I have learned that you are not allowed to say bad things publicly about Jewish-owned establishments. Yes, I know this sounds bad. Why is it okay to say something bad about an establishment owned by a non-Jew?
I am not here to debate that. If I have learned anything about anything, it is that you should try not to say anything bad about anybody at any time or in any situation. I don’t know how that is humanly possible. Do you just talk about the weather? I guess you could talk about music or art. My kids say that you should just talk Torah. God bless those Oreos of mine. They did make my Mother’s Day really special, so I am giving them all a shout-out.
It was a really hard weekend and a really interesting day, and they helped make it a little more bearable. “Uh oh, she is going to start being really depressing again,” you might be thinking. Let me just say this. A friend of mine lost her dad a few days before I did. We have been checking in on each other all year. I hope that I have been helpful to her, because she has been helpful to me, especially about having my dad’s first yahrzeit on Mother’s Day. I would like to paraphrase what she said to me when I told her that I was trying to figure out why, of all days, was I to observe the anniversary of his loss on Mother’s Day. Yes, I know that it could have been Father’s Day, but that would have been more appropriate, being that he was my father and all. Anyway, she said that it was because he had “helped” make so many women turn into mothers, since he was an obstetrician. I thought that was such a beautiful thought that I am sharing it with all of you.
I will also share with you that listening to music, after not having listened to it for an entire year, is truly an out-of-body experience. Okay, now I am done with that. Back to the not saying anything bad about a Jewish-owned establishment.
My parents had this ritual, that after they would go to the cemetery, they would go to a certain nearby restaurant. It was their thing. It turned out that both my maternal and paternal relatives are all hanging out with the Rebbe in Old Montefiore, so my parents were able to “see” all of their parents in one shot. Of course, and unfortunately, Husband #1 and I will be able to visit our fathers at the same resting place. How lovely. Anyway, I decided, and I am taking full responsibility for the disaster that was to ensue, that my sister, my mom, and I should go visit my dad, and then go the restaurant that my parents used to go to.
Sounds nice and meaningful, right? Man plans and God laughs.
When we got there, everything seemed fine to my mom. But then the waiter, who remembered her from all her past visits, informed her that there was no longer duck on the menu. Apparently they are all too small. This, of course, made me happy thinking of all of the Donalds and Daffys that were saved because of their size…
To make a long story a little shorter, it was all downhill after that. The steak took 30 minutes to come out, and then it was cold; the chicken dishes all had the same unnatural colored sauce on two different types of dishes (the orange chicken had an orange on the plate, and the general chow’s chicken had broccoli, but they were identical in every other way). The bartender was trying to get the piña colada mix out of a frozen container with a spoon; the soup smelled like rotten eggs — you get the point. But we couldn’t stop laughing. That is how bad it was — it was just funny.
As I was leaving to get the car, which was parked very far away, I noticed an innocent looking couple clearly on a shidduch date entering the establishment. I looked at them at said, “Get out while you can and save yourselves!” I am hoping that they end up getting married because of my advice.
My sister said it best when she said that this was the perfect ending to a day filled with so many emotions. And what would my dad say about all of this? “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Words to live by.
(And I didn’t even tell you the name of the restaurant!)
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck wants you all to know that she and Husband #1 mowed their own lawn last week and hopes that the visual of that makes you laugh.