Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Definition: Verklempt - a Yiddish expression of being overcome with emotion.
Living in the outskirts of New York City, and in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, I hear this Yiddish expression quite often. I believe it was even used in a Seinfeld episode once to explain Elaine’s overwhelmed state of mind! I, too, am verklempt! There really is no better word to use to explain this complex feeling. A mixture of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, maxed out of your energy, bordering almost at feeling unable to cope. That’s Verklempt!
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming changes summer would bring. Particularly the ending of school and beginning of day camp for my son. Well, I dug out and through the pool bags. Tossed the old sunscreens, bug sprays, etc., restocked with fresh supplies. Dragged out the old, ratty towels and wrote my son’s name on them with black, permanent laundry marker. I found his camp shirts from previous years and was thrilled that the small ones just fit! I even bought these great stick on clothing labels to put into every item my son needs to take to camp. Here I was, thinking I was way ahead of the game until today, the first day of camp. Now I am verklempt with emotion thinking of all that still needs to be done! Starting with a fresh load of laundry!
My son came home with a soggy backpack filled with his wet towel and soaking wet bathing suits. Uh oh...forgot to send in plastic bags to put the wet items in. Oh well, no harm done. I’m sure the backpack will dry out by tomorrow morning. Then, as I was tossing my son’s wet bathing suit and SPF shirt into the washing machine, I realized that although I have enough bathing suits to get my son through a full week, I do not have enough SPF shirts!! I bought the only ones my son will wear (due to his sensory disorder) at a greatly reduced price, at the end of the season last year, but only purchased a few. I need at least 10. And at the peak of the season, this brand of SPF shirts are outrageous in price. They are seamless...they have no seams at all. It is the seams that bother my son to the point where he will just rip the shirt off and not bother to apply sunscreen on his exposed skin. So do I risk my husband’s wrath and shell out the money to buy shirts I know my son will wear? Or do I buy less expensive shirts, have them worn once and then tossed aside, only to be given away to someone else? Oy, I’m so verklempt!
Then we come to socks. Again, with my son’s sensory issues, he will only wear socks from one particular store. I have gone to 3 of these stores and looked on their internet site, only to find out that they are completely sold out of every color except black in my son’s size. My son has to wear a blue shirt to camp every day...couldn’t they have at least had blue? No blue at all. Only black. So I bought several pairs of black hoping others would think they were very dark blue. Oy vey.
Our next issue is my son’s upcoming birthday party in about a month. I still have to address and send out the invitations. I bought some of the party supplies. But the biggest issue is regarding one friend my son wants to invite. My son adores this friend. My husband loathes this kid due to some past indiscretions. My son has been begging my husband to invite this friend. My husband is literally threatening me with legal action if I invite this kid. Aghhhhh!!! Verklempt, verklempt, verklempt!!! Where is Calgon when you need it to take you away??
And, of course, why don’t we top it off with my son’s “birthday wish list.” I must admit, my son has very good taste. However, every item on my son’s list costs at least $50!! I tried to gently explain to my son that most people cannot afford to spend that amount of money on a birthday gift. It’s not sinking in. My creative son has come up with 100 different ways that guests can chip in and buy my son what he wants. I tried to explain that you can’t “tell” guests how to go about giving you the gifts you want. Guests make their own choices and you just have to hope to get what you want...or at least close to it. My son is just not “getting” it. He is “hyperfocused” (see last week’s blog for definition) on what he wants and only what he wants!!!! I’m so verklempt!!!
Since none of these things is a major catastrophe, only a miscellany of inconvenience, I think a dose of perceptiveness is really all I need. I mostly went through my son’s closet and replaced the heavy clothes for the lighter ones. I’m packing up my son’s second grade work and boxing it up to look through in the future. The one thing I haven’t quiet gotten to fully is my own closet. The cashmeres are still mixed among the sleeveless cotton shirts. But I did identify many items to give away. I also purchased some new summer clothing that will actually fit, so progress is being made.
I think I just need to sit down to a nice, cold iced coffee and bagel with just a shmear of cream cheese. That oughta do the trick!