Sorry for the late post today. On Chanukah we eat gelt: Chocolate coins. I had twenty dollars worth this morning... I can't type when I'm in the throes of a sugar high... Now I'm just a little buzzed. (Start with "Monday" if you can. You probably already read it out of boredom waiting for me to post today.)
So what were we talking about? Oh right. Chanukah: "The Festival of Complaints".
Jewish holidays rely on the Hebrew calendar. So every year they come out on a different day on our calendar. And the dates vary widely. So if you have a Jewish coworker, trust me: Every year they're not just pulling dates out of their butt to get out of work... well, maybe a little. It is a dandy excuse.
Chanukah for instance started last night. So you'll hear the universal kvetch:
"It's so early this year. It's practically right on top of Thanksgiving."
Next year it shows up on December 20th so the chant will be:
"It's so late this year. We'll be stuck in the stores with everyone shopping for Christmas."
The year after, it arrives on December 8th. Not too early. Not too late. Just right. But you'll never hear anyone say that.
In my opinion, the only thing worse than going to a holiday party with all of your relatives is going to a holiday party with some of your relatives... and their friends.
The problem is that when your relatives breed, they start to hang around with others who do too It's bad enough when you have old aunts and uncles prying their way into your uterus. But they feel like they have the right to. There's a sense of entitlement. They know you. "I used to change your diaper!"
How many people changed my diaper for crying out loud?! If you add them all up, I must not have been toilet trained until third grade. You'd think I'd remember something like that. Maybe it will come out in therapy one day.
Anway... So these diaper changer relatives think because they knew you before you could wipe yourself, they have the license to ask you whatever.
But it's a two-way street. They can be open, honest, and indiscreet to me, and I can be rude, obnoxious, and insulting to them. It's how we show love.
Aunt: "So when are you going to start your new family already?'
Me: "Soon I hope. This old one's had it."
Attending a party at your sister-in-law's house in suburbia with her friends whom you don't know, is a whole 'nother story.
It's like an Abbott and Costello routine with yawns in place of laughs.
"Hi I'm "Whoever" from across the street. Do you live nearby? What kind of work do you do? That's interesting. Do you like it? What kind of work does your husband do? That's interesting. Does he like it? Do you have kids? Oh."
"Hi I'm "Whatever" from across the street. No, I'm not in the first house on the block. "Whoever" is the first house on the block. I'm the second. Do you live nearby? What kind of work do you do? That's interesting. Do you like it? What kind of work does your husband do? That's interesting. Does he like it? Do you have kids? Oh."
"Hi I'm "Wherever" from across the street.
"'Whoever' is the first house on the block. I'm the third house on the block.
"'Whatever' is the second house on the block. She's my neighbor. Do you live nearby? What kind of work do you? That's interesting. Do you like it? What does your husband do? That's interesting . Does he like it? Do you have kids? Oh."
Of course you can't help being a little depressed (maybe a little more than just a little) that these people have nothing else to say to you once they find out you don't have kids. Think of it this way: This may be the only time when not having kids actually saved your life: It kept you from dying of boredom. And that is quite the bright side.
Listen, I gotta go. Gotta find some more chocolate coins. Gotta get gelt.
I'll talk to ya again tomorrow.