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Sweet Rose Ramblings (AKA The Call-Waiting Blog)

A place for my unformed thoughts. Help me sort them out!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Post-Shabbos Musings

I met a woman over Shabbos who was in town visiting. I don't know exactly how old she is, but I'm guessing somewhere in her mid-40's. She's never been married, is extremely successful career-wise and I found her to be a lot of fun to talk to. We commiserated a bit about dating, which she is very understandably tired of. I told her I would keep my eyes open for her. We had a slightly embarrassing moment when a woman at shul who is very sweet and always wishes me a good Shabbos asked if this visitor was my mother. I felt bad for my new friend, and bad for the woman who said it. I just said no and introduced them. Ouch.

I went to friends of mine for Shabbos lunch whose oldest son is almost 13. He is deep in teenager-hood, despite not technically being a teenager yet. I know a few families who have kids around this age who are going through similar phases and I always find it amusing and interesting and memory-inducing (cuz I was definitely one of those real teenagers - sorry mom and dad). I was musing with my friend about how I wonder what teenagers were like a century ago, when they often were working to help support their families at an early age. Whether this teenager-hood is a new phenomenon and what society has done to cause it to be so gut-wrenching (I still flash-back to the amazing though short-lived My So-Called Life that encapsulated the raw high school experience so scarily well).

There is a theory of multiple intelligences. I did a report on it last semester. I'm working on a theory of my own (likely to never be published, because that would take more work than just thinking about it) on multiple self-esteems and how it seems to me that a person (I'm thinking specifically women here, but I'm sure men are affected also) can have different levels of self-esteem in relation to different aspects of their lives and personalities. For example, a person can have very high self-esteem when it comes to their career, but low self-esteem when it comes to their parenting skills. What I haven't figured out is whether their is a composite self-esteem level that combines all the other levels together to give an overall level or whether they really act in separate, independent realms within a person. I need to do more work on my theory.

7 Comments:

At April 28, 2007 10:37 PM, Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

I think the example you brought is a very commonly found one - esteem in work versus on the home front. When I was in semicha a prominent rabbi whose dad was also a rabbi said in a presentation that his father was never at home when he was a kid - always out rabbi-ing - and that he thinks his father and others used that as an escape and that he swore never to do that. But it's scary, parenting and all. Doctors I think are often much more confident in their formal professional setting than in other roles. Thanks for posting on this - definitey what to think about here.

 
At April 29, 2007 12:27 AM, Blogger SaraK said...

I agree. Very interesting theory and I think there is something to it. Hope you pursue it.

 
At April 29, 2007 2:36 AM, Anonymous GodisnotPerfect said...

Well I hope your 40+ friend is NOt shomer negiah. That would be a disaster.

 
At April 29, 2007 2:39 AM, Anonymous GodisnotPerfect said...

In fact, I hope you encouraged her to go out and have sex. Or at least seriously fool around. That would be the greatest chesed you could do for her. Almost a mitsvah habaa beaveirah...

 
At April 29, 2007 8:37 AM, Blogger Shoshana said...

Neil -
Glad you like the theory, maybe you'll see it in a next book one day :)

Sara -
Thanks!

GodisNotPerfect -
I just met this chick the other night, we didn't discuss the details of our sex lives or lack thereof. If you think it's that important, let me know, and I'll give her your e-mail address - maybe you can help her out ;)

 
At April 29, 2007 11:56 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Oh, I'd definitely want to see your theory published and read about it in detail!

As for teenagers, a major part of teenage angst is hormone-based, and part of it was controlled earlier because teenager marriages were normal and encouraged, whereas now, teenage sex, much less teenage pregnancy, is frowned upon in the West. But definitely "childhood" treatment has extended for kids... well into college in fact... and I think this lack of feeling responsibility and being taken seriously has worked like a self-fulfilling prophesy for teenagres. They are expected to act a certain way, treated accordingly, so they respond to it. So many things are now acceptable or at least tolerated, that a hundred years ago wouldn't be.

 
At April 30, 2007 9:48 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

It's really funny because I'm doing a presentation on "Self-Esteem and Crime" this week and I'm struggling with the same issues you are. What really defines self-esteem? How much of it should be reality based? In fact, what defines reality? For example, I look at my job and I think it's pathetic but a lot of people tell me that it sounds wonderful. Do I base my self-esteem on my opinion or others' opinions?

 

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