Last week I got an email from my only sibling and older brother, Brian, that simply stated, “I agree,” with a link below to an article that appeared in the New York Times on October 25, 2010 titled “Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier.” At once, I was both flattered and sad. Flattered that my brother shared with me his feelings regarding what my “sisterly chats” mean to him, and a bit sad since the article explains that “young people who had grown up with at least one sister tended to be happier and more optimistic.” Although I believe I am a pretty happy person, I began obsessing on how much happier I may be if only I had grown up in a house with a sister.
I was greatly relieved when towards the end of this article, the author, Deborah Tannen, concludes as a result of her own research that “the key to why having sisters makes people happier…may lie not in the kind of talk they exchange but in the fact of talk.” It’s not the content of the dialogue, but rather the continuity and the length of conversations that serve as comfort.
If it’s the act of “talking” that makes people happy, then I’ve hit the jackpot, even though I don’t have a sister whose genetics I share. On a daily basis, I draw insights and comfort from the conversations I swap with my mother and girlfriends. The range of topics we discuss is diverse, the information I learn significant. I realized that these are my “sisters”, and they represent some of my most valuable and meaningful relationships.
This sisterly “talk” is the inspiration for my blog, SISTER in the HOOD. I learn so much from my conversations and shared experiences with other women, and will use SISTER in the HOOD as a forum to dialogue and blog about topics of interest to Pittsburgh Jewish women. I intend to cover topics of interest to the Jewish professional woman, as well as the stay-at-home mom. Whether it’s how a local Jewish CEO balances work and family, a local women’s torah study club, Elena Kagan as our newest Supreme Court Justice, or the appropriateness of diet resolutions for the Jewish New Year, I plan to present a broad range of topics that will help to generate a conversation among Pittsburgh’s Jewish sisterhood. After all, if we believe the advice of author Deborah Tannen, conversation and “talk”, will make us happier!
This electronic dialogue will only work if you talk back. So, …please continue to read my blog, post comments, offer topics of interest, criticize, engage, and together, let’s enjoy beginning a community-wide dialogue to unite us in capturing our female and Jewish identities.