What kind of bracha maker are you?
1) The before but not after: Let’s face it. Sometimes you eat, but you never seem to remember the bracha achrona. Can it be because the after brachos are only optional as other mitzvos like shomer negia, the “other 4” fasts, and giving tzedaka? Sometimes you’ll say the borei nefashos because it’s so short, but who the hell has al hamichya memorized (and doesn’t veer off into Rachem in Bircas Hamazon)? Maybe you’re in class, on the bus, or driving, but saying the bracha achrona is as rare as a motzei pesach where every pizza shop is EMPTY.
2) The mumbler: I don’t know if it’s because the generation is on such a high madreiga or if the malachim can really pick out what we say but some people just slur every bracha (and some parts of davening).Benching could also take only 1 minute. It pisses me off when the chazan or kiddush maker just mumbles over Hashem’s name. I will say this: if there’s ever a competition to crown the guy who can read the fastest without pronouncing the words (I said guy because we all know women should never be allowed to read hebrew), you can be sure he’s not a ger.
3) The kavanah guy: We’ve all seen these people around. They take so much time on their brachos, and sometimes they close their eyes while pronouncing Hashem’s name. I get it. You’re much frumer than I am, but when you’re making brachos please don’t make it look like you’re in the bathroom.
4) The whisperer/ a.k.a. the guy who doesn’t want you to get zechus for saying amen to his bracha: This goes against everything you learned about doing chessed for your fellow. Here you are with a golden opportunity to give somebody the mitzvah of saying amen(there’s a book on this), but instead you say it so the others cannot hear! Ok, you know what? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt (even though that mitzvah may be optional, too… See negiah, shomer) that you have been mumbling the brachos for so long that you actually FORGOT them, so now you have to fake it just so that your family can continue participating in the Jewish community.
5)The guy who never knows the exact bracha: Remember the last time you were eating something and you didn’t know the bracha? You stop and look at your friend mid-bracha as you frame the bracha as a question. “Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam…(pause, point to food) shehakol ???” If he says no, you have a decision to make: do you start the bracha again? Do you say Baruch Shem Kevod? Any decision you make could warrant some time in the furnace after you’re dead, so be careful. Sometimes you could be with a person who says, “you can make shehakol on anything.”
6) The forget the bracha guy: Ok. You forgot to make it, but you have the food or drink in your mouth. What do you do? Swallow the portion and make a bracha? Spit it out, and then make a bracha? I hate those who remind you while you’re chewing by exclaiming “bracha!” These same malachim min hashamayim may also scream out the actual name of the bracha you should have said. Sometimes you don’t know if you made the bracha, so what do you do?
7) The reminder: If you have parents who are frummer than you ever care to be, you may find that they remind you to make a bracha as they hand you the food. It’s funny years later when they find out you are no longer frum, and they have absolutely no idea why. Blame the school? Blame his friends? Hey, why don’t try loving the religion if when every time a piece of challa is stuffed in your face you are greeted with the warm words, “and don’t forget to wash.” Yeshiva tuition down the drain.