Last night I was online (surprise, surprise) and happened to check my Tweetdeck to see what all of my Twitter friends were up to. I noticed this, from my friend Jen:
I decided to respond with a sincere offer:
As usual, Jen’s response to my response was devoid of any emotion whatsoever:
Actually, I was getting ready to go out to dinner with Jim and the boys, but I told Jen I was very serious about the offer to help and I would be happy to stop by her house for a while after my TDM class this morning. We had a series of Direct Messages which included her asking me if I knew how to follow a recipe, you know, if she were to give me one. It was certainly the laugh of the day for me: I credit the stress she was experiencing, trying to get her house ready for the influx of thirteen family members. “Don’t make me laugh!! Of course,” I told her.
I also told her about how I was just telling Liz a couple of days ago that this week of the year is actually a little lonely for me–not family-wise, but social media-wise. Ever since I started blogging more than five years ago, I have been accustomed to interacting with people online all the time. Christmas week is hard for me because while my to-do list (and my ability to get work done) slows down, all of my Christian friends are so busy that if they’re online, they don’t have much time to interact: it’s more like checking in before leaving again to wrap gifts or bake or whatever. Of course I have Jewish friends but we don’t all seek each other out to huddle together and play games or anything like that. The idea of going over to Jen’s house to help her out would actually be just as good for me as it would be for her, so I told her I’d see her after class.
I went over there as promised and jumped right in on getting the house ready with her, her hubby, and her boys.
It was FUN.
(It’s always more fun to go clean up at someone else’s house than at my own. Why is that???)
In the three hours I was there I did a variety of things from scraping stickers off of the kitchen floor (she’s a crafter, you know! And why have I never purchased my own floor scraper??? OMG. Great idea!), stenciling some snowflakes on a craft she was working on so it can dry tonight and she can move on to the next step tomorrow, ironing her tablecloth, helping to set up the centerpiece, and making some baked mac and cheese (from a RECIPE THAT SHE GAVE ME, THAT I WAS ABLE TO FOLLOW.).
I also clapped my hands a few times to get the troops re-motivated, and I think I said, “Come on people, let’s keep it moving!” at least once, leading her to smile and say, “You really ARE a taskmaster! I love it!” (I’m pretty sure she said “I love it.” That’s how I remember it, anyway.)
A few times, her boys came into the room and seemed to just stop moving, staring at whatever we were doing. I turned into my mom for those moments, saying, “DON’T YOU HAVE SOME CHORES YOU COULD BE DOING?” And they did. They were awesome helpers. I love this family. And actually, since my actual sister and I unofficially adopted Jen as our middle sister, this family IS my family. Unofficially, only because we’re missing the piece of paper.
What I learned today is that the sister-wife concept that my friends and I always
fantasize talk about on BlogHer conference weekends–the “perfect scenario” through which we could all hang out together and still get all of our stuff done–could truly work. Jen and I kicked butt today and had a great time doing it.
Then I realized that I could be starting some kind of movement.
(I mean, what else are we Jews doing on these two days? Not much, speaking for myself.)
She kept thanking me profusely but what she doesn’t realize is that as helpful as I may have been to her, the friend-time we shared today on Christmas Eve was just what this Jewish girl needed.
I think we can all agree during this holiday season that no matter what you celebrate, family and friends are the best gifts, don’t you think?