MESHUGANA

Switching gears now, it’s  easy to focus on the bad. I learned so many wonderful things growing up. Many of those things, I speculate have passed down through the generations. Starting with,

Zest for life:

I don’t know anybody who could beat my mom’s energy and humor. This lady was “the bomb” in today’s positive vernacular. She taught me to dance the jitterbug as a young teen, was up for adventure at the drop of a hat, could make anything fun and had you crying with laughter at her jokes. Mom had a mean Yiddish and pushed the boundaries with her zest. One of my son Kobi’s favorite stories about Bubbe follows. 

When my mom and dad were young newlyweds, they lived in the Bronx tenements. All the units were close together with thin walls. Undoubtedly the neighbors had a pretty good idea of each other’s business. 

My dad had a short temper and simultaneously he was EXTREMELY reserved. One day after a spat, he stormed out of the apartment, down the steps, into the Bronx city streets. I imagine the apartment was a bit shaken from his outburst. As he was stomping away, my mom, rather than stewing in anger or feeling sorry for herself, leaned out the tenement window, and in front of all who were out and about, shouted down,  

I love you Meshugana!”

Fast forward fifty years…When my teenage son Kobi and I would get into an argument, and if I acted a bit overbearingly pushy, or he teenagingly bone-headed, one of us would yell out, “I love you Meshugana!” It interrupted the rabble and restored good will. On a similar note, my older son, borrowing from a “South Park” episode (yes I know), would yell out “rabble, rabble, rabble” when Kobi and I would get into it. It got us laughing, even when we wanted to stay mad. I have some of my mom’s energy and zaniness. Sometimes it’s gotten me in trouble. All in all, it’s made life a lot of fun. I wouldn’t trade it.

I don’t know where my mom got her sense of humor and zest, but I imagine it came from her parents, grandparents, or great grandparents just as my sons and I now carry it forward.  ©   

Love, Vivi Emoji

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💖 Do you have a funny memory from your family? I’d love to hear in comments below! 

AN IMMIGRANT’S STORY: After Ellis Island

ZAIDY AND BUBBE: A love story

Photo by Niklas Herrmann on Unsplash  niklasherrmann.net

14 thoughts on “MESHUGANA

  1. Ellis says:

    The origin of this word is fascinating. It’s not commonly known that it was a “borrowed” word. From Japanese! The Japanese pronounce the word with the emphasis on “GANA” so it’s more like mesh-u-GANA. It means one who has an amazing idea to share with the world, and finds a pathway to success through Bashert. Note: All this may be my misreading of ancient transcripts I found online, where mis-information abounds. But it makes for a good blog comment.

    • Vivi says:

      Thank you Ellis. I hadn’t heard that. I couldn’t help looking it up myself. Lol. I did find a sushi restaurant with the name “Sushi Meshuga” in Brooklyn! I’ve never been there but now I am in the mood for sushi! One of my favorite meals. Thanks you again for your comment. :)

  2. Eileen Deutsch says:

    Robin, I’m so glad I took some time (finally!) to read some of your stories. They, of course, are my stories too, but reading them in your voice I feel their enchantment and see their colors in new ways.

  3. Donna says:

    Hi Robin, I’ve been reading your blog and find it so real, so funny, so sincere, and so YOU. The sad moments come through but the overwhelming feeling is of joy. Thank you for this gift.

    • Vivi says:

      Malkie, I’ve focused in the past on the generational “problems”. Meaning the pain that has passed through the generations. Challenging myself to look for the positive, I was delighted to immediately and easily see the extensive and substantive gifts that we’ve been given. Laughter and humor being key ones!

  4. Susan Bodley says:

    Love the word “Meshugana” and I hadn’t heard it in quite a while. Thanks for reminding me of this great word — and the wonderful use of it in your story made me smile.

    • Vivi says:

      Thank you Susan. Koby’s grandmother (my mom) passed away when Koby was one. It was so sweet to have him make that connection with her, and still, even after her time, she had us laughing.

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