Thursday, December 8, 2011

Interview with Melissa

So, it is Thursday.  Last week we wrote about a person in our blog group.  This week we got to interview them.  Below are the answers Melissa provided to my interview questions.

How did you meet your husband? Did you immediately like him?
We met through one of his friends. I was out with a bunch of friends, Froggie included. It’s a long story involving Froggie in some ways, but we got to a point where it was super late and his closest friend overheard me say that I had to bowl the next morning. He laughed and then told me that he had a friend who was single, Jewish and liked to bowl. Not only that, but we lived in the same suburb! I gave him my number and said it could be besherte. Even though his friend was drunk, he remembered me saying “besherte” and relayed this to my husband. (Apparently, he used that word a lot too!) He also called his cell at 3:00 am to give him my contact information. Whatever he said worked because I got a call less than 12 hours later! We talked the next night for three hours and met in person a few nights later. I think the fact that he didn’t wait long to call me and that he sounded so sweet and genuine really drew me in. When we met in person, I felt like I had known him my whole life. So yes, I liked him immediately.

What is your favorite story about your kids?
I like telling everyone how each of my children was born in a different state. It's somewhat unique!

How you think you are like/different from your parents?
I think we have a nice blend. I’m very charismatic like my dad. He and I like to joke around a lot too. And my mom and I have tons of things in common, especially our love for books. I think my religious observance definitely separates me from my parents. However, they’ve become more interested and involved in their own way when it comes to Judaism.

Do you have a favorite saying or expression and why?
“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.” It comes from “Into the Woods.” It just means that when something good comes along, you should seize the opportunity because it might not be there for long and might not be available again either.

If you could have three wishes what would they be?
Financial security for myself and my family (not outrageous, just comfortable with the ability to splurge sometimes), an all expense paid trip to Disney World and that everyone I love and care about will live a long and healthy life. (No particular order to this list!)

What is the biggest complement you have ever received?
One of the first was when I started going to “Rocky Horror” and became friends with this lovely gay man. He told me that he loved talking to me. The compliment just floored me. No one had ever said that to me before. Nowadays, I love the positive remarks I get at my Chick Lit Central blog.

What do you do for fun?
Reading is always fun for me. I can't get enough of it. I also love watching movies and marathons of a TV show I really like (these days, it's "How I Met Your Mother"), bowling, playing billiards, playing board games with friends, watching my kids do something they really enjoy, etc.

There are some ages we look forward to and some we don’t, what birthday were you least enthusiastic about and why?
None really. I love birthdays. They’re an affirmation of life! I’ve had some birthdays I’d rather forget because they didn’t go so well or passed by unnoticed. All I can really say is that I hope to NEVER have a birthday on Tisha B’Av ever again!!! That was the absolute worst, aside from the small gift of seeing my baby for the first time in sonogram form. I was sick from pregnancy and an ear infection, hungry from fasting and annoyed because I felt guilty being happy on my birthday due to the nature of the holiday. This was my 34th birthday, by the way.

What was the first big purchase you made with your husband, how did you feel about that?
Our town house in Buffalo Grove shortly after we got married. We found it while driving around looking for "For Sale by Owner" signs. It was the perfect size for us at the time and we just knew we had to have it. I was thrilled when the owners accepted our offer and very happy to move in and have a place that belonged to us as a couple. (However, getting off all the wallpaper borders was a huge pain!)

What is it like to have a religious tradition that is perceived by many to be fairly restrictive? Do you ever feel that your tradition is restrictive, or is that a judgment being place upon it by outsiders?
It’s interesting to be where I am. It’s something I chose to do instead of being born into it. I know differently and my children don’t. They’ll never know the taste of a Wendy’s cheeseburger, for starters! In any case, I took baby steps to get to this point with keeping Kosher, family purity and Shomer Shabbos/holiday rules. I don’t feel that I’m 100% strict as I still do some secular things. I like the label of “Modern Orthodox” because it does allow for some secular things and doesn’t put pressure on how observant one needs to be. We go at our own pace. I may be more observant than some people who consider themselves MO and less observant than others in the same “category.” I don’t think it’s as restrictive as people make it out to be. However, I'm careful about what I "like" on Facebook sometimes. The funny thing is, people who aren’t Jewish at all are more understanding about things than people who are Jewish but less observant. There’s a saying that two Jews can still be a mixed marriage. This goes for when one person is more observant than the other. It’s really like two different worlds operating in one home. There have been times when non-Jewish friends of mine have made assumptions based on something they read, but it bothers me more when someone who IS Jewish rolls their eyes about something I do or don’t do and asks where it says in the Torah that we should or shouldn’t do an activity that wasn’t even thought up during biblical times. The only thing within my community that will always annoy me is the expectation that all kids should go to private Jewish school. It's expensive and the days are really long for kids. There's also a lot of politics involved. I like the public school where my older son goes and plan to send my other two there, as well. It has a great reputation for education. I hate having to justify why I am sending my kids to public school to people in my community. I also hate how the public school PTA holds all their fun family events on Friday nights, but that's another story for another time!

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