This week we celebrate the holiday of Purim. It is the most special time of year because husband #1 was born on this joyful holiday.
Yes, I realize that I wrote about him last week, but when your nest is empty and you are blessed enough to have a spouse sharing that nest, you gather much fodder for discussion. As I am celebrating my fourth year at this wonderful paper (which means I have been writing about myself for eight years…oh boy, can you say narcissistic personality disorder?) I have realized that I write about Husband #1 every Purim. But how could I not? The man can read a 15-minute megillah! Of course he cannot do much else, but I need to celebrate his most admirable qualities.
I reread last year’s Purim column and had to laugh because it didn’t turn out quite the way I expected it to. Right before Purim, Husband #1’s father had knee replacement surgery that didn’t go quite the way it was supposed to. Because I am such a kind and loving wife and because Husband #1 was turning 50, I decided to give him a 36-hour trip to Florida to visit his parents and be able to spend Purim with them. This, of course, was a huge deal, because Husband #1 has read the megillah for hundreds of people over the years, but rarely for his parents.
And this is what happened…
Husband #1 read the megillah very quickly after the fast in someone’s home that only had 10 men and about four women. Our wonderful friend then drove us to the airport and we boarded a really empty plane. We get to Florida, we see Husband #1’s mom, and we all go to sleep. The next day we go to see Husband #1’s dad, and he gets to read the megillah for his parents. We go to a Purim seudah at Husband #1’s parents’ synagogue, because they had paid for two seats. We feel very, very young.
The dinner is a buffet, but it is served in small shifts. When dessert comes out, I take one look at Husband #1 and say, “We are not going anywhere near that, because there are too many people breathing on those cookies.” Yes, I said no to a cookie. Unbeknownst to us, the pandemic had landed in Teaneck. Every other house on our block had someone sick right after Purim. Going to visit my in-laws had possibly saved us from getting sick. Ain’t that just a kick in the pants?
OK, that is the end of the Purim 2020 story.
And now, a year later, lipstick companies are going bankrupt and the lip waxing industry is in financial decline because everyone is wearing a mask, normal parties are thing of the past, school is something entirely different, and mothers and fathers who used to work 400 hours a week in an office have had a chance to get to know their kids. (So maybe it hasn’t been all bad.) And it is Purim again. Amazing how that happens. Time just keeps passing us by. Husband #1 will soon be another year older.
This year, God willing, he will be reading the megillah again, several times over the 24 hour holiday, wearing a mask, in a socially distanced setting, The Santa Claus of Purim is back, ready to spread megillah joy. My Megillah Man. I am so very proud.
One of the reasons why I love my Megillah Man is because of his creative ways of extending our very quiet and lonely meals at the Shabbos table. Maybe it is just us, but we could be finished in less than 20 minutes, and that is with singing two songs and bentching (that’s saying the prayer after meals). He comes home this week and says, “I have a great game.” We take out all of the benchers that have overtaken our credenza drawers and play the “Do You Remember This Simcha?” game. Yes, folks, that is the name of the game. Where it was, who you sat with, and for extra points, what did you wear. You are not allowed to go off on tangents about whether you were unhappy with who you sat with and then start bad mouthing those people, because then you lose points. Not actual points, but probably points with God.
In any event, wishing all of you a happy and HEALTHY Purim. May the joy and the meaning of this holiday translate to an end of this pandemic and the beginning of something wonderful. And happy birthday, Husband #1. Thanks for not killing me in my sleep.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck wants you to know that Husband #1 will play the game with you on zoom for a minimal fee….