Sitting in the park
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Sitting in the park

I recently bought myself a new knapsack. It is black and has Disney characters on it. Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Daisy and Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy — though I don’t think that Pluto and Goofy are a couple. I saw this bag on the Kipling website and I decided that since this pandemic has cast a web of doom, gloom, and isolation on the world, this would cheer me up and might bring a smile to those who are Disney fans and saw me wearing it. (Or they would just make fun of me for wearing it because I am not a kid anymore.) I also bought it because it was advertised as being laptop friendly, and this way I could bring my computer on my walks.

So I decided to test it, so my laptop has accompanied me to a park in Teaneck. The park is empty, aside from me sitting on a bench. I am surrounded by beautiful old trees, some with leaves, some without. And the grass is carpeted with oranges and yellows, reds and browns, probably some dog poop and branches that couldn’t stand up to the wind from the recent storm. The air is clear and crisp. The squirrels are running around like squirrels do, and I am just sitting here taking it all in.

How poetic.

Truth is, I am wondering why leaves can fall off trees and new leaves grow back in their place, but when men lose their hair, it never grows back. Why is that? Was it a design flaw? And why do some men take it so badly and others, like Husband #1, could care less? And why has this column become a stream of consciousness exercise and not something that makes any sense? Ahh yes, it is because I am losing my mind.

On an unrelated note, people must be calling pharmacies to find out if they have a vaccine yet, because there is a sign on the Walgreens door that says “we do not have the Covid vaccine.” And when you call CVS, part of the message says that they cannot wait to give their customers the vaccine when it comes out, but it has yet to come out.

Enough about that.

Many years ago, the Jewish world was introduced to Only Simchas. Only Simchas, for those who do not know, is a site that posts announces about engagements, weddings, births, bar and bat mitzvahs — basically any simcha or happy occasion. I guess that is why they called it “Only Simchas.” Because, really, we only want simchas or good things in our lives, and the easiest way to let people know about them is to put them on a website for thousands of people to see. Since I get my news from social media, I always love seeing the new couples who have decided to take that fateful step into the future. Of course, the couples that get engaged now are the children of people I may know and no longer those people themselves, because I am old.

Don’t worry, I won’t say how I old I am again.

Anyway, a few months ago, I had learned that a couple got engaged and since I was Facebook friends with the parents, I decided to leave a message wishing them congratulations. What I did not know was that the parents are no longer married. The divorce was a really bad one (not that divorces are ever good, but you know what I mean) and there is no communication between the kids and one of the parents. I did not know this. How was I supposed to know this? If you aren’t supposed to gossip about others (which I never do because I am such a good person) and you only know what is going on in the world from your social media account, you would have absolutely no idea who is no longer married, who is no longer alive, who has lost a job — in other words, the exact opposite of Only Simchas. Would it be wrong if there were a site that let you know these things? It would certainly prevent people from putting their feet in their mouths when they ask you questions about your wife who is now living in Montana with her third husband….

Just a thought. Though I wonder what you would call a website like that…

I am now back to breathing in the clean, crisp air, appreciating the beautiful fall colors, and thinking that I had better come up with a better topic for next week’s column… but thanks for reading.

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck cannot believe that it is almost, sort of Chanukah. Time to start pricing out the candles…

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