100daysoff

Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 41

with one comment


I think I can safely say that I’ve never sent an email that I haven’t regretted.  One reason is that it’s impossible to get across your exact meaning without seeing a person face to face, or at least hearing the intonation of their voice.  Even the simplest message to your wife: “Hey, I miss you, OX” (hugs and kisses), can be interpreted as  “Hey, I miss you, ox” (bovine).  I have other ways to illustrate this, but I’d have to tell you face to face or over the phone.  The biggest reason is that when you write something, you send it out for everyone to see which makes you vulnerable.  And nobody likes feeling vulnerable.  I realized after my posting yesterday that while it apparently touched a lot of people because of its raw honesty, it was also another heart-breaking one for my wife and it may have made it look like our lives are sad, which they are not.

On the other hand, there are fun parts about publishing something on-line: namely, as I’ve discussed, I like seeing what Google thinks of me via their ads, and I also LOVE the feedback, even though most responses have been hints at some sort of necessary interventions (I’ve been invited to a lot of peoples’ houses alone for a special “party” recently, which is nice).  The other thing I like about posting this blog is that not only do you get to see how many people are reading it (we just went over 5,000 yesterday, thank you Very Small Piece of America), but you get to see how people have been directed to it.  I don’t advertise it really, I pretty much only publish it on Facebook, and my wife does the same.  But today someone found my site by Googling, “Jeff Astrof urinating on my face, Chicago”.  I’m not sure if I was sadder that that’s what someone thought was a good way to see what I’ve been up to these days, or that he or she was right.

I had another close call with the internet today.  After receiving an ominous email about a Facebook website calling for a Third Intifada (armed jihad against Israel), I decided to check out the site myself.  Sure enough, right there in green and red was a picture of a fist and a mosque and a whole lot of Arabic along with some numbers that I assumed to be a Koranic code (and realized was the date).  So, this was very scary to me, of course, so I decided to try to post my own reasoned response– one of those Xtranormal videos which features two cute rodents speaking in robotic voices advocating for Israel as a democracy, the kind of democracy that many Arab nations are fighting for now.  It certainly wasn’t incendiary and was actually a little funny and I thought might be a nice ice breaker.  I couldn’t find the place to post it on the Third Intifada website so I started poking around (feeling like an undercover intruder, I could hear the audience yelling “Don’t go in there!” as I clicked Arab site after Arab site, each one with more dates and more scrawl.  Finally, feeling that I was deep enough where no one could fine me, I found a place to anonymously post my cute little video.  Click.  All done, moving on.

Literally one minute later and “I’ve got mail.”  In my in-box was a message from Abdul Nasr Muhammad asking me how I knew him and what was the meaning of this!  HOLY CRAP!  I started the Third Intifada from my tiny cluttered office (man, I have to clean my office too.  To do: Stop Third Intifada, Clean Basement, Clean Office).  It seemed impossible that Mr. Nasr Muhammad could find me, yet here was his picture– A lone dark eye partially obscured by a Kaffiya– staring at me.  Of course, I immediately checked my Facebook profile to see what information Mr. Nasr Muhammad could glean from it and noticed that really the only thing he could possibly know about me was: My Name, My Wife’s Name, My Children’s Names, My Birthday, My Home City, and that I’m Jewish… which wouldn’t be that hard to find out if he looked at the picture of me in my GIANT PURIM OUTFIT!   Well, this was it, I thought.  How do I tell my wife that we are about to be in the newspaper?  Then I thought, you know what?  People are dying around the world standing up for what they believe in.  And I further thought, if it’s not worth living for, it’s not worth dying for.  And then I thought, I can’t believe I never noticed how messy this office is?  Why do we have two people clean on Friday if it’s going to look like this anyway?

So, emboldened by my pride, I realized that in this information age where I tell the world everything I’m thinking and feeling, there is no such thing as anonymity anymore.   With that in mind, I decided to take the bold step of confronting Mr. Nasr Muhammad head-on: “Hi.  I sent this to the wrong person.  Salaam.  And Peace.  And Shalom.  We are all Abraham’s children.”  Click.  I then deleted all the personal information on my Facebook page.  Thirty seconds later (clearly Mr. Nasr Muhammad also has some time on his hands) I got a response.  “Okay.  I guess we can be friends, too.  ;)))))))  Salaam.”  I did it, folks!  Maybe Mark Zuckerberg started this thing, but this Jew finished it.  Crisis avoided.

One more funny thing before I go (and change my name to Abdullah and move to Michigan).  Today I officially realized that I don’t think I would survive as a young single.  Obviously it’s too late for both and I don’t think I have to tell you that I’d ever want to be single again…  I made this discovery at our local Rite Aid.  I was there shopping for a few odds and ends with Shawni, and I decided to do that thing where I pretend I’m not married and then see if I could” pick up” my wife.  As a side note, sometimes I see a cute girl and think, “Man, that’s a cute girl” and then realize it’s my wife.  It’s nice seeing my wife objectively.  What’s not nice is when I see a cute girl kissing another guy and realize it’s my wife.  But I digress.

One of the hardest things to write in a sitcom, or any romantic comedy is the “cute meet”– where the guy and girl meet in such an adorable and realistic way that you know they’re meant to be with each other.   They’re impossible to write because they don’t exist in real life.  But today, at Rite Aid, I decided to “cute meet” my wife.  So, as she waited on line at the register I noticed this “cute girl” and I approached her and pretended to bump into her with my armful of groceries–as usual, I went in for one thing so I wouldn’t need a cart, then found six other things that I was forced to balance while waiting in line at the register.  This balancing of too many items made for the perfect cute meet as I pretended to stumble into her.   I said, “Excuse me, I didn’t see–” and then my eyes met her gorgeous, giant blue eyes and I was at a loss for words (I wasn’t at a loss for song, however, as I started singing Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Ang Syne”: “Saw my old lover at the grocery store…”  My wife started to roll her beautiful blue eyes, but I told her I was doing a cute meet with her and trying to pick her up on line at the market.  Her blue eyes then looked down to see the groceries I was holding: Whitening Mouthwash, prescription strength shampoo, a gum massager and perfume-free baby wipes for sensitive skin.   We laughed until we cried.

Anyway, that was my day.  You’re welcome for bringing about world peace– thank you The Internet.  This guy has to go get ready for the Sabbath feeling pretty good about himself.  As for my wife, “I love you, ox.”

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Written by 100daysoff

March 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I love you too, bison.

    Shawni

    March 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm


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