Monday, September 01, 2008


Heard recently at the weekly crafts fair at the Bet Adam School on Emek Refaim Street:

Friend of Chayyei Sarah: I just love looking at all this jewelry. Isn’t this gorgeous? Ooooh, look at this table over here!

CS [slightly bored]: mmmm hm. Very nice.

FOCS: Are you going to buy anything?

CS: I don’t think so. I don’t need any more new clothes or jewelry. I just did a lot of shopping when I was in the States . . . Oh! Look! The used books table! They’ve always got lots of English books! Meet me over there, OK?

--20 minutes later—

FOCS: So, did you find anything, Sarah?

CS: Yes! Look! I’ve been needing a copy of Wuthering Heights! And I’m getting this copy of The Lady and the Unicorn -- it's by the woman who wrote Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Virgin Blue -- and I’m thinking about buying this book by Maeve Binchy, who wrote Circle of Friends.


CS: What, ew?

FOCS: Those are hard books! I like easy books.

CS: What, you mean, like, Danielle Steel?!?

FOCS: Yup.

CS: Ew!

FOCS: I don’t know how we are friends, Sarah.

CS: You are so East Side, and I am so West Side. *

FOCS: I’m going back to the jewelry. Find me when you’re done, OK?

We both left the fair happy with our purchases: She with a beaded necklace in a trillion colors, and me with my books by Emily Bronte and Tracy Chevalier. And we’re still friends.


* A few years ago, in the now-defunct “Metropolitan Diary” section of the New York Times, was a little vignette about a woman who was moving from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Upper East Side.

“Lady, you ain’t gonna like it on the East Side,” her mover said as he was carrying boxes to the truck.

Appalled, she asked how he could possibly predict such a thing without knowing her.

“I move a lot of people,” the mover said. “People on the East Side have more clothes than books. People on the West Side have more books than clothes. You’ve got a lot of books, lady. You ain’t gonna like it on the East Side.”

A year later, the woman wrote, she was back on the West Side.

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