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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Thursday, June 30, 2005
Hi Bubby,

I've been faced with a problem for a while now, and I wanted to see what you had to say about it.

My freshman year in high school, I met a nice guy and we became really good friends. All our friends noticed that we clicked. But at the time I was in a steady relationship with someone else. But after a while, even though I didn't want to admit it, I fell for him - hard. We stayed friends for a few months and then I broke it off with my previous relationship and got up the nerve to try to be more than friends.

He was always everything I'd looked for, but he held a grudge that I had waited so long to show my return of affection. The relationship didn't last long because he wanted to wait until I was out of high school to be in a serious relationship with me. He told me that I was the type that he wanted to settle down with, but wanted to keep our relationship as friends.

Now, two years later, it's my junior year... and we still casually keep in touch. My friends say if he really cared, he would come over and date me now... But he's told me that he didn't want to get too serious before I am out of school.

Three months ago, I met a really great guy that resembled this other guy and all the things I loved about him so much. Except he's willing to date me! We've gotten really close, and he's been talking about getting engaged soon. I really want someone with the type of personality that these two guys have... and they're both a really rare catch. The only regret I feel is that the reason I started dating this new guy is because of how similar he was to the older guy.

What do I do? This has really been perplexing me.

Dear Lovesick,

I think that you are still too young to get involved with anyone. Just be friends with all the boys and girls in your school. You will find that as you get older you will start to be able to compare one person to another and you will laugh at these boys. They will be maturing at the same time and be evaluating you and a lot more girls.

So my advice to you is don't tie yourself down to any of these boys. Keep them as friends and just enjoy them as friends. You have a lot of things to do in the next years -- go to college and grow up and have a lot of friends, not boyfriends.

Here today and gone tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Dear Bubby,

I am the mother to a 3 month old daughter that I have started to call Bubby because it sort of sounds like Baby. My mother heard me calling my daughter this and said that it means grandma. Is this true? Should I not call my little baby Bubby? Where does this term come from?

A New Mommy to a little Bubby

Dear New Mommy to a new Bubby,

I think calling your baby Bubby is very cute. The name does mean Grandmother in Yiddish and you can call your baby anything you like.

I know of a case where a family lived in a neighborhood where the people could not pronounce the child's name. So they called her Honey. And forever after everyone called the little girl "Honey". And Honey was Honey to everyone. She was my sister and a beautiful person.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Dear Bubby,

I have this boyfriend who likes to bungy jump. I get very worried about him. He won't stop, and he has had 10 broken bones and 20 sprains from bungy jumping. I try to tell him to quit but he won't listen to me, it's his dream.

I'm afraid that his next trip to go bungy jumping might be his last.

Please help!

Dear Unbungy,

It seems to me that your boyfriend is really looking for a fall, but for good. Have you told him that it takes a lot out of you emotionally to say nothing out of him physically?

Give him an ultimatum. If he doesn't stop you will break up. Let him takes his pick. Stick to your threat and see what happens. I am sure he can find another form of exercise if he cares about you.

Good luck
Friday, June 24, 2005
Dear Bubby,

Hi. I'm 22 yrs old. In 2004, I graduated with a BFA in art/illustration. With no money in my bank account, I had to move back home with my folks. My hope was to get in to the art department of an ad agency, newspaper, magazine, or greeting card company -- or anything even remotely related to my desired field.

One year and maybe five soul-crushing, pointless, mind-dulling odd jobs later (mostly in the shipping areas of department stores), I've yet to land even a small amount of work in the art world. I set up a web portfolio, signed up for several sites to draw attention to my work, spend hours every night contacting companies for a shot at any kind of work either here or in my college town. It's all been to no avail.

I suppose my question (in a round about way) is, "what now?" My life up until now was structured only by my education. What does one do to get moving now?

Thanks for lending an ear.

Dear Waiting,

My, my, you surely had a rough time. If you want to get into the art world you must concentrate on writing letters and submitting your portfolio to firms that are producing work that you want. Sign up with an agency that specializes in your chosen field. Go to visit your adviser at your old alma mater. You will find answers there and a helping hand. Check the want ads in the Times: Call various firms that are in your field, get names of the person to contact. If not at first, keep trying and eventually you will strike the right person. Maybe not the job, but at least leads to search out. Be prepared to show your resume and work.

Keep at it. Those who seek are sure to find.
Good luck,
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Dear Bubby,

I am a 15-year-old girl in despair. I got my hair cut on holiday in France and the woman cut it so bad that it is the worst mistake I made in my life.

I hate it so much. Every time I look in the mirror I burst in tears. I used to have long thick hair and now it is thin and short and I wish that I never got it cut.

I can't go on with this hair cut because I burst into tears every second. PLEASE HELP ME! I don't know what else to do.

Hair Despair

Dear Hair Despair,

Even while you are telling me this tale of woe your hair is growing because that is what hair does: GROW.

Be glad that it is that way and before long your hair will be long again and you will have a long tale to report to friends what happened to your hair in France. In the meantime try some different styles for short hair and have fun with it - you might like it. It is nice to experiment with your hair.

Have fun.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Theme Day
We receive quite a few letters asking Bubby short and quirky letters about Judaism. We're posting a bunch of her responses to those today.

Dear Bubby,
Someone gave my daughter a "Jewish treat" at college. She said it was made from sesame seed paste and covered with chocolate. She thought the name of it was "havalah". Do I have the name correct?

Bubby: It's called Halvah. The chocolate is just a dressing. Just like candy with an icing. But you can buy that without the dressing. It's a candy that's used at parties, just like any other confection.

Dear Bubby,
In the Jewish religion, is it customary to have a baby shower before or after the baby is born?

Bubby: A baby shower has nothing to do with religion. The very Orthodox would frown upon having it before the baby is born. Others would consider it a blessing. Just like a shower before a wedding. Some don't do it at all. But usually it's done by friends.

Dear Bubby,
I am doing a paper for school and I need to know what the benches that are like pews in the shul are called. I think they are not called pews, but something else. Do you know?

Bubby: No! Just a bench. I have no idea if it has another name. Benches, or seats, or pews if you're referring to a row.

Dear Bubby,
This may seem like an insensitive question, but I was always told that people of the Jewish faith bury their dead in an upright position. Fact or Fiction?

Bubby: Haha! That's fiction! I don't think that anyone is ever buried that way. I think it's just a joke. Even in ancient Egypt people are buried lying down, entombed in shrouds. In Israel, Jews or Muslims, and in America too, people are buries in shrouds. In America, after the body is cleansed and dressed in shrouds the body is buried in a coffin. In Israel they don't use coffins.

Dear Bubby,
Help settle a life long question. Why is Passover 8 days? I need to answer this question. Please help.

Bubby: Well, it's really 7 days. But because of variations in timetelling, in Israel it's observed 7 days. But in America it's celebrated 8 days to ensure it's the full allotted time. Just as we observe 2 seders, in Israel since their calendar is different than ours, they have 1 seder.

I hope I'm right on all of these!
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Dear Bubby,

I am very confused and am looking for any advice I can get.

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year until yesterday. He and I had a very good relationship. We didn't fight that much, he was very sweet and loving and always did things for me because he wanted to make me happy. I cared for him so much and we spent pretty much everyday of that year together.

We bought a kitten together on Monday. On Wednesday he came over to tell me, out of nowhere, that he realized that he doesn't love me anymore.

An hour before this happened he called me to tell me how much he did love me. Then later he said that he was sorry and that we should still be friends, and that I could call him as long as I didn't talk about us or cry. I begged him to think about it, and asked if we could just take a break instead. He said no, I didn't do anything and there wasn't anything I could change, he just "didn't feel it anymore."

He seems fine. I however, am completely heartbroken. I thought that him and I were going to be together for a long time. I think I am having such trouble coping with this because it was so sudden. We had this really good relationship and then he just all of the sudden doesn't love me anymore.

Everyone told me that he probably didn't mean it, and that he would call in a couple of days, but he hasn't. I have never loved or missed anyone this much. I have no idea what to do. Please help me. I'm getting pretty desperate.

Lost Love

Dear Lost Love,

It seems to me that your boyfriend got cold feet in your relationship so don't worry. Some times this is a blessing in disguise. I think your should forget about him and look for someone else. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Better it happened now rather than later. I know that you feel "at sea" now but I am just as sure that you will meet someone much better than this fellow - he has to grow up.

Maybe he really resents the affection that you are showing your kitten. And at this time enjoy your kitten. Tell her all you want and she won't talk back and she won't leave you. You can cry and then laugh and search for someone else who will be much nicer.

Good Luck,
Friday, June 17, 2005
Dear Bubby,

Loved what I saw on your website and thought perhaps you could help me.

My friend is marrying into a family which I used to be friends with until they hurt me really badly by being bigoted and patronizing. I cut ties with this family over a year ago and went overseas. Now I am back and have received an invitation to her wedding to one of the sons.

I do not want to go to the wedding because I want nothing to do with the family (I know for certain that I can never be friends with that family again) but I don't want to hurt my friend or be rude.

Please help me Bubby.
--Angry Invite

Dear Angry Invite,

If you got an invitation to the wedding of your friend that meant it came from your friend's family not from the groom's. Evidently they want you to come. It seems to me you should go. You would please your friend by wishing her a happy life and at the same time you might make some new friends. Not going would really hurt your friend. Not to go you might dream up a legitimate reason such as a trip out of town. But, be sure to send good wishes.

Good time and enjoy,
Friday, June 10, 2005
Dear Bubby,

I am a 23-year-old father. I have one wonderful child and another on the way. VERY SOON!

I'm in quite a pickle here. Before we became pregnant a second time around, I was considering going back to school. But now that is near impossible. The jobs I get now are not fulfilling at all. There is very little pride I take in any job. I need to supply for my family but I can't fill other needs that my girls need if I take a job only for money.

So, just a quick question. I can either take on jobs that will leave me scraping by and emotionally worn leaving me no energy to help and play at home. Or, go back to school and try and succeed, leaving us broke for the next couple of years.

If the first one, what drugs do you recommend? If the second one, how do I get my wife to move in with her mother to support this?

Thanks much,

Dear Groan,

Nothing is every impossible if you really want to do something.

First -- I think you and your wife should take perventative measures that will keep your love alive. But two babies are enough to start a family.

Then you should talk to both sets of parents about helping you out so that you can go to school and be what you want to be. You can go to school at night.

But in the end you will be prepared for a fullfilling career. I do not think it is the best thing to move in with your parents but I do think they can be of assistance by baby-sitting so your wife can get a job - and you in school.

And if they can assist with some loan money you could pay them back. Discuss it with your parents and your wife's parents. It is always a good idea to discuss problems with your parents first.

Good luck.
Thursday, June 9, 2005
Dear Bubby,

My sister's boyfriend doesn't like her anymore and he never really did. I just found out he liked me all the time. He wants to go out with me now and I don't know what to do.

My good friend's boyfriend doesn't like her either. He also likes me.

I kinda like both of them but I know if I go out with either of them I will hurt my friends.

I need help

Dear Confused,

In your opinion - Are you so much more special than your sister?

I think you should talk to your sister about this situation and then the two of you should find other boyfriends.

These boys have to grow up. How old are you? Your sister? And these boys?

Good hunting.
Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Have you noticed that new graphic on the right-side of this page? It's announcing the cool news that "Help Me, Bubby!" is now a book!

The 285-page book is filled with the best questions sent to Bubby dating back to October 2003 along with her unique replies. All of the funny cartoons are included, plus a sneak peak at the first e-mail we sent to Bubby asking her if she'd like to try writing an advice column. Her reply to us was classic!

Here's how it works: We publish the book through a company called Lulu. To purchase a copy, you have to visit and order the book (as many as you'd like!). When you receive the book in the mail (and won't that be exciting?), come back to and post a review about the book. That way other people will know about it. Or just click on the rating system and give it a thumbs up.

We're so excited to share this with you all.
So get your copy today at:

How to use the site: If you order the "printed" version for $15, you will get the book shipped to your house. If you order the "download" version for $4.76, you will get a digital version that stays on your computer and you can print yourself. Make sure to only check the box of the version you want.

And now, on with today's question...

Dear Bubby,

I'm 16-years-old and I know I'm not expected to be in love at this age, but I feel like the relationship I'm in is so much different from every other one I've ever been in.

At the beginning of the relationship if we went 2 days without seeing each other he would get so upset and tell me how miserable he felt and how much he misses me. But a few weeks ago we went 2 days without speaking and when I called him he said he didn't even notice.

I've tried to stay calm, but I've been looking things up online and sometimes I read that he hasn't lost interest, he is just comfortable and I should relax. But then as soon as I talk to someone my age they tell me to dump him. He has always been a bit of a jerk, but in different ways.

When I'm with him he seems so happy, but when I'm away it's like, out of sight out of mind. Is this because he is confident and comfortable, or has he just lost interest?

I am almost a year older than him and maybe he just doesn't understand how relationships work yet. But that seems like an odd thing to assume if the beginning of the relationship was so great. I'm scared to leave him, I'm scared to be alone and I don't really like most people I meet. He just seems perfect.

PLEASE help me,
Epitomyofa teenagegirl

Dear Teenager,

I think both you and this boy are much too young for any relationship and maybe this young man -- and his family -- realize this. At 16 you should have friends with both sexes but get to know them. Concentrate on your school work and your social will fall into place. You have a long time to go before you become involved.

What you are now experiencing is called "puppy love", not the real thing, so be clear of these entangements. The right situation will come along as you grow older and when you are older you will have a pleasant memory when you were sweet 16.

Good Growing Up,
Monday, June 6, 2005
Hello Bubby,

I am 19-years-old and I live in NYC. My problem is that I'm still a H.S. senior and I'm scared of the future and the consequences of life ahead of me.

I'm waiting on June 2005 to take this, so-called "Regents test" in order to obtain my H.S. diploma. I'm scared if I don't pass I'm going to feel like a loser. And I'm worried because I need a good job in N.Y.C which is hard now.

Thank you for your time and for your advice,
Senior Girl

Dear Senior Girl,

Now is not the time to be afraid of the Regents exams. You should have been preparing for it for the past four years. At this time I would suggest that you take a quickie course that will highlight some of the questions that may appear on the test. I am sure that your teacher can help you with that. Spend as much time and more time until the day of the exam and when it is scheduled do the best that you can.

Now that you have had this experience, remember it forever -- you don't get the results you want without working for it. So be prepared to work and study from now on.

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)
Voted "Blog Of The Day" by The Blog Hunter
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Featured in the Tampa Tribune online
Featured in USA TODAY (4.22.04)
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)
Golden Web Page Award (dec.'04)
Reader's Digest article, "Me Me Media" (july.'05) "Alternative Site of the Day" (aug.'05)
AARP Magazine article: July/August 2006 issue
Listed as "Cool Site Of The Day": (7.27.06)
O Globo Online: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (aug.'06)

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