! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mirror Mirror.......

How do I look? Apparently........ the answer is open to interpretation.

When I woke up this morning and Gazed dreamily into my manly, yet jewel-encrusted vanity- I had trouble recognizing myself. I looked as if I had just climbed Mount Doom over the period of a year with Gollum as my only companion. Call me crazy.

Wasn't it JUST the other day that I got CARDED at Ralphs while trying to buy a pack of cigarettes without anyone taking notice? The young lady at the checkout asked to see my I.D. when I whispered my secret request. I'm pretty sure I cackled like a crazy old woman and informed her that my JACKET was over 30 years old! Still, she insisted on looking at my license and then.... her eyes bulged out of her head.... she gasped, clutching her bosom and began to chortle (en Espanol) to the (again, quite young) lady next to her station.

When she regained her composure, she asked me how old I really was. I asked her what the birth date was on my license? She looked again and said 1954. I then asked her to do the math. As I saw the puzzled expression criss-cross her bonita (and young) visage, it began to dawn on me that it was possible she might not be the brightest star in the galaxy. Call me crazy.

Was it possible, after all, that I did NOT actually appear to be somewhere between 18 and 21 years of age? My ego-crash (mere seconds after my boost) was a crushing blow. I drove home (chain smoking ) and flew to the mirror. It was only the week before that a "gentleman caller" had commented on how many mirrors there were in my home (Commonly known as the DOLL HOUSE). I had never really given it any thought but I remember looking at him quizzically (THIS, I remember- his name, not so much) and honestly not comprehending his thought process. He said that he had been watching me all afternoon- and that whenever I moved more than say, a FOOT, that I looked at myself in one reflective surface or another and that while doing so, checked out my HAIR each and every time. Honestly, I was flabbergasted. I stopped to think about it, reflect upon it, one might say.

TWELVE- Yes, I counted. Twelve mirrors in 650 square feet of living space. Didn't count the ones hanging outside in the garden (is that cheating? Oy.) Is TWELVE too many? The question hangs in the air like a grotesque spider delicately balanced on a whisper-thin dewy and glistening magical thread. The answer?


I really was completely unaware that I had (what some might say) a LOT of mirrors (most of which are after all, DECOR!) and not even conscious of the fact that I was looking at myself in each one of them as I gesticulated wildly, not unlike a frenzied Gypsy Peasant Girl (To be fair, my "friend" did not actually USE those words, yet they were still somehow implied). Call me crazy.

I'm still thinking about it all, still unsure that it's a BAD thing. My sister once suggested that it was possible that I cared too much about my appearance.......much to my chagrin. While it may be true that I look at myself periodically throughout the day, it is a rare thing indeed, to find that I am pleased with what I see. It DOES happen, truth be told. and I will admit that I have said the words (aloud)- while gazing (again-dreamily, of course) at my reflection- "Jean Claude Van Damme I look good" ! ( I heard it somewhere- I think the "Fresh Prince") Call me crazy.

Only tomorrow will tell. I may get a great nights sleep (courtesy of the Valley of the Dolls) and awake refreshed. After a shower and shave along with moisturizer from head to toe, I'll rub a little Jergens 'Natural Glow" on my face and arms (It "creates a healthy summer glow- all year long"!) and put a little product in my (cut every four weeks) hair. I find a combination of "Sheer Blonde" Healthy Attitude leave-in nourishing spray and Redken "Outshine" anti-frizz polishing milk- is just the thing. Somewhere between a splash of cologne and deciding on whether to wear 501's or board shorts- I MAY glance at myself. I might look okay. I might look like Methuselah .....but apparently, I'm going to look. Is it a bad thing?

MAYBE. Call me crazy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Let My People Go

Well, Pesach in California was fine, sort of a mellow, laid back, somewhat jovial homage to enslaved Jews the world over. The scene in Florida, not so much.


MOM has long ago given up the desire to be scraping gefilte fish off the ceiling for months following the event, so she (quite smartly) has long since passed the baton to younger and stronger relatives. The performance this year took place at a theater I have attended before- the Boynton Beach Playhouse located in the southern region of the always charming (I mean sweltering) southern tier of the Florida panhandle.

Even though MOM is seventy-five years old, still works for a living and has a loving-but-not-always-with-it HUSBAND, AUNT had no qualms about asking MOM to prepare somewhere between nine and fourteen traditional holiday dishes. Never mind that MOM has a bad back, a bad arm,a bum leg and difficulty breathing (I mean smoking) and barely has the time to apply her usual parrot-green eye shadow- AUNT , who has a state of the art kitchen, grown children (BOY and GIRL COUSIN) of her own and UNCLE to assist (I mean complain about) .......still asked MOM to cook. (WTF?)

Maybe it has something to do with this particular holiday (I mean Passover). If you require someone to act like a slave, enlightenment will follow.

So MOM does what is asked of her, saving the discussion (I mean complaining) of same for me; The ne'er do well son who can't be bothered to get on a plane & haul his ass to Florida to see his MOM on this all-important holiday, even though it "could be her last, God forbid"

The Kugel is made, the tsimmis is cooled, the chopped liver sprinkled ever so lightly with a dusting of boiled egg....the stage is set!

MOM loads the all purpose dolly with enough food to supply a third world nation and loads the Jew Canoe (I mean car) in only three trips from the eighth floor of her condo, stopping between trips to catch her breath (I mean smoke). She straps HUSBAND in (after explaining for the fifth time that they are going to AUNT and UNCLE's) and silently prays that he doesn't pee before reaching their destination.

MOM and HUSBAND arrive at the "planned community" (I mean prison) that AUNT and UNCLE call home and ring the bell. DOG barks. HUSBAND asks if they are at the bank. DOG- delirious to see new people who aren't screaming at each other (I mean yet) knocks the bundt cake right out of HUSBAND's hands, sending him and GRANDMA's antique platter to the floor. (somehow, no hips are broken in the process)

As MOM huffs and puffs to the kitchen laden with dishes, BOY and GIRL COUSIN ignore her and continue bickering over which of their BABIES is taller/cuter/smarter- BABY BOY or BABY GIRL.

AUNT, meanwhile, is spied in the kitchen, inspecting her nails and checking out her reflection in a butter knife. As they sit to begin the solemn Seder service, BABY GIRL begins to shriek. Apparently, an alligator has smelled children (I mean brisket) and has ambled up to the lanai to check it out, wreaking havoc in the dining room. Clearly this is all too much for GIRL COUSIN (who immediately begins to cry) and she races out of the house to collect herself (I mean snort coke)

By the time GIRL COUSIN returns (sans appetite) they are already on the third glass of wine (I mean vodka) and AUNT is still hollering at UNCLE to get rid of the alligator (who isn't taking "no" for an answer).

BOY COUSIN has a (possibly LESBIAN) WIFE who refuses to eat a thing, reminding everyone that she is a vegetarian. MOM points out (tearfully) that she slaved (there's that word again!) over several dishes prepared especially for LESBIAN (I mean vegetarian) and can't understand why the words 'Chef Boyardee' mean nothing to the WIFE- if anyone understands meatless, surely it's the world famous chef, himself!

UNCLE takes a break from drinking the traditional twelfth glass of wine (I mean vodka) to step out to said Lanai and smoke. BOY COUSIN ( who only smokes in secret) demands that he stop immediately, lest BABY BOY inhale the noxious fumes and AUNT takes BOY COUSIN's side. This upsets GIRL COUSIN, (who once again breaks down in tears) and she runs out of the house to locate BABY GIRL's pacifier (I mean snort coke)

After the smoke clears it's time for something extremely fattening (I mean dessert) and the search for the Afikomen (I mean a piece of matsoh wrapped in a napkin that smells slightly of cat urine).
Although the youngsters in the house are the "chosen one's" to tear the house apart looking for the urine-soaked unleavened bread, GIRL COUSIN doesn't feel that enough attention is on her, so she quite naturally begins sobbing and flees to the bathroom to fix her makeup (I mean snort coke) -meanwhile her own HUSBAND has long since retired to the extra bedroom (I mean den) to watch baseball and MOM"s HUSBAND decides this would be an excellent time to pee- forgetting altogether that he is sitting on the divan (I mean couch)


MOM gets out the inhaler so that she can breathe (I mean smoke) and declares that this is absolutely, positively the last time she works like a dog (who is still licking cake off the floor) to be faced with the drama that is her (I mean my) family.

She collects HUSBAND (while quietly flipping the couch cushion) , declares that not only can they call a caterer next year, they can also kiss her flat white ass and marches (I mean hobbles) out the door, swearing under her (labored) breath.

UNCLE smiles and waves, wondering aloud if there is any wine (I mean vodka) left, while flinging a piece of brisket to the alligator. GIRL COUSIN violently blows her nose, oblivious to the fact that blood is coursing down her cheek. LESBIAN (I mean WIFE) checks her pant suit to make sure there is no meat on it- BOY COUSIN measures height of BOY BABY one last time and AUNT touches up her nails.

MOM and HUSBAND zoom off at seven miles per hour and the curtain falls. Like all Jewish Holidaze, the story needs to be told. After all, It's a classic.

Passover- No Chocolate Bunny For Me!

It's that time of year again....gnashing of teeth, copious weeping, family dysfunction and a general air of despair seemingly reserved for the Jew in all of us, but what does it all really mean?

Every year at this time, I am reminded that the Good Sweet Lord Above was either a. far more interested in us during biblical times, or b. a major drama queen who's histrionics peaked early on. It never escapes me that life was far more colorful and exciting while Moses was bossing his extremely aggravating flock around. Apparently, every one of the Pharaoh's slaves were far too preoccupied with drunken cavorting and casting false idols (Sanjaya comes to mind) than they were with getting the hell out of Dodge.

Forty years seems like an awfully long time to be wandering aimlessly in the desert-enough time to reach the Holy Land a thousand times over-but no time to bake a decent loaf of bread!

I can't remember even one instance of Divine Intervention during my tenure on the planet. No burning bushes, no voices from on-high. As far as I know, the Los Angeles river has never parted, even to allow gang bangers to scribble their homie's names on it's fabricated banks.

What happened to learning life-lessons via plagues, pestilence and smiting? When was the last time you heard on the evening news that some nasty evil doer had been "smote" ? I'm telling you, in comparison to the days of yore, life is just plain dull.
Maybe we have become boring and the bearded one has moved on to a different Universe- one where the common folk are still awe-struck by lightening bolts, hoardes of insects (I guess Dow Chemical showed him a thing or two!) and where the Angel of Death packs less of a wallop than, say, the Easter Bunny.

That would explain a lot. Rosie O'Donnell, for instance. Or for that matter, our obsession with finding the next Pussycat Doll. I would love to live in a world where I could smear my electric bill with pigs blood, nail it to the front door and pray that the Edison Company would soar over Santa Monica, leaving me to my own devices.

Honestly, a good locust attack might just wake us all up a bit. Imagine how "Survivor" would play out if one of the challenges involved building a pyramid out of chopped liver, or smelting earrings into the Ark of the Covenant.