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Sunday, September 06, 2009

A nice surprise

It is very typical for Zahava to send me an email during the week saying something like this:

"I just got a [call/email] from [name of friend or neighbor] asking if we can host a few [soldiers/seminary girls/guests] for [a meal/all the meals/the whole shabbat including sleeping accommodations].  Can I tell them OK?"

It isn't that Zahava needs my approval, mind you.  She's the family social secretary/cruise director and has a much better handle on our calendar than I do.  But she and I both have frightful memories and often neglect to tell the other one that we've invited someone for Shabbat, or that one or more of the kids will be bringing home friends.

My typical reply is "No problem... go for it."

That's pretty much how it went down this past week,  when a friend contacted Zahava to find out if we could host a couple of girls for Shabbat at our home and have them join us for lunch (the other meals were being arranged as part of an organized program in the neighborhood).  So Zahava emailed me to make sure I hadn't made other arrangements and neglected to tell her about them.

I sent back my standard affirmative reply and promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward to Friday afternoon as I was getting into shorts and a T-shirt in preparation for doing sponja(basically spilling soapy water on the floor and then squeegee-ing it out the door). 

Suddenly the doorbell buzzed and the dogs (our two plus a friends dog that were were dog-sitting) lost their collective minds... barking and throwing themselves at the front door as if the chuck wagon had just arrived.

Zahava yelled out from her studio that it must be the girls we're supposed to host for Shabbat, and could I go let them in and show them to their room.  So I went to the front door, opened it and found myself face to face with a smiling married couple... clearly not the sem girls we were expecting.

It turns out that the person coordinating the group's visit to our community had done some re-arranging and these were our guests.

Personally, I was delighted.  Don't get me wrong... I don't mind having seminary girls stay with us.  But with this new turn of events, I went from being an invisible old relic that likely reminds the girls of their fathers, to having a couple of people closer to my age with whom I was much more likely to have things in common.

How much we had in common turned out to be the real surprise.

You see, this nice couple standing at our door (with three barking dogs vying for their attention) were/are both regular readers/commenters here on treppenwitz.  I'll leave it to them to 'out' themselves if they like... but suffice it to say we went into what turned out to be a perfectly lovely shabbat already knowing a great deal about one another and having a host of interests in common.

I should really try to put together a list of all the bloggers/commenters who have graced Chez Treppenwitz with their presence over the years.  The list of online connections that have become real life friendships is a long one that is still being written.

I wonder who'll be next?

Posted by David Bogner on September 6, 2009 | Permalink

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A great surprise indeed!

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Sep 6, 2009 4:31:41 PM

Hey, you were doing sponja when we turned up too!

:)

Posted by: uberimmau | Sep 6, 2009 6:25:21 PM

Not it!


(sigh...) ;o/


Maybe "next year"...

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Sep 6, 2009 8:19:15 PM

Very cute!

Posted by: SaraK | Sep 7, 2009 6:51:00 AM

I'm still at the part where you doing 'cleaning'.... wow. Impressed.

Glad the guests turned out to be a nice surprise...

Posted by: Val | Sep 7, 2009 7:27:19 AM

Trep - just face it, we all engineer our time so that we get to spend time chez Treppenwitz. it's know as THE place to be if you are in Israel. One of the landmarks to check out. and you have good booze too!!

Posted by: Hadassah | Sep 7, 2009 2:05:58 PM

I'm still telling people about our evening with you and your awesome laser pen.

Posted by: Robert J. Avrech | Sep 7, 2009 8:04:07 PM

Yeah, but 22-ish seminary girls are probably much cuter to look at :)

It was a nice surprise for us, too! When Morey and I saw that we had been assigned to the Treppenwitz household, we were thrilled. That meant, we thought, a Shabbat full of interesting discussions. And really good coffee. We were not disappointed on either count (really really good coffee). The booze was an added bonus!

As if anyone needed encouragement, but I strongly recommend a Shabbat at chez Treppenwitz. The whole family (well, this time, minus #1 daughter) gets in on the great conversation and good time. I had a great chat with Gilad while everyone shluffed, and even Yonah gave us a thought or two. We obviously managed not to insult anyone, because we were invited back. David & Zahava et al, thank you again and we're looking forward to taking you up on that invitation :)

Posted by: Alissa | Sep 7, 2009 9:09:25 PM

Hey David!

I am aware that a while ago you have invited me for shabbat, and I never made it... I never forgot though, and it seems that I am missing out...

So, I will work on my shyness and my laziness, and hopefully, I will meet you guys one of these days!

Posted by: Miss Worldwide | Sep 8, 2009 11:50:39 AM

What Alissa said. Between the sick kid, friendly dogs and coffee in the morning, it was hard not to feel at home. Not that we didn't also feel like guests. It was a very special Shabbat for both of us. Thank you. And for the record, I now think a Shabbat 'bourbon tasting' really should be an Halachic requirement for the day.

For those wondering how this visit came about, the other side of the story can be read here: http://altmanaliyah.blogspot.com/2009/09/faraway-so-close.html

Posted by: morey | Sep 8, 2009 5:05:25 PM

ahaaaaa! lucky altmans!

Posted by: LeahGG | Sep 9, 2009 7:30:34 AM

man, we really need to make a date!

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Sep 10, 2009 11:15:34 PM

So...I've been reading Treppenwitz for about six years now. Because I'm completely compulsive, I read the archives from the three and a half years you were writing before that until I caught up. Because I'm completely compulsive and because I know what I'd be missing, every time I get busy, take a break from blog-reading, or otherwise fall behind, I read through all the posts (and comments) that I've missed until I catch up again. Usually I don't comment on any except current posts, because part of the fun is participating in the conversation, and also because I was trying not to draw attention to how weird I am. Yeah...that ship just sailed.

Anyway, I planned on keeping quiet as usual until I was up-to-date, but having just made aliya less than a month ago, I am living in Jerusalem, and this post seemed like the perfect opportunity to step forward. I can't claim all the attributes of your above-mentioned guests, as I'm about half a generation between you and your kids, but from everything I've read of yours (and Zahava's!), we have quite a similar hashkafa. Additionally, a close friend of mine who was at HaMivtar a few years ago caught a tremp one day with Zahava and learned (and shared with me, obviously) of the YI of Cornell connection. I'd truly love to meet you all, if you would be so generous as to allow me to add my name to that list!

Posted by: Alisha | Jan 28, 2010 12:07:34 AM

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