a jew walks into a bar…

25 Oct

So today I found out that one of my new waitresses is a Jew and it was like big, shiny, dreidel-shaped fireworks going off when we made the connection. Because something maybe you don’t know about the restaurant business is that it isn’t necessarily overflowing with Hannukahs. It’s mostly you Christmases with your Lent and your pasta and your admirable height and athletic prowess. Perhaps it’s due to the manual labor, or maybe the fact that it requires working on the Sabbath, but for whatever reason, we’re in short supply when it comes to strapping on an apron and dishing out burgers. And when we find each other it’s just magical. Nearly as magical as when you discover that your camp bunk mate is best friends with her brother’s intern in a game of Jewish Geography (vocab of the day: Jewish Geography is the game you play to see how many Jews you have in common. Like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but with the guy who asked you to the Purim Carnival instead of Tom Hanks). Now there are THREE JEWS AT WORK! It’s so very very very exciting. It’s nearly a minyan!

The reason that I knew she was Jewish is because she told my liquor rep that she looked familiar and asked if she had ever been a camp counselor.

Rule #1 for identifying a Jew (especially in this neck of the woods, not sure what it’s like in Michigan or whatever, where there are camps for Christian people and Mormons and shit): Camp. Not sports camp, just regular camp. There’s a serious difference and if you don’t know what it is, then you aren’t one of us.

Here are some other Tribal Traits:

  • We love love love rainbow cookies
  • We find many forms of fish (smoked, canned, gefilted, Swedish) both tasty and acceptable.
  • We have had at least one form of elective plastic surgery.
  • It is said what we do not enjoy giving blow jobs. I have figured out that this is most likely an urban legend. I wasn’t positive until today when a Tribal customer said the word “vagina” really really really loud, and if the prude Jewess ever existed, I assure you she’s long gone.
  • We don’t accept flowers whilst mourning a loved one, unless it is of t the Edible Arrangement variety. However, we much prefer rainbow cookies.

    My shiksa doppelgänger Nicole en route to a Shiva call. Thanks to me she has the perfect form of condolence! YUM!

  • We all play tennis or golf. Or got a Tiffany’s box for our Bat Mitzvah. Or all of the above.
  • We never wear the same outfit twice to temple. Or anywhere.
  • We all fear picking up a penny on the floor because we’ll be ridiculed for being “typical,” but we absolutely cannot resist a quarter.
  • We are all extra religious when it comes to leaving work early for holidays, buying new dresses for parties and eating at our mother-in-law’s house for a holiday.
  • We use the fact that we can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery as our reason for not getting inked, when in actuality we’re just really scared of pain.
  • We are all connected to Billy Joel in some way.

Interestingly, if I had used “they” instead of “we” on this list, you’d be totally accusing me of being a prejudiced whore (I threw in whore because I discussed oral sex and that’s not ladylike at all). Lucky for us I had a Bat Mitzvah so the same exact shit now comes off as educational.

Like seriously what’s the deal with this. Why is it that we can stereotype ourselves but not others??? My professor from college wrote this book or two or three and won some serious (Pulitzer Prize) acclaim. And it’s like basically just Spanglish and bitches. And it’s like, wait. Hold up, ese. I can totally write Spanglish and bitches! Where the fuck is my Pulitzer? Or at least where is like a paid advertiser on my blog? I asked a Spanish guy at the restaurant how much credibility I’d have writing a piece of fiction about a Guatemalan dude and you know what he said? NONE! Like, it’s fiction, Spanish guy! Am I not entitled to spout out stereotypes as though they’re complete truths even if I have pretty much no exposure to the private lives of Latinos except for Mexican Poker with the line cooks when I was in high school? Why do I have to stick with my people??? Have we not established that the highlight of our existence is colorful pastries and misshapen chunks of ground fish and ???? THAT IS BORING!

 A chick I know (FROM CAMP, HOW’S THAT FOR IRONY???) started writing this blog about her adventures around the boroughs wearing an afro wig and it’s catching a lot, like a LOT, of slack for being racist and [other mean words] and ignorant towards the deep cultural history of the fro, dating back to slavery. If she were a black chick (wait, do I really need to clarify that she’s white? I did just tell you that we went to camp together, did I not?) people would be singing her praises for talking about something REAL. But here’s someone thinking out of the box, and delving into someone else’s stereotypes for a change. Because honestly? Writing about the underworld of the New York Area Jew gets real old real fast (oh who are we kidding, it doesn’t get old because we’ve got botox for that). So kudos to you, Michelle Joni, for being bold enough to participate in some cliché other than bagels on visiting day.

Speaking of stereotypes, I miss Charlie so much. I have like no Asians in my life now except these random customers and some kid in my babygirl’s nursery school class who dresses way too well (no offense Chaz but he’s giving you a run for your money). And there’s this gay hole in my heart to boot! Now when hot guys come into the restaurant, I have nobody to talk to about it except Harry, and that gets like super awkward.


One Response to “a jew walks into a bar…”

  1. Susan October 25, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Love your blog but don’t love the FRO GIRL :((

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