Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bubbe's Always Right

“My grandson Yossel is so smart, he finished Shas for the first time when he was 5!” Fruma exclaimed.

“Is that so?” Shprintza inquired.

“Yes ma’am! It was his first major accomplishment after he was potty trained,” Fruma puffed out her chest with pride.

“You don’t say!” Shprintza thumbed her fist on the armrest of her chair.

“I do say!” Fruma retorted.

“That’s what I said!”

“What?!” Fruma held her hand to her ear.

“I said, that’s what I said!” Shprintza cupped her hands to her mouth and shouted.

“I can’t hear you, my hearing aid needs adjusting,” Fruma poked at the device. It warbled and whined momentarily, then fell silent.

Well,” Shprintza sat up straighter, “My granddaughter, Sarala is so smart they let her run the whole production when she was still in the 7th grade!”

Fruma tilted her head at an angle. “I don’t believe that for a minute.”

“It’s true, I have the program with her name in the credits right here,” Shprintza lifted her purse onto her lap and pulled out a wrinkled, faded photocopy. “See here, I even circled it so it’d be easier to find,” she handed Fruma the well-worn sheet of paper, pointing at the big red circle around a few words.

“Are you kidding me, look how small this print is, no one can read this!” She squinted. “It could say President Roosevelt for all I know!”

Shprintza raised an eyebrow. “Theodore or Franklin Delano?”

“There were two of them?” Fruma asked, puzzled.

“Weren’t they brothers?” Shprintza scratched her head. Fruma shrugged and looked back down at the program, brow furrowed in concentration.

“Anyway,” Shprintza continued, snatching the paper from her friend’s hands. “My granddaughter is so aidel, she’s the most sought after girl for shidduchim in the tri-state area. Believe it or not, the boys all line up for her!”

Fruma eyes widened in disbelief, “You’re yanking my chain! That’s impossible!”

“You better believe it! Her list of potential boys is five whole pages long,” Shprintza jabbed a finger in the air for emphasis. “And that’s front and back, too.”

Feh,” Fruma waved her hand dismissively. “I gua-ran-tee that my grandson Yossel wouldn’t even think about going out with what’s-her-name.” Shprintza looked at her friend as though she’d been slapped.

“You know what? You’re grandson, what’s-his-face, isn’t even good enough for my Sarala!”

“Is that so?” Fruma countered.

“Well, I say it’s so, so of course’s it’s so!” an irritated Shprintza spat. Her dentures flopped out of her mouth and landed in her lap. “Now look what you made me do!” She yammered and quickly popped them back in. Fruma twittered with laughter, slapping her thigh.

“I bet you that if your granddaughter were redt to my Yossel that he wouldn’t even have to consider it for thirty seconds before he turned her down!”

“Ha! Says you! Your grandson couldn’t even make it to the bottom of Sarala’s list! The moment she even heard your grandson’s name she’d know he wouldn’t be worth the time it took to call his references!” Shprintza fired back.

“What do you know, anyway!” Fruma fumed. “If your Dovidel-”


Fruma paused mid-rant. “I thought you said his name was Dovidel?”

“Yossel, for crying out loud!” Shprintza shook her fists in the air “You got a hole in your head or something?”

“Fine. Yossidovel or whatever, if you could actually convince him to go out with Sarala, I bet you a million dollars she’d call the shadchan the second he dropped her off at her house and turn him down for a second date!”

“You think so?!” Shprintza thundered. “He’d reject her so fast, he’d probably even call the shadchan with her in the car to say no to a second date.”

Fruma cocked her head at an angle and shot Shprintza a disapproving look. “Now that’s not middos tovos!”

Shprintza scrunched up her face in a scowl. “He’d only do it because Shirala-”

“Sarala!” Fruma interjected.

“-would have been such a horrible date! It’d be real sakanos nafashos, even,” Shprintza finished in a serious tone.

“Now you’re lying through your false teeth!” Fruma raised an angry fist. “No one talks about my Sarala like that!”

“Yeah, what are you gonna do about it?” Shprintza taunted, waving her hands on either side of her head.

“I’ll give you a potch so hard, your girdle will turn backward!”

“I’d like to see you try, you old fogey!” Shprintza raised her hands like a boxer. “I took tai-chi on Thursdays last month, you better watch yourself!” She slowly chopped the air a few times.

“Just you wait ‘til I get over there and I’ll knock you into next Tuesday!” Fruma challenged.

“Why I oughta!”

“No you oughtn’t-a!”

A sudden knock on the door startled the pair of octogenarians, bringing them back to reality. They both hurriedly cleared their throats, and called out “Please come in!” together. The door swung open gently.

“Hi bubbe!”

“Yossel, my boy!”

“Good afternoon, Grandma!”

“Sarala, it’s so nice to see you!”

Fruma and Shprintza fell silent and stared at each other in suspicion.

“What’re you trying to pull?” Fruma demanded in a low voice.

“What’s your game?” Shprintza answered in kind.

Yossel walked over and sat down next to his grandmother. “Bubbe, I’ve got some exciting news for you.”

“I knew it!” Shprintza leapt from her chair to hug her grandson. “You’re engaged, aren’t you?!”

“How’d you know?” Yossel smiled broadly. Shprintza peeked over his shoulder and stuck her tongue out at Fruma.

“So, nu, who’s the lucky girl?” Shprintza inquired warmly.

“I am!” Sarala chirped with glee.

“No kiddin’!?” Fruma held her hand against her cheek. “That’s so exciting!” Fruma enveloped Sarala in an embrace, and winked at her friend, whose jaw hung slack from her face.

“Well, if that ain’t that the baker’s blintz!” Shprintza said.

1 comment:

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