My Numbers Go Right up to 30
OpinionShaindle’s Shpiel

My Numbers Go Right up to 30

There's special meaning behind the numerical list.

Shaindle Schmuckler

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

In the deepest cockles of my imagination, I thought I heard the screeching sirens of our new fire engines leaving our new firehouse and heading toward my home.

They weren’t, but they very well could have been.

The past few weeks I have become intimately familiar with numbers. Some numbers brought back fond memories, some not so much. Some numbers are current.

I will enlighten you soon enough. For now, the following are some numbers I share with the universe that you may or may not relate to, in no particular order: 10, 58, 90, 18, 30, 25, 316, 4, 7, 36, 20, 45, 2, 5 and 1.

Spend a few minutes with those numbers. Some will speak to you and reveal their secrets. Others, like 45, might not.

My dad (z”l) insisted I learn my times tables. Why he started with the nines I never knew. Think quickly: How much is five times nine? Well done if you answered 45.

Of course, beginning with the nines meant the ones were a snap.


When we lived in Tampa, CB radios were all the rage. We anointed ourselves with handles. Given names were forbidden on the airwaves. My handle was Lady Silver Bullet. And there you have it: 90.

One and done.

In the ’70s the divorce rate of friends and colleagues seemed to be out of control. Second marriages, even third, were making clergy rich. Gene and I were forever checking in with each other. It was a zeitgeist filled with the need for speed and change — a time we survived.

Two sisters, 10 grandchildren, four girls and four sons-in-love.

Thirty-six — changing my life forever.

On one of the most beautiful days in January 1981, I felt as if I had been handed the keys to a kingdom. I started my third career in a place that would give new meaning to the Atlanta Jewish community. I accepted the position of director of Camp AJECOMCE at the Atlanta Jewish Community Center. Thirty-six years later, I am still blessed with the keys to this kingdom. It seems every day a new door is unlocked, offering new opportunities and experiences for my beloved community.

Seven of 10.

The left turn off the highway onto the pebbled road up to Camp Barney makes me smile and feel happy. Seven of our 10 grandchildren share the experience as the Barney buses, filled with their friends, meander into camp.

Twenty-five, maybe 30.

The number of bees who bit me. I was out of town for a few days, and on my return, I noticed a few of my plants in a state of dehydration. I put my hand on the spigot, and before I knew what hit me, I was covered in bee stings.

The hospitalist (the politically correct title for the physician working in the hospital) counted more than 25 stings.

And now the moment of enlightenment: 30.

I am not an expert when it comes to hair dryers or curling irons. I am not a klutz, just an average user. I was — operative word being was — an expert with various types of hot rollers. Alas, hot rollers are passé.

I had my hair cut a week or so ago to correct some serious damage I had sustained during a particularly aggressive hair-drying moment. Every morning since then — and, truth be told, every evening as well — I play with this haircut to find what makes me feel comfortable. (By comfortable, I mean pretty, as in vanity, vanity, wherefore art thou, Shaindle?)

My curling iron is simple to use. Plug it into a receptacle, and turn it on. It also has a wheel you can turn to five numbers. I never moved the wheel to find out how those numbers would affect my hairstyle. No need to mess with something that works.

Those numbers, as I learned just days ago, indicate the heat level of the curling iron.

Thirty will burn 2 inches off your hair.

And there you have it! How do I ever make it through my day?

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