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“On the last Saturday of 2017, I was playing at the park with my 7-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, when I realized that we were going to be shopping for our New Year’s Eve feast in the neighborhood of some dear friends we don’t see very often. So the kids and I picked up a bottle of champagne and a dozen doughnuts and knocked on their door at 11 a.m.
Mom was up. Dad was dressed but a little foggy. The kids were just starting to wake. The freshman home from college got out of bed and gave me a hug and a smile.
We opened the box of doughnuts, popped the cork and had a 30-minute party that never would have happened if we’d put it on the calendar.
Making plans is the worst, and we all hope some of them will fall through. Not because we don’t want to see our friends, family and colleagues, but because we’re overbooked. We plan everything, even things that shouldn’t need planning. People are surprised when they get a phone call without a text warning, to say nothing of stopping by the house.
It wasn’t always this way. My pop-in habit, much like my liquor cabinet, is inspired by my maternal grandparents. They and their friends popped in on each other constantly. One couple used to show up at my grandparents’ front door at happy hour with an empty egg carton (my grandparents keptboth chickens and Tanqueray). My grandparents pulled up chairs, poured martinis, and sent them home with a dozen.
Sure, my grandma didn’t work outside the home, so it was easier for her to play host on the quick than it is for many families today. But their generation also placed more of a premium on being together.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"