Yiddish Lesson #3

My intent was to go to Guatemala to attend Spanish school, to visit A. in the Peace Corps and to return in four months.  One month became two, two became three, and instead of attending Spanish school I was hanging out with A. at his site in El Estor telling myself I was learning Spanish on my own, which I wasn't.  Every phone call back home was getting more tense.  When are you coming back? my mother demanded.  I didn't want to leave.  So I convinced A. to get married.  I called my parents.  "Ma," I said.  "We're getting married."  They had never met A. before.  "Oh honey!  What's he like?"

"He's got shpilkes."

"Harry!" my mom called to my dad in the other room.  "Did you hear that?  He's got shpilkes!"

Consequences of marrying a man with shpilkes:

When out to eat together, I often find myself alone (or worse, with all the kids) while A. is off on a mission to find a newspaper or to fill the car with gas or to "pop" into whatever store is nearby.

Even if A. is driving, he is not comfortable with me doing nothing so gives me tasks - to clean out the glove compartment or to look up the proper tire pressure or to make a list of whatever happens to be rushing through his skittish mind.

Several hours in a row spent at home on a weekend is cause for alarm and the immediate drafting of a plan of action which can carry us hours if not days from home.

At least one child has an inability to sit still inspiring many an adult to sternly insist, "Sit still!" an impossibility resulting in frustrating said adult.

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