Moms who impersonate their daughters on JDate. Moms who try to set their daughters up with celebrities. Moms who can't stop taking selfies with their dogs. Moms who make their daughters' beds while their daughters are still sleeping in the other half. This collection of 28 essays is a heartfelt, hilarious tribute to mom and daughterhood, exploring the often complex, colorful and (at times) claustrophobic relationship. The Jewish Daughter Diaries features stories from some of the most compelling Jewish female voices today, who sound off on what it is like to be loved and adored by a modern-day Jewish mom.
"My mother met my bewilderment with a sympathetic glance and a modest recounting of my assets as she saw them.... if Barbra Streisand could be so famous and amazing and wonderful with her nose, why should mine be any problem?"
"I knew my mom was special because once I asked her, "If a witch turned me into a bug, what would you do? Without missing a beat, she said, "I'd put you in my pocket to keep you with me always."
Lauren Greenberg, Sari Botton, Abby Sher, Kerry Cohen, Meredith Hoffa, Anna Breslaw, Chaya Kurtz, Iris Bahr, Jena Friedman, Rachel Shukert, Leonara Ariella Nonni Epstein, Jenny Jaffe, Lauren Yapalater, Rebecca Drysdale, Emmy Blotnik, Arianna Stern, Almie Rose, Nadine Friedman, Deb Margolin, Gaby Dunn, Wendy Liebman, Mireille Silcoff, Dylan Joffe, and Mara Altman.
The stories in this collection will make you laugh, cry, panic-and finally, pick up the phone. For anyone who has ever been overloved, overprotected or overmothered, this collection will feel like home.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Rachel Ament is the Director of Public Relations for the Boston-based record label Mountain of Leopards. A freelance writer and editor, Rachel is regular contributor to the blog, Hello Giggles and has been featured in Oxygen, The Jerusalem Post, AOL, Thought Catalog, Jewcy, The Jewish Journal, Moment, and more.
Read an Excerpt
As I approach my 30's, I've finally begun to accept that no one loves me as much as my mom. And that no one else's love can exert such a hold over me. My mom might overwhelm, overstep, and overbear, but she still bears the torch. She still has the power to guide the course of my life, to give it an added spark of meaning. My mom has a way of making me feel like even the most insignificant moment matters: a bad date, a butchered haircut, a fight with a friend. No situation is too inconsequential. If it happened to me, then it matters to her.
Sure, my mom's overconcern might at times make her seem nuts. Extreme love and dedication often blur reason and perception. Every time I miss her call or text, she imagines me hospitalized or imprisoned. Every time I complain about a headache or stomach pain she will want to know who the hell has knocked me up. My mom only knows how to tread in the waters of the extremes. But inside those waters of extremes is insuppressible love.
What makes a Jewish mom stand out is not the degree of her love but how her love materializes. Love suffuses a Jewish mom's every thought, her every behavior. She cannot rein any of it in. And when so much love blares so forcefully out into the world, the sentiment can't help but be returned. America loves Jewish moms because they show us their entire selves. Honesty is infectious. Honesty combined with pluck and gumption is intoxicating.
I wanted to capture this exposed feeling, this raw love. I grew up around a parade of Jewish moms. Now, in my late twenties, living in a big lonely city, I find myself searching for a new squadron of Jewish moms to love. I miss the energy, the warmth, the rawness of Jewish moms. But what I perhaps miss most is the humor. Jewish moms are hilarious. They are classic, old-school camp: bold, unpredictable, and over the top. When I tell my friends funny stories about my childhood or about my twenties, the stories almost always circle back to my mom. She is the heart of every tale. She is where the plot rises, where the dialogue stuns.
A few years ago, I started noticing a similar trend in the stories told by many of my Jewish friends. In almost all the stories, the moms were driving the story line; the moms were peddling the jokes. I wanted to find a way to gather these funny stories of Jewish moms (and grandmas) into a single collection. So I started emailing some of my favorite Jewish writers and entertainers, asking them to send me their stories. The response was astounding. All the writers were thrilled to tell the story of their crazy Jewish mom. And many of them insisted that their mom had to be the absolute craziest.
Of course I realize the thematic challenges in putting together this collection. I realize that a Jewish mom is not a one-size-fits-all archetype. That there are variants of the archetype, many of which appear in this book. There are Jewish moms who are farmers; Jewish moms who are hippies; Jewish moms who are drunks. I wanted to share all these stories. But I also want to tell the story that connects them. Within all these tales, there tends to be a unifying force. And that, of course, is the way the Jewish mom loves.
This book is by no means representative of the entire Jewish mother experience. I simply set out to share stories that will move you, that will make you laugh. My life has been charmed with stories on top of stories of Jewish moms. My hope is that now everyone else's can be, too.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Black Hole of Nothingness Rachel Ament vii
JDate My Mom Lauren Greenberg 1
Selective Stage Mothering Sari Botton 9
Deviated Perceptum Abby Sher 17
My Grandmother's Men Kerry Cohen 25
They're All Jealous of You Mayim Bialik 31
Ladies Who Lycra Meredith Hoffa 37
Become Carol Breslaw in Just Four Easy Steps Anna Breslaw 49
Every Child Is My Child Chaya Kurtz 57
Bringing Peace, One Man at a Time Iris Bahr 63
You Should Be Playing Tennis Jena Friedman 71
Ominous Pronouncements of Doom Rachel Shukcrt 77
The Jew in the Backseat Leonora Ariella Nonni Epstein 81
There Was Totally Blood Everywhere Jenny Jaffe 87
The Beautiful Butterfly Yenta Lauren Yapalater 93
Seth Cohen Is the One for You Rachel Ament 99
Classic Cynthia Drysdale Rebecca Drysdale 107
The Inner Monster Speaks Emmy Blotnick 115
Death-Defying Vegetarian Dishes Arianna Stern 119
If You're Gonna Smoke, Smoke Right-Mime. Rose 125
Love, Sacrifice, and EPT-Nadine Friedman 129
Eviction of the Alte Moid Deb Margolin 135
Home for the Apocalypse Gaby Dunn 141
My Mother Played the Drums at My Wedding Wendy Liebman 147
Mom, Everlasting-Mireille Silcoff 151
Ya Want an Opinion? Iliza Shlesinger 157
My Little Shiksa Goddess Dylan Joffe 165
Jewish Mom Genes Mara Altman 171
About the Contributors 185
About the Editor 193