Help Me, Bubby!

Other Bubby Books at Amazon:

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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Friday, August 27, 2004
Dear Bubby,

Hi. I'm 13. I want a really hot boyfriend. I don't think I'm beautiful and all the guys like my older sister. I really want to get all the guys to like me and ask me out and stuff, you know. Please help.

Bye, 13teen

Dear Girlie 13,

At 13 you are still a "KID" and I would not think about having a boyfriend to love and "you know what". Just enjoy all the girls and boys who are your age.

You don't tell me how old your sister is so I cannot comment on her relationship with boys. But you are not her -- you are you. Have you discussed this desire with your Mother?? And what was her answer?

At your age the best thing you can do is -- you should be applying yourself to your classes and just having fun with your girl friends and boy friends. Take care of your appearance and as you grow older the boys will surely notice you.

Let life do its job and you enjoy every minute of 13 and on.

Keep smiling.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Update letters: Why the police?

Lonesome lady in Mississauga wrote back to Bubby to explain the deal with the police check [Aug.24]:

Where I live (Canada), you can't volunteer anywhere until you have paid for a police check, and the amount it costs is keeping a lot of unemployed people and pensioners from volunteering. The volunteer agencies don't foot the bill. Thank you for answering me, Bubby. Still a bit lonesome in Mississauga, but you've brightened my day!

And she wasn't the only who explained it to us. Here's another one:

I wanted to write to let you know why the lonely 53-year old needs a police check to volunteer in her community. I have also had to have one in order to become a volunteer coach to a child with Attention Deficit Disorder. Mississauga is in Ontario, Canada, and so is London, where I live, and our laws state that anyone wishing to work with children for a volunteer organization must submit to a police check--for the child's safety. Even Big Sisters and Big Brothers follow this procedure.

And to all this, Bubby replied:
I can't comment on the laws in Canada so I have no input in the matter. However, I would say "follow the law" or go to someone who can help you - perhaps another teacher or an attorney. I am sure they will explain the reasons for this. I know one must consider the welfare of the child and the ability to take care of the child or the patient. So I disqualify myself in this case.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Dear Bubby,

I graduated from college in May. I got my BA in Mathematics and studied many different areas as well: Pre-Med, Economics and more. I have moved back home with my parents, and am now looking for a job.

The problem is that I have many different interests and no idea what field I should enter. I have worked with a few career counselors and came up with an excellent list of possibilities. But I still cannot put my finger on one, or even a select few to start with.

I plan on going to graduate school in the future, but right now it would be a waste since I am not sure what I want to study. I feel like I have no direction. And since I have no job, I cannot afford to move out. I am considering just throwing darts at a wall with possible careers listed on it.

Any good ideas on how to know which is the best way to go? Anything would be helpful, even a good kick in the rear to get me moving again.

On a side note, what you are doing here, helping people with the advice you have to give, truely is a mitzvah.

The Floundering Graduate

Dear Floundering Grad,

I can understand your dilemma - all educated - standing at the cross roads and wondering where to go. I remember when I was in college, one professor said to us that, most of all, we were here so that we would learn how to think. He said at least half of the class would go in to a career that had nothing to do with their studies.

So I say to take stock of yourself - what do you like to do most besides throw darts at the wall? Take a job in that field - work at it -- doing your best. If that doesn't satisfy you - quit and try another field until you find what you want. You are living at home and have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It's terrible to have to get up in the morning and go to a job you dislike. You could go to an agency, submit your school record and speak to their advisors. They are always anxious to help. After you have worked at a job for a while - maybe even a year, you will know exactly what you want to do. Then either look for work in that field or go to grad school. I know a man who went to school at night and worked during the day. He was a chem major but he wound up working at this part time job until he became the president. So you see, you have to take a chance.

Try it and good luck.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Congrats to Bubby on a great new interview for the Akron, Ohio newspaper this week. And a special thanks to Jews in Green, for a nice little Bubby mention today.

Hi, Bubby.

Got any advice for a lonely 53-year old?

After an unwanted divorce, I've had to relocate a few times, looking for work. I'm now living in a new city with my daughter (also divorced) and in the evenings I help watch her kids.

Work is still not easy to find because of my age and being 'overqualified'. I have a nice church but I'm not meeting people who are open to new friendships. I can't volunteer in the community until I have spare money for a police check.

I've always had more friends than I can cope with, but after the past three years, I'd be really happy with one or two. I've always believed in giving to others what you'd like in return, but I've reached a point where there seems to be no takers for anything but babysitting!

Tell me, O Wise One...does everyone reach a point like this in life? I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do, but the constant, low hum of loss and loneliness
is starting to get to me. If you have any sage advice for me, I'd love to hear it.

- At a loss in Mississauga -

Dear Mississauga,

What I can't understand is why you need money to have a police check up. Do you want to do some police work? And what does that have to do with friends and friendship?

I can understand it when you say the people at your church don't seem to be inclined to make new friends. I have seen that, but some people just have a "click" and they are satisfied. You could volunteer to help in some project like preparing for a luncheon or working at your bazaar. That would give you a chance to get to know the people at your church. Check your local papers -- there are usually listings of weekend activities for different age groups. Try going to them. If you don't like the first group - try a second or go another time. I am sure different people come on different days.

Have you tried volunteering as an aid at one of the schools? Or, how about taking a class at a school where there are evening classes. Is there an exercise class for adults at one of the schools or at a gym? You can have lots of fun there and make friends easily. I would suggest that you try one of these alternatives. You may like it.

Good hunting.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Dear Bubby,

I'm 19 years old and I have not finished high school like my mother believes I have. I am going back this fall to finish the few credits I need to get. I've already been accepted to a university and my mom is VERY excited since I am the first of my siblings. I have called the university and told them that I need to start in January instead.

How can I tell my mom this without making her very sad? I know she won't be mad, just very sad.


Dear Michael,

Congratulations that you have the right idea of continuing your education. I am sure that your mother would not be angry knowing that you are going ahead and finishing your high school requirements. And I think you should tell her. She will be your strongest supporter.

Also have you tried to speak to the university about taking these courses as classes along with a limited load on the freshman level. Some schools do allow that. Then you could work a little harder and along with your work you would enjoy being on campus. You could take as many courses that you can handle and it does not matter if your college degree takes a little longer.

Many, many students at times have had to leave for a term or two and come back. The important thing is YOU MUST GET THAT DEGREE TO START OUT. Today at an interview that is the first thing your prospective employer wants to know -- what was your major. I've been through it.

Be honest with your mother and get your education. IT'S IMPORTANT.

Good Luck.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Hi Bubby,

I feel guilty asking this question when there are people without jobs and without money to put food on the table, etc. ...but this is my dilemma.

For the last 13 years, I've buckled down and worked in a safe but dull job. The benefits are ok and at first the pay was pretty good...there was even a pension program. Now however, all the things that I could point to as beneficial have begun to fall away: the pay hasn't kept pace, my insurance costs more and I've pretty much exhausted my promotional opportunities.

Worse still, each day I'm there I die a little. The work is mindless, without purpose and the organization rudderless. I'm awash in angst but I feel like I simply can't throw away all that I've accrued. My dad worked for one company his whole career, 42 years, and then his organization went out of business. He lost almost everything. I think about this more and more. Is it worth it to stay with a "mostly" sure but fading thing?

Thanks for your thoughts...
Angst-ridden letter writer

Dear Angst,

It is terrible to get up each morning and go to a job that you hate and from your letter you hate where you are. If you have reached your "top" why stay? Stay and look for another job until you find it. I would say you have to look for another job -- it won't find you. Go to an agency - look in the papers and even write to various organizations where you would like to work. If you do what you like to do you will "put your best foot forward". I would suggest you make a resume of your accomplishments and then make the rounds of agencies - check the papers and send your resume to businesses that are looking for what you have to offer.

As for staying in an organization for any length of time is not bad as long as there is potential to move ahead. I know a man who started on a job while in college as a "do it all" and eventually became the Vice President. He saw the business was growing and he had the ability to grow with it. You can never tell when a firm will go out of business. Management sees that things are not going right and they do the same as inaudible do. Just look in the papers and you will see where some firms have merged - and some have shut their doors. The "game is the same" - only the names are changed.

Only you can make your decision. I wish you the very best.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Dear Bubby,

If you get this I really need a response. Well, I'm 13 and I'm in this relationship with this 15 year old. He is incredible. I couldn't ask for more. I'm damn well sure I'm in love with the boy. But I'm kind of freaked to tell him because I'm afraid I'll seem like some kind of weird groupie stalker chick or something.

I love him so much and I know it. Just because I'm young doesn't mean that I don't know what love is or what it feels like.

So, what do you think I should do?

Love, Disturbed Maiden

Dear Disturbed Maiden,

What you are now feeling is called "puppy love" which is quite nice in itself but it is soon gone as you get older. Of course, if you and this boy remain friends over time it may well be "true love" but I would say that will take time.

I am sure if you ask this boy if he loves you now, he will be shocked and you might just lose him altogether. I would suggest you apply yourself to your studies at this age - be friends and wait and see what the future holds for you.

In the meantime, why don't you just take a cold shower and wake up to a loveable 13. As an after thought, invite him to your sixteenth birthday party.

Have fun.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Dear Bubby,

My dad is allergic to dogs. My sister is also allergic. But I need one so badly. What do I do?

Signed, Helpless

Dear Helpless,

If your dad and sister are allergic to dogs they should go to an allergist doctor and get the immune shots. They may also be allergic to some other smells.

I would also suggest that if you do get a dog, you should choose one that has short hair and be not too big is size. After a while they too will warm up to this animal without feeling that they will be uncomfortable near him. The important thing is that they should see the allergist.

Good Health.
Monday, August 16, 2004
Site Tip:With the new Blogger Bar on top, you can do searches for your favorite questions sent to Bubby. Or search for the topics you like to read most about. Like, what to do about getting gum on your jeans while defrosting a chicken to cook for your new boyfriend who can't dress to save his life.

Dear Bubby,

I am a 25. I am in love with a guy who is in the Armed Forces. We are madly in love and can't make it without each other.

Being in the armed forces means he will never stay long in one place. He will be posted to all border areas where carrying a job will be impossible for me. Marrying him and staying with him will mean giving up my career which I have been invested in for the last 25 years. My career is my identity and dream. His identity is being a professional soldier.

So, there is a choice between him and my career. I can't have both at the same time. If I have both at the same time then that calls for living separately. If we live separately, then why do we get married?

People have told me to prioritize my life and choose. But how can I do that if I feel strongly about both? I just don't know what to do. Please enlighten me, dear bubby.

Ms. I. Dentity

Dear Identity,

From what you tell me, you and you alone will have to make a choice. Either get married and follow this young man wherever he will be stationed or give him up to pursue your own career. Which is more important?

There are many women married to army, navy, marine and aviators who are very happy. I am sure each of these women had to make the same decision. You could see the world, meet many different people and you could have a happy family.

But you could give him up and continue with your career. Even working in any job this person could be required to travel - it is done all the time. How great is this love between both of you and how does he feel about all this? If he is luke warm about it why don't you try the separation for a while and see what develops.

Friday, August 13, 2004
Dear Bubby,

Let me first say that I love reading your advice. It makes me wish my grandmother was still around to ask for advice. Since she isn't, I thought I'd do the next best thing and ask you.

My problem is this: my roommate's single-mom has recently been evicted from her home. This woman has 2 young daughters and doesn't have or plan to obtain a job. My roommate, who is currently unemployed and searching for a job himself, believes that we should let them stay with us for a month or more in order to let them "get back on their feet". Bubby, I have known this family for several years, and this woman has never held a job in that whole time.

I don't feel that I can afford to support these extra people on my salary, and I don't honestly believe that my roommate's mom will be helpful either financially
or with supervising the kids. My roommate hasn't asked them to stay more than a night or two; but I know he thinks I'm selfish for not letting them stay with us

I have a hard time making my case because I do feel selfish for making these kids drift from hotel to hotel. This is my first apartment, and I value it, and my new-found privacy, enormously. I've been financially behind almost since I turned 18, and I'm just now starting to turn that around. I'm 25.

I guess my question is, am I selfish and cruel to not want all these extra people staying in a 2 bedroom apartment for an undefined time period? Or is it my right to want my privacy and personal space to remain sacred?

Thank you Bubby, From Selfish

Dear Selfish,

I do not think that you are being selfish by not taking in a family. If you do, your home will be their home forever.

This woman should go to welfare and they will help her relocate and help her find a job. This roommate of yours I see is her son as well. You don't owe him anything. There are many places to find a job - being a cashier in a super market - taking care of children - if you are in an area where there are gardens they can mow lawns -anything that will give them some cash. Welfare can find them a place to live and give them some money until they get on their feet again.

My advice to you is don't get involved with them. You say that you are trying to get ahead so why have an albatross around your neck. They don't have to sponge off you when there is a welfare to take care of them.

Think of yourself and take a firm stand.

Good luck.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Dear Bubby,

My boyfriend and i have been going out for almost nine months and I love him to pieces. He is the most important thing in my life. He always comes first in everything I do and I would give anything to make him happy.

The only trouble is, although I know he cares about me very much, and he says he will always be there for me and that I will always be his princess, I also know that I am not his number one priority in life. He is so concerned with his career and getting as high up as possible that I get very upset thinking that he is moving on and I am being left behind. I feel when things begin to change and he moves away he will forget about me and I will left out in the cold. I can't go with him as I am planning to go somewhere else, although I would love to it's just impossible.

What should I do? I just can't let go of him and I can't live without him. I love him so much. Please help me!


Dear Seeking,

After nine months of courtship you should have some understanding where this relationship is going. From what you tell me it is going nowhere. He is stringing you along until one day he will up and go elsewhere.

If I were you, I would put the question directly to him and hear what he has to say. You say that you love him dearly but I am also sure that at this point he has grown to be a habit with you. He may be the love of your life but would he be your partner for life? If he is uncertain - you are wasting your time.

You don't tell me your ages but from what you write you are beyond teen years. Don't be afraid to discuss this topic seriously with him.

Think of your future - not his.
Good luck.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Looking for some color?


If you like letting everyone know what blogs you read, why not add a little color to the list by using this graphic? Include it on your blog, link it to and then let us know so we can add you to our list of friends!

Dear Bubby,

I greatly enjoy reading your advice and decided I would ask a question of my own. It is about my in-laws. They do not live in the same town as my husband and I and I think they resent this. They make unkind comments directed at me at every opportunity. For example, they make continuous comments about wanting more grandchildren (I cannot have more children, which they have been told on several occasions). My mother in-law went as far to broadcast in front of my husband's entire family that my sister-in-law was the only one who could supply her with more grandchildren!

My question is, how do I deal with them? It is basically my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who are so cruel. I have tried ignoring them but their comments do cut deep. My husband is at his wits end with them and I am trying to continue to forgive since it is important to me that our son have a relationship with BOTH sides of our families. It hurts both of us that they would be callous since our son will be the only child and it would benefit him tremendously to have tight bonds with them.

Thank you so much!
Take care, Sad Mom

Dear Sad Mom,

Instead of critiquing you and your husband for not having more children, your in-laws should be happy that you have had one child. Whether you cannot have more or decided that one is enough for you is none of their business. When they criticize you, just tell them they should be glad that you have such a sweet little boy and they should love him.

There may be a time years later when G---- will bless you with good health and you may decide to try again and you will have another child. That is what happened to one of my sisters. But for the present, since they don't live near you -- you can just be civil to them and if they bring up the subject - remind them of your physical condition.

I know a couple that called their marriage "child free" and their families accepted that. Just enjoy your little boy, and I repeat -- don't discuss pregnancy with them. What surprises me is that your sister-in-law acts the way you say. She should certainly be on your side.

I do hope this will help to bring about shalom (peace) in your family relationships. That is the best way to live. Good health and happiness to your little family.

Monday, August 9, 2004
New T 4 U:

Love your Bubby? Love our Bubby?
Heck, make 'em both proud.
In store now.

Dear Bubby,

Just recently I met a guy who is a couple of years older than me. We really clicked and it felt like we might have something. Then he tells me that yes he is attracted to me, but he still has feelings for his ex-girlfriend. She broke it off with him in a pretty bad way in March. He is really hung up on her, even though he's admitted to himself that she treated him badly.

I want to help him move on, as he is one of the sweetest, most sensitive people I know. I know that I probably don't have a chance at all of having a relationship with him, but still...he deserves to come out of this feeling he hasn't been messed up. Do you have any advice so I can help him move on from her?

Sincerely, Beam of Support

Dear Beam of Support,
You should not sell yourself short with this young man who is on the rebound. If you think he is worth it, find out what was really the problem and be a friend trying to help. One never knows when friendly friendship ends and a more serious situation takes over. So be his friend and you will learn a lot about him - his likes, dislikes, his temperament. And he will profit by your answers and you in turn will learn if he is sincere or just a phoney.


Thursday, August 5, 2004
Reader Update: East? West? Which is best?

On March 23, we received a letter from a confused young man who was wondering if he should live on the east coast to be near his family, or stake his claim on the west coast to pursue his career. What's a recent graduate to do? Bubby could relate to his debate, and recalled how she once had to make the same decision. She assured him that his new life in the west will bring new friends and adventures. As a young bride living in NYC without knowing a soul, she didn't waste too much time feeling bad for herself. She advised, "Look at the move as a new experience. I got a map and each day I went exploring the city. It was great fun. Don't be afraid to make the change -- it really is exciting."

So what did our confused east-west coaster wind up deciding? Is he is being a part of it all in New York, or finally California dreamin'?

He writes:
Well, that was me, several months ago. Since then, I received my degree and actually moved out to California. It was a very difficult experience, but I knew it was for the best. Right before I left however, I made a last ditch effort to find a job in New York, but things didn't work out. As for now, I'm giving it a try out west. I have some family out here, so I'm not completely alone, but I do miss my family.

Thanks for the advice, Bubby and Granddaughters.

Age differences:
Here's a letter from our new friend, Mari.

Dear Bubby,

I just have to say that I love the way you advise young people on how to handle their relationship issues. Despite the generation gap between you and most of your readers, you seem to connect and relate so well. I must commend you for you take on life with young people these days.

I am a 25-year-old female who sometimes finds it difficult to relate to those much older than me because of their distorted views on what youth is all about. Your granddaughters (and of course, friends and loved ones) must be so proud to have a grandmother that's so wise, yet so young at heart. I look forward to reading many more letters.


P.S. I loved your picture in the Jerusalem Post! You looked GREAT!

Why, thank you.
Monday, August 2, 2004
Dear Bubby,

After moving from Illinois to Maryland...I realize that one of my friends is quite a yapper on the telephone. If she were a bit happier, it might make our conversations more bearable, but she is quite a sad sort. What should I do to make our conversations shorter and happier? My cheery disposition and "I've got to go" just do not seem to work.

Sadly, I'm not the only friend who feels this way and not only on the phone. Sometimes the silence between sentences is appealing.

Help please, Phone Phriend

Dear Phone Phriend,

It seems to me that your friend misses you a great deal now that you are separated and she feels closer to you when she hears your voice. If she has a serious problem you would be glad to help her resolve it, but just to call and say nothing is just a waste of time.

Now that you are in a new place you have lots to do but you certainly want to hear what cheerful things she has to tell you -- where did she go - the movies she has seen - read any new books - whom has she seen since you two have been separated.

No mood or gloom. Cheer up.

"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

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New York Times: Letter to the Editor (6.11.04)
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