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, May 25, 2006
Reader Update!

On August 22, 2005, we posted a letter from a woman we called "Looking for Home." She was due to have her first baby in 6 weeks, but was saddened by the absence of her husband. As a non-citizen, he was having trouble coming back to the United States from Egypt, his native home. Our writer was tearfully awaiting the day when her whole family would be together again in the States. She wrote, "I can't enjoy anything while knowing my husband is not by my side sharing it with me. How can I cope with this life?"

Bubby was aghast when she heard the news. She advised our writer to contact an immigration lawyer immediately. Bubby stressed, "I realize that it is a heartache for both of you to be separate at this time and a baby on the way... so don't waste the time!"

Now this was an update we were eager to follow up on! We finally heard from Looking for Home again, and are pleased to post her new letter:

Hi Bubby,

I just wanted to let you know that my husband has returned to the United States and is now back with me and our 8 month old son. I wrote to you months ago, when the chances of my husband coming home (after being deported) looked bleak. I am so happy to say that, after three years, all of our hard work and patience finally paid off.

My family is whole again and I will forever be grateful.

Home Again

What wonderful news!
Monday, May 22, 2006
Dear Bubby,

I have a big big problem.

I go to school and at the start of the 1st year everything was OK. I made a best friend. But then in the 2nd year she fell out with me and has now got everyone in my class to hate me. They bully me all the time and she even has bad stuff on her website about me.

I cry ever morning when I have to go to this school. And I have told my dad. He told the head teacher but still nothing has happened.

Please help!!

sad 13 year old girl

Dear sad 13 year old girl,

I know just how you feel. If this "out girl friend" is saying bad things about you, why don't you talk it over with her and find out what she has against you and try to straighten it all out.

If she tells lies about you, ask your father to speak to her father to stop these untruths. This is a free country and we all speak out for our rights. I am sure the girl's father knows nothing of what is going on. And I am just as sure that the two fathers can straighten things out. They might even ask the two of you to be present.

Try it. If it does not work out - forget about her and find new friends. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

Good Luck,
Friday, May 19, 2006
Dear Bubby,

My daughter and her husband are expecting their first baby and my daughter is 41. His mother is insisting that she and her husband come to help. And they are planning on coming the same time I am coming, and for just as long!

I am upset. I wanted that time with my daughter and don't want to share.

Am I wrong?
New Grandma

Dear New Grandma,

Congratulations! I hope that all goes well for your daughter and the new arrival.

As to your visiting time. From your letter it seems that your time is your own - no outside obligations. So why don't you toss a coin? If not, you might say that since it is your daughter who will have the pain, you should be with her.

Your son-in-law should explain that to his parents and they should understand. In a very short time they will get their chance. If you all live in the same city, that is just a matter of hours.

The baby will grow up loving both grandmas.

Happy Family,
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Dear Bubby,

My husband and I disagree on something and I want to know what you think.

My mother-in-law has a long history of many problems. She recently came to visit us and her mental and physical state just keeps getting worse. She is very stressed over a boyfriend that is cheating on her, she doesn't eat, drinks and smokes too much, is in financial ruin, and is obviously very depressed (she is in her early-mid 40's).

My husband is very non-confrontational and has never addressed these problems with her (though she has mentioned them to me). He feels that there is nothing he can do, so there is no point in meddling.

I mostly agree with this, but I feel that as a loving son, he should at least ask her how she is doing, acknowledge that he sees her deteriorating, tell her that he is worried about her, and encourage her to seek professional help.

I have done these things, but I feel like it will mean more coming from him.

He is very worried about his mother and has considered writing her a letter, but I know he will do nothing if I don't encourage him.

Am I doing the right thing? Can a difference be made, or am I just meddling and should mind my own business?

Concerned & Frustrated

Dear Concerned & Frustrated,

You are on the right track about your mother-in-law and I am surprised that your husband is so negligent. I feel sure that his mother was a good and thoughtful care taker over him as a child and now he should be returning that care to her and show that he is a good son.

He can suggest that she should join some organization where she will meet all kinds of people -- some will be her type and she can build new friendships. She is at a very good age -- how about a job in a big firm - she will meet many people.

Suggest she should get new clothes and change her make-up and get out among people. She will find that everyone has some type of worries and they all talk about them.

Your husband might visit her alone so that the conversation will be one on one - they may laugh or "cry" but there is nothing like talking things over. Then go for coffee.

Her age of 40+ is just a beginning if she lets it happen.

Monday, May 15, 2006
Dear Bubby,

I have a problem. I just turned 19 and have a fiance but I need a job. I can't drive because I always get into accidents. I'm just not able to concentrate on more than one thing on the road and on top of that, I'm afraid to drive.

Also I want to work but I don't want a job at a grocery store or a fast food restaurant. What can I do? I need to support my soon-to-be wife and myself but my worst fear is driving and I don't like working in a place with lots of people.

Steering Dilemma

Dear Steering Dilemma,

I am thinking that at 19 you must have must graduated from high school or are about to. You should not be thinking about marriage and all the problems it brings before you are fully grown. You should try to get in to a school where you will learn some profession.

If you don't want to go to college, choose something else - an electrician or be a plumber, etc. These are valuable professions - you can take a Civil Service exam and get into a government job and work your way up. I'm certain there are many more areas.

After you learn whatever you choose and you get older, there will be plenty of time to settle down. Find a future, learn it, and then think of marriage.

Good Luck,
Friday, May 12, 2006
Hello Bubby,

I am a 12 year old girl in New Orleans, LA. I have started a new school, since my other one was knocked away by Katrina.

I like this boy at school, and all the girls suspect it. I don't know if he knows, or if he likes me back. I don't know what to do. I don't want to embarrass myself by telling him if he doesn't like me back. He seems to like me just as a friend, so I act the same way towards him.

I'm not known to hang out with the girls. I am always hanging out with the guys, popular and not. I hate being the tomboy at school, but it's the only way I think I will get any friends!

Help me with my crush!


Dear DiamondGirl,

At 12-years old you should be enjoying the friendship of a lot of girls and boys so concentrate on that and your school work. The crush that you have on this boy is called "puppy love" and next year you may have another crush on another boy. And when you grow up and think about these boys you may think to yourself how silly you were.

Your education should be on your mind now. This boy that you have a crush on now probably is more interested in his boy friends and their games - baseball, football, not you. He may think that you are being pesty.

Wait until you grow up.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Dear Bubby,

Me and my fiance have been together for about 2 and a half years now. He's a great guy. Good. Kind. Fun. A good potential husband and father. But something just doesn't feel right. I feel we're not right for each other. When I think about it, he's not really my "type" per say. He gets me expensive gifts but I've never cared for those things. I've always been the down-to-earth type of girl who ridicules girls that always just care about their looks and what label's on their bag.

When I put effort in anniversaries and our wedding to make it more "meaningful" rather than "valuable" he just doesn't get it. His materialism keeps him blocked and it's so much easier for him to just get me something expensive rather than put the effort into being romantic or making every moment special.

I've been having so many doubts and I don't know what to do. I'm depressed half the time, which really doesn't make sense because I'm always such a cheery person. People have always known me to be positive, and I don't like the negative effect this relationship is having on me.

What should I do?
--Ms. Meaningful

Dear Ms. Meaningful,

It seems to me that you must tell this young man about all the things the other girls get and subconsciously let him know what you would like so he buys the same things for you.

At the same time, you are not so sure about your feelings for him. Why don't you stop seeing him for a while, meet other young men and evaluate him. Then again, he may really enjoy giving you the expensive gifts to show he cares for you.

Have a heart to heart talk with him and really get to know him. You may change your mind about your feelings.

You are not ready for this relationship.
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Dear Bubby,

I have read your advices for others and seen how excellent they were. Now I have a problem of my own and would be happy to receive some unbiased advice from you.

I am a 24-yr old girl and I have been in love with this guy for the last 5 years. He went abroad for his higher studies and we have had a long-distance relationship for the last 4 years. My parents were supportive and I always thought that he would be the one whom I would be marrying. But now his mom is really against us getting married and she has also been rude to me. My boyfriend can't get his parents consent to ask me to marry him, and that has irritated my parents because we have been waiting for so long.

I sometimes feel he is taking advantage of me and he always keeps postponing his trips home. Now my parents have asked me to forget him and they are looking out for someone else. When I told him this he wants me to wait for a couple more months.

So please tell me - can I wait for someone like this? Can I be sure that he would convince his parents and also be by my side in the future?

Please advise this is such an important step in my life.

Love Struck

Dear Love Struck,

You have wasted a LOT of time with this young man. Forget him. If you ever married him you would live in a battle field all the time. He is very close to his family and they think for him and you are not in the picture. At 24, you and your family should understand that.

If you were my daughter in such circumstances, I would never permit you to marry in such a family. I suggest you get out and meet other men. When you marry, you marry forever.

I am sure you will find the right person -- not this "mommy's boy."

Happy Hunting,
Another funny joke was sent to us by Bubby's brother-in-law:

President Bush calls in the Head of the CIA and asks, "How come the Jews know everything before we do?"

The CIA chief says, "The Jews have this expression:'Vus titzuch?'"

The President says, "Hell, what's that mean?"

"Well, Mr. President," replies the CIA chief, "It's a Yiddish expression which roughly translates to "what's happening". They just ask each other and they know everything."

The President decides to personally go undercover to determine if this is true. He gets dressed up as an Orthodox Jew (black hat, beard, long black coat) and is secretly flown in an unmarked plane to New York, picked up in an unmarked car, and dropped off in Brooklyn's most Jewish neighborhood.

Soon a little old man comes shuffling along. The President stops him and whispers, "Vus titzuch?"

The old guy whispers back: "Bush is in Brooklyn."
Sunday, May 7, 2006
Hello Bubby,

I'm not sure how I came to be here, but here I am. I'll get to the point.

My wife died in January. All I can say is, even though I know she is in heaven, it really sucks. And here I sit, a 44 year old grown man, with tears rolling down his face, typing an email to you, a complete stranger, and for the whole world to read.

I have 2 kids, nine and twelve, and I cannot understand, if God doesn't make mistakes, and if He has a plan for each of us, and if that plan is good, why we are here eating a huge crap sandwich? I am so lonely I can almost taste it. I feel like the wake of a ship; all my hopes, dreams, and desires trailing behind me, never to return.

I cannot even fathom how my children must feel. She didn't want me to be mad at God, and I'm not, but He and I weren't on the same page with this. She was in the choir at church and I can barely make it through Mass without losing my composure. I cannot bring myself to delete her number from my cell phone, or throw away scraps of paper she wrote notes on. I get sad when I see old people together.

So, I figure you have visited your share of grief. What do you think?

Sad Dad

Dear Sad Dad,

I know just how you feel because I have been in the same boat. For some time I could do nothing but feel sorry for myself. But you are here and you have a responsibility to two children who lost their mother and now you must take the place of Mother and Father.

After a period of mourning, you must put your feelings in your back pocket and be a father to your children. I am sure they have feelings too. You can talk to them - help them grow up - I am sure they have feelings too and problems. You can talk to them about their mother so she will be there in all your hearts and you will feel she is with you.

And you must find something to keep all of you busy - for the children. You don't tell me their ages but either they are in school or are working. Interest yourself in their lives. You can join an organization for singles where you can talk about your loss and after a while you will accept that G-- must have a plan for taking your loved one away.

Time passes, you do not forget your former life - you may find yourself talking to your wife without answers but you will feel better. Remember the wound heals but the scars remain and life goes on.

I know I'm here and you will be too. Be a good loving father.

Have courage and smile,
Friday, May 5, 2006

Am I expecting too much from my boyfriend? I haven't talked to him in 3 days STRAIGHT but I've called him about 10 times. He usually calls me at the same time once a night and we usually are together about every other day, but he hasn't called or planned anything for 3 nights now.

I'm frantic, wondering where he is and what he has been up to. Should I keep trying to get a hold of him or should I just give up altogether? I really love him and care about him, but he obviously doesn't care as much about me as I thought he did.


Dear Frantic,

I think you should stop calling this boy. By not returning your calls he is telling that he does not want to continue this relationship any longer. There are plenty of fish in the sea so forget about him and meet other boys. If he wants to see you again after sometime, just be friendly so-so.

You are young with plenty of time for continuing relationships.

Have Fun.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Dear Bubby,

Ever since I found your site, I keep thinking of new things I'd like to ask.

I am turning 29 this year and have started to think about whether or not I should have kids. I've been happily married for 3 years and both of us are professionals. I know that no one can tell you whether to have kids or not, but I feel like people spend more thought buying a car or house, than they do about whether or not to have kids.

I would really like to discuss the pros and cons with someone who has kids, but I feel that this is a taboo or inappropriate subject. We currently have a wonderful, carefree life (I have no voids that need filling). I tend to think that having kids would be more work than fun, but I wonder if there is some really enjoyable aspects that make people do it (that make it actually worth the loss of time, money, and sanity).

Of course, I am well aware that most people have kids by accident, or for very stupid reasons like saving a marriage or following the herd. What is your take on kids?

Working Girl

Dear Working Girl,

Should you have children or not, is a question only you and your husband must decide. You have answered it yourself already, however you and your husband must make the decision together.

There are sacrifices to be made and there are joys to experience. You cannot have everything. You cannot be selfish - you have to be self-deniable. Your life changes completely when you have children. Having a child in your life and your husband's life will change everything completely and you must adjust.

Talk to your friends and you could discuss it with your doctor. He knows you best besides your husband.

No one, not even me, can say yes or no to you and it is the most important decision you will have to make in your life.

I would like to know your decision.
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Hello Bubby,

I am a 24 year old man from England. I don't know why I'm writing this to you but it seems easier to talk to a machine than real people.

I'm going through a rough patch at the moment. A relationship I have been in for six years is coming to an end and I'm scared about the future. I know I could try and talk my partner into keeping us alive but I know in my heart she isn't in love with me anymore.

I'm scared about going out in to the world alone, I have to rearrange my life to cope on my own and I'm feeling useless. I don't think anyone can help me with this but thanks for listening.

Sad Guy

Dear Sad Guy,

I am sorry to hear that you know that you and your partner's relationship is turning cold. First of all, you do not tell me if the partner is male or female but that does not matter. If the result is negative, just know that all good things end at some time or another.

Say, "SO LONG, GOOD LUCK" and find new friends. It may take some time but you will find many. I hope you do.

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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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)
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