Are Savvy Aunties Hot Mamalahs?
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Lisa Alcalay Klug
Lisa Alcalay Klug (lisaklug.com) is an award-winning journalist, author, speaker, and media coach. She is currently at work on a memoir. This post is one in series in a blog tour celebrating the release of her new book, Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe. Learn more about the blog tour here. And read sample posts here. Join her Smokin’ Hot Mamalah Book Launch Giveaway valued at $300 here. Follow her on Twitter: @lisaklug and on Facebook.com/LisaAlcalayKlug.
I recently came out with a new book. It's called Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe.
If you're not familiar with this term, you may not know that being a hot mamalah is very much in tune with being a Savvy Auntie. A mamalah is literally “mommy” in Yiddish, but it's used for everyone, moms and non-moms alike. In Israel, for example, you, your mom, your nana, your BFF, and even your infant nephew could all be described by a friendly stranger with the words, "Oy, such a mamalah!" (Naturally, she is a mamalah, too.) It's the all-purpose term of affection, regardless of your history or potential to parent. In other words, your relationship to child-bearing is 150% irrelevant...
You know plenty of hot mamalahs already—the kind of women who are fun, fearless, and fluent in fabulous. Of course, any hot mamalah could, at times, be plagued by doubt. That's a normal part of being a human being. But a truly hot mamalah is not going to worry about what other people think. She is not going to be intimidated by the buxom co-worker who always gets want she wants, the sexy mommy on the playground, or the snotty saleswoman at Nordstrom's. A hot mamalah is hot because she summons up the fire in her belly that we all have. And she takes that fire and uses it to know what she wants and goes for it. A hot mamalah is the woman who wakes up in the morning with plans to conquer what terrifies her. She might say, “Today, I’m going to ask for a raise. Today, I’m going to rebrand myself.” Or “Today, I’m finally going to let him propose."
When you're a hot mamalah, you act with the confidence, charm, and courage to stand up for what you want. You’ve got purpose, power, and passion. You just can’t help but be lovable.
Whoops. I have a habit of speaking in hat tricks: like “fun, fearless, fluent in fabulous,” or “confidence, charm, and courage. Purpose, power, and passion…” Oops. I did it again. That is a trifecta of triads right there.
It’s time to add a fourth to break this pattern. When it comes to your ability to manifest the fire in your belly, how do you do it? You do it with three critical tools: humor, playfulness, and Yiddish. Just go with me here... Yiddish can truly help you to actualize the fire in your belly.
Sure, you could easily develop a better sense of humor and playfulness by reading my book, Hot Mamalah. But as a special introductory, no-money down offer, I’m going to present a few helpful tips in this post. Yes, we are going to expand your Yiddish vocabulary right here and now...because as a very expressive, colorful language, Yiddish is naturally filled with enough humor and playfulness to make you a hotter mamalah in minutes.
You probably already know some Yiddish words, like klutz, glitch and shmuck. These three (there I go again) are among the countless examples of Yiddishisms already livening up the English language. I bet you know at least a few more.
Now, how to put Yiddish to work for you?
Shmuck, Mensch, and Chutzpah
Let's say, you have a neighbor whose dog always poops on your lawn. You know it. Your neighbor knows it. That guy is a confirmed shmuck. How do you get the situation remedied and still be a mensch, an honorable, thoughtful, helpful soul who cares deeply for others? A hot mamalah always gets her point across with grace and a little chutzpah. That's Yiddish for gumption, courage, and boldness. Just march on over to your neighbor's place with six months worth of plastic bags you've been meaning to recycle. Hand them to your neighbor and say, "Here, I guess you've run out. Now you can make sure your dog doesn't leave me any more gifts."
Oy Vey and Yenta
Or let’s say you're in a social setting with a lot of moms and you're the odd auntie out. If anyone puts you in a painful, uncomfortable or awkward position by asking you how many kids you have, you can simply use another Yiddishism and say, "Oy vey. I forgot to have kids." And if a yenta or another busybody asks how old you are, you can just say, "Mamalah, my age is an unlisted number."
Glitch, Shmooze, and Nu
But being a hot mamalah is great for more than just sticky situations. It can also get you perks almost anywhere you go... In fact, the "Big O of Shopping" for any mamalah is getting a discount...anywhere. Let's say you've found the perfect outfit. But there’s a glitch in the sweater or a button missing from the coat. You’ve already checked the rack for another one that isn't flawed and you can't find one. So, you simply approach the manager, shmooze them up and ask for nu, ten, twenty, ninety-five percent off! And if you need inspiration, look no further than the original mamalahs, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. Our biblical matriarchs knew how to…
Kibbitz and Kvetch
When else can being a mamalah help you out? A mamalah knows no strangers. And her greatest pleasure is helping AND feeding others. With this knowledge, kibbitz like crazy and make friends everywhere you go.
And if for some reason, you’ve run out of spare tampons in the bathroom or another snack pack at the ball game for your new best friend, you can always try complaining in the form of a question. In Yiddish, we call that kvetching. Every hot mamalah knows a complaint is the quintessential conversation starter. As in, “Don’t you wish this post "weren’t" over?”
Published: November 13, 2012