Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Seven Things

Because Chris over at A Deliberate Life awarded me the Beautiful Blogger Award, I get to tell you seven things you may not know about me. Here goes:

1) My mother, for some reason, named me Jane, not Linda. Then my uncle came to see me at the hospital and decided I was not a "plain Jane" (no insult intended to all the Janes out there) and decided my name should be Linda. Despite the fact that my name had already been entered on my official Cook County Birth Certificate, my immigrant mother undertook the name change all by herself: she took a pencil, picked up the unofficial hospital document with my footprints on it, and wrote in the name "Linda" above the name Jane with insert marks. This caused a lot of problems years later when I tried to get a passport.

2) Because of the Holocaust, my parents had a troublesome relationship with Judaism - like they were pretty much atheists. How I ended up being such a believing, faith-filled, goofball of a Jew is almost incomprehensible. I can only attribute it to the fact that sometimes, with Holocaust Survivor parents, you can get to a point of Holocaust Overload, when your parents have told you too many stories, and you shut down and become a blacksheep for the very thing they dislike: Judaism.

3) I had a miscarriage and infertility and Husband and I had just signed up for an adoption home study when, the next day, I found out I was pregnant with Bar Mitzvahzilla. Then came more miscarriages and infertility and then infertility surgery, and guess who was conceived on an operating table? Daughter. Luckily she looks like Husband and not like the doctor.

4) One time I sang sad Patsy Cline songs at the Moose Club in Las Vegas with my boss at the time who played in a Country Western band there. For just a moment I imagined a career as a Jewish Country Western star - I just wouldn't sing Jesus songs.

5) I was married once before, in 1986 at the Little White Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip with a scratchy record playing the Wedding March and holding a dusty plastic bouquet of flowers. I was divorced very uneventfully three years later at a City of Phoenix Courthouse.

6) After my dad died when I was a teenager and we lost our family business, my mom got the bright idea to get food stamps since we were flat broke. We were easily the only Jewish family in Scottsdale in the 1970s on foodstamps, and for sure the only Jewish family driving down to the food stamp office in an aging Lincoln Continental each week, me hiding in the back.

7) Bar Mitzvahzilla was born a pound and a half preemie, though he is now much, much bigger than that. He's big enough, and big-mouthed enough in fact, that after sassing off to me very badly yesterday, he wrote me this lovely apology: "Dear Mom, I am sorry for being so rude, spiteful and snide to you. It was wrong of me and I will try to never do it again. But I'm an adolescent so I may fail at that part. So anyway, sorry and I hope you can forgive me. From your only son who you will ever have that you shouldn't be mad at forever because he's your only son, Bar Mitzvahzilla" [that's not really his name, just fyi] 

So here I'd like to say thank you to Amber over at Making the Moments Count for giving me a Lemonade Stand Award, awarded to bloggers with attitude and gratitude, because getting a note like that from my former preemie fills me with both.

Any naming stories of your own? Faith against all odds? Fertility close calls? Snotty teen apologies? (I won't ask about Las Vegas Weddings, Moose Lodges, or Food Stamps...) 


  1. Four out of five...lol.
    HOly canoli, linda/Jane.
    omygoodness...linda jane pressman...country singer.
    yes um, my mom never took me to church or read the bible. I went on my own at the age of five.
    I found Jesus all on my own.
    fertility near misses...1.
    I had a battle door placenta with my oldest, and that was a harbinger, let me tell you.
    That meant that my placenta had detached and then reattached. I should have miscarried but didn't. I had my youngest without a hitch. I did miscarry in 2005, and haven't been brave enough to try it since. Maybe I should buck up and try again.
    Las vegas weddings: 1
    My little brother got married in vegas in front of the bellagio, but they got the certificate with me in tow at the little white wedding chapel, no joke. I was there for that also, only they annulled it a few months later. Now I wonder if he will EVER get married and give me some nieces and nephews for goodness sake.
    snotty teen apologies...I get them, but only after pulling out a full on mother of all mother guilt trips.
    No moose lodges thank heavens...
    and food stamps.
    My mom had them while we were growing up for a while and once, when we were in the store, the lady ahead of us had used hers and the clerk very very rudely took them one by one and counted VERY LOUDLY, how much food stamps the lady was using.
    So of course, when my mom gets up there..she is fighting mad.
    She takes out her food stamps and starts counting.
    TEN....five...ONE ONE ONE ...
    Then she looks at the cashier and says:
    Did you catch that or would you like me to count again.
    The lady just sat there looking stunned and embarrassed.
    I bet she never did it to anyone again.
    Never be embarrassed for needing some help.
    My ma was a hard worker.
    I think she would have drilled right in her piehole given half a chance.
    Great post linda.
    Or shall I call you linda jane, Nashville songstress. lol.

  2. I was born on Christmas Eve and was almost named Holly. My parents went with Kristen instead - still a nod to the holiday, but a slightly less corny one.

    Congratulations on the awards!

  3. I love that note! Especially the "I'm an adolescent so I might fail" part. He's a bright kid!

    My mom almost named me Leisl, after the girl in the Sound of Music. I am quite grateful that she picked something else!

  4. Funny, poignant, and your son deserves an extra serving of brisket and chopped liver for that wise, adorable, and oh-so-pleasurably-adolescent note. Something to put away (the note, not the liver), and treasure.

  5. Just so many CONGRATULATIONS to you, Jane (um...Linda)! Wow! I love visiting you every day!

  6. Um... I knew I was giving that award to the right person. : )

    OK. No cool naming stories for my own name (although, I kinda wished they went with Ambrosia. So much cooler than Amber).

    I do, however, harbor a secret desire to become a singer. A Whitney Houston-esque singer. I think, thought, this dream may have to be relinquished. It seems my vocal chords do no stand up hers. Too back because I am pretty sure I could do the whole sex appeal side. Like, hello, I have 2 kids! Enough said.

  7. I love the note from your son. How cool.

    I was named after an old friend of my dad's. My mom would only agree if he promised to never shorten it to Char, so I have always used the full name.

    Every time I hear my husband sing I think he could have been professional if that was the path he choose and then I wonder about how that would have changed our lives (I'm thinking not for the better).

  8. Well, what I can I say? Obviously number 4 is my favorite. Anytime you want to indulge your inner Jewish Country Western Star call me.

  9. Congrats on the well-deserved awards. I love learning these bits and pieces about you! My name story? Nothing too exciting other than the fact that at some point along the way, Aidan became an exceedingly popular name for little boys and now I think *everyone* is calling me at the playground and in little baby classes. I have quite the ego at this point :)

  10. congrats on your awards! Well deserved! #3 about you... on the operating table... I just want to make sure I have this right. Your daughter was conceived on the operating table because of the fertility procedure OR did you and husband find some "private time" while you were on the table? I'm thinking the first but boy would I love to hear that story if it's the latter! :) My son was "made" in a petrie dish and he looks nothing like my husband or me so we still wonder...

  11. Chris, your mom had guts. My mom used to sneak to a DES office very far away from our house and then do all her shopping around there too, so she wouldn't run into anyone we knew.
    And guess what? My middle name is STILL Jane! (well, I did change the spelling to "Jayne"...)

  12. Kristen and TKW - funny how when we hear these "near miss" name stories we can never imagine ourselves with another name. (Well, especially Leisl, right TKW?) My parents hardly planned names because each time they planned on having a boy finally, so that was the only named they picked out. And each time, more girls.

  13. Lisa, if I had the name problem now that I had at twenty-two when I applied for my passport, the Department of Homeland Security would show up on my doorstep in a flash!

  14. BLW, I'm telling you, how he thinks of WRITING me an apology! A verbal would have been fine. And speaking of food, he was really just trying to convince me to cook him dinner after mouthing off. (With teens it always comes down to eating, doesn't it?) Next time, matza ball soup all around!

  15. Amber, Next time American Idol comes to Utah, I'll expect to see you in the try outs!

    Charlotte, I'm sure being the wife of an itinerant musician shlepping six kids to music gigs around the country wouldn't be a fun life! Unless, that is, he became famous. (See note to Amber above)

  16. Sativa, I forgot about your connection to rural Arizona! It's been twenty-five years. I think I'm ready for my next gig.

  17. Aidan, your parents were really ahead of the curve on giving you that name because you're right, it's very in now! Notice that "Linda" is never going to have a new surge of popularity...

  18. Becca, that is so funny! Boy I really needed to proof that one. No sex in the operating room, really. Although at that point in treatment we probably would have tried anything.:)

  19. This is probably the best, the funniest, the most personal "things you don't know about me" note I have ever read. I adore it! ADORE IT!

  20. Thank you, Sarah! I just thought I'd cruise through my whole miserable, embarassing life history in one post...

  21. That was a great post! I am so proud of you and loved hearing the stories although I know most of them and lived through them with you. Love you lots Heather