Last week I wrote about superheroes. It got me thinking that we, as mere mortals, all have powers that make us special. We all have unique traits that make people really like us, really hate us, or just make us who we are and we don’t care about the ramifications.
Husband #1, for example, if he were to be a superhero, would be “Minyan Man,” able to find a minyan no matter where he is. No matter what the weather conditions, minyan man comes through for his minions of sons, setting an example that you can pray three times a day AND be a lawyer AND watch sporting events AND drink Fanta and eat Stella Doro Swiss Fudge Cookies. He fights evil with a prayer book and makes the world a better place. His cape, which his mother probably bought for him on sale at Marshalls, has a giant M on it and his head glistens in the moonlight as he surveys the masses…
I feel safer just writing about it.
Of course, his tool is godaven.com (an actual website that has found us minyans all over the country and on cruises. Husband #1 feels it is the greatest invention since Drake’s coffee cakes). His car turns into a giant mechitza, separating men and women wherever he goes … sort of like the batmobile, but not really.
What are some other superpowers do people you know have? Hmm, one of my favorites is “Invisible Woman.” Invisible Woman is the person who makes you feel invisible because you are there, right in front of her, yet she does not acknowledge your presence because she has made you invisible. Apparently, you are so thin that she cannot see you! (I apologize to those of you who have heard me use that line before. As my kids tell me way too often, I am turning into my mother and have a tendency to repeat myself. And repeat myself, see, I did it again.)
On a more positive note, there is also “Ego Stroking Lady.” She makes you feel like you are amazing. With her kind words, this superhero can make you feel beautiful on a day that you know you look like crap. She makes you feel accomplished when you have yet to do anything on your to-do list, and she leaves you with a smile on your face. We all know people like this, and some of us even are lucky enough to be friends with people like “Ego Stroking Lady.”
And then, of course, some of us choose to be friends with “Invisible Woman.” And then there are people like me, who just choose to be friends with anonymous people on Facebook who wouldn’t know me in real life if they tripped over me — but that is for another column.
Since this column is all about me, and really, everything is all about me, the idea for this column came to me last week. I was at a Staten Island Yankees game with husband #1 and sons #1 and 3 — #2 already has left for six more months in Israel. (Again, that is for another column…”Why We Send Our Kids to Israel When They Decide Never to Come Home.”) As we entered the stadium, I heard the boys say, “So, if we don’t find a Maariv minyan here, we will just stop by Passaic on the way home and catch a minyan.”
For those of you who don’t know what Mari is — it is the evening prayer service. For those of you who don’t know me, the fact that they were discussing stopping off in Passaic was making my head explode. “No, no, no,” I said (well, possibly yelled, but tomato, tomato). “I will find you a minyan.” Now you would think that because husband #1 is Minyan Man, he would find the people for the minyan. But, no, that requires too much effort and Minyan Man, though a superhero, likes things that come easily to him.
A sense of calm came over me as I surveyed the crowed. This wasn’t going to be easy because there were no telltale signs of eligible men. No yarmulkes, no black hats, no women with head coverings who were being followed by several children wearing matching outfits and eating bags of potato sticks. I had my work cut out for me.
I could stereotypically rule out anyone with a sleeve tattoo or a gold cross. And then I saw it. A group of men and women sitting together. The women were wearing generic jean skirts and I could see that some of the men, though wearing baseball caps, had fresh haircuts, otherwise known as the “three week haircut.” I approached them and very quietly said, “Are you a Jew?” They looked at me and nodded. “Maariv, seventh inning stretch, behind third base.” And so it began.
By the seventh inning stretch we had nine men. We were one short. I was not going to Passaic — but what was I to do? And then, as if from heaven, a man appeared. A Jewish man (we don’t need to go into how we knew this) and then there were 10. And I had found my superpower. Guess that is why I am married to Minyan Man…
May we all use our powers for good and not evil!
Banji Ganchrow will be happy for any of her readers to share their superpowers with her…happy and curious to know what they are!