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F Is for Friendship: Don’t Judge

Ruchama Schnaidman

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I did, and I heard something I probably shouldn’t have. They were talking about me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Photo: Nechama Leibler

I like ice cream. Whoopee, you probably said, most people like ice cream. 

But there are other things I like, too. Things like strawberries and swimming and dunking my head under an ice cold sprinkler. Do you like all those things? Lots of people don’t. 

Not everyone likes strawberries, and believe it or not, some people don’t enjoy swimming. And I’m sure you could imagine there are many people who don’t really think dunking their heads under ice cold sprinklers is fun. 

Sounds simple, right? 

But listen to this: 

There are even some people — not too many, but some — who (gasp) don’t even like ice cream. That’s a bit more extreme, but still isn’t the end of the world, because after all, it’s just ice cream. It isn’t the idea you spent your entire day working on. It isn’t the best and really only idea that will work. It isn’t the thing that you were waiting weeks to try. And it isn’t the idea that your friend said, “What???!!!” when you told her about it.

Photo: Nechama Leibler

I guess you can tell by now that I wasn’t too happy to hear Penina’s reaction when I told her what I thought we should do for our friend Chaviva’s birthday party. 

“Let’s pretend we’re inviting her to your house to study,” I said. “And when she gets there we’ll blindfold her and take her to that new pizza store with the skating rink in the back.” 

Penina’s eyes got very big and her eyebrows shot up and… well you already know what Penina said. 

“What???!!! A pizza party in an ice skating rink?” 

“Well, yeah,” I said, backing away a little bit. Why was Penina acting so strange? “What’s wrong with that?” 

“I don’t know,” Penina said. “It just doesn’t seem like Chaviva.” 

Humph. Like she would know. 

“Okay,” I said. “So tell me what you have in mind.” 

Penina tossed her head. “I dunno,” she said. “Don’t you think Chaviva would rather have a quiet party in one of our basements?” 

“Huh?” I said. “Why on earth would she want that? I mean, how can you compare a party in a basement to a pizza and ice skating party?” 

Penina shook her head again. 

“I just think a quiet party is more her type.” 

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. 

“More her type?” I asked. I stopped my eyes from rolling. “Totally not.” 

“I disagree,” Penina said and then she stood up and walked out of the room.

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