Sunday, June 1, 2014

When is a Lloyd, not a Lloyd

I carried the name Lloyd on my long, solitary journey to the Holy Land, so many decades ago, only to discover that I was probably the only Lloyd in the whole State of Israel. Was this a new dynasty I was about to create, or would the Lloyd name peter out here altogether? One can only imagine the weight of the burden upon my shoulders.

"Will David Levid please come to room 9," a voice called out at the neighborhood clinic, as they tried to make sense of my name written in Hebrew (there are no vowels in the Hebrew script, so you see only the consonants and the rest is left to expectation). My last name has also been written in many different ways: Levid, Lavid (before I was asked to pronounce it) and Loid, Loyd (after I pronounced it).

But the writing and pronunciation of the last name Lloyd isn't what this piece is all about. Instead, we are going to delve deep and try discover the real significance of this name.

Our story begins with my daughter. She has to renew her Canadian passport - a feat in itself (see my prior blog entries on the subject) and came to me to get advice on how to do it. I told her that she has to pay by money order and that she should get the money order at the post office the same day, or the day before she submits the application - in case the Canadian dollar rate changes. She said okay, and a few days later (about two weeks before she was planning to submit the application) she phoned me from the post office telling me she was having a problem getting the money order. They didn't understand what she wanted. I wearily tried to understand why she was getting it so early, after we had earlier agreed that she'd wait, and then tried to explain what a money order exactly was, but she basically talked through my explanation:
"I am going to a different post office," she said, "one where they know what they are doing."
At that point I told her that she shouldn't be getting a money order at this time, anyway, and should wait until a closer date. In the meantime we could research the matter. Later I went into the Internet and sent her links to explanations by Israeli Post as to what a money order is and how to obtain it.

This continued to bother me after I switched off the phone. What disturbed me the most, was that after all of the neurotic effort I had put into raising my three children, my daughter wasn't acting like a Lloyd at all, but rather as an Oved. Now, I don't want the Oveds out there (and there are many) to become upset with me over this point. But hey - if I don't stick up for the Lloyd name, who will?

So I wrote a message to our Lloyd family group, which we affectionately call The Levids (you already know why), explaining why I felt that my daughter wasn't acting as a Lloyd, but rather as an Oved:

1) She didn't check to find out what a money order involves beforehand
2) She didn't go to the post office when I told her she should
3) She talked through my explanation.

How more Oved can you get? I told her, and my other children in The Levids group, that if they didn't put in more effort in being a Lloyd, their children would never know math, they would lose important documents and only discover that they were lost much later, they would never check the gas before leaving the house and the house would burn down, and they would never learn from their mistakes, but would simply say Lo Norah (It doesn't matter).

Well, my daughter, her Lloyd side boiling to the top, wasn't going to take this lying down. A message from her soon came through to the family group:

First of all, it is hutzpah to say that it was irresponsible to go to the postal office so early. I was simply following my Lloyd genes in doing something far before it needs to be done. In any other family, I would have gone straight to the embassy and then remembered that I hadn't gotten the money order. And I made R go with me to Raanana to get our pictures taken, as Abba David said that was the only place we should get them.

You wonder where the compulsive obsessive disorder and genes that I have inherited from the Lloyd Family appear in my life? Let me tell you.

1) I turn on 3 alarm clocks so that I will be sure to get up in the morning.
2) I ask R if he has also put on an alarm clock
3) I check to make sure that R turned off the water heater
4) I check to make sure that R locked the door.
5) I check to make sure that R closed all of the doors
6) I check to make sure that R turned off the gas after he cooks
7) I get into bed and then remember that I didn't check to see if the door is locked, the water heater is turned off, and the gas is turned off.
8) I check again to make sure that I turned on an alarm clock
9) I have to be somewhere at 10:00 and get there at 08:00
10) I pressure everyone around me to also be there at 08:00, even though the event begins at 10:00
11) I file every page/receipt/document that falls into my hands
12) I stand on the waiting line at the bank machine and not on the person who is taking out money
13) I arrive to see a movie at the cinema even before the advertisements begin
14) I don't get up to go to the washroom on a flight so as not to disturb the person next to me
15) Every morning I check to see that the keys are in my bag (even though I know they are there)

Should I continue??

Shot down and outLloyded by my own flesh and blood. Couldn't be more proud.