I hope everyone is acclimating to the end of summer and the start of whatever comes after summer. Since March, it really seems like just one long season of “what the heck is going on with this world.” And as long as you aren’t running out of toilet paper, all is okay. I mentioned in last week’s column that son #3 had turned 20. In Israel. Without my being able to give him 20 kisses, and one for good luck. (Sorry kid, now anyone who reads this knows that you still let me kiss you.) In any event, it was the first birthday that I was not with him, and, understandably, I was not handling it very well. I was thinking back to when son #1 was in Israel for his birthday, and I spent way too much money sending him a package filled with birthday paraphernalia. It took almost three months to get to him — and that was express mail! He might still be waiting for it if I had sent it regular mail.
I tried contacting one of those companies that delivers packages to your kid in Israel. Reading the website gave me such a headache, with the different delivery zones and quarantine restrictions and everything else, that basically I closed the computer out of mental exhaustion. Fortunately, son #3 asked me if I was surprising with with anything and he gave me the name of sweetjerusalem.com, which is a company started by the wife of one of his rebbes. She responded to me in under five minutes, and I was able to surprise my birthday boy with delicious cookies and balloons for a very reasonable price. (And if this wife-of-a-Monsey-boy is saying it was reasonable, you know that it is true.) I normally don’t advertise anything in my column, but I really want to give Sweet Jerusalem a shout out because she was so awesome and I know how helpless moms can feel when their kid is so far away and you want to send them something.
So there you go.
And now on to this week’s topic.
As some of you know, I am obsessed with all things ’80s. When you become an adult, or at least the age of what is considered an adult, and you watch the movies from your teen years, you start to wonder what happened to those characters. Okay, maybe only I do. But when you experience real life — marriage, children, love, loss — I always wonder what the sequel of some of these movies would be. For example, “16 Candles,” my all-time favorite John Hughes film. Samantha and Jake fall in love. What happens to them? Does their love survive college? Do they get married? Does Jake get injured on the job and become an alcoholic who gets cut off from his wealthy family? Someone tell me!
The reason we sometimes have unrealistic expectations of life is because we watch these movies and read fairy tales and think everyone always lives happily ever after. I mean Cinderella spoke to mice and birds — does no one think that perhaps there is some diagnosable mental health issue there and the prince just couldn’t deal with it?
Sorry, got a little off course there. Back to the ’80s.
I came across a show on Netflix called “Cobra Kai.” It is my dream come true — a 30-years-later follow up to the movie “Karate Kid.” Husband #1 told me that I have issues — we all know that I do — but this show was genius. And, fortunately, its only two seasons, because I binge-watch these shows and don’t leave the house until I am done. (Don’t worry, I don’t neglect any of my household responsibilities because I carry the computer around with me. Husband #1 still has clean clothes and dinner every night.) The subtle ’80s references are hysterical, and most of the living main characters are in the series. Ralph Macchio, who was the “Karate Kid,” is 58 in real life. He still looks 20 years younger than he actually is and he still annoys me, but it is still nice to see him. Listen, if the worst thing I do for my midlife crisis is watch too much Netflix and over-analyze it, I still think that is pretty good.
And yes, I know that I am most probably past mid-life, but let me have it for the purposes of this column.
Here’s hoping that we all have a happily ever after.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck cannot believe that it is almost Rosh Hashanah. This has been one bizarre year….