Help Me, Bubby!

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Bubby Irma's Kitchen

Yiddish Your Bubbe Never Taught You

Poetry by Jewish Grandaughters

Bubbe & Gram

Bubbe's Kitchen

My Bubbe's Arms

Bubbie & Zeide's Favorite Language

Bennett and His Bubbe's Beau

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Monday, May 31, 2004

Dear Bubby,

Ten months ago I went to a farewell party for a colleague. At this party, I downed excessive amounts of tequila. In my drunkenness, I have heard that I behaved atrociously. So, what did I do?...

I told four of my colleagues that I loved them (two of them were male). Then, since I was too drunk to go home with the girls, I had to sleep over at the host's house. At midnight, I got up and threw up on the bed, floor, loo, and my clothes. Ahem.

Now, I don't feel bad at all because I love having a good time and I don't see anything amoral in what I did, really.

But the thing is: I am never this way in my work life. I only let it loose when I am out with very close friends (curse the tequila!). So you see, I now have a huge problem at work. All the guys think I am after them. What can I do, Bubby?

Thank you!

Dear Vinwell,

I can easily understand why your reputation has changed since the party. But you can't be condemned for a first transgression. If you want your fellow employees to understand, you should by all means set the situation straight.

First, stay away from liquor - you can't handle it. And if you do have a drink, you can nurse one drink all night and still have a good time. You should - in your own way - apologize for your behavior to save your reputation. And when at work be friendly, but not to the point that the men will get the wrong ideas. It is all up to you. It is your life and you can make of it what you will. I can tell that since this party situation is disturbing you - you are the one to fix it.

Good fixing.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
A Fast Update...

Yesterday Bubby received a letter from a Mrs.B (no relation) who was in a tizzy about a missing RSVP card in an otherwise very formal wedding invitation. Bubby had a hunch that despite the fancy font, this wedding was probably going to be very informal, and she advised Mrs.B to write a nice note back saying she'd be there.

Well, there's nothing like a Bubby's hunch. As soon as she read the advice, Mrs.B wrote back to let us know who was right. And guess who it was...

Dear Bubby,
HAHA! Actually, that's exactly what we did! We talked to the parents of the couple, and apparently this will be a VERY informal wedding despite the printed invitations. It's the second marriage for the bride and they're both older. So we just sent a handwritten note written in the formal tradition of "Mr. and Mrs. B. gladly accept the kind invitation of Ms. K and Mr. R."

It turns out, everyone was all a-twitter that there was no response card!

Mrs. B

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Dear Bubby,

To my surprise, Miss Manners' book "On Painfully Proper Weddings" didn't cover this situation so perhaps you can help (and get a scoop on Miss Manners!)

My husband and I received a formal invitation for his cousin's wedding (engraved, not hand written). The bride and groom are planning the event themselves as far as we can tell from the invitation. However there was no "RSVP" nor response card or any other indication that the "favour of a reply is requested."

My husband and I are traveling from far away to attend this wedding (meaning hours of air travel) and I feel the need to tell them that we will be attending as a courtesy.

Should we send a handwritten response card in the formal tradition (Mr. and Mrs. B---- accept the kind invitation of...), or should we just tell the parents of the groom (my husband's aunt and uncle), or should we not say anything at all and just show up?

Thank you for your thoughts on this perplexing matter!
Mrs. B

Dear Mrs. B,
Funny that you should ask about a wedding problem. It seems to me that this wedding will be rather informal so I think the acknowledgement should be the same. I would just write (not type) a note of thanks - and say you are looking forward to sharing their happy day. Dress informal. If you plan to stay over ask them to recommend some hotel or motel that is nearby.

I have gone to such a wedding and it was held in the backyard of the bride's home and we all had a great time.

Monday, May 24, 2004
"I took your advice but..."

On May 12 we got a sweet letter from a young girl named Lisa who was, like, totally in love with this guy. She wanted to tell him how she felt, but her problem was that "I am going crazy because ... It's real hard when you are a very shy person. But I just don't know what to do to get his attention."

Bubby was very supportive and gave Lisa some great ideas about how to capture the fancy of this young fella. She suggested sharing a table in the cafeteria, joining a club he was a part of, bonding over instruments. She advised Lisa, "Once you strike up a conversation with him, you will know if you really like him. Or, if he is not up to your expectations - drop him and find another boy. I would be interested to know how this turns out."

Well, Bubby got her wish. This week we heard from Lisa again. And she needed a wee bit more help from Bubby...

Hi Bubby,
This is Lisa. I did what you told me to do. Your advice worked, but he just told me that he did not like relation ships. So we are just friends. Can you tell me how to make him like me?


Dear Lisa (again),
Well, you have taken a step in the right direction. When this boy said he does not like relationships -- what does he mean by that? Relationships can mean a lot of things - some you don't need until you get older. But by being "just friends", like meeting here and there in school or in the cafeteria or maybe attending one of the school games - he could come with a few of his friends and you could be with yours, but you would mix. That can be fun. And gradually he will look forward to seeing you. That is how friendships develop to more.

Be subtle but let him take the initiative. If he is still a "wet blanket", look for some other boy and maybe he will wake up. I know it is tough to be a teenager but stick to it.

Good luck.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Dear Bubby,

I am 14 years old and I think I have a crush on my friend's boyfriend. However, he is a flirt, and I'm thinking that may be the only reason I like him, because he acts flirtatious towards me. When he's not acting this way, I don't feel like I have feelings for him. I know he doesn't like me but it makes me sad at times when he keeps changing how he acts. How can I get myself to get over him?

Anonymous 9th grader

Dear Ninth Grader,

This boy that you speak of is just feeling himself growing up without realizing how obnoxious he can be. When he will be seventeen, eighteen or maybe it will take him to twenty-five, he will be ashamed of what he was at fourteen or fifteen. Girls are far more grown up at fourteen than boys, so don't pay much attention to him. Find new friends and just consider him as a curiosity.

Good Luck.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Dear Bubby,

Well, here's the situation. I have a friend at work, we were building up a pretty good friendship. Than all of a sudden a rumor went around work that we were dating. She and I talked about it and made a joke about it. She said: "Well, I am a little old for you and I am not your type, right?" I just shook my head yes.

Ever since then, she's been acting really weird. She always wanted to hang out, but now I have to initiate everything. And when I ask if she wants to hang out, she hesitates, but eventually does. In a group setting she doesn't want to hang out, because she's afraid of what people will say.

I am not sure if I should just back off and let her be, and let her initiate hanging out, or what? I am thinking about just letting her be for a week or so and see what happens. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Todd,
If this girl is important to you then you should continue to "hang out" - maybe something will develop but if she is just another person who is nice to work with just be friendly and let it go at that. I think she may have feelings for you and is being coy by saying she is too old for you. To "hangout" does not require any special age.

Why don't you ask her to go for a walk and have a serious talk. Find out just what she is looking for by being friends. I have been very good friends with men working in my office but that was it - good friends - chatting - lunching sometimes but nothing else. And to this day they are good friends.

Maybe she feels that friendship in the office is "out of bounds". Be honest and speak up. Why just wonder? Get it straight.

Good Luck.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Dear Bubby,

My daughter's headstart teacher thinks that I do not spend enough time with my children. She's older than me. It's funny because I am majoring in Child Development and I know all the classic signs of negativity with parents and teachers. Thursday is my daughter's preschool graduation. I had to change the dates on my finals in order to accommodate my daughter at her graduation. I could not attend her field trip though because it would throw me further behind on school assignments.

Why do people not understand that a single mother must get the proper education that is needed for women to make a good salary? I do not have time when I have to pull 40 hours a week and attend full time college hours. Her teacher knows my situation but she still does not understand. She has these snide expressions on her face like I am full of excuses.

Maybe you have some advice on what I should say to her, in order to make her understand. The time I spend with my children is in the afternoon and we also go out every weekend for more quality time together.


Dear Shannon,

I think you are doing the best you can with your daughter and the teacher should understand that. Has she ever been in a similar situation? If not - that would account for her attitude. I think you should have another talk with her and explain that your child gets help at home too. You read to her, and in fun she is learning to count. She knows her name, address, telephone number and whom to call in case of emergency. I think that is all a good education for a child in kindergarten.

I think you should try to attend her graduation. Perhaps you could speak to your Prof. and get your assignment to prepare at home. Attending your child's graduation will show your little girl and her teacher that she is important and you tried hard. I always feel that does a lot for a child -- you are showing her that she means to most to you. Your teacher and the child's teacher are human and should be glad that you are taking the time to be present. To a mother - her child is first - everything else falls into place.

Many years ago I too had a similar situation. It was not easy. You have to give up a lot for the sake of children and in the end you will have your degree and your child will be proud of you and you with her. And I did get my degree with honors. You will too.

Tough work but you will be on top. Good luck.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Dear Bubby,
I have just started dating this guy that I've known already for a few years. At first I wasn't attracted to him, but now I really see that we have a lot in common. The thing that bothers me is that he comes from a very wealthy family and I am not so fortunate. It makes me feel bad when he starts talking about all his possessions and trips to other countries. I feel like I'm not good enough. Should I keep seeing him even though this bothers me?


Dear Priceless,

I think this young man for all his wealth is just trying to impress you. How does he act when you are together? Is he kind, helpful when you go out? Does he consider your feelings instead of bragging about his wealth? And whose wealth is it - his or his father's? That is really no way to get to know one another. Remember that money is round and it can roll near and yon. And when it is gone - will he be considerate and affectionate or will he be moaning about his money?

If you like his "line", make the most of it while you are with him, but be very sure of your relation with him before you get too involved.

Think carefully. Good luck.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Dear Bubby,
I really like this guy and we have been together for a while. He is so sweet and the last thing I want to do is embarrass him. However, we have a little problem, Bubby. Sometimes he sweats profusely. I don't know if he knows this because he often lifts his arms in the air and stretches. Should I ignore the huge sweat patches under his arms or should I tell him?

Please help,
Dating a Sweaty Man

Dear Dating a Sweaty Man,
By no means do you have to put up with those pool of sweat under his arms. Takes the love out of hugging. But here is a good idea. Buy him a set of men's deodorants and shaving cream or any kit that is a men's lotion - like after shave lotion but make sure the deodorant is part of the kit. He'll love having it once he uses it. And when he does use it - reward him with a big hug and kiss.

Thursday, May 13, 2004
Dearest Bubby,
I am a single woman who, hopefully, will someday make the life altering change and get married. While I understand that sharing your life with someone you love can be wonderful, there are always obstacles along the way. My question to you is what are the top five things (if it is possible to narrow them down to that many) that an "ideal" wife can/should do to keep her husband happy and keep the harmony in their

Sincerely, Almost Ready.

Dear Almost Ready,
You are wise to think of marriage after the "I do's" because there are a lot of do's and don'ts. First - don't argue about anything - think things out first and then very diplomatically present it for discussion. You and your mother-in-law will be strangers and it takes time to get acquainted so don't rush it. Just be yourself. I have a daughter-in-law and at first we were strangers but I can tell you that we get along just GREAT. It takes time. If you ever disagree with her - let your husband talk with her - it's his mother not yours. Father-in-law are usually fun to be with. Always discuss budget with your husband to make sure you are going in the right direction, and when there are little ones - share the job.

And very important - don't ever go to bed angry with one another - that is the beginning of the way down. Learn to cook what he likes and always be lovingly.

Have a good life - I did.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Hello Bubby,

Well I might say I'm a girl who's in H.S. and I'm in love with a guy. Now my problem is that he doesn't know who I am and he doesn't know I like him. My friends tell me that I should go up to him and tell him how I feel. I'm a very shy person when it comes to love...I don't think going up to him and telling him how I feel will be a good idea. I have done that before with others and I was rejected at times and I wouldn't like to be rejected by the guy that I truly like a lot.

I am going crazy because I really don't know what to do. I mean it's real hard when you are a very shy person but I just don't know what to do to get his attention. I'm a sophomore and he's a junior and since the first time I saw him I felt in love with him and I really want him to be part of my life but I just don't know how. If you could please help me make this love of my life be with me I will really thank you.


Dear Lisa,
I know it is really tough to want to know a certain boy and you don't get any feedback. So let's see. You are a sophomore and he is a junior so I assume that you don't have classes together. Is there some person who could introduce you to this young man?? If you see him in the cafeteria you might find a seat next to him and start a conversation about his classes or extra activities. What club is he interested in. Maybe he plays an instrument - You might ask if he ever tutors lower classmates - Talk to him so that he will become interested in you and since this all happens in school work around your school life.

Also, do you have a girl friend who knows him? Get an introduction. Once you strike up a conversation with him you will know if you really like him or if he is not up to your expectation - drop him and find another boy.

I would be interested to know how this turns out.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Dear Bubby,

I have a full four-year scholarship to college. I took so many extra credits in H.S. that I can graduate college in three years instead of four (if I want to).

I am now in my second year of college and it's time to decide what I want to do. My boyfriend lives overseas and if I graduate early I could go be with him sooner. I would then attend grad school overseas, since it's cheaper than in America (that is a huge incentive). I am on my own financially, so I would have to work for one year before starting grad school.

My parents feel that I should just take my time and do the full four years of college, since it's a free scholarship. But my heart is telling me to get back to my boyfriend as soon as I can. I know this is supposed to be the best time of my life, but staying an entire year in college when it's not necessary would torture me.

What should I do?

Dear Torn,
I think you should listen to your parents. Being in school now is the best time of your life and if you hurry through with it and run to this boyfriend you will eventually be very sorry. Take as many courses that interest you - fulfill your requirements for your degree and at the end of the four years you will be very happy.

I had a sister who did what you are planning and in later years when she needed that diploma to move ahead - it was gone and so was the boyfriend. BUT she found a better one. I'm sure you will be happy and you can always travel when you have that education down pat.

Try it -- you'll like it.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Dear Bubby,
I just finished college in January. I studied abroad for my last semester, so I didn't get to participate in commencement or anything, and not many people know I actually graduated.

So, my question is, would it be tacky to send graduation announcements to relatives and such? I'm not having an open house or anything, but I just feel disappointed not getting any sort of recognition after working so hard for four and a half years.

What do you think?


Dear Jenny,
I think it would be great to tell everybody that you have graduated. If you are sending letters rather than the commercial greeting cards, you might start out by saying that you finished your program from overseas and - "I sort of missed my graduation." It would be nice to add a few words about your degree or if you are planning to invite some of your close friends you can enclose that too. I can see a very nice celebration with friends and family.

Have lots of fun and my best wishes for your future.
Friday, May 7, 2004
Dear Bubby,

I need help. Yep, you guessed it, another high school relationship question. I'm dating this girl. We've been together for over a year now, and I think I'm falling for someone else. But the "funny" thing is I'm falling for two other girls as well. I try so hard to not be a typical guy. And I will never cheat on my girlfriend... EVER. I'm just not like that. But I really need your help.

I don't know what to do. I love my girlfriend so much, but I know it's wrong to like someone and go out with someone else. Any advice you have to give will mean the world to me.

Lost and confused

Dear Lost and Confused,
You named yourself very well. I got a big kick out of that. Every young person goes through what you are "suffering" now. That is how you get to know yourself and others. I think you might suggest to your "dear friend" that you ought to meet with other young people in a group. That is a good way to compare one personality to another. Now that the weather is nice - how about a picnic, or perhaps a game of baseball. You and she will observe others and it think it will give you an opportunity to decide what you like about a person.

You don't tell me your age but spending time with others will help you make up your mind "for today" and will certainly help you to judge others as you grow older. Discuss this with your girl friend but don't give up the friendship. You will both learn a lot.

Good luck with your girl "friends."
Thursday, May 6, 2004
Dear Bubby,

After a long stint at college I am finally faced with entering the real world. Despite an undergraduate and graduate degree, I have a hard time believing that anyone will want to hire me. Every interview I contemplate or sign up for just seems futile. I'm 25 and still don't know what I want to do with my life. It just seems like there's so much pressure to get somewhere. But where? I have dreams but I'm scared to pursue them. Can you offer me any advice?

Scared and confused

Dear Scared and Confused,

Don't call yourself that. Think of yourself as ready and able. With all your years preparing I am sure you are capable of a job and a good job. I also know it is not easy to get into the swim at first. What do you like to do? Do you want to work with people? Children? Work with your hands? What do you want to do most? When you have answered these questions you will be ready to apply for work or you might register with "a head hunter" as the saying goes - an agency. They will interview you and set up appointments for you. If you are interested in one particular field - get the New York Times. Every weekend there are endless positions open and employers looking.

I remember when I was in college, one of my professors said that once you are educated you can tackle whatever you want. More than half of graduates go into fields that were not on their programs. When you have gained some experience you are fortified to try another field. You don't tell me what you had studied in school.

I can tell you that you must have confidence in yourself - the world is waiting for you to challenge it -- so go right ahead.

Good luck
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Reader's Respond...
Sometimes letters come in from people who write to Bubby about advice she gave to someone else. Today we're posting two letters Bubby received that we thought offered additional insight.

This first letter is from a woman who wrote to us on March 24th about the stress of working full-time and getting through graduate school as well. She wrote to us again in response to yesterday's letter from "Wondering in Washington".

Dear Bubby,
I have written you before and you gave me wonderful advice. I am the graduate student who was exhausted from working full time as well. I recently had to leave my job because both activities were too much for me.

What I failed to mention is that part of the reason I was so exhausted is because I have Cerebral Palsy. I am about to finish my Masters and in the fall I will be entering law school. I recently read the letter from the woman in Washington who was looking to put her income to good use.

Here is a suggestion: Disabled persons make up the largest minority group in the United States. However, there seems to be no substantial minority scholarships for disabled persons to law school, or any type of school for that matter. We are just not considered minorities for some reason. I need financial help for school like many others. Tell "Wondering in Washington" that she should consider setting up a scholarship fund for those she might be interested in helping. That way, everyone can have the opportunity to become professionals as she and her husband must be. In turn, we can also help others when we are established in our careers.

Thanks Bubby,
A hard workin' student in New Orleans

The second letter we'd like to share is from a woman who wrote to us in response to the April 21st letter from Harriet, who was dating a man in need of some grooming. Bubby wrote back a few great ideas, and then we got a letter from Rose who had even more words of encouragement for Harriet.

Dear Bubby,
When I met the man I ended up marrying, he didn't use deodorant. He wasn't real smelly, but I knew he was the one I wanted. So I bought him a kit with shaving lotion and cologne and deodorant in the kit. He got the message. Years later he told me he knew what and why I did it. He was a very clean person otherwise. And I still love him 50 years later.
From, Rose

Thanks for all your feedback!
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Big News!
Bubby had her first radio interview today on 96.5 WOXL in Asheville, North Carolina. At 7:50am, folks across the airwaves heard Ken-O and Tammy of the morning show say,

"She's become a cyber-grandmother to the world. And you will meet her next..."
[Insert weather]
"So she's been helping her own family for years. And now, she is helping others. And she's been running a website with the help of her granddaughters. We are joined now by... Bubby! Good morning, Bubby!"

Bubby had a great time on the air, and even gave out some love advice to Tammy. (This is some of the best fun you can have with your grandmother.)

Dear Bubby,

I really need your help. I have been married to "Ken" for the past 16 years. We have a beautiful teenage daughter "Kelly". We have a combined yearly income of a quarter of a million dollars. We have a beautiful house, staff, and our daughter goes to a prestigious private school. We were just wondering what the hell we should do with all our money?

Yours truly,
wondering in Washington

Dear wondering in Washington,

How fortunate you and your husband are. With money to spare there are endless things you can do. First, I would suggest that you donate some money to some schools. Your child is enjoying a wonderful education and there are some who go to very bad schools and go hungry - you can help. You can contribute to reach centers such as Cancer, Heart. There are a vast number of terrible diseases that children succumb to. Have you set aside for your daughter's college and your future? Time goes by very fast. Did you think of setting up a foundation for any good causes?

I always felt that it warms the heart to know that you are helping humanity. It gives you a reason for living. What do you do for your house of worship? I could go on and on. Thank the Lord that you are comfortable.

Much happiness to you and your family.
Monday, May 3, 2004
Dear Bubby,
I have a very good friend whom I love dearly. The problem is she talks ALL the time. She doesn't let me finish what I'm saying. She just constantly interrupts to say whatever she has to say and half the time changes the subject from what we were talking about. It's like half the time she doesn't hear what I'm saying. I try to finish what I'm saying but usually just give up.

Should I say something to her or just let her talk? This is getting to be quite stressful.

Thanks Bubby,

Dear Maryjane,
I understand your problem so well. I had a friend and her name was - believe it or not - Annajane. She had the same habit as your friend. No matter who was talking, if she wanted to say something - without hesitation - out it came. I thought about it and here is what I decided to do. When she would interrupt, I would gently lean toward her and put my hand on her hand or arm and that would stop her right in the middle of a word. I would say, "You are interrupting and that's not nice." She would stop talking right away.

This routine was repeated many times until one day she said to me, "I really should not interrupt when another person is speaking and I will just have to control myself." And she did. In later years we would laugh about this and always remained good friends. Try it!

Good luck.

"Help Me, Bubby!" Disclaimer
By submitting a letter to this website, you grant Help Me, Bubby! permission to publish it on this site or elsewhere including print publications. Your letter will only include an anonymous signature that you provide or that we use to substitute for your real name. Your email address will never be included or distributed. Due to the large number of letters received, there is no guarantee that a letter will be responded to. Any information or advice given at Help Me, Bubby! is not intended to provide an alternative to professional medical treatment or to replace the advice or services of a physician or psychiatrist. Neither Bubby nor her granddaughters are professional therapists or medical experts. If you have any serious medical or mental problem, please consult a professional. Although all this advice is offered lovingly from the heart and in good spirit, we are not responsible in any way for your decision to accept or reject the advice or the results thereafter.

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Bubby is our 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 94 year old grandmother.
A few years ago we introduced her to the internet and we've been getting daily e-mails from her ever since. When she was 87, we began this website. We now believe she is the oldest blogger on the Internet.

Whether Bubby is reminding us that boyfriends do not substitute for warm jackets in the winter, or that it's better to receive a compliment than a brick, she always has something to say to her granddaughters.

Now with this new website, Bubby can finally share her wisdom with the rest of the world. And she's excited about it! (Which confuses us, because she used to say we were all she needed.)

Hopefully this will be as much fun for new readers as it will surely be for her. And if not, well, as Bubby says, it will all come out in the wash.

So, are you looking for advice on food, work, a broken heart, or the perfect bat mitzvah present?

But no dirty words allowed or you'll only get one matzah ball.

Bald and oblivious
Denim diagnosis
Girls are weird
Halloween ideas
I smell him from here
I'm gonna marry you
How to meet a man
Nerds go far
Political predictions
Sloppy spouse
Tastes like chicken

Voted "Blog Of Note" on (2003)
4-star Review from The Weblog Review (1.5.04)
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Bubby's first radio interview - 96.5 WOXL (5.4.04)
JewsWeek Jewriffic Award: "Best blog of the week" (6.6.04)
New York Times: Letter to the Editor (6.11.04)
Jerusalem Post: Feature article (7.2.04)
Interview for Akron, Ohio newspaper (aug.'04)
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AARP Magazine article: July/August 2006 issue
Listed as "Cool Site Of The Day": (7.27.06)
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End Of The World
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