where jews come from.

27 May

Tonight was like Christmas or something at the restaurant, because alllll the Jews were out. I wonder what it is about Memorial Day that makes every tribe member skip the family BBQ and call in a babysitter. Maybe it’s because everyone wants to show off their new summer wardrobe and absolutely cannot wait until a less family-friendly weekend. Or maybe since Jews don’t cook and this is a holiday where burgers and ribs are a must-have, we fit the bill. Regardless of the reason, they were seriously in every nook and cranny of the restaurant tonight. And I’m not talking about the vanilla difficult-to-identify variety who send their kids to schools like Princeton and University of Texas and don’t wear designer jeans or have any elective plastic surgery. I’m talking about your SUV driving, huge ass diamond sporting, Tory Burch toting creme de la creme Long Island Super Jews (who, if you’re wondering, send their kids to schools like Cornell, Wisconsin, Indiana and, yes, Syracuse).

There are some distinguishing qualities that we (I’m throwing myself in with the masses for this one…) tend to display. While I’m generalizing and completely stereotyping my peeps, these are all for the most part 100% completely and entirely true.

  1. We get too loud too fast. It happens in an instant. Tonight I asked the new waitress if she was a Jew (after she complimented Harry on his excellent guilt-dishing) and when she said yes, there were suddenly four of us screaming at the top of our lungs about which direction you light the candles on the menorah in. Which leads me to…
  2. Nobody actually knows anything about Judaism. There are exceptions. We have a few customers who go to temple and do things like talk about religion and celebrate non-gift-giving holidays. But for the most part, Jews these days are in it for the food and the free birthright trip to Israel.
  3. Everyone went to camp. Tonight when I found out about the new Jew girl, I didn’t ask her if she went to camp, I asked her what camp she went to. Because camp is pretty much non-negotiable for adolescent Jews. This has nothing to do with wanting to ditch your kids for 8 weeks (although now that I have a 9-year-old step kid I can say that the temptation does pop into my head now and then). Camp has to do with passing down amazing experiences from generation to generation. Such as getting fresh bagels on visiting day and joining the inter-camp soccer team just for the ice cream sundaes on the van ride back.
  4. Like Asians, we are completely undistinguishable when in a large group. On an individual basis, we all display our own unique style, whether it’s the type of music we listen to or color of Essie nail polish that we use or the way we pronounce “Bendels.” But when we get together for a girl’s night, we all dress the same, talk the same, complain the same, and order the same salad (with well done salmon, dressing on the side, extra garbanzo beans, no olive and make sure it’s chopped).
  5. Jews hire night nurses when they have babies. I didn’t put this as “we” because I didn’t marry a Jew, and so I didn’t get a night nurse. Harry insisted that “we’re the parents, so we should wake up with the baby.” While I sincerely hated him at the time, and our social lives probably took a major hit (as though we had one at all) because we couldn’t go out drinking with the other new parents, I will always fondly look back on those days of sitting on the couch at 4:30am watching Pretty Little Liars with my itty bitty baby girl in my arms. Still. I deserved a night nurse.
  6. Every Jew knows Artie. Something about our recently deceased original restaurant is that it was like the number one spot for Jappy women to have lunch for literally decades. So my dad really got to know them, as well as their husbands/boyfriends/sugar daddies. And he was friendly and super sweet and made everyone feel like he was their buddy. Not like me, who flips people the bird before they’ve completely turned around and refuses to schmooze with anyone who rubs me the wrong way. Yes, he’s the Penn to my Teller. And as a result, not a Saturday night goes by at the restaurant where some balding dude comes up to me or my manager and says “Where’s Artie?” And I say “Artie hasn’t come to work for 5 years,” followed by “Maybe if you were a devoted customer you’d know that, huh?” followed by “Stop looking at me like that, asshole” followed by “Fine! Don’t come back! See if I care! My dad doesn’t even remember who you are!” I can’t figure out why they don’t want to get to know me better, but it’s their loss for sure.

Anyway, that’s the deal with Jews, at least this week. Because if one thing is true (other than the aforementioned items) it’s that we love a good trend.

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