Monica’s “Martinis and Melodrama” cocktail party is called for 7:30 p.m.
I walk up to her door and knock at 7:30 p.m.
I’m the first guest.
Her dog Eliot Epstein barks furiously. Last time I was here, he bit me.
Monica says the right things about putting him in her car for the party but of course she does nothing of the sort and we’re treated to his annoying yaps for the rest of the evening.
I head straight for her dining table and start heaping my plate with tabuli and pasta and humus. I haven’t eaten this well since LimmudLA.
Soon Monica’s two graphic designers show up and the three girls talk about martinis for 30 minutes.
I’m going out of my mind. Boring! I hate alcohol. I hate trivial conversation. I want something meaty to sink my fangs into.
Thank God, four grad students show up (Monica knows two of them from a retreat for nerds at Cornell) and I have the privilege of engaging the short tubby one in passionate conversation about his research — race and food in the South.
“What exactly?” I ask.
Nineteenth Century Southern cookbooks. He explains to me how these books ignored the contributions of the blacks who prepared the food. How this is symptomatic of America which so often fails to give sufficient due to the contributions of blacks, women, and other minorities.
It was such a fascinating discussion. I wish I could’ve pursued it more, but I was stuck the rest of the night talking to a tall blonde shiksa who’d gone to high school with Monica. They were both cheerleaders.
While Monica no longer has her cheerleading outfit, this girl does.
I suppose certain men would find that exciting. Oh, how they’d get a charge out of dating a former cheerleader, but as any regular reader of mine knows, I am all about HaShem and his mitzvos.
So yes, the shiksa was beguiling and beautiful and charming, but the whole time I was stuck talking to her, I wished I was in shul conversing with a frizzy-haired, big-nosed, buck-toothed menopausal Jewess.
I suppose in a certain light, going to dinner with this beguiling shiksa would be fun. Sure, the conversation would flow effortlessly. Sure, she’s easy on the eyes. Sure, she’s smart, educated and accomplished. But what does she know of Torah?
I suppose a certain type of man might think, hmm, I’d love to go for a walk on the beach with this girl. I’d love to hold her hand as we skipped in and out of the waves. I’d love to sit on an isolated outcrop with her and make-out. I guess for certain men, the joining of lips with this shiksa goddess would be pleasant, the running of your hands through her long blonde hair would have an appeal, the opening up of her Disneyland resort would be worth a mass, but shoot, from where I sit, I don’t think a few decades of great sex, stimulating conversation, and beautiful children really compares to the reward that come from observing the Torah.
So the whole time I was smelling this girls’ perfume, getting lost in her blue eyes, and enjoying her reparte, I was yearning for that earlier conversation on racism in 19th Century Southern cookbooks.
I’m an intellectual. I’m a serious intellectual. I’m outraged about the patriarchy and the hegemony of white males and the denial of basic civil rights to gay Americans. I doubt that this shiksa — so beguiling — has ever picked up a book by Michel Foucault or Emmanuel Levinas.
The shiksa wonders aloud what is wrong with me. There’s something she’s missing.
“Is he a serial killer?” she asks Monica. “He’s good at pulling people in but there’s probably a dead girl in his freezer.”
“He’s actually not good at pulling people in,” says Monica. “He’s better at repelling them. But yeah, he is like a serial killer. The first time we went out, he took me to Lag B’Omer at Chabad, and then to Porn Star Karaoke.”
Judy, a Jew, launches into a discussion about how Jews are smarter and better than non-Jews. “Whatever religion you belong to, we have seniority,” she says. “We’re like old money.”
New York, NY
February 29, 1944
Upper West Side, New York, NY
I despise most politicians
Lutherian Torah Judaism
* CUNY City
* This and that
* Elisabeth Irwin High School ’62
unemployed file clerk.
New York, NY
I was the man with the cart, moving files to and fro.
I am fairly inert these days, a consequence of a lifetime of too many plates of kishka and cookies. I know I weigh more than I should but hope to be back below 350 pounds by year’s end.
Zabars, social justice, and mites.
Music plays no role in my life.
Favorite TV Shows:
Dragnet, the Milton Berle Show, Felix the Cat
The Searchers, The Jazz Singer, Gone with the Wind
Who has time to read?
I’m poor, obese, old, and looking for a hot young shiksa to be my lover and pay my rent and bear my children and cook for me. I’m not looking for anyone shallow.