The other night we had a group of Yeshiva brochurim (boys) over for a mini party for my hubby’s 27th birthday. I can honestly tell you I haven’t had so much fun in a LONG time!!! So in these guys honor (oh yeah, and the hubby’s birthday as well ) I am writing 9 things I learned from spending an evening with these guys (and not in any special order) ….
1. Go for the experience!
While I was interrogating each of them on their plans for Chanukah vacation, one guy told me he was spending the holiday in jail. (Sounds funny, right?) He was going with another friend to visit the Jewish inmates in a few prisons and bringing some holiday spirit (and donuts!) This guy never went before and he was obviously nervous about it since visiting the jails involves a lot of logistics and one needs to be extremely careful with what he says and does (certainly no joking around!) While the guy was anxious about it, he was psyched about having the experience and knew he would gain a lot from it even if it was difficult. He was going to do it no matter what!
2. Looks can be deceiving
It’s amazing how we often (and by “we” I mean me) judge people based on how they dress or how they look (something you can’t choose!) The guy who had the longer hair, was on the cuter side and had “cool” clothes – seemed like the guy who would be the more – shall we say “fun” guy – while the bochur with the shorter hair, more nerdy appearance would be considered the more religious one – well lo and behold I was wrong, and we all had a good laugh at that one (at my expense of course.)
Sports was one of the hot topics of the evening. And I mean hot! These guys would die for their teams. It was beautiful (and frightening) to watch them talk about their football (or hockey) teams with such passion and loyalty – and ready to defend anyone who would dare say something less than stellar about how the players. I also loved how they used terms like “we played well” or “our guys aren’t doing well” as if it was they themselves out there on the field!
4. My dad is a funny guy.
Ok, I always knew my dad had a witty sense of humor, but it was nice to be reminded of that – especially in a public setting where everyone enjoyed his humor. When I was a kid, if my dad would make a joke of some kind, I would feel mortified and wanted to crawl into a hole, but now as an adult – his wit and (less than clean) humor is more than appreciated and really fun!
5. Boys are easy! (not like that)
In some ways boys are so much simpler than girls. I love me a woman to woman chat. We are naturally insightful and introspective and we have an intuition that’s pretty darn cool. But there’s simplicity when it comes to boys. There’s no “drama.” They say what they mean and are a lot more straightforward and it’s quite refreshing.
6. There’s no need for pretty icing when the cake is really good.
I find that with boys there was no worry for pretty plates, pretty set ups or fancy food. Some good yummy snacks, juicy BBQ wings – and they were good to go. Did it matter that the plates were ugly white, or the plastic forks didn’t match the napkins? Seriously – did anyone even notice that there was some clutter in the living room? Please – everyone was too busy having fun amongst friends to care about the superficial stuff.
7. There is no age when it comes to friends
This one can go for my girlfriends also – but it was something I definitely picked up on during my hubby’s party. All the boys who were there are much younger than the hubby and they’re also at a very different stage in life. (they are in yeshiva after-all) but these are dudes that he hangs out with more than twice a week to play football and hockey. He’s come to enjoy their company and they enjoy his as well. (he completes their hockey teams and they come over to watch football on our big screen TV so its a great relationship ) – the point obviously is: good friends don’t need to be your age, or at your stage – it’s the connection that matters.
8. Boys can clean just as well as girls
After the party the guys cleaned up our dining room. I found myself overly thanking them and being super impressed that they extended a helping hand. Was I surprised that a bochur could be selfless and clean up? Was I surprised that a guy knew how? I’m ashamed to say I was. I find that with girls – if they don’t help to clean up after a Shabbos meal – people feel something’s inherently wrong or they are snobby (or dare I say a little bitchy) that they just “left the table” but a GUY who leaves the table without cleaning up – well they are just being ‘normal’ and if they DO lend a helping hand in the clean- up, it’s a huge deal.
Now, before I get a million comments saying “in my house the boys cleaned up just as much as the girls” I’d like to cover my ass here and say that this attitude is TOTALLY 100% wrong. My husband does more housework than I do! I think the problem is that over the years, I have found a norm that it’s expected that girls clean, and it’s understandable that a boy doesn’t. The fact that I felt surprised and impressed that the boys were cleaning – is wrong. Its 2010 Duby !!! so yeah, that was a tough one I learned
9. Bochurim (usually) have some Torah words to share.
Being in yeshiva all day – you can bank on the fact that they will have something insightful and meaningful to share. There’s always a Yom Tov, a special day in the Chabad calendar, a birthday or yartzeit – guaranteed they’re learning some kind of maamer or sicha in honor of the occasion.
And that concludes my lessons learned from my hubby’s oh so wonderful Birthday party.
Happy Birthday Shmully!