Too much contemplation Wednesday night left me with a pounding headache Thursday morning. Since I am an adult, no one can force me to go to synagogue services. And this, THIS, is the only advantage of adulthood. The rest of the time I am desperately trying to reverse time and go back to my days at Camp Wingate. But, being able to skip out on synagogue is a BIG advantage of adulthood and may even be worth having to earn a living. I think that says more about my feeling about going to synagogue than anything else.
I stayed back as POB (partner of blogger) and SOS (our son, source of sanity) went off for morning services and prepared the house for our traditional family luncheon. Attendees: FOPOB (father of POB), SOPOB (sister of POB), NOPOB (our nephew), DOB (Dad of Blogger), SOB (sister of blogger), HOSOB (husband of SOB), Cousin Gentle, CB (Cousin Birder), and Uncle Larry and Aunt Roz.
I knew that the world was different that day because Uncle Larry and Aunt Roz came early and DOB came late. Assuming that therefore DOB was dying in front of an ER somewhere in the city, I made SOB call DOB on his cell phone to make sure he was alive. SOB reminded me that if DOB didn’t answer, it could just be that he didn’t hear it. DOB has perfect hearing, he asserts, because his doctor hasn’t told him otherwise. I posit that DOB just doesn’t HEAR the doctor telling him he is deaf. You can see how this conversation continues in one of those endless loops that runs through every family gathering.
DOB arrived as SOB and I were having this crazy conversation, a sort of anxiety induced cocktail with a garnish of dark humor. So, we established that he was alive but we could not have a verdict on his deafness. Nevertheless, all were accounted for and we toasted each other and the world in all its wonder and goodness and hoped that these would triumph over the evil and despoliation. DOB liked the wine even though it was way more expensive than he would ever buy. He won’t admit it, but I know he does like our wine more than the $3.50 Trader Joe’s rot gut that he thinks is suchabargain (Jews say that phrase like it is one word).
We ate, we drank, we opined, we nodded off, we relaxed. NOPOB stayed over and I fell fast asleep in my clothes. POB had to deal with two rambunctious boys. The take-away is that the new year is one day old, I am already soooo in debt to POB.
Today we went to the Museum of Natural History because it was clear that our two young charges could not sit through a second day of services at synagogue. Ok, I couldn’t either. POB is strong, strong, and could do it. Really, she can. She could also crawl across a desert if necessary. But we have learned to decline certain invitations, including both Survivor: Sahara and Survivor: Synagogue.
I did feel guilty passing all the Yamikazes (pronounced like Kamikazes, the Japanese suicide pilots, except they are Jews who wear skull caps) — with their families on their way to synagogue, but I figured there were enough suffering Jews in the world and I didn’t need to be one of them, at least not today.
Still, the museum was no picnic. We needed to stay interested when all we wanted to do was nap during a movie at the Planetarium. But, nooooo, the boys wanted to see the permanent exhibits of the Planetarium, the Hall of Bio-Diversity, the Hall of the Ocean Life (with the ginormous whale), and the Gift Shop. At any point, I could have lied on the floor and created the “snoozing mammal” exhibit. They do need some modern soft sculpture there. Did you ever notice that there is never enough space given to the sloths and their species? Ok, sloths are boring, but they do nap in the craziest of places.
I nap in the craziest of places. I do the least I can do. And I move slowly (for a New Yorker). Aha!! I am the missing link between human and sloth. Rosh Ha-Shanah brings such break-throughs in personal growth and self-knowledge.
Wishing everyone a Yom Tov and — why not? — a Good Shabbas. . . .