Tales of a Wannabe Kollel Wife

Written by Yael Levy on . Posted in Advice Columns

Author’s note: These vignettes are true stories based on true stories. All characters are real; names have been changed to protect the innocent. Hindsight is 20/20. I share my world with you because 1.) my life is crazy and hilarious, 2.) we are so immersed in our mundane hectic lives that we forget to stop and smell the roses, and 3.) by stopping to hear my tales, maybe you’ll be reminded to see the silver lining in your life and take some laughs along the way.


We Schlep, We HAUL, We Budget - Part III

There was one more haul.

Leo’s friend Harry had called us a month or so earlier. It just so happened that as we were moving in, his grandmother was moving out (to a nursing home). She had an entire Brooklyn apartment full of stuff needing repossession. Harry thought of us. Did we want kosher dishes? A bed? Dressers? A recliner? And a mahogany wardrobe?

We jumped at the offer for free stuff; after all, we did need kosher dishes, a bed, dressers, a recliner, and a mahogany wardrobe. We arranged to pick up our new-found furniture.

Dr. D knew the streets and shortcuts like the back of his hand. Having rented the truck in the DMV, I was the only one insured to drive. One problem: I was the only one with no New York driving experience. Our curious caravan cruised through Manhattan and Brooklyn like a chicken with its head cut off.

DC driving is a walk in the park compared to New York City driving. Moving vehicles take highway driving to the streets, even neighborhood sidestreets with cars parked on either side. Drivers smirk at the speed limit and parallel park in the blink of an eye. Then, when you want to turn, you discover the street one-way only.

Dr. D directed my flow: “Turn here — now!” “Go, go, go.” “N’ase v’nishma.”

I didn’t have time to think.

To top it off, we had one car of yeshiva bochurs following and Bean chose to ride in the back of the truck with the boxes. So, every fifteen minutes or so we’d hear a thump and pull over — Bean needed air. I think Bean preferred privacy to enjoy the reward for his work, paid in advance. By the time we got to Harry, his case of beer was half-gone.

When we arrived, it was like extracting that loose tooth that just doesn’t want to budge. Harry wanted the things out, but the place wasn’t ready for any change. Harry was in over his head. When he invited us, he really meant “Take everything.”

We left with the kosher dishes (dairy, meat, and a beautiful Passover set — special sink included), the bed, the dressers, the recliner and the mahogany wardrobe. Still, we had barely made a dent. The apartment was almost as full as our apartment would become.

Harry gave up and abandoned the apartment.

Now the clock was ticking. The truck would turn into a pumpkin, or cost us $500 more, if we didn’t make it to the depot in time. Our transportation back to DC for continued wedding prep would not wait if we were late.

So, we hurried back. Would the dishes, the bed, the dressers, the recliner and the mahogany wardrobe fit? We hadn’t processed that little detail, but somehow things worked out.

Well, everything was inside now. With our lives towering before us, we closed and locked the door.

Yael Levy is a veteran wannabe kollel wife. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.