And now.. My week with God.
I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious household. We’re Jewish and both my brother and I went through religious education and, ultimately, were both Bar Mitzvah’ed. But, that’s when it stopped. In fact, the last time I attended a full synagogue service was my brother’s Bar Mitzvah, sometime in 1995.
My girlfriend’s mother’s family is more observant than mine. Her step-mom, meantime, is Italian.
So, Passover/Easter week started at my parents’ house, where the soup had matzoh balls and there was an unopened box of Matzoh somewhere in the kitchen. The most Jewish thing was my dad’s Shtick, which is a yiddish word that means “you’re not as funny as you think you are and, in fact, you’re kind of exhausting to talk to right now. “
The next night, we went to Danielle’s cousins’ house on the Upper West Side for an actual Passover seder. An actual 2 hours before you eat, dip parsley in salt water while you salivate over chicken in the other room, Passover seder. It’s actually very interesting. You hear the story, you think about what it means, you get in touch with your spiritual self. Except in this case, there is a 17 year old Upper West side prep school kid sitting next to me. And he’s spent his entire life being told he’s the smartest, most talented, most interesting young man who has ever walked the Earth. And he’s decided that this particular Passover seder is where he is going to show off his myriad skills. So, after every short reading, he weighed in with his impressions of what that particular part of the Passover story means. Or he decided to translate the Hebrew and point out that the English version we were using wasn’t semantically perfect (it was semiticly perfect. Get it? WORDS ARE FUN!) The greatest part of the night came when we came to one of the many songs that are part of the Seder.
“Wait, this song needs some trumpet,” said our young genius. He then got up, left the room and came back WITH A TRUMPET. And then he PLAYED IT!!!! Loudly. At 8:30 on a Monday night in an Upper West Side Apartment building where other people live and were, conceivably, trying to enjoy their own Passover celebrations. Here’s the thing about the trumpet. No one ever wants to hear the trumpet. It’s never appropriate to bring it with you when you’re invited to someone else’s home, nor is it appropriate to pull it out and play it during dinner. In fact, the only time its appropriate to play a trumpet is if you are leading a jazz funeral in New Orleans.
The next night, it was back to my parents, for more matzoh balls and more shtick and even less religion. We did, however, get a new cart for our kitchen. It has a butcher block top and cabinets for pots and pans. I really like it.
Easter was a few days later. For that, we travelled to Danielle’s step-niece’s in-laws’ house in Philadelphia.
As far as I can remember, this was my first Easter dinner. And it was a perfectly pleasant big Italian meal and then a ton of dessert. And everyone was incredibly nice considering I was a stranger who came along with a step-relative of an in-law. There’s really nothing to complain about. I will now complain anyway. Holy shit, the Philadelphia accent is worse than any other accent I’ve ever heard, EVEN BOSTON!
My sister in law is from Baltimore. The first time I met her family and heard them speak, I honestly thought they were joking around. I didn’t even know there was a Baltimore accent. But it exists. It seems to center on over-pronouncing the letter O.
So, the Philadelphia accent is the Baltimore accent mixed with Bayonne Italian. It’s over-pronounced O’s plus the word “you’s,” as in, “What time did you’s guys get hoooome?” It’s rough to listen too.
Better than the trumpet, though.
Last time, I asked for reader opinions on whether or not I should continue doing the SI Review section of the SI Review posts, or if I should just stick to my ridiculous musings. The best suggestion came from Kevin:
Jenkins writes about Ron Howard, who is a guard for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and not the director of Big. He is the all time leading scorer in D League history and is happy playing in Fort Wayne. There is no mention, however, of who the second leading scorer in D League history is. And, since the league is only 7 years old, it’s probably someone we’ve heard of. I will now google. Please hold..
Nope, I’ve never heard of Renaldo Major.