Today was the truest snow day ever. 18 inches of snow in New York City. Stalled car and buses every where. Blizzard-scale winds that made me believe in Mary Poppins. Law firm offices closed. Let me say that again. LAW FIRM OFFICES CLOSED EVEN AS THEY TRY TO MAKE BUDGET FOR 2010. Now, that, THAT, is saying something. I live in the City and there was no way I was going to make it to the office except by walking, and the blizzard-scale winds would have taken me way off-course. The Upper West Side of Manhattan is not even plowed 12 hours after the last snowflake fell (don’t they realize that we vote with our ballots and pocketbooks? Has anyone noticed the UWS demographic has changed????)
POB (partner of blogger) was supposed to go east to the beach with our son (SOPOBAB) and his cousin, our nephew. Oh, I think Mother Nature is a teeny tiny bit stronger than the sheer will of POB. Although Mother Nature won, she was bruised and hospitalized. Anyway, my beautiful prizefighter POB thought that we needed to go sledding. I thought we needed to drug the boys (just kidding, for all the Child Protective Services personnel who read this). How else do you keep two rambunctious 8 year-old in check?
So, a-sledding we went. A winter wonderland. Sheer, treacherous beauty on West 108th Street.
As I was fretting about the absence of protective gear while trying not to fall down the hill at scary velocity (I remember all too well flying down the hill with SOPOBAB when he was a littler kid. I also remember buying another life insurance policy the following day, because SOPOBAB would bounce, as children do; I would not have survived another run.)
But, then, life has a way of keeping it all real. A child, whose family apparently fell on hard times (they must have been slumming by spending year-end at home), stated with disgust, “There isn’t even a hot chocolate shack!” If that were my child, he would be enrolled at military school tomorrow. Yes, I am passing judgment (and also stating a fact).
Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Aspen anymore. It was so pathetic and sad at the same time that I couldn’t, simply couldn’t, take a picture of the spoiled brat who uttered that line. Ok, I almost did, but G-d intervened and the battery of my camera failed. Lucky kid, but karma, as we know, is a boomerang.
BUT, THE BATTERY DID NOT DIE BEFORE I GOT A PICTURE OF A SARTORIAL/PSYCHO-SOCIAL TRAGEDY. Before I share this vignette, I will note that my own outfit could remind a person of Pippy Longstocking — everything was mismatched in that way that you wear whatever will keep you warm. In fact, I was wearing a serial-killer hat (depicted in every artist sketch in an all-points bulletin) that made me look particularly deranged and very much like a predicate felon. But that isn’t what I am talking about.
I am talking about an outfit that could scar a child for life.
A MOTHER IN A SUMMER’S PEASANT SKIRT, WINTER JACKET WITH FUR LINING, CARRYING A BRUSHED COPPER COLORED PURSE, TOTALLY IGNORANT OF THE GRAVE EMBARRASSMENT AND LIFETIME TRAUMA SHE WAS CAUSING HER LITTLE SON:
Later she yelled at her son who is out of control as he sled down the hill, “watch your kepilah [head]!!!” as if summoning G-d to deliver her from this pagan ritual that assimilation has thrust upon them. The only saving Grace is that this the Upper West Side of New York, with a Jewish population larger than the whole of Israel. So, we understand. Because was heard these humiliating stories from our parents as part of their own, very personal, Exodus stories.
A bastardized adage still holds true: