kind are rather unappreciated. We know how to Ferberize, we know what the kids will like, and we take them off the parents' heads from time to time. 

This article in the Jewish Week was describing the phenomenon, although along a little more depressing lines as the aunts cited were in their 40s and childless, so these spawn of their siblings were their surrogate children. 

One quote jumped out at me: 
"In the Jewish community, there is a feeling that when a couple has a fertility challenge, there should be sensitivity around them," [Melanie Notkin] says. "For single women, there’s less of that. ‘Poo poo poo, oh just go on JDate, you’re too picky, you better hurry up,’ they say."
That is, in a nutshell, my objection to "iy'H by you." If one wouldn't say it to a childless couple, kindly don't say it to singles. Obviously, one can understand how saying such a "bracha" to a man or woman trying to have children is hurtful; why isn't it the same to a dater who currently has nothing on the horizon? 

I daven for the childless couples on my own time, without their knowledge. So why can't one give a shout out to God during Shacharis for a single as well, rather then iy'Hing her to her face?

And I certainly don't want to hear it at the vort of an 18-year-old, thank you very much. 


Mystery Woman said...

I have to admit..I never really understood why singles were so against hearing that. It's a bracha - what can be bad? This is the FIRST time I heard something that helps me get it. If you wouldn't say it to a childless couple, don't say it to a single. You're so right. Thanks.

Yedid Nefesh said...

i think what makes the difference is how it is said, certain people really mean it as a thoughtfulness Bracha while others say it with pity or in passing... But its a good point, I doubt childless couples get it as much!

SiBaW said...

For some odd reason this topic gives me a slight sense of déjà vu. ;-) I suppose it’s a personal preference really. See this post and this post for further elucidation. Although, if I may ask, what phrase would you prefer as an alternative?

Princess Lea said...

SiBaW: Nothing? Why does anything have to be said? What would you say to a childless couple at a bris, exactly? I say "Mazel Tov." You say "Thank you."

guyinla said...

I lol'd at iy'h as a verb:)

Anonymous said...

The obvious answer is that married people know better than you how you should live your life. After all, they're married, while you're still single, so obviously you're a screw up/lazy/picky/gay and you need them to direct you.

I love the "2x years old, when do you think you'll ready to get married? You know, you're not getting any younger" comments the best. Thank you, friend I haven't spoken to in a long time. Now I know remember why I don't talk to you anymore.

Princess Lea said...

YF: Or, like this comment I got when I was 23 - "You're almost 30. Just get married to anyone so you can have children."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the empathy just pours out of the married community.