Friday, May 5

The Game Is Up- But I'm Still Playing

Well, Ladies and Loons, the game is up!!! Most people in North West London know who I AM. Oh boo hoo. The question is, do I care??? Good question. But there are still a few things I still want to share before I go off into the lonely abyss..
I HAVE SO MUCH TO GIVE!!! Sigh. Sniff. Snort.
But even if you know me, do you really care? So you have the teensiest glimpse into my psyche and then you see me in Kosher Kingdom- big deal. What do you with this knowledge? Do you run around telling all and sunder 'Ooh did you know XXX has a blog?' Have I really said anything detrimental to my family and my kids future shidduchim?
(Won't you laugh when they publish this as a book under my real name. HA!)

But for now,I still want to talk about my foray into Shmiras Halashon.
Now, where was I?
Oh yeah, I had just opened my spanking new, never before touched, ‘Lesson a Day’.
Knowing that I could never go ‘cold turkey’, I decided to go for abstaining from Loshon Horah for one hour a day. Sounds simple, huh? Yeah, right. It was the hardest, most difficult thing I ever did in my entire life. The hour I chose to keep everyday was ten until eleven a.m. As I recall, I didn’t want to feel like a ‘wus’ by taking on an easy hour (like two until three in the morning). I really wanted to see where it would take me. In order to give myself an added incentive, I did the hour in the zchuss for my two single brothers to get married. Every time the phone rang, my palms would sweat and I would hear my pulse racing in my head. Sometimes I would let it ring and I wouldn’t answer it at all. I spent all hour looking at the clock in abject fear that I wouldn’t be able to control what came out of my mouth.

Then I realised that ostracizing myself was not the answer. If I was going to integrate Shmiras Haloshon into my unfortunately already dead set and unmovable inadaptable personality, I was going to have to learn more of the rules stating what I could or could not say. So, I went out and bought every book on the subject and devoured them all. I discovered that ever since I had learned to talk, I had been saying or accepting Loshon Horah. Oh, great. That’s just dandy. I had always had a (if I may say so myself) a very quick wit and wicked sense of humour. It was indeed wicked, and sometimes people whom I cared about enormously were hurt by my (very funny) slingshots. But most of the time I was a coward. I wouldn’t say things in front of my victims but rather I would save my barbs for other people to hear and savour. I was also non confrontational in the juvenile sense. Similar to a toddler who runs to his Mommy crying that some other child hurt him, I too never confronted people who caused me pain. Instead, I would run to my support network of people who would, naturally, agree with whatever I was saying and say what I wanted to hear. Oh boy, was that going to have to change!


What was it that Hillel said? I think it was something like ‘so much to do, so little time?’ Well, back to my very frightening hour, from ten until eleven a.m., that felt like it was composed of sixty microwave minutes. In other words, it felt like eternity. Slowly I started testing the waters by allowing myself to be social during my hour. I would give everyone I met and spoke to on the phone an immediate “hello, please don’t say anything not nice, I’m in my hour.” People were very understanding, confused that it was coming from me, but understanding nevertheless. It was when I went from keeping one hour to keeping three hours that people started recommending therapy. One hour they could deal with, but three? That would mean waiting three whole hours just to tell you a really juicy tidbit? Uh, yeah. That’s the idea. Some people gave up talking to me entirely. I don’t remember minding that they gave up on me, because I was so relieved that I didn’t have to fight with them when they tried to assure me that what they had to say was most definitely not Loshon Horah.

Something interesting happened along the way, I developed a sensitivity to evil speech. It had become foul and the air that the sound waves had travelled through was almost tainted by its stench. I couldn’t take it anymore. I almost felt like, “Oh, I should eat non kosher later?” I wouldn’t do it with Kashrus and I didn’t want to compromise on Shmiras Haloshon either. So I took on the entire kit and caboodle, the whole hog, from alpha to omega. I decided to extend my three hour Shmiras Haloshon stint to twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Yup, I now tried all the time. By now I really felt like a Tzadekes. But there was one problem I just did not reckon on. I forgot about my ego.

Dum, Da, Dum, Dum, Duuum.
To be continued... don't touch that dial!

45 Comments:

At 11:34 AM, Blogger the only way i know said...

Hi,
I certainly will not touch that dial.....your blog is too good.
Now that you say you've been 'found out' - just wanted to give you a little bit of encouragement, because the nice things about blogging is the anonymity....but you say it is not the case anymore - you also say - you have no qualms. Well, good for you! You can only have gained respect in the eyes of people who know you - and those who don't.
Good Luck - and keep up the great work, Sweetie!

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

You haven't said anything wrong, if anyone is bothered they can get stuffed. Loads of ppl know who i am and i knew when i sstarted it would be inevitable so i tried not to say anything too incriminating.......it's slightly annoying because it narrows down your choice of topic. I wouldn't want to do anything i would regret.
It's not about fitting in, because that's something i never cared about, What you see is what you get, if you don't like it, go elsewhere.
Hold your head up high, this is quality blogging which some of the oldies can't even compete with!

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger chaverah said...

oh goodness! you've been found out. ALittle annoying. If I was you I would just start a new blog. Its not that you have anything to hide but I would not be able to express all my thoughts and ideas fully if I new that people I know is reading it. Not to comfortable! Anyway about your shmiras Haloshon, WOW! amazing. I am impress. I tried this consept(the one hour a day) and you realize we talke way to much! 1 hour feels like eternity.. You state that its like to say "I should eat nonkosher later" I wouldnt compare it to that extreme. Its much easier to stay away from food that we cant eat as oppose a mouth that is attached to us all day! Good luck to your journey and I hope you can keep it up!

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Glad you will still be blogging. Don't think you said anything to get you in trouble. People know my too and it is annoying. It should not stop you from blogging.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

you didn't exactly try to keep your ID secret...
Please keep blogging

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger jemima3 said...

If those closest to you are ok with this, who cares about the rest? oh, and I promise to keep quiet if I see you in k.kingdom.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

HELLO BLOGGING BUDDIES!!!
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL!

TheonlywayIknow: You are just the most lovely person!

Kish: Hi Blog-babe! Thank you so much for the compliment!!!!

Theonly and Kish:
The truth is I always knew that whatever I blogged about I would say to anyone anyway. I never lied or dodged bullets about where I live or the gender and ages of my kids. I always thought Hamayvin Yavin. I'm in the public eye anyway, so I always have more people knowing about me than I know back! I'm just hoping that people are mature enough to allow me my pleasures without making a big deal of it outside of cyberworld.

Chaverah: I don't think I'll start a new blog, cuz I feel like I've invested too much of myself into this one and what you see is who I really am, warts and all!
For me it really did come to a point where It felt like I was waiting to commit a serious crime! Thanks for your comments!

Socialworker: Thanks! Do people (who are not in your a or B list of friends) mention what you blogged about to you?

Limey: What you say is true... but somehow you hope that if someone figures it out that they will enjoy it and keep it to themselves. Alas, human nature!

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger ImJustAsking said...

Awww. I think the problem is me. Every time I start getting into a certain blog the next thing I know they are closing up shop. You are the second blog in two days that have said they will be going. It's so sad :( I obviously wont try talking you into something you seem to have made up your mind on, but will you still come in to other blogs and comment? It would be a shame to lose you totally. Think about it.

It was nice "knowing" you.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Imjustasking;
LOL! Have no fear, I ain't through blogging as Kasamba yet... I have too much to say!

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

I write a weekly column for a paper out in the middle of nowhere, and when I meet new people and they figure out who I am-- half become stalkers, the other half just vanishes.It wouldn't be a big deal, except for when it happens to my kids.
I can't imagine if someone figured out who you were in your blog-- a blog is your sanctuary.
You're blog is a joy to read. I can't believe your journey away from the negativity. Has the process made you feel as though you have more control over your how you inter-relate with people? Is it easier to not let people get to you? Do you feel more at peace or does the awareness of how mean people are to one another still get to you?
I think it's a lesson for us all if we choose to take it. Imagine what a nice place we'd live in-- or would we all just be holding back a scream. I hope not.

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

I think its wonderful that you are ok with being 'outed'!

As for evil speak... you go, girl!

Looking forward to your continued posts!

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Moiy-rah said...

well, i still dont know you.

hi, kasambababab, hi

-moiy

 
At 9:36 PM, Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

Glad you are going to continue blogging.

And am impressed by your shmiras Haslashon journey. Hatzlacha

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

Very impressed! That is great!
I on the other hand, currently have 40 unread email "Lesson a day" waiting for me to open...
I would buy the book butI know I'm not ready to do that yet-I'm behind 7 days in reading/learning "Praying with Fire" too...

*sigh*

I wish I can say the same about losing my anonymity. I know I should just post as usual cuz it's my blog, my thoughts, my emotions etc. and I created it for myself not for anyone else. It's just hard knowing thatit's being read by those who know me and now there's a fear of being judged.

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Hmm it must be liberating in a strange way...to be outed...

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger HanginUp said...

Hey There - I have been away and its seems like I have missed quite a bit. I would like to say that I have absolutely no idea who you are so your identity is still safe from me!

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Bonnie: Thank you sooo much!
You pose a good question;
"Has the process made you feel as though you have more control over your how you inter-relate with people? Is it easier to not let people get to you? Do you feel more at peace or does the awareness of how mean people are to one another still get to you?"

I definitly retain more control in the sense that I hardly ever have to regret what I've said to someone. It's come to the point that nothing really justs 'pops out'. I also find I give people the benefit of the the doubt (after my initial anger, which I no longer act upon). I find it imperitive to focus on the positive side of people even the icky ones. I really am more at peace than I ever was in my entire life. that's not to say that I have contact with difficult people, I do! I feel sorry for them and I now have the framework to deal with it.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Frumgirl: Thank you Shaifela!

Moiy-Rah: I think you actually might! Hi Moiy-Rah, sis boom bah!

Ivnsm27: Thank you!!

Shopoholic: You are so sweet! I have to tell you that I used to get 'Lesson a Day' online and it didn't work for me. I need to use the actual book. I don't allow myself to go to sleep unless I've learned my day- it doesn't take more than 5 minutes!

About the anonymity issue: the way I look at it is by virtue of stating that we are blogging as frum Jews, name or no name, we are being judged accordingly!

David: It's funny in a way it is!

Hanginup:
Welcome back!!

It's funny because I really don't mind if you guys know who I am- it's more the voyeurs who think they have something on me that I mind!

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

This seems to be an epidemic, huh? I deleted a years worth of my writing because of people who just couldn't leave me alone.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

As a fellow blogger that lost my complete anonymity I have to say, it is not that bad after all. I don’t think I am well known as you seem to be, but there are a handful of people who know who I am. There was one person who threatened to write a blog exclusively dedicated exposing my identity; complete with pictures and private information about myself, yet in a very strange way I was looking forward to it. There is so much more that I could write about, with my identity known.

Most of the topics I cover and opinions I voice, I do in public as well, and with that I pretty much guaranteed the exposure of my identity.

I am glad to see that you won’t stop blogging. In away you will enjoy it a tad more.

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Eshet: like I commented on your blog- I will really miss you!!!
Just out of curiosity, did you copy your blog at all- to save for yourself?

Also: That is so sad that someone could be that obsessd with you to put so much effort into outing you!I must say that I do agree with you, I might just enjoy blogging even more!

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Amishav said...

Well, I don't know who you are IRL, but I don't really care, you're a character. And if you could help me find my bashert- I would gladly buy you a kosher hamburger.

Its really hard to not speak Loshon Hora- people ask me to all the time. And its tough because I'm a teacher and I am REQUIRED to speak about people and give assessments that are sometimes negative. I just try to keep it professional and never get personal- that will, I hope, cover me.

 
At 12:25 AM, Blogger pretzels said...

oh wow

 
At 1:31 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I don't know who you are, if that helps.

You know what, though? I ahve the same problem. Toomany people know who I am, too. I even got a really nasty comment from someone who won't ID him/herself, but made it clear that s/he knows me.

There comes a time that we just say, "shove it." like you're kinda doing. We don't care if you know who we are. If you don't like us, don't read our blog. Don't talk to us in the street. I am who I am.

 
At 6:13 AM, Blogger shmishposh said...

1 - wow, just discovered you. the shmirat halashon thing made me really think...maybe ill start with an hour too!

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Amishav; I knew you'd be there for me!!! I have a few ideas for you, I'm just doing a bit more research for you. (I want to meet them first!)
Proffessional shmiras Halashon is difficult, but from a teaching vantage point your evaluations, if given without malice, will be something constructive. so it really is L'toeles (for a purpose) and you really are covered!

Pretzels: Thanks for stopping by!

Michelle: Right on! I agree with you 100%!

Shmishposh: Oh please start it!!! It really did change my life and at the risk of sounding 'happy clappy' my entire karma changed with it!

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

glad you are ok with being found out.
it's not a bad thing at all :) (and it keeps you accountable for what you say on your blog so you are careful with what you put out there. that's what i've found since my blog is only semi- anon, people i know look at it.)
and well done with your shmiras halashon. a bit of an inspiration! it's something i'm working on lately and it's amazing how much better you feel not talking 'evil'! (it's gonna take a bit more effort on my part but slowly, slowly!) can't wait to hear more!!
and thanks so much for all your comments!! :)

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Sarah: Thanks darlin' and you're right- I am more accountable now!
Keep it up with the shmiras halashon! (It's not easy but it's worth it!)

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

Perhaps that American thing was too much information, how many NY'ers are wiling to migrate to Europe?
Well glad it doesn't spell the end of this blog.
24/24 non Lashon Harah, it's idealistic for sure I’m curious if it will be realistic as well, that's pretty hard.

 
At 4:03 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Prag: Hiya!!!!!! Good to have you back!
The Shmiras Halashon is idealistic, but I've been doing it for the past six and a half years!
I have to tell you that it doesn't make me vey popular. People who are having very interesting conversations look at me coming and stop what they're saying. Hardly anyone calls me except to discuss rotas, and I've never been so happy in my whole darn life!!!!!

 
At 4:34 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

No they don't! Thank G-d.

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Interesting tie-in: One reason I'm not anonymous is to keep myself from saying things I shouldn't. Great post, waiting for the next part...!

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Socialworker: Boy, you're lucky, but the truth is it's only happened to me once!

Ezzie: you visited!!!!!
I'm farklempt!!!
THANK YOU!!!!
Do you have people (not 'a' list or 'b' list friends)coming over to you mentioning your blog?

 
At 3:18 AM, Blogger TRW said...

First of all, I'm really glad you posted on my blog, 'cause I like yours and I'm glad you introduced yourself!

Second: The L"H thing for me started when my friend was in Sharfmans-they give out free Shmiras Halashons with a catch. I don't remember it completely, but it was something like you had to read two chapters 4-5 times a week. I'm a sucker for free books, so I did it!

I never knew I could say so many wrong things...

But B"H I've gotten pretty sensitive to it. Unfortunately, not enough, but life is all about growth, so I'm working on it!

 
At 6:14 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

There are a handful of people who know who I am. At times it has been bothersome, but for the most part I have gained so much I couldn't part with this, not now.

Give it some serious thought.

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

TRW: Thanks! I return the compilment!:)
Keep on shtieging!!!

Jack:
As long as you keep coming back, I'll still be blogging!

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Kasamba - of course I came. :) I'm not sure what your Q is exactly, but plenty of people I know read my blog, and a bunch I don't have told my wife or friends that they do as well. A couple have come over to me, but not many.

 
At 9:16 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Thanks for answering!
My question really is- does it bug you when people off the street want to discuss your blog or do you see it more as a journalist would view his writing in a newspaper?
Cuz I've got to tell you when someone came over to me and called me Kasamba just to be cute and then wanted discuss my sons ADD, it annoyed the heck out of me!

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

I view it more as the journalist, I guess. Then again, I don't discuss the same subjects - I can't imagine someone trying to discuss something like that just because they read my blog, unless they were a very close friend. I'd just walk away.

 
At 3:00 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

You're right- it's the private subject matter that makes it intrusive!

 
At 11:39 PM, Blogger ultrafrumguy said...

i know who you are but you don't know me. its your husbands family that i really know. i'm impressed by your blog and your actions. what i want to know is what does your husband think of all the lashon hara thingy. and btw why do you call yourself kasamba?

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger kasamba said...

Hi there ultrafrumguy!!!
Thank you for the compliment!
On the way back from shul once, someone once said to my Hubby, "So, if you can't talk with your wife about people, then what DO you talk about?" Hubby's face was completely deadpan as he said,
"Football".

You want to know th reasoning behind Kasamba- for now suffice to say that she is me. Are you ultrafrum?

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I think this happens to every blogger at some point. When it happened to me (not that I was particularly anonymous), I put up a nice disclaimer and went on with things.

However, I am cognizant when I write that people I know (like my wife, kids, in-laws, nephews, neices, neighbors, bandmates...) are reading me. So I watch my step more.

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Phsychotoddler:
I always knew the cat would get out of the bag but I didn't know that it'd end up in the Thames!
You're right I'll have to watch what I write!

 
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