Saturday, November 30, 2013

How Do You Discard Of Something That Has Been Blessed?

Dear Tazi:

I have an elderly aunt who is on a limited budget and is also quite religious. Every year for Christmas she sends me a small, plastic figurine of a saint or of the Blessed Mother, which she has had blessed by her church's priest before mailing it to me. It always arrives with a beautiful card, full of heartfelt sentiments of how she is praying for me and my continued well-being, which to me is the gift that I appreciate the most. The cheap plastic figurines? Not so much.

I actually have a very nice curio cabinet in which I keep my porcelain knick-knacks and family heirlooms and over the years these plastic figurines have made their way into it every time "Aunt Jenny" comes to visit. Because she lives a distance away her visits are always announced and generally infrequent. I am saddened to know that last year's visit from Aunt Jenny will be her last because her health no longer permits her to fly. I will of course be visiting her, that is not the issue. My issue is, how do I get rid of all the figurines she has sent me over the years now that I know she will no longer be coming to visit?

I feel guilty enough putting the figurines in storage until she visits - they have been blessed, which means I certainly can't throw them away! I have considered donating them to a local charity or selling them at a tag sale, but then I think of the love that Aunt Jenny put into these gifts and I just can't bear the thought of parting with them like that. In the end, though, I really don't want them decorating my house!

In A Spot

Dear In A Spot:

You do have quite the conundrum! According to religious faiths, anything that has been blessed should not be thrown in the garbage; this does not mean that you must hand onto it forever, though. It appears these plastic statues have sentimental value to you, so I suggest keeping them in storage just a little while longer. Should your aunt pass sometime soon, you may regret getting rid of her gifts.

If you are truly bent on getting rid of these plastic figurines I suggest you try donating them to a church or asking a priest to handle them for proper disposal. Technically, once something has been blessed it needs to be buried. Some people bury these plastic statues on their property, having been taught that this will bless the property by extension; others insist on burying them at a local cemetery, which is already hallowed ground. Some people put these plastic figurines into the coffin of a loved one before they are interred. All are appropriate methods of removal.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, November 29, 2013

When Your Best Friend Is Also A Bad Friend

Dear Tazi:

Every year my best friend and I make plans to get together over the holidays, and every year she breaks those plans because of some last minute event or emergency that she "just couldn't turn down". Last year her mother-in-law had a stroke and was in the hospital, so I can understand having to break our plans to go see a local production of A Christmas Carol, but the year before she broke our plans because she hadn't slept well the night before and just wasn't up to going out for "a night on the town". That year our plan was dinner and drinks at a local hot-spot!

"Felicia" and I rarely get together because of her busy schedule - she is on the local school board, she owns her own boutique, she has a husband who travels for work and has to be home with the kids; meanwhile my schedule involves commitments of my own. However, I always make time to get together, especially around the holidays - and it seems like I am always on the losing end of the bargain when she cancels. Felicia is very good about keeping appointments during the rest of the year, but around the holidays I always come last and I am starting to wonder if maybe I should stop making such an effort to make Felicia a priority when I am not one to her. We have been friends since childhood, so I don't want things to change...and I think maybe that is my problem.

Best Buds, But...

Dear Best Buds, But...

The last line of your letter says it all - you have been friends with Felicia since childhood and do not want things to change. Has it occurred to you that maybe Felicia feels the same way, which is why she makes an effort to get together with you during this very busy, quite exhausting time of year?

Since you and Felicia have been friends forever, I am going to guess that you can talk to her candidly - so give it a try. Explain to Felicia that you understand that things happen and that sometimes she needs to cancel on you, but that you feel an overwhelming sense of loss when she does - like the two of you are drifting apart and that you are losing something very special. I am sure that Felicia will understand.

Good friendships are made to withstand the hard times, and good friends can go months or even years without seeing each other without losing the connection that makes a good friend such a good friend. I suggest that in order to maintain your friendship with Felicia that you focus less on making plans during the holidays and more on making plans during a less hectic time of year. Everyone likes to see each other over the winter holidays, so I suggest that you try make tentative plans as opposed to firm plans - an early dinner or even a weekend lunch as opposed to non-refundable tickets to a show. Keep things light and you will find your stress levels lifting - and Felicia's as well. When friendship becomes a burden, it can be easier to just cancel plans than to force oneself to follow through.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Non-Traditional Holiday Plan Can Make For A Fun Holiday Just The Same

Dear Tazi:

This year I am hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving! I am not a vegetarian, nor are any members of my family; I just think that Thanksgiving has become a celebration of excess instead of gratitude and am trying to cut down on the foods my family gorges on the most - roast turkey, sausage stuffing, and anything with bacon and drippings on top of it.

My mother-in-law is insisting that I am crazy and that my Thanksgiving meal will be a complete flop without any kind of meat, and that the two lasagnas I am planning on making - meatless and veggie - and serving as the main dish was not what the Pilgrims ate. She seems to forget that the Pilgrims did not eat candied yams with marshmallows on top, either. My brothers-in-law are all talking about having a BYO meal because they can't imagine a day without meat, and my sisters are arguing that their husbands could all stand to go meatless for a few more meals.

Tazi, all I want is a happy, healthy, family-filled Thanksgiving. It's too late to change my plans can I make this day a success?

Meatless Holiday

Dear Meatless Holiday:

You can make the day a success by greeting each guest with a smile and the beverage of their choice; by cooking up a delicious lasagna and lots of tasty sides; by making sure that the football game is on TV; and by making sure that there are at least five different flavors of pie so everyone's favorite flavor is represented! You can make sure that the conversation between your guests flows freely and that the topics are kept light and non-confrontational. Does your family like to play trivia games? Put some trivia cards on the table and have them take turns asking questions. If you have old photo albums of holidays past, pull them out and let everyone reminisce upon holiday memories past. If you have a favorite holiday movie (I am fond of A Christmas Story) make sure that gets a showing at some point during the day.

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"
Holidays are a time to gather in the warmth of family and friends and to appreciate the blessings life has bestowed upon us. If you have friends who will be celebrating alone, invite them over to spend the day with you - I am sure they will be so appreciative of the invite they won't care that you are serving lasagna instead of turkey (which the Pilgrims did not eat, either)! While your method of curtailing the excesses is unique, it is yours so make the most of it! A good guest will grin and bear it and hopefully have such a good time so as to completely forget whey they were unhappy in the first place!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wife's New Hair Do Is A Budget Don't For Her Husband

Dear Tazi:

On the spur of the moment, I decided to cut my hair short and dye it platinum blonde. I normally have long, straight brown hair, so I thought short, spiked, and blonde would be fun. My husband, "Sal", hates it and asked me what was I thinking! He told me the look would "take some getting used to" but that if this was the look I wanted he would support my decision. Not exactly the response I wanted!

I thought everything was going to be okay - my husband seemed to be adjusting to my fierce new look - when the credit card bill came in and Sal saw just how much my transformation cost. He went through the roof! All told with the original cut and color plus an additional trim/shaping my new look cost around $200. Sal told me to go to the local barber for a trim and to stock up on peroxide because he is not going to agree to seeing our household budget broken on a look he doesn't even like. I was so hurt that I didn't even know how to respond.

Since that argument, I have been rather cool to my husband and have gone ahead and scheduled an appointment for a trim and root job, because I will need to have it done every 4 - 6 weeks to keep up with this look. The cost should only be around $75 this time, since I don't need a consultation and my hair is much shorter so it will require less time with the stylist. I am considering paying for this appointment out of my own, personal spending money just to keep the peace, but I don't think that is fair. My husband gets his hair buzzed once a week, and it costs us around $40/month. I don't tell him to invest in a Norelco! Am I being petty and vengeful, as my mother suggests, or am I right to stand my ground?

Hairy Situation

Are you being petty? That depends. Did you leave the house looking like Crystal Gayle and come home looking like Aimee Mann circa 1985?

Before and after
And don't it make her brown eyes blue?

You have to remember that making a major change without telling your husband - or even asking his opinion - must have come as a shock to him; to discover that you made such a large "investment" without even mentioning it to him may come off as disrespectful, even if it was an impulse "buy". If money is tight, I can see why he would be even more upset once he saw how much hour "fierce new look" is costing to create and to maintain.

While I do not suggest you tell your husband to invest in a Norelco, you may want to discuss splitting the difference with him. Gently approach him and tell him that you went about changing your look rather quickly, and did not consider his feelings or how he would react to the cost. Tell him that you like your new look, and want to maintain it - but not at the cost of your marriage. Explain to him that you will be willing to meet him halfway and split the cost of maintaining your look in return for his acceptance that it is your hair and that you have the right to style it as you like it. Since Sal pays $40/month for hair maintenance I do not think it unreasonable to request the same amount (or a little more) from the shared finances to cover your hair care. This should work as an opening statement, since I am not entirely convinced that this is about the cost of hair care in the first place but rather about your husband feeling left out of a major personal decision.

Once the lines of communication are again open, try to work through the issues that your new look has caused. Does your husband hate it because he feels you no longer look like the woman he married? Or do you frequently make impulse decisions without considering his feelings on the subject? While your hair is your own to do with as you wish, the family budget is not! There are many things to consider that you do not appear to be considering here.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Differing Musical Tastes Leads To Relationship Discord

Dear Tazi:

I have been dating a guy for a few months, and I like him a lot...except for one odd quirk: He refuses to listen to any music recorded after 1988. "Shawn" is a big fan of music from the 1970's and '80's, and claims that the music recorded today is garbage. I have tried to keep an open mind and listen to some of the stuff he likes, but stuff like Led Zeppelin and Bread just don't work for me. I like music by girl singers like Beyoncé and Katy Perry - stuff Shawn will not ever consider allowing on in his presence. I am starting to wonder if this is a deal-breaker.

I like going dancing, and Shawn won't go with me because he doesn't like the music. I like listening to music in the car, but there is never anything we can agree upon so we ride in silence or to Shawn's music. I feel like I am missing out on things I enjoy in order to be with Shawn - which is something I also enjoy, but I am wondering if trading music for my man is worth it.

Missing My Beats

Dear Missing My Beats:

Serious musicians understand the importance of bands from the 1970's and early 1980's; these are/were musicians that not only sang, but wrote their own music and lyrics; played their own instruments; and understood how to read music in the first place. The difficulty level of much of the music from this time - much of which contains multiple chord changes - is extraordinary. This is why the 1970's is considered the classical era of rock and roll - because the music itself represents a great deal of classical training and education. Much of today's popular music owes a debt to the singer-songwriters of the 1980's and '80's. Have you listened to Eminem's new release "So Far"? Those amazing guitar riffs are actually former Eagles' guitarist Joe Walsh's guitar riffs. Compare the two:


Even the lyrics Eminem writes are a parody of the original Joe Walsh song. I hope this comparison helps you to understand Shawn's point of view. My concern for this relationship is Shawn's refusal to compromise. You say he "doesn't allow" music by Katy Perry, et al to be played in his presence. This intolerance of other musical tastes is in poor form, and crosses the line into controlling behavior. You need to ask yourself how long it will be before this control turns into abuse. Is there really no musical genre upon which the two of you can agree? Remember a compromise is only a compromise when both sides give something, and it appears that you are the only one giving in for the sake of harmony. Only you can decide whether you want to stay or go, but since you asked for my advice I will offer it: leave, and find someone who appreciates you for who you are, not in spite of who you are.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tazi's Corner #67 - I Support The "Suspended Coffee" Movement! (Will You?)

Dear Readers:

How much does a hot cup of coffee cost? Would you be willing to buy one for someone who is so down on their luck that they cannot afford to purchase one? Such a person does not have to be could be a single Mom who is waiting out in the cold for her could be an elderly grandfather living on a very fixed could be a college student paying their way through college on work-study and student loans...or it could be someone just like you whose luck turned for the worse and they now find themselves in a situation they never dreamed of living. Can you spare enough to purchase this person a hot coffee on a cold day? How about a muffin or a bagel to go with it? Are you looking for a way to pay forward a kindness received, a break given? A simple but brilliant way to give is making its way across the world - will you take part in it?

The concept of "suspended coffee" started in Naples, Italy, and is really quite simple: when you walk into a coffee shop or a café - or even your local 7-11 or Cumberland Farms - to purchase something for yourself, ask if you can pay for a "reserve" coffee that will be given to someone who needs a hot beverage but cannot afford one. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - a small cup with cream and sugar is all anyone needs to warm their body on a freezing cold day, and the process of doing this will warm your heart, as well. So often we are afraid to give to street-beggars because we assume that they will be spending what they receive on drugs or alcohol and not food or that hot coffee they are claiming they seek to buy. Would you give if you could pay for it in advance?

At least he is honest!

With the change of seasons from summer to autumn, shorter days and cooler nights are upon us; in much of the world the temperatures will be dipping to uncomfortable lows that even a warm coat and fuzzy mittens cannot keep out of our bones. If you are the owner or manager of a coffee shop or café, would you be willing to accept the purchase of "reserve coffees"? I realize this idea conjures up an image of unwashed homeless people loitering in and around your business, harassing your customers,  and if that happens you have every reason to stop accepting such orders - but in the spirit of the season, would you be willing to try?

As it is written in Hebrews Chapter 13, verse 2, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Elderly Father-In-Law Refuses To Eat Heart-Healthy

Dear Tazi:

I have an elderly father-in-law with a heart condition. I love the man dearly and would hate to see him pass but at the same time want him to enjoy the years he has left. "Pop" lives with my husband and me, so I pretty much control the menu and can balance his dietary needs; it's his dietary wants that make life a bit difficult.

Pop loves butter. And cheese. And wine. There pretty much is not a saturated fat out there that Pop does not love to indulge in, usually with a glass of dark red wine. I understand that a glass of red wine a day is considered heart healthy, so I am not overly worried about that, but Pop loves to sprinkle his pasta with Parmesan cheese; his bread with gobs of butter; and of course he puts cream - not half and half or heaven forbid, milk, - in his coffee when he is done with dinner.

I try to control what Pop puts into his body, but he tells me to leave him alone - if he dies, he will die happy. I try to tell him that those of us left behind would appreciate it if he didn't try to rush his way into a dirt nap (as Pop calls death) but he refuses to listen. Due to HIPAA laws I cannot discuss this matter with his physician, since my husband and I do not have medical power of attorney over Pop. Do you have any snappy arguments that will make a sassy old-timer listen?

His Daughter (In Law)

Dear His Daughter (In Law):

It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your father-in-law, and I am happy to hear he has someone like you to care for him and see that he does not neglect his health. An argument that I find successful in dealing with people who refuse to moderate their diet in consideration of health conditions is this: There are worse things than dying from a massive heart attack or a major stroke; you could live through a massive heart attack or a major stroke. Do you have any idea of poor your quality of life will be if that happens?

As cruel as this response sounds, it is the unvarnished truth; to live through a major, debilitating stroke is considered by many to be a fate worse than death - one your Pop does not seem to be considering. Is there a reason he is so adamant about ignoring his health? Does he suffer from depression? Is he widowed and missing his wife? An appointment with a gerontologist may be just what your Pop needs to help him navigate the years ahead....however many or few he is granted!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Husband Seeks Control Over His Paycheck, Wife Wonders Why

Dear Tazi:

I have a problem that I am NOT comfortable talking about with anyone! I am what you'd call a "man's man", the kind of guy who others see as macho and tough, the kind of man who wears the pants at home and is a leader at work, the kind of guy who doesn't take nuthin' from nobody. While this is true for the most part, it is not completely true. My wife handles our finances and has me on a weekly "allowance" of spending money.

"Florence" likes to budget every dime, and she is an excellent bookkeeper and a wonderful wife, so I am not complaining about's just that sometimes I feel like a man at work and a little kid at home. The guys all think I am kind of a big deal because I always pay cash money for everything - but the truth is that you will never see me charge anything to a debit card because I don't carry one; Florence won't let me. I am given $50/week spending money to spend on whatever I want - beer, coffee, magazines, whatever...gas money for my truck does not come out of this; this money is just for me. It is plenty - I am not complaining about the amount, just that I feel like a child when my wife gives me my "allowance" each payday.

I work hard and would like to maintain some semblance of dignity and I think keeping the money I earn - and not calling it my allowance - would make a difference. Rather than handing over my check to my wife, I would like to go to the bank and cash it, grab my spending money out of that, and then deposit the remained and give my wife the receipt to balance the books. When I brought up this matter to Florence she just gave me a funny look and told me I was making a big deal out of nothing, but I don't feel that this is nothing. I don't even want to think of the ribbing I would take from the guys if they heard about my "allowance". Should I just let it go? Or am I being controlled by my wife?

Macho (Or Not So?) Man

Dear Macho (Or Not So?) Man:

I can completely understand why you feel emasculated by your wife's insistence that you bring her your weekly paycheck, un-cashed, for her to deposit and in return receive "allowance money". You are not a twelve year old with a paper route; you are an adult man and should be respected as one. Could the two of you at least agree to call your weekly allotment your "spending money" or "fun money" or even "walking around money"? Choose a term that works for you, and ask Florence to use it.

Your wife's desire to receive your check and cash it herself makes me wonder if there is another side to the story that you are not telling me. Do you have a history of hiding money from her? Spending your check at the bar or the casino before it makes its way home? Is your wife a homemaker who has the time to go to the bank during the day thus saving you the trip on the way home from work? Or is she just an absolute control freak?

Or is she from Japan, where this practice is quite common?

If your company offers direct deposit, this may be an option for you; this way, neither you or Florence would have the responsibility of depositing your weekly paycheck. Instead, it is directly deposited into the account - or accounts - of your choosing. If you would like to start carrying a debit card (which can be great for emergencies, but requires an extra book to balance) you could set up a "spending money account"; each week, your $50 could be direct deposited into this account with the balance deposited into your household account. Florence could have a spending account of her own, too, if that is what you wish. This way, you will be able to withdraw your own spending money each week; bank that which you do not spend for a "treat" purchase, like tickets to a sporting event or a new TV; and in the end feel like you have control over your own personal finances. So long as you are willing to balance your own personal spending money account, I do not see why your wife would object to your having it.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Child Refuses To Do Homework, Mom Cannot Figure Why

Dear Tazi:

My usually bright, 11 year old son has suddenly refused to do his homework. He complains that it is too hard and gives up after only a few minutes. Because of this, his grades are slipping for A's and B's to C's and D's and even a few F's.

I have tried to talk to his teacher, but she just suggests that I help him in ways that I cannot - I do not understand the new math that kids are assigned, so I can't help him, and I do not have time to take him to after-school tutoring. His father has him on weekends (I am divorced) so I cannot schedule tutoring for Saturdays, either.

I have tried punishing my son by taking away privileges; rewarding him by extending privileges; and even bribing him with money for good grades but nothing sticks. Can you suggest any other ideas that will get my son back on track?

At My Wits' End!

Dear At My Wits' End!:

While I understand that you cannot help your son with his homework because you do not understand it yourself, I cannot understand why you cannot find a way to get him to and from after-school tutoring. Is his father available to take him? A grandparent or a friend? Surely there must be a way to put your son's needs first, even if it means missing a few hours with his father in order to meet with a tutor on Saturday mornings. This is something that requires you to co-parent with your ex-husband - as difficult as that may be, you need to work together to meet your son's needs.

My larger concern is your son's flagging work ethic - you write that he "gives up after only a few minutes". This is not normal behavior for a child who is ordinarily quite bright. Are there other problems going on that you are now aware of, such as bullying or feeling pressured to succeed? You do not say for how long you have been divorced, but could this be what is affecting your son?

This could also be the reason your son can't finish his homework!

Since revoking privileges and offering rewards is not working, there appears to be something deeper going on with your son - as his mother, it is your job to start digging. I suggest another meeting with his teacher to see how he is doing socially, and to find out if there is an underlying cause to this sudden drop in academic progress.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Filthy Sheets Put A Damper On Love Life

Dear Tazi:

I am a sophomore in college, and have been dating my boyfriend for eight months now. I love him very much, but am very upset with him over something and he is saying that I am making too big a deal out of it. I am embarrassed to tell my friends or ask their opinion, so here it goes:

"Joey" has his own off-campus apartment, and lives there year-round. Since we have been intimate, I noticed that he always has the same set of (black) sheets on his bed. I assumed that he only had one set of sheets, and that he would put them back on the bed after washing them. I noticed a stain on his sheets the last time I slept over, and commented that he would have to wash his sheets. Joey looked at me like I was crazy, and asked me why. When I told him it was because they were stained, he laughed and said that "there are a lot more stains than that on them!".

Joey continued that he has never changed his bed-sheets since his mother put them on when he moved in a year and a half ago. As if this wasn't nasty enough...I know that Joey had slept with other women before we started dating, and that he had them over in his bed. Which means that I have had sex on the same unwashed sheets that he had sex on with other women.

I am really upset over this, and have told Joey to toss the sheets and buy new ones. He has refused. I told him I would buy him some new sheets, but he told me he wouldn't use them - that he likes his sheets and that they are comfortable and that they will be staying on the bed. I have asked if I can wash the sheets for him, and he told me no - that at this point, it is "a matter of principle" and he doesn't understand why I am making such a big deal out of dirty sheets; that it's not like these other women are in bed with us. Um, yeah, it kind of is like that, at least to me, but that isn't the only part of the ick factor, though. I told Joey that I would not be spending any time on his bed until the sheets were changed, but now we are both standing our ground...and staying at my place, which is upsetting my roommate - she is threatening to tell our R.A. (I live in a dorm). Could you please tell Joey to change his sheets?

Grossed Out

Dear Grossed Out:

You and me both! Joey, for the love of a clean litter-box, Joey, CHANGE YOUR SHEETS! Your bed linens have absorbed all sorts of bodily fluids - from sweat to semen and heaven only knows what else; they are probably crawling with bacteria; and I am guessing they are far from smelling April fresh! You have crossed a line between being a casual housekeeper and entered the realm of reality TV star!


I can understand Joey's desire to stand his ground, but you need to stand your ground, too. If you do not wish to have relations with Joey until he changes his sheets than you must stop having relations with him altogether; you need to show him that this is a big deal to you. (BTW, a recent study showed that single men only change their bed-sheets an average of four times a year, so while he is not alone, Joey is way below the mean average!).

They were white when they went on the bed...

My concern is that Joey's refusal to change his sheets or accommodate you in this matter is a red flag for the future of your relationship. A person who refuses to honor a baseline standard for cleanliness - and actually puts up a battle against one when someone else gently tries to introduce one - is someone for whom stubbornness is a way of life. Joey refusal to acknowledge your personal feelings on the matter is of concern, too; if he truly loves, you, he would not belittle your feelings and make such a mountain out of this molehill. You may want to seriously reconsider this relationship.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Larger-Sized Woman Loses Out Due To Inappropriate Dress

Dear Tazi:

My wife is a very large woman, and I do not have a problem with this. I love her for who she is, not for what the tags on her clothing say. "Rowena" does not feel the same acceptance that I feel for her, and she she works very hard to squeeze into the smallest size she can possibly wear - ignorant of the fact that she looks like an overstuffed sausage ready to burst.

To make the matter even more difficult, Rowena refuses to acknowledge her true size, claiming that clothes are being made smaller these days and that she is really a size 7, not a 22 (when she is truthfully closer to a size 28). When we are out and Rowena sees a woman dressed in clothes that are ill-fitting, she will loudly proclaim that not all women have her body and can wear her size - "a seven", she will always add. When I buy Rowena clothing for her birthday, Christmas, or even just as an unexpected gift she first checks the size tag, and won't even try it on if it is a larger size than she believes she wears.

Tazi, I love my wife - all of her - but I am afraid she is making a fool out of herself by dressing so inappropriately. She was recently passed over for a promotion at work, and was told that the reason was that they hired someone with "a more professional appearance". (The woman they hired is also "plus sized" but dresses to accomodate her curves, so I know my wife is not being discriminated against because of her weight). Rowena works in sales, and she would have made an excellent Sales Manager if not for her insistence on dressing the way she does. (Dress matters in this position because she would be professionally interacting with high level clients).

Rowena is really down about losing out on this promotion, and I think I have found a way to cheer her: I am considering taking her to be fitted for a new wardrobe by a professional tailor - this way, she will have a property fitting, professional-looking wardrobe with clothes that do not have size-tags sewn into them. I realize that this will be an expensive investment, but I have some money set aside and my wife is worth it to me. Do you think this is a good idea? I really don't know who to discuss it with, since my family - my side and Rowena's - all think she is batty when it comes to clothes and her refusal to wear anything that fits.


Dear Squeezed:

I think your idea is a marvelous one! A lot of women are very sensitive about their size, and will actually tear out the size tags in their clothing, they are so upset by the number they see. At her heaviest, Oprah Winfrey was humiliated when she discovered that wardrobe had been sewing two suits together - a size 14 and a size 8 - in order to create a designer suit large enough to fit her. While this may sound humorous, I can assure you that for Miss Winfrey it was not!

America is a country obsessed with size - or, should I say, a lack of it, when it comes to women; the thinner a woman is, the better. Where is this image coming from, I wonder? While it is not true that Marilyn Monroe was a size 16, she was curvy and had an hourglass figure; when photographed in a swimsuit, her collar bones never poked out.

She only poked out in the right places!

It is my opinion that your wife needs counseling in order to accept and love herself as she is, not as she once was or as she wishes she could look; however, let that be a step of last resort. I suggest you tell your wife that you think she is gorgeous just the way she is, but if her wardrobe needs a redo than that is what will happen - courtesy of her loving husband! Once Rowena sees how good she can look in clothing that is tailored to her shape, she may be willing to ditch the sausage casings she has been wearing in favor of a more tailored, professional look, which in turn could help her career.

If Rowena refuses your offer, or insists on having the clothing tailored to a skin-tight look, try to coax her into something more appropriate for work. Do not mention her size, but rather say that a looser fit is more appropriate for the office. You could even add that it upsets you when she shows off her curves for the world to see, and that you would rather she reserve the view for you and you alone. You sound like a very generous and loving husband, and I wish you all the best! Shame on your family (both sides) for poking fun of your wife!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Grown Brother Cannot Stop Teasing His Sister, Influencing Her Children

Dear Tazi:

I am a woman in my thirties with a young family. I am trying to teach my children good manners, and to be genteel little beings in order to raise them right. My problem is my brother, “Jason”. The man never grew up – he thinks fart jokes are funny, and will crack on my disgust every chance he gets, usually in front of my children.

Every family dinner closes with Jason commenting how he “has to go take a dump” – something my young boys find hilarious, but is upsetting to me and my husband. We feel this kind of talk is not appropriate at the dinner table, or anywhere else for that matter.

With the holidays upon us, there will be several family gatherings in a short period of time, and thus much exposure to my brother’s sophomoric humor. My husband has asked me to speak to him, but every time I do Jason tells me I am being too serious, that I am raising my children to be “nerds who will get picked on”, and he lays the humor on even thicker than before. My boys are now 7 and 8 – old enough to know better, but still too young to understand why these jokes are inappropriate. My husband has told me that if Jason starts in with the fart jokes and comments about defecation that he will say something to him directly – and that it will settle the matter once and for all. I do not wish for my children to see their father and uncle arguing, so I am looking for a way to ease the tension before it starts.

Genteel Lady

Dear Genteel Lady:

For some reason, kids find fart jokes and references to poop funny. I think it is because humans place such a strong taboo on these subjects. I find nothing at all funny about a dirty littler-box, yet that is something that is filled with poop!

Or other random objects that defy explanation...

I suggest that you stop trying to parent your brother and work instead on teaching your children that such subjects are not considered polite to discuss; ask them how they would feel if you invited the family in to watch them while they were using the toilet and tell them that this is basically what they are doing every time they talk about what they do in the bathroom, and what they are doing to someone else if they make fun of that person for passing gas or having tummy trouble that requires an extended trip to the bathroom.

Children – both boys and girls – like to push the limits of good taste when they do not understand why those limits exist. By explaining to them on a level that they can understand (and you know better than I what that level is) you can get the point across to your boys that there is a time and place for everything, and that the dinner table is neither the time nor the place to make crude jokes. Let them know that that your brother is making these jokes because he likes to tease you – I am sure they understand that this is how siblings sometimes interact – and that normally a gentleman does not make those kinds of jokes in front of a lady. By doing this, you are letting them know that your brother’s behavior is unacceptable but the reason for it is the sibling relationship between you two, and not that your brother is no gentleman (even if that may be the case, allow him to save face in front of the children).


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tazi's Corner #66 - Hate Speech

Dear Readers:

This week I would like to take about hate speech. I was going to talk about the differences between chivalry and sexism (if you do it for both sexes its chivalrous; if you only do it for women its sexist) when I read a blog/commentary in The Washington Post about hate speech online; about how various protected groups receive better blocks against it than non-protected groups, and how the writer believed that, as odious as she found hate speech, it has its place in a free society; to complain about it can lead to feeling a backlash that can only hurt you or your career.

Hate speech is just that – speech, and in America we have the freedom of it, so long as it does not cross the line into harassment or destruction of property. For example, the YouTube channel Simple Pick Up documents both rude and crude behavior by men, who shout to women in the street in an attempt to get their attention, if not their phone numbers. The channel has received plenty of negative press, as well as a petition to have it yanked from YouTube, yet it continues with its antics. Why? Because it isn’t against the law to broadcast bad behavior; the harassment that is being filmed could be considered a legal misdemeanor, but it is up to the victims to file a complaint – not the American public. Personally, I think this online “show” serves a purpose: to weed out the types of men women do not want in their lives. Can you imagine surfing through videos and seeing the guy you’ve had your eye on treating women in this manner?

I have always argued that it is better to know what someone thinks of you – even if it is hurtful – than to not know and allow them to secretly sabotage you. For example, if you are a person of color would you want to work for someone who is secretly racist? If you had the option of knowing someone was racist before you accepted a job working for him or her, would you still take it? Women, if you knew a male employer was sexist would you still work for him? Generally speaking, if a person (man or woman) was anti-Semitic would you want to know this before accepting or refusing to work for that person? What if your employer is a member of NAMBLAWould you still want even the most tenuous association with this person? Okay, so that last example wasn’t of hate speech, but it does drive home the point: when you associate with someone, people associate that person with you. This means that the habits of those with whom we gather are reflected back upon us.

Personally, I find hate speech odious – a word I have already used but I cannot think of one that better describes my feelings. Odious sounds like odor, which reminds me of a foul smell, and nothing makes me want to retch as much as a foul smell…except for the bigotry that is hate speech. 

Not even being forced to eat cat poo...

As much as I hate it, I, too, believe that hate speech has an important place in a free society: hate speech strips away the polite veneer we put forward for the outside world to see and reveals a person’s true colors. I would ask that those who participate in the act of expressing such opinions have the courage to speak them publicly, and not to hide behind an anonymous online handle like “aryan4life” or “KKKMan”; hiding behind the safety of your computer screen in the warm cocoon of anonymity shows the world that you are nothing more than a pathetic sack of human meat.

I live in the Northeast, which is to say I live in a part of the country where racism and bigotry are unacceptable in polite society, but I am not foolish enough to believe they do not exist in my corner of the world; hate is there, but it remains buried. I have seen women who work unpaid overtime in an attempt to earn a promotion, only to see it go to a man (who did little more than show up at the right place at the right time) because the boss is a sexist who thinks that women belong in the home, raising children, not in the workplace. I have heard tales of Black students being pushed out of a crowded elevator before it reaches their floor, the sounds of white laughter echoing in their ears as they held their heads high in the face of humiliation. With people packed elbow to elbow, it is hard to tell who did it…and the culprit too cowardly to come forward and stand behind their actions. I know gay men who have been beaten for no reason other than their sexuality. I have awoken to find swastikas spray-painted on Jewish temples and Satanic symbols on the walls of my own church. All I ask is that if you are going to cause such damage – to someone’s career, someone’s psyche, someone’s body, or someone’s property – at least have the courage of your own convictions to come forward and admit to them. This way, those who find your beliefs as odious as I find them can know to stay away from you, lest people start to think we are on your side. 

Snuggles to the rest of you, dear readers,


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Should A Person Tip The Counter-Person For A Plain, Black Coffee?

Dear Tazi:

I am out of work, so my income is very limited. My one treat is to meet my friends at a local coffee shop on Saturday mornings, where I order a plain coffee - no bells and whistles, no mochalattechino-extra-sweet-hold-the-foam; just a regular coffee, which I drink black. If it sounds like it takes very little effort to make my coffee the way I like it, that is because it does take very little effort to make my coffee the way I like it.

Because I drink my coffee so plain and because I am on a strict budget, I do not tip the teenager behind the counter who has the nerve to call herself a "Barista"; a trained monkey could make my coffee! Because I don't tip, the girl is less pleasant to me than she is to my friends; at times, she is downright hostile, practically throwing my coffee at me from across the counter in her rush to move on to the next customer, who presumably will tip her.

I have been considering complaining to the manager about this employee, but when I mentioned this to my group of friends a debate ensued. Some argued that the word "TIPS" is an acronym meaning "To Insure Prompt Service" and that by not tipping I should not be surprised by the poor service; others sided with me, saying that a black coffee is not something that is complicated to prepare and takes far less effort and expertise than a cappuccino or other upscale drink, so a tip should not be expected. Another friend argued that waitresses are paid below minimum wage and that their tips boost their income high enough to make a living, while a fourth friend pointed out that coffee-servers are not considered waitstaff and have to be paid at least minimum wage.

Tazi, my service is prompt; it is just not particularly courteous. My server is a teenager who, from what I have overheard, lives at home with her parents and does not yet have to worry about making a living. Am I committing a social faux pas by not tipping? What is your take on the situation?

On A Budget

Dear On A Budget:

My take on the situation is that the little acronym your friend used is grammatically incorrect. To insure something limits your financial liability in the event of litigation; to ensure something is to take steps to guarantee that an event or condition occurs to your satisfaction. Sorry if this is off-topic, but incorrect grammar is a pet peeve of mine! (And of Grammar Girl's...she backs me up on this one!).

As for my opinion of tipping the Barista - which is what she is, if she has been professionally trained to make fancy coffee drinks - is that you should tip according to the amount of effort that went into preparing your beverage. "Barista" is the Italian word for "bartender"; would you not tip the bartender because all they did was pop the cap off of a beer for you? Would you tip him or her a dollar for this service, or would you just leave the coins from your change on the bar?

I admit that pouring someone a black coffee takes no special effort and that the Barista is just doing the job for which she is probably paid minimum wage plus tips. Since her attitude towards you is as bitter as a French Roast I am not going to suggest you tip her in order to improve her personality; this amounts to no more than blackmail on her part - tip me or else I'll be a jerk to you is no way to treat a customer.

If the coffee shop has a comment card than I suggest you fill one out, writing the Barista's name and what she can do to improve her attitude towards customers. If after a reasonable amount of time you do not see an improvement, you should then mention something to the manager. I also suggest that if you or your friends order something that needs to be made to your specific tastes - and if it was made well - that you drop your loose change into the tip jar; it's the courteous thing to do for someone who provides you with good, personalized service. As comedian Chris Rock put it, minimum wage is an insult; it's like saying "Hey, if I could pay you less I would - but it's against the law".


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sister Schedules Cesarean For HIS Birthday! Is He Overreacting?

Dear Tazi:

My birthday has always been special to me, and I know I am being childish...but I can't help it! My birthday is my day to be the center of the universe for 24-hours. I give a lot to others, and it is the one time I am comfortable getting back some of the attention I give.

My sister - who was always the center of attention, regardless of the day or event - is expecting her first child. Due to complications, the doctor has strongly recommended a Cesarean birth and has offered her a few possible days for the procedure, one of which is my birthday. Even though any other day was as good, she chose to give birth on my birthday, thinking it would be "fun" for me to share a birthday with my first-born niece. I do not think this will be "fun" and I think my sister knows this; I think she is using her child to see me overshadowed once again.

Growing up, "Sally" was always given a pass by our parents because she was younger and she was a girl. Being older and a boy, responsibility was always ladled on me. The older I got, the more responsibilities I was given. Sally always got to do what she wanted, which was usually to follow me around and do whatever I was doing. I was never so glad to move away to college, although I have come to value Sally as a sister now that we are both adults. I guess that's why this hurts so much - it's Sally getting to be the center of attention (again) at my expense.

I asked Sally if she would reconsider having her baby on my birthday, that my birthday is the one thing I have for myself and that I don't want people to forget about it in the excitement of the new baby, but she didn't take it well. She was very hurt, and started to cry, saying she couldn't believe I would take out my issues on an innocent little baby. Tazi, I don't think I have issues; I just want to feel like I am coming first...for once. Am I wrong for asking Sally to reschedule?

Always Second

Dear Always Second:

Scheduling a Cesarean birth is not like making an appointment with the hairdresser; it requires several schedules to come together all at once to make sure that everything goes according to plan. For this reason alone I am going to ask you not to ask your sister to reschedule her birth date again. Once was enough!  I will ask you to try and see things from Sally's point of view:

From your letter, it sounds like Sally idolized you when she was growing up, and that there is still quite a bit of love for you. I do not doubt the sincerity of her wish - that her child share a birthday with you because she loves you and wants her child to have that connection to you, not because she is trying to steal your day. Is there room in your heart to share your special day with your first-born niece? Think of the special bond the two of you will have, having been born on the same day! You can be "birthday buddies" as well as Uncle and niece! I should think that this would bring you twice the attention!

Try to remember that the only way people will forget that it is your birthday as well as your niece's is if you let them forget - so do what I do and make a big, fat, hairy deal out of the day!

For a cat, this IS enthusiastic! 

Most important, remember that not everyone you know will know your niece, so there will always be people around to wish you - and you exclusively - a very happy birthday.


P.S. I would like to wish a very happy 5th birthday to a very special girl who was born on my Mommie's half-birthday (that's today): HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY A.G.T.!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is $500 A Year Too Much To Spend On Hair Care?

Dear Tazi:

I have long, curly hair that requires quite a bit of maintenance to keep looking good. I go to the hairdresser for a trim every eight weeks, and purchase salon products to wash and style my hair. I realize these are expensive, but I use them sparingly so one bottle of shampoo will last me for several months so the cost evens out a bit when compared with the brands sold in retail stores (which do not work as well on my hair; I have tried them all and I have to use more for less results).

My problem is that my husband is nagging me about the amount of money I spend on hair care. As year-end approaches, he has added up the total amount of my salon visits and hair products, and showed me that I have spend roughly $500 on cuts, highlights, and washing/styling products so far this year. He compared my spending to his hair-care spending, commenting he gets his hair cut once a month at the barber and spends only $15 per cut. I know we need to watch our budget, but I don't believe that my personal appearance should suffer for it!

I pointed out to my husband that he was not counting the price of his dandruff shampoo and conditioner ($10/set) and that he goes through one bottle of each per month, adding $120 to his "tab". I pointed out that his monthly supply of [men's hair coloring] is another $10/box, adding another $120 to his "tab", bringing it to a total that is darn close to mine! He argued that his products are necessary and that mine are not.

I asked my husband what he meant when he said his products were "necessary" and he told me that my highlights are "for fun" while his hair coloring is necessary to hide his gray and give him a youthful look in the workplace. He told me that I could easily go to a chain salon rather than the boutique and save a few hundred dollars per year. While this may be true, I have a great working relationship with my hairdresser and I do not wish to abandon it to save a few hundred dollars. I have suggested we look for other ways to save money, but he is being adamant that my hair care has to go - and has suggested that I cut my hair off into a pixie cut to accomplish this!

Tazi, it has been two days and I am still not speaking to my husband. Maybe I am being vain...but I love my hair! It is my one indulgence, whereas my husband has several. I think he should have to give up golf...or video games...or his cable-TV sports package...or something! Right?

Stay At Home Mom

Dear Stay At Home Mom:

I thought your husband was a control freak until I got to your signature. Now I see that he is a control freak with a God complex. It appears that your husband thinks that because he earns the paycheck he should have full say and control over how it is spent. I disagree with this - just because your work does not result in a paycheck does not mean that it does not result in an increased bottom line for your family budget.

While you do not work in a professional office, I can understand your desire to look nice. Being a stay-at-home-Mom can result in stained clothes, frayed nerves, and unshaven legs all in the name of putting the children first, so it is nice to be able to have one thing about yourself that keeps you connected to the woman you were before you became a Mom. She's still in there; let her shine through!  It will make you a better Mom by making you a happier woman. Is this something you can explain to your husband?

If your husband wants to save a few dollars, I suggest that he cut back in the areas you suggest - so long as it doesn't kill his career! Wouldn't want the gray hair to say "old" instead of "experience"! Seriously, though, if golf and pro-sports games are how he networks with his business connections, they will have to stay; however, I find his accounting for your every penny while discounting his own costs to be a real problem.

I suggest that the two of you sit down together and examine why your husband feels his treats and perks are more deserved than yours; you may have to do this in the office of a marriage counselor, but perhaps that is what your marriage needs at this point (there is no shame in this; think of the counselor as a coach - even the great Tom Brady listens to Coach Belichick!).

I also suggest that you look at your budget as a whole, and not cherry-pick items that your husband thinks are too expensive. The bottom line just may be getting weighed down by his excessive spending, and not your occasional perk.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Elderly Father Now Reaps What He Sowed...So Why Does Daughter Feel Guilty?

Dear Tazi:

My father is a mean, miserable, crotchety old man who never cared a lick for anyone but himself. When times got tough he divorced my mother and married his secretary – but not before secretly transferring his business to her (for a dollar, to make it legally binding) and hiding all of his other assets. He was living the high life with his new wife, while Mom struggled to raise me and my brothers.  I was working full-time by the age of 16, just to help make ends meet, while my father was driving around in a new sports car – a “gift” from his wife, who held all of their accounts so he could pay as little as possible in child support in order to keep up with his preferred lifestyle.

Shortly before my youngest brother’s 18th birthday my father’s wife left him, and he was left to rebuild his life with only half of the financial assets. My mother told me not to be so gleeful about his misery, that it was not Christian, and that I needed to learn to forgive; that my father’s leaving had helped to make me the hard working success I was becoming. For my Mom’s sake I have tried to forgive my father, and I thought I had until now.

My father lives two hours away from me and took a massive heart attack last week. He lived through it, but once he is discharged from the hospital he will have to go to a nursing home for rehabilitation, since he lives alone and there will be nobody nearby to help with his care. He will only be allowed a short stay in rehab and then he will be sent back home. My father has called me and told me that I will have to come and care for him; that it is my “duty” as his only daughter.

I have told my father that I already have a full-time job and that I will not be commuting to his house twice a day, before and after work, and on weekends to take care for him. He then suggested that I take a leave of absence from work; I wanted to suggest that he go to Hell, but I remembered my Mom’s words about remaining Christian and instead told him to hire a visiting nurse, that I am sure his health insurance will pay for it.

Tazi, I know that I am doing the right thing by doing what is best for me and that my father is now reaping the seeds he sowed all those years ago…so why do I feel guilty that I am not putting myself out to help the man? Could I be doing more for him? He is my father, even if he is a real stinker of one. More importantly, should I be doing more to help him? He has not asked anything of my brothers, and they in turn would refuse him if he did; my youngest brother hasn’t seen our father since he was 8 years old.  On the one hand, I feel like I am his only hope; on the other hand, I feel like he doesn’t deserve to have hope.


Dear ??????:

Not knowing you I cannot tell you why you feel guilty about not helping your father. I can only speculate that you have been raised to forgive, forget, and move on from the hurt. You need to remember that forgiving does not mean painting a target on your back for people to dump all over you once again.

Forgiveness is not for the other person – it is for you. Forgiveness allows you to free your soul from the anger that weighs it down when it is overloaded with the pain of being hurt. While you may want to forgive your father for his physical and financial abandonment of you as a child, you don’t have to thank him for it. You became the successful woman you are today through your own hard work; the only part his abandonment played was to create the need for the determination to succeed.

You may also be feeling a desire to reconcile old hurts before you can fully put them behind you. Your father’s demand that you serve him in his time of need is a reflection of his selfishness (and sexism, since he is only making these demands of you because you are female) and this is a personality facet that he will have to reconcile on his own. If you feel the desire to be there for your father, you should do so on your own terms, not on the terms he dictates to you. If you have the time to spare a weekend or two to go and see him, I suggest you make the effort. Seeing this once proud man reduced to frailty may help you to sort out your emotions towards him and see him for what he is – a fallible human being who has reaped the miseries he once sowed upon others. Although I doubt a loving relationship will ever be rekindled between the two of you, you will at least know that you have done all you can to help, which may ease your conscience when you give his outrageous requests a firm “no”.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tazi’s Corner #65 – The Commercialization Of Christmas (Quiz)

Dear Readers:

Now that Halloween has passed the Christmas decorations are going up in earnest and the complaints that Christmas has become too commercial (and that Hanukkah, as one reader put it, “gets shafted”) are flying fast and furiously. People are screaming that we skip right over Thanksgiving and large retailers from Target to Nordstrom are listening by waiting until the day after Thanksgiving to put up the Christmas decorations. The truth is they are up before Thanksgiving is actually over; you just don’t actually see them until the stores open their doors at Midnight on Black Friday, the first official minute after Thanksgiving (which ironically forces employees to give up their holiday to come in and decorate).

Do you see the hypocrisy here? Are you a part of the problem or a part of the solution? After researching the matter until I was thoroughly exhausted (and keep in mind that cats get exhausted quickly and easily) I came up with the following quiz for you to take – and send to your friends to take – to see if you are a part of the reason that Christmas* has become so commercialized:

*I do not mean to leave out my Jewish brethren, but this year Hanukkah starts the day after Thanksgiving and is completely left out of the annual madness. Feel free to have fun with this quiz just the same; I included an option for you on every question! No offense is meant to my Atheist, Wiccan, Muslim, and other readers of non-traditional American beliefs either; have fun pointing out the hypocrisy that has taken over the season.

The Commercialization Of Christmas Quiz
By Tazi J. Kat

1.       If you send them, when do you buy your Christmas cards:
a.       Before Thanksgiving, as soon as I see them for sale, so I can have them signed, sealed, and ready to deliver the weekend after Thanksgiving

b.      Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s (you can get a great sale price after the holiday!)

c.       I am Jewish. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find Happy Hanukkah cards among all this Christmas stuff???

2.       Your wrapping paper is decorated with pictures of:
a.       Santa Claus, Christmas trees, skating penguins, and other winter themes

b.      The Madonna and Child, scenes from a manger, and other religious pictures

c.       I’m Jewish! Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find wrapping paper with Menorahs on it among all this Christmas stuff???

3.       It’s sometime between Midnight and 6:00 AM on Black Friday and lucky you, you have the day off from work! Where are you?
a.       Out shopping – this is when you get the best sales on the best stuff! It will all be gone by 8 AM!

b.      At home, sleeping. There’ll be other sales between now and Christmas

c.       I’m Jewish! I’m at home preparing the big feast I am hosting tonight, in celebration of Hanukkah. (Incidentally, my gift shopping is long done; thanks for all the Hanukkah sales, retailers!)

4.       To you, the meaning of Christmas is:
a.       An opportunity to spend time with my loved ones and to show love through the giving and receiving of presents (we have to have presents!)

b.      A celebration of my religious faith

c.       A day off with pay, thanks to the religious-bias of the Federal holiday system that requires me to take personal days to observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (yep; I’m Jewish!)

5.       You wish people…
a.       “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”; I don’t want to offend anyone and besides there are several holidays happening in December

b.      “Merry Christmas”, since America is overwhelming Christian, but will stand corrected if the person celebrates something else and wish them a “Happy ______”

c.       Would recognize that not everyone celebrates the Christian holidays and that the Judaic culture has contributed a great deal to the American culture – like that bagel and schmear they are eating

6.       You take your Christmas tree down:
a.       The day after Christmas – the holiday is over

b.      Sometime between January 1 and the day after the Feast of the Epiphany – Christmas is 12 days long

c.       I don’t have a Christmas tree to take down (but my menorah comes down the day after Hanukkah ends)

7.       What are your thoughts on 24/7 Christmas songs on the radio:
a.       I love them and look forward to them starting in mid-November

b.      I think they should hold off until Christmas week, and even then I switch the station to one that plays a mix of music

c.       Why in the world are Barbara Streisand and Bette Midler (two nice Jewish girls!) singing Christmas songs? Oy vey!

8.       Do you take your kids to see Santa at the mall?
a.       Yes; in fact, we go to the Santa parade and breakfast every year to watch him arrive

b.      Yes, but usually not until mid-December, if at all. Christmas is about Christ, not Santa!

c.       Hey, Santa! I’m Jewish! 

9.       On Christmas Eve/Day, do you attend religious services?
a.       No. My kids are young and really wouldn’t understand the meaning of it. Maybe when they are older, but then again I haven’t been to church in years so maybe not

b.      Always, without fail, unless I am sick in bed which means I am also too sick to celebrate Christmas

c.       Do you really need to ask? 

10.   The day after Christmas you feel:
a.       Let down. So much work went into it and now it’s all over for another year

b.      Contented. Christmas has a way of filling my soul with faith and warn feelings

c.       Hung over. Let me tell you, I had a wild time at this year’s Matzo Ball!

11.   Do you own an Elf on the Shelf?
a.       Yes, and I move it faithfully every night! I even pull it out for other holidays, too!

b.      No/My answer may as well be no for all the attention I pay to it.

c.       I am so glad that Hanukkah has not been co-opted by the retailers!

If you got:

Mostly A’s: You are part of the problem about which so many people are complaining. If you are one of the complainants you need to, as Michael Jackson suggested, start with the man in the mirror and make that change. If on the other hand you are happy just the way you are you may want to keep that opinion to yourself lest Bill O’Reilly and his FOX News followers come after you with pitchforks and flaming clubs.

Mostly B’s: You are doing your best to keep Christ in Christmas, and have the right to complain that the holiday has become far too commercial. Your next step is to write or email retailers and let them know that you will not stand idly by as they turn your Advent period into a three-ring circus. To stay silent is to give your blessing.

Mostly C’s: I thank you for staying with me this far! I hope your Hanukkah preparations are going smoothly and that your Festival of Lights is a joyous one! (Only two weeks to go – have you finished your shopping yet? Can you save me a honey puff or two?).


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.