It has taken us many, many years, but Adam and I have finally made an important purchase: Our Shabbat candlestick holders.
We got them while on a trip to Minneapolis this past weekend, in a little boutique shop. We loved their uniqueness and look forward to the sparkle they will add to our Shabbat table.
They are absolutely perfect — except for one thing. We bought them with full knowledge of this, but we were surprised by the candlestick holders’ warning label: “Caution: Do not allow the candle to burn within one inch (25.4 mm) of the candle holder otherwise this may result in damage to the candle holder.”
I know this is not unique to these candlesticks holders — many have that same warning. But why oh why do candlestick holder makers make products that do not successfully perform their one task? As the internet likes to say, you had ONE job.
I understand when pajamas say that they are not fire resistant; they are designed to be sleepwear for babies who sleep in cribs and do not double as firefighters. But candlestick holders have no other purpose. There’s no other reason you buy them. They are made for you to put candles inside of them and let them flicker and sizzle and burn. Is there some kind of dark magic that engineers haven’t yet been able to crack that would allow for candlestick holders to do this one thing?
And yes, I know about those little inserts that go inside of the holders to be our little Shabbat heroes, and I will be collecting those for us to use. I just think that some inventor somewhere along the line overlooked one crucial functionality detail.
Well, anyway, end of rant, and I wish everyone a Shabbat filled with light and very little damage to your candlestick holders.
I am definitely enjoying parenthood more than I enjoyed being pregnant. While pregnant I had to deal with fun things like nausea, acne, food aversions, and gestational diabetes, and my body definitely was not my own.
Now, being a parent, my new little creature is on the outside of me! This is great because, well, I can keep my food down, but also because I am spared from the comments from friends, family, and strangers who loved to comment about my body size. “You look so small!” “You’re getting so big!” “You’re carrying low/high/big/small/an alien!”
Instead, people admire and compliment my obviously gorgeous, ready-to-be-a-Baby-Gap-model baby. “Serena is so beautiful!” “Look at that hair!” “Love her little toes.”
Once the initial once-over is completed, everyone wants to comment on who she looks like. Does she look like me? Maybe like Adam? Or a little bit of both?
And then … back to the weird stares at my face and body.
“Well, I think she definitely has your jaw line.” “I think she’s all Adam from the forehead up.” “Her nose sort of reminds me of her great-grandmother’s nose.”
Never in my life have I had so many people stare at me to determine the shape of my lower lip. In fact, in my 30 years of living I don’t think I’ve ever even paid attention to the shape of any of my facial features. I don’t even know what I look like!
I look forward to seeing you all in person, dear readers, and having you analyze mine and Serena’s nostrils.
When our new little family of three walks down the street in our neighborhood, we get lots of nice reactions from passersby. Children see us and say “baby!” and peek into the bassinet. Little old ladies say, “Oh, so lovely! What a blessing!” Even a group of skateboarding teenagers nicely moved away from the sidewalk so my stroller and I could pass by.
But the parents? They check us out in a different way.
“Oooh, that’s the Uppababy Cruz stroller, honey. We were thinking about getting that one.”
“Oh look, Mark, do you see the brand of carrier they’re using?”
“I didn’t know you could fit that carseat with that stroller and top it off with that toy on top of the toddler skateboard in the lime green version with the extra large wheels and the calming lavender scent that continuously plays ‘It’s a Small World.’ We should have gotten that one!”
It’s so fascinating, because we all clearly did a lot of research (or copied a trusted friend who did a lot of research) onto what gear to buy. Seeing it pass us by in person tends to be way more interesting to us parents than the actual living human inside of the devices.
Except for our little human. She’s obviously the most interesting.
UPDATE: I wrote this blog yesterday (Tuesday) and posted it Wednesday morning. Just a few hours after I posted it, I went to brunch with a friend, and an expectant mother awkwardly approached me at the table. “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she said, “but can you tell me if you are happy with your stroller and carseat combo? I was thinking about buying the same one.” I seriously cannot make this stuff up. Here’s to you, parents and parents-to-be who love to talk to strangers about baby gear!