coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Schmaltz

My last post (The Time) may have been the stupidest thing I ever wrote.  I actually woke up in the middle of the night filled with anxiety about it. I had to get up and add an addendum, hoping against hope that I hadn't already insulted or offended all my readers with my inane ramblings. 

There are days when a woman takes herself a little too seriously. And when I say "a woman" I am using the term in the Game of Thrones drop-dead-gorgeous-assassin sense to mean me, me, and only me.

I usually write a post and then I let it simmer for at least 24 hours. The hope is that I will eventually get it right BEFORE pushing that unforgiving "publish" button. The other day I was just so full of myself that I thought it was good on the first go-around and let 'er fly. Note to self, do not assume you know what you are talking about until you have struggled with the notion for way longer than you want.  

A couple of months ago I shared a rather sentimental music video on Facebook. A dear friend from my wicked youth wrote a comment teasing me about sharing it. She accused me of being schmaltzy. Ha! I had to laugh because she totally nailed me. If I turn my back or relax for one minute the schmaltz enters my body and takes over my mind. It is a constant struggle for control.

From my online dictionary:

schmaltz |SHmälts, SHmôlts| (also schmalz)
noun informal
excessive sentimentality, esp. in music or movies.
ORIGIN 1930s: from Yiddish shmaltz, from German Schmalz ‘drippings, lard.’ (melted chicken fat).

It is such a great word, schmaltz. Perhaps next time we can discuss the word schmutz.  

Jaqen H'ghar - not the least bit schmaltzy

23 comments:

  1. Don't sweat the small stuff. Take it from me-being however you want is just fine.

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    1. Thanks Chilly. This writing stuff is HARD, but not nearly as hard as me trying to be something other than what I am.

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  2. I wonder if all my nice New Jersey Jewish customers realize how much Yiddish I imbibed from listening to them. I didn't hear schmaltz too often, but schmutz was a regular.

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    1. One of the biggest joys of living for many years in the Northeast was the chance to make many Jewish friends. I'm a huge fan of what remains of Yiddish language and culture in America.

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  3. Who hasn't pushed that publish button sometimes and then suddenly be drenched in a cold sweat?
    When you have a friend that you really like, you don't care if they make a mistake or not. They're just your friend and you know they feel the same for you.

    I've been schmaltzy all my life and I'm so old that I have to now consider it a virtue, or I'll die in shame :).
    PS: Schmaltzy looks cute on you.

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    1. You are such a sweet person. Thank you! Imagining the schmaltz looks cute on me is gonna get me through this day!

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  4. You've just reminded me of the word "schmaltz," in fact. I mean, it's always in me, but I forget to use it. Now I want to.

    Even if it's to kid you about being that way.

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    1. Ha! I grew up with 6 aggressive and smart assed siblings, so being kidded feels a bit like love to me. Bring it on.

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    2. And I think you owe it to your many students to introduce them to this nearly perfect word.

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  5. I like schmaltz. I have written a few schmaltzy posts myself.

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    1. My dear Maybe, you are super duper kind. Of course now I must go searching through all your old posts to find the schmaltzy ones. I guess the lesson here is that into every blog a little schmaltz must ooze?

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  6. For goodness sake, woman: your blog, your words, you decide.
    I am a sucker for schmaltzy stuff. Esp. movies. My inner feminist tries to be disgusted but what the heck.

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    1. I know, I know - sometimes I just surrender to self doubt. It doesn't usually last long enough to write about it though, so it felt good to write this post. My inner feminist battles continuously with my recent addition of a little old lady who cries over sentimental things all the damn time.

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  7. I disagree with your assessment. I think we all worry about time and what we've done with our lives as we age and start to see the end of the line getting nearer. You are not alone my dear:)

    And I love that word schmaltz and I would have to say that I suffer or enjoy, not sure which, excessive sentimentality:)

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    1. Thanks Lily! It has been good to hear from bloggers I admire on the subject of sentimentality and aging, and schmaltz.

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  8. Schmaltz. I like it. Thanks for increasing my vocabulary:)

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  9. As for me, I really like that post. I think it was it was a true reflection of what all of us think about at some point while looking back over our lives.

    I wouldn't be apologetic at all. An unexamined life and all that.

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    1. Thanks 8thday. Maybe I overreacted.

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  10. Schmaltz is also chicken fat, yes? And fat is flavor. Fat is soft to the touch. Fat is female. Fat is vulnerable. Fat is breasts. Fat is belly. Fat is nargas. Fat is sweet baby bootie baby belly baby legs baby arms baby. Fat is feared. Fat is decried. Fat is cut liposucked frozen fried. Fat is female.

    We all have feelings. We all sometimes feel overwhelmed by them. Time, love, mystery - all a big deal. The rest, really, is bullshit.

    Awake - we feel it - the mystery. Some of us need to be in uniform and a war to feel it - the oneness, the intimacy, the truth of eternal bonds, eternal oneness, eternity. Singing Christmas Carols across lines. Some of us need to be pregnant, hands on bump, feeling the kick, feeling the pulse, to know we are one. Forever. Now. Always. Some of us need to sit cross legged on a mat, eyes on a candle, rocking under a prayer shawl, hands open, closed, together, fingers in a circle, head empty of all but All That Is. Some of us need to be in embrace, body parts mingled, breath interchanged, sensation rising, kundalini shared, to know Two is One and Two makes Three and All is Now. Some of us need to be in service, emptying bed pans, wiping foreheads, sweeping stairs, changing linens to feel it: The Mystery. The Inner Pulse. The Passage - temporal and eternal - of Energy that is Time. Some of need to be in thought, E=MCsquared, physics, the circling of planets, quantum measurements of what cannot be measured... to feel it, That Which Cannot Be Squared.

    Never be embarrassed to share what we all know is true: We are part of a Mystery. We are divine. Questions arise. Truth is felt. Words are shaped around it. Prayers. Equations.

    Our culture is... mostly... scared of this. It pursues and venerates the wrapper but not the gift. It loves engineering but fears physics. It likes sex but not love. Music but not creativity. Dance but not soul.

    You felt it. You wrote about it.

    We feel it, too.

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  11. Schmaltz is good. Schmaltz is fine. Schmaltz rocks. :-)

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So, whadayathink?