May 16, 2024
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May 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Hello, there! My name is Banji and I would like to welcome you to Banji’s Banter. Over the next few weeks, I will be making some changes to my little corner of the world and explanations will follow. However, this week, I have some post-holiday odds and ends that I would like to tie up as well as delve into a whole new topic. So please, follow me on my new journey to self-exploration and positivity.

Every once in a while, your kids say or do something that make you think, “Gee, I think they really love me.” Of course, they also say or do things that make you think, “Gee, he really takes after his father,” but we will go with the first quote for the purposes of this story. Son #2 called me from Israel last week and the conversation went more or less like this: “Mom, I wish you were here. You could write the funniest article about what goes on with the whole lulav and etrog thing here in Israel. I mean, when you walk up to them and they realize you are American, they automatically tack on another 50 shekels to the price! It’s crazy. And in my head, I kept thinking what you would write about the whole etrog shopping experience. This one is better because it is really yellow, this one is more expensive because it is wider or longer or shorter or fatter or has a deep green stem or a light green stem or a double stem. I think you should write an article about it.”

Since I was not there, unfortunately, I had to rely on his pretty accurate rendition of the events that took place. Our family WhatsApp started with, “How much should I pay for a lulav and etrog?” and from that point read like an auction house… “Do I hear 150 shek… 150 shek…no? 175? 140? 100 shek? That one comes without an etrog…75 shek? What’s the exchange rate? What did Dad pay? Do they take credit cards?” Quite amusing and adorable because everyone is trying to help son #2…except for me because numbers make me dizzy, but that isn’t anything new.

So son #2 got his Sukkot supplies and he was on his way. Where was he going? Who knows. That is the one thing I do not like about the year in Israel…relying on the kindness of strangers. Well, they aren’t strangers—some are kind and generous friends who take care of your kid, and some, well, don’t, but this column is all about positivity so we won’t even go there. You must appreciate what you have and not dwell on the other stuff. Wow, Banji’s Banter is a whole new me!! Sorry, just got a little dizzy. Anyway, on to the final topic… roommates.

Son #2 is quite fond of his roommates and I think vice versa. We will call them roommate J and roommate Z even though roommate Z wanted to be called “the older roommate” because he is in shana bet. These three young men read my column, out loud, every Thursday night and I only have to pay them with Bubbie’s Babka for them to say how much they like it.

Now, I feel that I have four roommates and they are all boys. No one sits around and plays with each other’s hair (not that I ever did that, was always too afraid of getting lice), but we did talk about boys and our crazy mothers (umm, I am thinking my boys might talk about their crazy mother too), and we would sit around watching TV and eating too many bagel dogs… My current roommates talk about sports and sports and sports and yeshiva league standings and FDU basketball and no one talks about clothes or shoes or the Kardashians…

So I am wondering, what do son #2, roommate J and roommate Z talk about in Israel? Is it all about the shas? The latest ruling on shemitah? The halachic ramifications of telling your parents that you want to stay for a third year? I haven’t the slightest clue, but I know that they all respect each other and are enjoying getting to know one another. I see that son #1 still has close relationships with his Israel roommates… they have joined us for Shabbos, and even came back after spending time with the whole family!

My wish to the new roommates is that you all have a wonderful year with my adorable son #2… he puts his laundry away, he is a very good sharer, but he sleeps through his alarm—so good luck with that. But I hope you all have an incredible year together and we welcome you to the family with open arms.

There you have it. The inaugural column of Banji’s Banter. Tune in next week when we discuss the dissolution of husband #1. It’s a real tear-jerker….

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

 Banji Ganchrow has fond memories of the many roommates she had in Stern College for Women and others…She even still speaks to some of them…or maybe not. Which would surprise you more?

 

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